The extension at the side of the church was completed in 1993. It comprises a cloister with enclosed garden, a small meeting room, the Parish Office, a large meeting room (the Morlais Room) with a kitchen. It also provides a sacristy, a choir room, toilets and a utility room. It was paid for entirely by parishioners through donations and fund-raising events.
The Restoration Project
The restoration of the main church building was undertaken in three phases.
- Phase 1 in 2008-2009 - In the south aisle and Lady Chapel, work was undertaken to prevent water leaks, the walls were re-plastered, and the whole area was redecorated. The area was curtained off, so that the church remained in use.
- Phase 2 in 2010-11 - Similar re-plastering and redecorating work was undertaken in the north aisle, again with continuing use of the church.
- Phase 3 in 2012 - The main phase involved complete refurbishment of the nave and chancel. The church had to be closed for three months, with services being held in the Church Hall.
A summary of the Phase 3 work is given below.
In the chancel, the floor was re-tiled and the choir stalls were repositioned to make them less cramped. During removal of the old tiles, two memorial stones were discovered, which had been carefully covered over during the 1855 renovation. One stone, over the Zinzano tomb, was a particularly fine memorial of historic interest, and so this was raised to become a central feature of the new floor.
Click here to listen to a BBC Radio Berkshire interview with the then Rector, Revd John Rogers, recorded in 2014.
Cleaning the stonework inside the church, and in particular the reredos carvings behind the altar, contributed significantly to the visual impact of the refurbishment.
During the refurbishment, new lighting and sound systems were installed with minimal visibility of wiring. Subsequent additions to the refurbishment, undertaken by church members with skills in working oak, have been a new sound control box, and a replacement surround for the organ and the adjacent door from chancel to vestry. There is also a new list of past rectors, replacing the previous board which had suffered water damage.
The Renewal of the Roof
Having refurbished the inside of the church, it became apparent that the church roof was in less good condition than had been thought. It was therefore necessary to undertake another phase of work - Phase 4 in 2014. The roof was re-tiled, with a waterproof membrane installed beneath the tiles. The new roof was blessed by the Bishop of Reading.