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'Hat & Boots' Restoration Appeal

by Haddenham Webteam – 30th October 2022
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Haddenham Baptist Church launches "Hat and Boots" Restoration Appeal

"Hello, my name is Grumpling and I live in the foundations of Witchert walls and buildings. Witchert structures need a good hat and a strong pair of boots to stay dry and stable but the hat and boots of Haddenham Baptist Church are wearing out."

Haddenham Baptist Church is in a very poor state of repair. This Witchert chapel is over 200 years old and has major structural issues, dry rot in the roof, serious damp, cracking in the walls and poor drainage. There are concerns about its safe long-term use so URGENT work is needed to save the church from irreversible decay.

Saving one of Haddenham's landmark buildings could cost up to Half a Million pounds. Baptist Minister Jonny Fillis said: "We know these are difficult times when everyone is facing rising costs, but we are appealing to the community for do what they can to help save this much loved village church".

To remain stable, Witchert must not become too dry or too wet. The best way of achieving this is to ensure it has a good hat and a strong pair of boots. The 'hat' refers to the roof, gutters and drainpipes and the 'boots' are the foundation stones which raise the Witchert off the ground, known locally as 'grumplings'. Hats and boots should protect the wearer against the elements, but the hat and boots of Haddenham Baptist Church are worn out and in desperate need of repair.

The use of traditional materials is essential because cement or other modern materials on Witchert structures are likely to cause further damage and future repair issues. This project is taking advice from experts to ensure that traditional methods and materials will be used.

To kick off the Hat and Boots Appeal, Haddenham Baptist Church is organising a series of fundraising activities.

Between 13th and 18th November, Jonny Fillis will be donning his hat and boots to do a 100 mile sponsored walk along the Wychert Way.

A Comedy night at Bradmoor Farm will take place on Friday 18th November, hosted by Paul Coaten (comedyclubhaddenham.co.uk).

On Saturday 19th November, there will be an Open Day at Haddenham Baptist Church from 10am to 4pm which will include morning coffees, lunches and afternoon teas. Highlights will include 'hat and boots' themed activities for all ages, the sale of limited edition greetings cards, a children's 'Grumpling' Art Competition and the opportunity to 'Sponsor a Grumpling'. At 11am and again at 2.30pm, there will be presentations about the Appeal, followed by an enlightening talk called "What is Witchert?" by local Architectural Historian and Author, Martin Andrew.

On Sunday 20th, there will be a Dedication Service of Praise and Prayer at 10.15am, followed by refreshments. Everyone is very welcome to attend.

This year's annual Festive Trail will be held 3rd-31st December in aid of the Hat and Boots Appeal – more details will be announced soon. Look out for other fundraising events including a Wreath Making Workshop at 7pm on 8th December (bookwreathmakinghaddenham@gmail.com) and an evening of Carol Singing with seasonal extras at The Whistler on 20th December.

For more details, contact us: hatbootshbc@gmail.com

or check the Baptist Church website


Follow us on Facebook at: facebook.com/HaddenhamBaptistChurchBucks

Francesca Flaxton
October 2022

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