Let There Be Light!
On my first visited St Mary’s as potential incumbent I was immediately struck by the quality of the lighting and how it showed the interior of the building to such good effect. I also noted how high the lights in the nave and chancel had been sited and asked what happened when a bulb needed replacing. The answer? An electrician came with a long ladder.
The increasing constraints of health & safety mean that it is now necessary to use scaffolding which is expensive. The church had to adopt a policy of waiting until a lot of bulbs had failed before booking a visit by the electrician. This has meant that at times the inside of the church became somewhat gloomy, and recently with the lights at the back having all failed I felt I might have to resort to asking baptism families to bring torches!
The ideal solution was to replace the existing lights with LED units which not only give instant light when switched on but are far more economical to run and have a lengthy (30,000 hour) life. It would be an expensive operation but one with long term economic benefits. We were told to wait as long as we could because LED technology was improving year on year. However, our canny churchwardens knew that their vicar owns a scaffolding tower and that when he retires it will be going with him. Our Treasurer did the maths and decided that a free scaffolding tower, together with the long term benefits of the change to LED, more than outweighed the cost of replacing the old units.
The work has now been completed and St Mary’s is once again fully lit—and should stay that way for many years to come.