Thaxted Parish Church

Thaxted Church is without doubt one of the grandest in the county of Essex, and is built to Cathedral proportions and splendour.

The church is dedicated to St John the Baptist, St Mary and St Laurence and is in the Deanery of Saffron Waldon and the Archdeanery of Colchester.

Standing proudly on top of the hill with a splendid tower and spire it dominates the town and can be seen from miles around Construction on the church began in 1340 and continued until the reformation being completed in 1510. English ecclesiastical architecture at its very best.

The previous heating system was a warm air system that was not only inadequate, but also completely inappropriate for Thaxted. Historic buildings such as churches of this age, need to be heated gently and evenly, and not with sudden infrequent hits of hot air which can cause thermal shock on the structure as well as high levels of moisture and condensation.

Churchwardens Prof Colin Harrison and Maureen Edwards greeted my on my first of many visits to the church and were very clear in their requirements for the new system. They were very aware of the potential pitfalls that such a large and costly project could throw up and, as with all shemes of this size, there were many obstacles to overcome before it could come to fruition. As someone who has personallyoverseen nearly a thousand church heating schemes, this still presented me with one of my most challenging tasks and I am greatful to both Colin and Maureen for showing great faith in trusting me and my company to carry out the works. I know the finished scheme vindicated their faith as the the church is now warmer that ever before and the fabric will now benefit from a warm and stable humidity to protect the church.

Like all great muscular churches they need gentle even heat and the system we designed and installed was a low temperature hot water system with three wall mounted gas boilers serving 30 radiators around the perimeter of the church.

A major concern of the diocese was the aesthetic impact of the radiators against the walls. Our traditional Minster vertical fluted radiators were deemed unsuitable so we opted for a specially sourced radiator that had a flat front but was still triple panelled and rear fluted and so still delivered the same high heat output. Two fan assisted units were fitted at the tower base to reduce the possibility of cold down draughts.

Visually the result was excellent and the new radiators blend harmoniously with the walls.

The boilers are wall mounted condensing units with stainless steel heat exchangers and are electronically sequenced to maximise fuel economy and ensure that all three boilers are used equally. The system is controlled centrally by our unique Churchwarden control system.

Heating Speficiation

Low pressure hot water system with steel pipework and natural convection radiators connected to a gas fired boiler plant consisting of three wall mounted boilers with a boiler management system.

Flat faced minster triple panelled radiators

3 x Potterton 105kW Sirius units

Grunfoss energy saving pumps

Spirotec cleaning and filtration

Churchwarden 17 static controls

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Christopher Dunphy Ecclesiastical Ltd
9 Salmon Fields Business Village
Druggitt & Harding

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