St Helen’s Church is a building of historical significance. It is Grade 2* Listed and is reported to be the ‘oldest continually used church in Lancashire’. The main doorway dates from the 12th century, and there are theories that areas of the west wall date from Saxon times.
Harrison Pitt Architects hasbeen working with the church since 2010, since when the practice has assisted with the quinquennial inspection, repairs to the roof and boundary walls, as well as the obtaining of faculty permission for various works on the building and the creation of a Sunday school room in the transept gallery.
However, the major project to date has undoubtedly been the partial re-roofing of the church in 2013-14. During the Quinquennial Inspection in January 2011, water ingress was identified in the transept. A subsequent intrusive roof inspection confirmed that the oak pegs holding the roof slates in place had perished in this part of the building. The water ingress eventually caused a small area of structural collapse, which led to the church being placed on the ‘Buildings at Risk Register’.
The church set about a fundraising exercise and following the grant of faculty, work started on replacing the affected area of roof in late summer 2013. Following further fundraising efforts the roof has now been fully replaced in a project that involved the removal of the stone slates, re-battening and felting of the roof and replacing the stone.