Repair and Restoration of the Church and School - A Note of Thanks

On this website we detail the repairs and restoration undertaken since 2016 on both the Church of 1867 and the School built in 1905. The costs associated with these improvements have all been covered by donations we have received from far and wide. Social media, such as this website, as well Facebook pages, has been used to convey our appeals and to report progress. It is important for the Clumber Community to express its sincere thanks to all who have contributed so readily and to make known that all that has been achieved is as a result of such wonderful support. Further, we have experienced the hand of the Lord guiding and covering our work, so much so that our Circuit Minister, Rev Sandile Kalipa, calls us the " miracle Church". Right at the commencement of our decision to reroof the Church, we ordered the materials without having the funds to support such a project. At the time of completion, the exact amount required to cover these costs were available; and that pattern repeated itself time and time again as we tackled each task.

Repairs and Restoration Undertaken in 2016

Repairs to the Steeple 2016

 The Steeple of Clumber Church was literally falling apart and was inhabited by swarms of bees. Ian Rudman, a master craftsman from Port Alfred, undertook to disassemble, repair the woodwork  in his workshop and reassemble the structure. The central internal sneezewood pillar had rotted away. The sneezewood orb on top of the steeple was severely degraded and had to be repaired. At this time it was found that a sneezewood spike pointing heavenwards from the orb had rotted away many years ago. This has been replaced in a material which should withstand another century of service.

Disassembling from a hydraulic lift
Repair to the Sneezewood Orb Commences
Reassembling the Steeple

 Roof Replacement 2016

The replacement of the roof commenced in October 2016. The first section to be completed was the Porch. Luckily for us the timbers were sound with no evidence of beetle infestation or dry rot. 
Once the roof was replaced on the Porch, the contractor started replacing the corrugated iron on the main roof . 
Final sealing of the roof was completed on 9 December 2016.
The Truck with the Roof Sheeting arrives at Clumber
Carrying in the Roof Sheets
Counting the Sheets with the Contractor
Prior to Stripping the Old Sheets
The Old Sheets are Stripped Away
The New Porch Sheets in Place
The first new sheets replace the old
Northern aspect almost complete with only a few roofing sheets to be replaced
Southern aspect re-roofing complete

Repair to Musical Instruments and Clock 2016

 Now that a new roof has been installed on the Church which has safeguarded the interior, renovations have been carried out on our "furniture". The piano and harmonium were attended to on 29 November 2016. The harmonium at one stage was home to a rodent which caused damage to the interior workings. The pedal harmonium was donated to the Church in 1902 and had its origins in America. A magnificent piece, it has now been repaired and tuned and was the centre of attraction in our Carols Service on 8 December 2016. The organ was played by Merrill Baker of Bathurst who put the harmonium through its paces and drew many comments of admiration on its tone and power.

 Our piano has never really attracted any attention. The last time it was tuned was in 1982 but it was not repaired then. The keys were sticking, certain notes were flat and certain keys did not work at all. What was envisioned as a tuning, evolved to a complete overhaul as the felt was attacked by fish moths and was almost non existent. The repairers worked for two days on the unit and it was discovered that it was built on 21 January 1902. A sought after Gors and Kallmann unit, it has been transformed from the proverbial ugly duckling to a swan. 

Then we turned our attention to repairing the clock which was purchased by the Church in Grahamstown in 1880. That is now ticking along merrily and sounds rather loud in the countryside silence.

The American Pedal Harmonium donated in 1902
The Clock Bought in 1880
The Gors and Kallmann Piano built on 21 January 1902
New roof of Clumber Church glistening in the sun

Re-roofing Project 2016

 Our re-roofing project is now complete. The interior of the Church is now protected against the weather which is a huge relief. A huge thank you to all who contributed so generously making our restoration and repair projects possible.

We will schedule a Committee Meeting in early January to prioritize our projects for 2017. Our drive for an appeal for funds will continue unabated as there are many projects still to be tackled. 

We can look back on the year with a degree of satisfaction- a total rebuild of the steeple, re-roofing the entire Church, repair of our antique clock and repair and tuning of our harmonium and piano. All tasks which were desperately needed. We now move on to the repair of the damaged woodwork, a repaint, and attention to the historical graves as well as a clearing of the surrounding trees and bush. A huge number of tasks still to do but we are relying on the wonderful support we have allready received as a base to move forward.

To all of you a Blessed and Happy Christmas and a heartfelt thanks for your support.

Created by Courteney George Bradfield