AT long last the scaffolding that has enveloped a Tenbury church chancel can start to come down.

The chancel of St Michael’s Church has been one solid mass of scaffolding for months as war has been waged against a serious outbreak of dry rot in the timber vaulting which gives the building it’s magnificent acoustics.

But now, a start can be made on removing the scaffolding internally and externally, allowing work to be completed on the ramp providing step-free access to the church.

It is hoped that funds can be raised in due course to carry out repair work on the vaulting itself, together with the replacement of internal plasterwork which had to be removed.

It is not all good news however, as woodworm has now been discovered. Unfortunately, the experts say this cannot be treated until the autumn as it is highly invasive. 

With several important items in the programme of music and events, it will be a relief to have things back to normal and the choir stalls back in use, while the new galley kitchen and toilet installed with funds provided by the David and Christine Lloyd-Jones Foundation can be fully appreciated.

The news comes just in time, with a very special event set to take place at the church at 7pm on July 5 as Worcester Cathedral's choir visits the church for the first time in St Michael's' 168-year history.

Choir director Sam Hudson and organist Nicholas Freestone will present an hour-long programme of choral and organ music featuring the wonderful church music of Sir Charles Stanford to mark the 100th anniversary of his death in 1924.

The choir will be performing the sort of music that Sir Frederick Ouseley envisaged would be heard in the church day-by-day as he intended from 1856 to 1985. Tony and Janet Penn, one of the current churchwardens, said what a surprise it was, when they moved to the area in 1964, to have their local church broadcasting evensong on the BBC regularly during the week and its choir making superb LP records.

It will be an unmissable occasion to hear that music with the type of choir for which it was written, in a glorious acoustic, with a wonderful organ backing the singers.