St Thomas Paris Church

Cleanliness is next to Godliness: St Thomas Parish Church and 800 years of dust

A NECS UK case study

One of the oldest churches in the area, St Thomas Parish Church in Stanhope is a beautiful building of stone, stained glass and wooden beams.

But, like all buildings with hard-to-reach places, dust and cobwebs can quickly accumulate. When the church staff came to us, they’d decided that the accumulated 800 years worth of dust had to go. In recent months, small avalanches of dust had begun to fall on parishoners during Sunday services. Add to that the recent building works they’d completed, and a really deep clean was the only way forward.

The church’s architect who knew of us by word of mouth very kindly recommended us for the job. And we of course accepted.

The brief was to conduct a full deep clean of the whole building. Including ground level, we were charged with applying beeswax polish to all wooden fixtures and fittings, and to remove the best part of a millennium’s worth of dust from the exposed stone walls and window lead.

With only a limited time frame available we had to organise ourselves with maximum efficiency. The cost of erecting scaffolding inside the church wasn’t covered by the budget, so we had to come up with an alternative. Using high-powered industrial vacuums and long extending poles, we tackled the job from the ground.

No mean feat when you consider the church covers some 600sq feet up to a height of 35 feet.

Even though the church was out of commission for the duration of our clean, we were tied to a tight deadline. We sent in 5 of our best for 5 full days, with the warden opening and closing up for us each day. Needless to say, we completed on time, on budget, and above standard. The church staff were more than pleased with the results:

“Everyone is thrilled by how wonderful the Church looks – and smells! It’s just great”

Lets hope they don’t leave it another 800 years before the next deep clean!

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