St Thomas Appeal

There has been a church on this side of the river since early time and the area takes its name from the church of St Thomas. Our Mission is to be welcoming, outward reaching and rooted in prayer, in order to provide sacred space for people. This period finds us in the midst of great changes as we seek to rationalise our buildings and stratergy and create a sustainable model of Ministry for the future.

Church, Anglo-Catholic Church, Anglican Church

The Problem

Towards the end of 2010 a large section of plaster collapsed in the south transept and an urgent investigation revealed that there were significant problems.

There is substantial rotting and deterioration of the roof timbers, including common rafters, wall plates, trusses and beams. Much of the lead-work has reached the end of its life. The saturation of the walls has led to the delamination of masonry, and the extensive weakening of its structural integrity, as well as the de-bonding of significant areas of the internal lime plaster and deterioration of the external wall.

Furthermore nails have rotted in much of the roof, large areas of poor rendering have deteriorated, as have some of the parapets and pinnacles. There is also considerable concern about the framework of the arcade. The poor state of the building reflects a combination of factors. Fragile materials were used back in 1829 when the chancel and transepts were added. Parts of the roof have failed through age and the consequential damage to the fabric caused by long-term water penetration despite continual remedial work. Clearly the building is now at risk and in urgent need of repair.

Unfortunately the scale and nature of the remedial works lies well beyond the means of the present congregation. The parish church does not have historic endowments or large financial reserves. St Thomas has always been a financially poor community and this remains largely true today. We therefore need to ask for your support.

The Solution

Under the supervision of our architect, various surveys and investigations have provided a detailed specification of remedial works and some investigations are still being undertaken. The main elements are as follows:

  • The complete replacement of all roof coverings, allowing sound detailing of the abutments and re-bedding of the valley gutters.
  • The full repair of all roof timbers, with the assumption that the majority of wall plates beneath the valley gutters at the eastern end of the church are decayed.
  • The repair of parapets, coping stones and pinnacles, many of which are failing and repairs to the decorative mouldings and the reliefs due to surface delamination of the stonework.
  • The repair and securing of internal ceilings, walls and plasterwork.
  • Investigation and remedial works to the framework of the arcade.
Church, Anglo-Catholic Church, Anglican Church

Future Proposals

We are passionate about making this historic building sound and watertight; not only for ourselves but also for future generations. ln the longer term we propose applying for further grant aid to open out and modernise the interior to provide a comfortable and flexible multi-purpose space suitable for both worship and community use. We also envisage further landscaping and improved access.

How to Donate

Donations may be made by cash, cheque or standing order and may be Gift Aided. These should be sent to Mr Philip Baker at the St Thomas Centre, Church Road, Exeter EX2 9BQ.

Tel: 01392 437486.