Cliveden Conservation has been appointed to carry out the restoration and specialist cleaning of the internal and external decoration of St Mary Magdalene Church, Paddington. This conservation work is part of a major development project to build a new annexe which will transform the church into a hub for community, heritage and cultural activities, while remaining an active place of worship.
After ten years of fundraising and planning between St Mary Magdalene Church and the Paddington Development Trust, this joint initiative supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund has finally begun. Cliveden Conservation has been appointed by the main contractor Lengard Ltd who will be carrying out the construction of the new facilities and conservation work.
Over the coming months Cliveden Conservation will work in collaboration with all parties involved with the project including Caroe Architecture Ltd and Dow Jones Architects. The conservation team will focus on the main architectural features designed by the acclaimed English architect G.E Street in the 1860s-70s which were executed by some of the leading ecclesiastical artists of the day.
The fine decorative ceiling in the nave and chancel will be completely cleaned and restored by Cliveden Conservation. This will be achieved using various conservation techniques to carefully remove the dirt and discoloured varnish to reveal the full splendour of the remarkable ceiling. All the brick and stonework will be cleaned and restored as part of the process.
The Cliveden Conservation team will also restore and clean the ornate stained-glass windows designed by Henry Holiday, and the walls and vaults of the undercroft as part of its transformation into a performance area. External works include cleaning the stone and brickwork and some repairs to the stonework around the building will also be carried out.
Although the primary focus of the development project is the provision of new facilities including a learning space, café and cultural venue, the restoration is also central to the project and will involve the community. Cliveden Conservation will be training local people who have volunteered to play a hands-on role in the project to help with some of the practical conservation jobs.
Lewis Proudfoot, Stone Section Manager, Cliveden Conservation Workshop Limited, is very enthusiastic about the project: “We are so pleased to be involved in the latter stages of such an exciting project that has been in the making for many years. We have a huge appreciation of how much hard work and dedication has already gone into making this project a reality. It will be even more rewarding to restore St Mary Magdalene back to its former glory and secure the future of this very special Grade I listed church building.”