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16th Oct, 2021

Bromsgrove's St John's Church closed after crack is noticed in ancient wooden beam

BROMSGROVE’S St John’s Church is currently closed for inspections after a split in one of the wooden beams in the nave roof of the ancient building was noticed.

A structural engineer was immediately called to take a look at the beam in the Grade I listed building.

The large oak structure spanning the church ceiling is one of six beams which sit 13metres above ground level making close-up inspection difficult.

Whilst that is being arranged the church will need to shut.

According to church historian Simon Henderson, the roof trusses were a large part of the restoration work undertaken by Scott in 1858.

“Scott cut out rotten timber, and patched in large sections, particularly towards the wall ends.

“Most of the tie beams are composite structures, with medieval central portions and Victorian end sections, held together with wrought iron straps and flitch plates.

“The beam ends were again worked on in the 1920s under Sir Harold Breakspear’s restoration of the roof.”

The glorious sunny weather last weekend enabled the parishioners were able to enjoy an outdoor service held by the tower in the church yard, and whilst the inspection and reports are carried out the congregation will continue to meet outside, or at another church if the weather is not so good.

Rev Ray Khan said “Whilst there is no immediate indication that the beam is unsafe, it is important that we do not use St John’s until the full investigation is completed.

“I am grateful to the team of professionals who are carrying out the investigations and as soon as we have any further details we will make the news available to all.”

Friends of St John’s chairman Jo Slade added “There is an ongoing need for maintenance and restoration at our beloved, ancient church building.

“During the pandemic fund-raising opportunities have been limited, so we would be delighted to receive donations to help with the investigations and required work.

“Once we know the extent to the need we will be launching a fund-raising appeal to carry out the work as quickly as possible and reopen St John’s”

Click here for the Friends of St John’s Facebook page for updates and to make a donation to the fund-raising campaign for its ongoing upkeep and maintenance.

 

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