The people behind the restoration project at Bourne Abbey Church are keeping their fingers tightly crossed that the church will be toasty warm in time for tomorrow’s All Souls Service.
Installing an improved heating system is one of the first milestones in the restoration and rebuild project and contractors will be working right down to the wire to make sure that when the boiler is switched on, the chilly church will warm up.
Father Chris Atkinson, from the church, said there was a “strong possibility” it would be working in time for the All Souls’ Service tomorrow at 2.30pm, which is always well-attended by people remembering their loved ones.
Father Chris said: “They are working absolutely flat out and hopefully it will be reconnected for the service but it will be down to the wire.
“They are a bunch of good lads and they are doing what they can. If it’s not working, it won’t be through a lack of trying - that is for sure.”
A boiler, which was bought about three years ago, has been installed in the new extension and additional radiators have been added in the north aisle. New finned heating pipes are also in place in the south aisle.
The whole project has been more than 12 years in the making. In 2006, a £100,000 appeal was launched for essential roof repairs, a new heating system and indoor toilets to make life more comfortable for parishioners.
But thanks to a series of setbacks, work only started in the Summer.
But Father Chris said it had moved quickly and the extension, which will eventually house toilets and a choir vestry as well as the boiler, is in place.
It will not be in use until next year and that’s when Father Chris said parishioners would really be able to tell that the long wait for the work to be done had been worthwhile.
He said: “It is 12 years since we started this and it’s been setback after setback after setback. On many occasions I’ve lost the will to live with it all but I think it will be worthwhile.
“It is going to be a big change to Bourne Abbey Church and I hope people will feel that it’s been worth the wait.
“We are all really excited by the work that’s going on.”