Pioneering scheme gets shortlisted

PIONEERING lime based conservation work earned St Mary’s Church, Iffley, a place in the shortlist for the 2018 John Betjeman Award.

St Mary’s Church, Iffley

While the Oxford church didn’t win, judges were impressed with the conservation work carried out to the west front and south door. Lime was used in the construction of most old buildings. However, it has been widely replaced with more modern products that experts say can seriously harm historic fabric. As a result, there has been a revival in lime in restoration projects.

The repairs at St Mary’s, carried out last year, followed on from earlier work in the 1980s. The judges were also pleased to hear about the outreach activities that accompanied the scheme, sharing the building and project with the community and the Living Stones programme that engaged children in learning about the church and the skills used to care for it. The John Betjeman Award, run by The Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings, celebrates excellence in the repair of places of worship in England and Wales.