The SPECIAL APPEAL from The Friends of Holy Cross in Autumn 2013 helped to deliver an Accessible WC, Servery and Meeting Space

Day or night, the new facility is proving a delight to use for church and community. This picture shows The Holy Cross church Pastoral Care Scheme consultation in September 2014 taking place over a sunlit lunch in the new Communal Space at the west end of the church.

Fran is in the Servery and then left to right Hazel, Pam, Tom, Alan, Helen, Jen, Diana, Maureen.


Here is a record of its funding and installation in autumn 2013:

28 September 2013


Pictured is Richard Taylor, Treasurer of 'The Friends', displaying the Appeal Brochure delivered to every house in the Parish of Ryton.

He reported that in the first five days of the Special Appeal, he received £485 in gifts left at Ryton Post Office or delivered to his address. A further, £160 had been transferred directly into The Friends bank account. It was an encouraging start - thanks to those so quick to respond!



The Parochial Church Council considered the four tenders from contractors for the work of installing an accessible WC, Servery, Storage facilities and a Communal Space within the West End of Holy Cross Church, together with all the new electrical wiring required for these facilities. They  accepted the lowest, £75,133.


The Church had been fundraising for this project for a few years and the Special Appeal was The Friends' 'final push'. A group led by one of our churchwardens had been busy with applications to Grant Giving Charitable Trusts, with some success and several were considered once a contractor's tender for the work was available.

Meanwhile the Church Council planned  for closure of the Church from 28 October until 13 December during which time the bulk of the works would be undertaken.

7 October


PRE-START SITE MEETING with our chosen Contractor,

STP Construction, based in Rowlands Gill.

Left to right:

John Smailes, Director of STP Construction,

Graham Urwin, Contracts Manager who managed the work at Holy Cross,

Tina Gough, of our Architects Spence and Dower,

Joan Shield, Glynis Thompson, Churchwardens.


On the table, the contract about to be signed! Work began on Monday 28 October. 

Tom Jamieson and the Churchwardens came away from this meeting confident that we were in good hands for both the supervision and the undertaking of the work.

13 October


Three weeks in to our Special Appeal and something over 120 gifts had been received from residents of Ryton amounting to £3,045.25; the funding gap was shrinking...

28 October


The building was closed until mid December and you can see why!


A strong team of volunteers carried, stored, removed, covered just about everything in the church on Sunday afternoon after our Harvest celebrations and a Baptism service, the last service in church until 15 December.



8.30am on Monday 28th our Contractors arrived to begin the major work at the West End. Here Carl [on the floor] and Stevie are making a beginning with removing and protecting more of our fittings. TJ

7 November

The dirty work is well under way!

The screed flooring at the back of the church, badly cracked for years, was lifted. Indeed, the cracks were in the concrete under-floor too, also now lifted. The next big job, before pouring the new floor in this part of the building, was provision of a below-ground-level hole through the south wall for the water supply and drainage. These were connected to the systems put in place years ago when we replaced the footpath, laying water and drainage lines underneath it.


Meanwhile! The donations in response to The Friends Special Appeal continued from many residents of Ryton. The October total, including the tax back as a result of gift-aided donations, amounts to a wonderful £4,500.00!



19 November


The pics speak for themselves! Take a look at the guys constructing the the framework for the WC, Store, and Servery, plumbing included of course. Then there's your first view of the entrance to the loo near the porch, oops, a complication with the underfloor Victorian heating pipes, the Font as you have never seen it, and a pile of parquet ready for cleaning and recycling. A lot happening fast!

28 November


The first pic was particularly pleasing! The fractured heating pipe noticable in the picture above has now been made good.

The water supply, laid under the church path a few years ago when we had to renew the path, was connected to the new piping internally, as was the drainage. A new 'sub-main' to supply electricity to all appliances at the servery and WC was laid. The kitchen units were fitted, and then bespoke doors and fronts made in situ by the carpenters to give these a fitting finish.


9 December


Our first payment to the contractor was made: £31K for materials and works thus far.

Take a look at our new parquet flooring being laid!

The second photo is of the Servery with the WC beyond, taken to show you the packing in the WC frame. You guessed, soundproofing!


20 December


A final day of hyer-activity to have the job done! The contractor returned in the week of 6 January to complete various details and adjustments, but by Christmas we had an accessible WC and a Servery and additional storage space and a beautiful communal space in the West End! Quite apart from the obvious benefits, the way the new open space and parquet flooring gives additional focus to the Font, and to the Spiral Staircase to the tower, is very pleasing indeed.

from the upper store, final carpentry work in the Servery
David Lumley and John French, carpenters, and their fine work

and finally......

the Rector Tom Jamieson delivers an all important item to the new WC!