On that day when the Tabernacle was reared up, the cloud covered the Tabernacle, and at even there was upon the Tabernacle as it were the appearance of fire until the morning Numbers 9: 15
I don’t quite know why this quote came to mind when thinking about the roof of our church, but it does give us a sense of the holiness of a place hallowed to the glory of God – something powerfully present when you enter Holy Trinity.
Whenever I meet visitors or those entering the building for the first time, it is the great medieval roof structure with its painted adornments by Charles Eamer Kempe (including the angels) to which they are first drawn. From the bosses on the intersection of the ribs of the roof, to the carved spandrels carved with symbols of the passion (other than that on the south western one, bearing the names ‘Jesu Maria’) – all created and decorated to the glory of God. We are fortunate indeed to worship in a tabernacle of great beauty.
All this inner beauty is covered by the great sweeping Horsham stone roof, one of the largest such roofs in the county. It was last re-layed in the early 1920s (at the cost of £2,000) and is now beginning to fail. We patch as we can, but this risks even greater failure of the area around the repair. Essentially the whole roof will have to be removed, working from the top down on both sides at the same time so that the building and roof timbers are not destabilised. As you will image, this will be enormously costly – something approaching £1 million, with other urgent stone repairs hopefully carried out at the same time. Much preparatory work has been undertaken by Brian Cutler, Nick Rowe and others, and we hope in due course to make a bid to the Heritage Lottery Fund, although there is still much more work to do on this front, followed by the raising of a proportion of the sum needed by ourselves.
The important thing to say is that there is no intention that this major work should detract from our regular mission or worship, or indeed other things that we hope to achieve. What I do ask is that you hold the life and witness of our parish in your prayers, so that we may, indeed, ‘Joyfully serve Jesus.’