Temple Roof Scheme


In 2017, we were able to replace the eastern section of the roof, but we knew at the time that our next priority would be the south facing section of the roof which is made up of porous slates, and which had begun to leak. During the winter months particularly, water ingress is frequent and damaging, and it is only the presence of the balcony which hides the number of buckets strategically placed to catch the water.

A great deal of preparatory work has been done by members of the Resources Committee to investigate the most efficient and eco-friendly way to effect these essential repairs, and to safeguard our building in the future. The advice of an architect has been sought, and we have plans (see proposal below) to replace the porous slates with a combination of slates and solar panels which would work well with the south facing roof. This will not only help us to reduce our impact on climate change but will also contribute towards reducing future energy bills, helped by new roofing insulation.

These are major and expensive works which are essential to the future of our building, estimated to cost around £160 000. Before applying for funds from grant making bodies we have needed to demonstrate our commitment to raise about 50% of the total cost. Pledges received towards the roof fund over the next 2 years along with the addition of Gift Aid contributions, mean that we will have met that commitment. Our deepest thanks to members of the congregation and friends of Temple who have already contributed or pledged money to reach this target. There will also be a number of events to raise funds for the scheme over the next couple of years (watch this space). If you wish to contribute towards the scheme please contact Graham Dickinson via enquiries@templetaunton.uk

You may have seen reported in the Somerset County Gazette that we have submitted the planning application for the insulation and solar panels as required and hope to receive permission towards the end of August. A link to the article is here. We aim to carry out the works in the Spring of 2023.

We ask for your prayers as we take this bold step towards securing the future of our historic building. Of course, Temple is far more than a building; it represents generations of worship, prayer, and service to our town, a place of hospitality and hope, and a place where God's love for his world is celebrated and shared.

Rev Deborah Kirk - Minister, Graham Dickinson - Temple Treasurer.

Update - February 2023

Since the last update, work has been going on behind the scenes by the property team preparing for works to take place. We needed to obtain planning permission for the scheme because we are in a conservation area and this we have now received from Somerset West and Taunton Council. Also because Temple is Grade 2 Listed we needed to receive the approval of the Methodist Heritage Officer and we have now received that as well. So we are good to go! We were reminded of the need for the works by several leaks during the wet weather before Christmas and which since then has requited careful positioning of buckets!

Following a tender process, the Church Council agreed to the appointment of a contractor to carry out the works and we have appointed a local firm, Wrencon. This is the same company who replaced the last section of leaking roof — the east facing roof with the dormer windows that we see as we drive along Upper High Street from the High Street direction. We were very pleased with their craftsmanship on that scheme and trust they are able to carry out this scheme as successfully. We have a meeting with the contractors and the solar panel subcontractors early in February. The hope is that the work can be carried out in better weather in the spring.

Financially, the generosity of Temple members and friends was wonderful in pledging half of the cost. Some of this has already been given and others are giving on a monthly basis.

Where further pledged gifts can be made, these would be much appreciated when possible. Cheques can be placed in an envelope on the offertory plate with "Roof Fund" on the envelope. Any direct payment can be to our account, details from the treasurer. Thank you to all who have given money so far — this is greatly appreciated.

We are hoping to raise the remaining cost of the scheme through grants. The current difficult financial situation for the country means that there are many competing charitable needs and a church roof, even with environmental benefits of improved insulation and an array of solar panels may not attract support easily. We are doing our best with this, but if you have particular knowledge of potential sources of funding, or experience in making grant applications, your offer of assistance would be appreciated — please do come and speak to one of us.

Fundraising continues for the new roof and your ideas for fundraising would be warmly welcomed, as would any further gifts — it all helps!

If we are unable to raise the hoped-for remaining cost, we will need to draw on the bequests which we are so fortunate to have received in the wills of members and friends of Temple who have died. These bequests have been so useful and supportive to us through recent difficult financial times, including loss of our letting's income during the pandemic, as well as the ongoing expense of maintaining a 200 year old building. As Treasurer I feel I must encourage anyone who feels able to support Temple through a bequest in the future to do so — I know the Temple Treasurer will always be very grateful, and the bequests we have received over the last 12 years or more have made a huge difference in supporting our outreach to the community.

Most importantly, we do ask for your prayers as we take this bold step towards securing the future of our historic building. Of course, we know that the church is far more than the building, but it is our responsibility as trustees to maintain our assets to a high standard, and to offer our full commitment to the work and mission that happens here. Temple represents generations of worship, prayer, and service to our town, a place of 'intentional hospitality', and a place where God's love for his world is celebrated and shared. We believe as we commit our prayer, our time and our tithes to the service of God's kingdom, that God will honour our efforts and his name will be blessed.

Thank you so much for your support.

If you wish to contribute towards the scheme please contact Graham Dickinson via enquiries@templetaunton.uk

Rev Deborah Kirk - Minister, Graham Dickinson - Temple Treasurer.

Temple Roof Renewal Scheme Proposal 2022

It is proposed the south roof slope of the church is raised 100mm to incorporate thermal insulation and a 17kw array of solar panels.

The south roof slope of the church is in very poor condition and requires renewal of the slate covering. This presents an opportunity to address energy costs, sustainability, and the carbon footprint of the building. The church committee have determined that they should seek to improve thermal insulation and generate their own electricity - at least a significant part of the requirement. Technical assessment shows that an array occupying the upper part of the south roof slope will give optimal performance, bearing in mind the shading created by the 1846 gable wall.

It is proposed 48 'black' modular panels in three rows are frame mounted above the slate roof covering.

Current energy costs are approximately £8,000/annum, divided roughly equally between gas and electricity. The energy generated will offset roughly 50% of electrical energy costs (£2,000/year). This in itself is significant.

The reduction in carbon is more significant. It is suggested the 'black' panels, will have a negligible impact upon the roofscape. There is no part of the roof visible from Upper High Street, unusually the upper floors of the property's opposite are blocked up. Views from Vivary Park are limited by trees. Even in Winter after leaf fall the roof covering is largely obscured by trees, and by the high gable wall of the south facade. It is suggested neatly detailed 'frame mounted black' solar panels will not adversely affect the appearance of the roof, and further suggested that such integration is now expected from public buildings in the universal battle against climate change and the need to be carbon neutral.

The roof over of the church is large and a significant loss of heat energy and excessive carbon production. The church is heated throughout the week to a background level and the basement to a comfort level. The level of heating partly serves to supress damp, decay and mould preserving the building fabric and reducing the harmful and costly effects of large hot to cold heating swings. Prior to the pandemic there were an average of two weekly uses in addition to Sunday's where the benefit of continual heating was felt.

It is proposed 50mm of woodfibre thermal insulation is incorporated into the recovering of the south roof slope, and in due course the north roof slope reducing heat losses from the building by around 20%; significant energy and carbon reductions. The recovering presents a low-cost opportunity to improve the heat loss, as well as integration of solar panels. The roof covering will be raised approximately 100mm to accommodate the insulation and the counter battens necessary to maintain a drainage underlay and ventilation. The roof verges are simply made currently - the east with a simple slate overhang above render and the west with an asbestos cement over-flashing. It is proposed the verges are improved with the addition of a course of brickwork filling the 100mm height increment, set forward fractionally to protect the render/walling beneath.

Mark Taylor - Mark Taylor Chartered Architect

See also Statement of Significance