St. Margaret’s Church, Bilsthorpe
Many things could be considered a luxury, or even useful, within a Grade 1 listed 12th century church like ours, running water, electricity, lighting or central heating all of which we are lucky enough to have (although on occasions we have had to live without them from time to time.)
The floor however is something we could not live without so when in 2009 it began to move in the chancel and sanctuary we were quite alarmed. We had noticed that the odd tile had risen a little under the carpet and further investigation was called for. Upon lifting the carpet over the worst area we were dismayed to find damp had blown the Victorian quarry tiles, leaving them loose and exposing an earthen floor just a quarter of an inch below the surface.
Quotations confirmed our worst fears that £5,000 was needed to complete the work to remove the existing quarry tiles, dig down 425mm and then lay down a bed of expanded clay beads followed by a limecrete base and all topped with a lime screed. This sum was well beyond our means and we set about fundraising. The first local event raised an impressive £480, but the grant of £1,200 from the Nottinghamshire Historic Churches Trust meant that we could with confidence go ahead with the work ensuring the safety of our members especially the choir (some of whom are elderly and unsteady on their feet.)
The grant made a real difference to all of us and we are truly grateful to those who administer the fund and those who raise the funds. It has given us a big boost to know that so many people care about the state of our historic church and want to help keep it safe and open for future generations.