Major works to stop damp invading the baptistery in the historic tower of Lambeg Parish Church are nearing completion – just in time for the arrival of the new rector.
For many years the Lisburn church, which dates to 1737, has suffered from ingress of moisture in the baptistery and numerous attempts to correct this have failed.
The baptistery is housed in the church tower which is the oldest part of the present building, having been completed some 279 years ago.
Last year, the Select Vestry made a successful application to the Government-sponsored Listed Places of Worship Roof Repair Fund and was awarded £20,000 towards a major project to repair the ineffective rainwater disposal system in the tower.
The Select Vestry and parishioners of Lambeg Parish Church are most grateful for this government assistance.
Having received professional advice on the project from Chris McCollum, Building Conservation Surveyor, Dungannon, and following a tender process, the contract was awarded to J S Dunlop Ltd of Ballymoney.
The work, which commenced in April this year, consisted of raking out all of the old pointing in the tower walls, pumping in grout to seal off the voids and fissures in the centre of the old walls, and then re-pointing the surface again. Special mixtures of grout were used and in all it took some 91 bags to seal off all of the internal voids that were discovered in the ancient structure.
The ledges on the tower were also sealed to give protection from the elements and a new storm glaze cover erected to protect the stained glass window. The parish, which is anticipating the institution of new rector - the Rev Edmond Coulter - is now looking forward to what it’s hoped will be a trouble-free period without all of the dampness problems of the past.
No date has yet been set for the institution of the Rev Coulter.