WORK has started to restore and repair the windows of Alcester’s iconic and much-loved historic St Nicolas Church.
After many years of fundraising and hard work, the first delivery of specialist stones, painstakingly measured to fit around the stained-glass windows of the church, was welcomed on Tuesday.
The project, which will eventually see all the outer surrounds on the church’s ten decorative windows replaced, began when the current stonework was analysed and found to be a patchwork of history – with medieval wall alongside Victorian brickwork, and other layered repairs.
This collage-effect meant the stone could not be simply repaired as first thought but had to be replaced, at a cost of £270,000.
So far, enough funding has been secured to complete the first five windows on the South-side of the church.
The stone, from Scotland, is partially machine cut and then finished by hand to ensure a precise fit.
Each one will take around a week to install, and it is hoped the first five will be in situ for Christmas.
The church. in the heart of the town, is the centre point for many community events and occasions, and the the team behind the restoration project are encouraging townspeople to show their support.
Michael Newey, chairman of restoration, said: “We are now raising funds for the north face to be restored next year.
“The restoration fund is on the way towards raising the £131,000 needed but it’s still short of about £80,000. We continue to appeal far and wide both nationally and locally, to ensure the north face can proceed as soon as the south face is finished.
“We really want to encourage Alcester’s wider community to help preserve this well-loved and iconic church.
“With a life of at least 300 years, each new stone purchased will provide a tangible and lasting legacy for donors’ descendants.”
For more information call Elizabeth Humphrey on 01789 400579, Richard Osborne on 01789 763509, or Ron Cox on 01789