Making the DVD

In August 2008, the Faith in Maintenance team received the welcome news that The Pilgrim Trust had agreed to match the sum of £25,000 received from The Dulverton Trust towards the cost of producing a Faith in Maintenance DVD. With £50,000 in the bank, we enlisted the help of our production company, Limelite Media and started planning our film project.

Filming in porgress

The first challenge was to identify suitable locations where we could film the day-to-day maintenance issues that arise. We were keen to represent a variety of different types of faith building and to make sure that we looked at an assortment of building sizes, styles and construction materials. In the end, we settled for filming the bulk of the DVD at a series of churches in Essex, including an early C19 Methodist church in Manningtree, but also visited Brighton, Boveney and Wraysbury.

A second film unit was tasked with obtaining footage of an additional and very diverse selection of buildings over a much wider geographical area covering Leicestershire, Derbyshire, Cheshire and South Wales. This included the fascinating and beautiful Jain Centre in Leicester, the unusual Dean Row Unitarian Chapel in Wilmslow and the picturesque Maesyronnen Methodist Chapel near Glasbury.

We also wanted to show that even high-level roofs and gutters can be tackled safely, so were delighted when the GutterClear project run by the Diocese of Gloucester and Maintain our Heritage offered to let us film their team at work at Cheltenham St Stephen. GutterClear contractors, Forrester Access, brought a second mobile access platform to site to allow our director of photography to film the high-level gutters being cleared of moss, leaves and silt in glorious October sunshine. We were generally blessed with excellent weather during our intensive week of filming although the frequent noise from passing aeroplanes did present a problem for our sound recordist!

DVD filming in Brighton

As with the Faith in Maintenance training courses, the DVD focuses on the idea of preventative maintenance and will hopefully help volunteers understand why buildings decay and how the problems caused by broken gutters and leaking roofs can be avoided. The DVD features David Lodge, retired builder and former SPAB chairman, as ‘the expert' providing advice and helpful tips to Daphne Foulsham, our enthusiastic ‘volunteer'. When not performing in front of the camera Daphne is a keen gardener and a vice-president of the National Gardens Scheme as well as a churchwarden in her home parish of Albury in Surrey. SPAB scholar Tim Ratcliffe also features in the DVD, explaining the role of the architect and the benefits that having a good relationship with your professional adviser can bring.

After a hectic filming schedule and a challenging editing process we produced an amazing 30,000 copies of the DVD to distribute to volunteers throughout England and Wales. This distribution process started in March 2009 and will continue until the end of the Faith in Maintenance project.

The DVD project could not have been completed without the generous financial support of The Pilgrim Trust and The Dulverton Trust so we would like to offer our sincere thanks to these organisations and to all those who gave their time and skills to assist the project.