Mon, November 29, 2021

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Renovation Works

Holy Family & St Ninian’s Church, Kirkintilloch
Phase 1 Works
Client Final Update – October 2020
I visited your church on a sunny day last week and was impressed with how bright and fresh it felt on entering.  The brightness had much to do with the early October sunshine but also your new lighting which has made a huge difference to the space and the ability to see the wonderful details (along with the cobwebs!) that previously sat in the gloom. 
The freshness was also welcome, and due to the building drying out. Fixing the roofs and gutters has stopped water getting into the building while re-pointing with breathable lime mortar and the stripping of walls internally have greatly helped the drying out process. On our visit, the space seemed warmer too, helped no doubt by the new insulation at roof level but also by the dry walls. It was a bit like having changed out of wet clothes after being caught in a downpour!
The fresh and dry environment continued as I walked around the smaller spaces: the sacristy, the confessionals, and the link corridor to the presbytery had all housed some of the biggest problems encountered during the contract. Dry rot was pervasive here, but it should not re-establish itself now that moisture levels have been reduced and ventilation improved. As noted on previous updates, the process of drying is likely to be a long one, however signs are promising that this is well underway. We intend to confirm this with a visit by the rot and damp specialist, who will measure the levels of moisture deep within the walls to compare with his readings taken last year.
The newly slated roof has weathered well, though there is a need to regularly check the gutters for a build-up of leaves from neighbouring trees across the wall in Peel Park.  The front porch, or narthex, is also drying out, benefitting from the new roofing membrane installed at the end of the contract.
Recent funds will hopefully allow completion of the job – renewal of pointing to low-level walls and painting the ironwork, while internal redecoration will complement the new lighting. I understand that the exposed stone walls along the aisles is proving a popular look, but to retain this we will need to carry out some internal pointing and finish with a breathable seal to help reduce the dust levels.
Last week, as the sun streamed through your wonderful rose window, illuminating the central aisle to the sanctuary, I quizzed Fr Stephen as to whether he needed to reach for his sunglasses on such occasions. The contrast was less pronounced though as he demonstrated how the lighting could be adjusted to help brighten the darker areas in the rear pews. Yes, he was now able to better see and recognise faces at the back and he felt visually closer to his congregation.  And, for the rose window, Fr Stephen shared with me his vision of how in time this bright south-facing window might be transformed to help tell the story of your beautiful church.
Alistair King
Page\Park Architects











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