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Clumber Church of 1867 (Established 1825)
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THE FOLLOW PAGES ARE DEVOTED TO THE REPAIR AND RESTORATION WORK UNDERTAKEN AT CLUMBER CHURCH AND SCHOOL

A NOTE OF SINCERE THANKS TO OUR DONORS

  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 us as the Clumber Community to express our 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 undertake the restoration of the Church with no funds available to do so, our first objective was to reroof the Church. We stepped out in faith and ordered the materials without having the funds to support such a reroofing 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.

WORK UNDERTAKEN AT CLUMBER CHURCH IN 2016

STEEPLE REPAIRED AND REPLACED 2015/2016

 In November 2015 it was noted that the steeple of Clumber Church was literally falling apart and was inhabited by swarms of bees. Pieces of the structure were found lying on the ground due to the internal disintegration of the structure. Ian Rudman, a master craftsman from Port Alfred, undertook to disassemble the structure and repair what he could of the woodwork in his workshop. The entire internal structure had to be rebuilt as the central internal sneezewood pillar had rotted away. Further, 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.

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 . Once again, the 1867 timbers were found to be in perfect shape. Final sealing of the roof was completed on 9 December 2016.

REPAIRS TO ORGAN, PIANO 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.

New roof of Clumber Church glistening in the sun
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.


Courteney George Bradfield