A building like St Kevin’s, almost 150 years old, requires constant attention to ensure that it is properly maintained and, where necessary, restored.
In November 2013 we completed a major project of conservation in the sanctuary area which won a commendation from the Irish Georgian Society. Over an 18-month period the stained glass windows were removed and repaired; the stone frames were likewise repaired; the exterior walls were re-pointed with lime mortar; and the interior walls and ceiling were redecorated according to the original Victorian designs.
This conservation work needs to be extended to the whole church. All the remaining windows need to be repaired and cleaned; the storm-glazing, where present, needs to be removed. Where the soft Bath stone has decayed it needs to be replaced with new stone, or, where possible, repaired with suitable repair mortar. Originally the entire interior of the church, ceiling and walls, was highly decorated, and it is hoped in the long term to restore this. On the exterior, the stone has badly deteriorated in several places and needs to be replaced or repaired. The sand and cement mortar used to repoint the church several decades ago should be replaced with the traditional lime mortar, to allow the walls to breath.
Originally the church had an under-floor heating system. The radiators now in use are causing bad staining of the walls, are we would hope to revert to the original method of heating the church.
The organ is essentially the same instrument as was installed by Telford and Telford in 1903, and, though remarkably well preserved for its age, is now in need of a major rebuild.
The parish house, on the corner of Heytesbury St, provides office space, meeting rooms, and accommodation for the clergy. Insofar as funds permit the parish must make provision for the upkeep and maintenance of this building as well. In 2020 we completed the restoration of the presbytery roof, and a partial damp-proofing of the basement.
A special fund, the Saint Kevin’s Heritage Fund, has been set up to receive contributions towards the ongoing conservation work.
Before and after pictures of the sanctuary