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Posts Tagged ‘pump’

It can be hard to imagine what a Vicar does all day, particularly if you watch Midsomer Murders, where the clergy mainly seem to skulk about looking sinister and then getting murdered. Or doing something nefarious.

So to give you a glimpse of what the Vicar does in our parish, here’s a set of pictures from a couple of days ago, showing you what the Vicar does on a Monday after leading a school assembly and meeting with church staff to plan the week ahead.

He’s got the pump that we’re using temporarily to drain down the basement where the boilers for the church heating are located. The old pump has been broken for a while and this is actually the one from the birthing pool we used to use for baptisms (we now have a shallower, wider heated paddling pool). The old pump worked automatically, but this one has to be switched on when the basement gets flooded. And it can get a bit clogged and mucky. So after draining the basement down following some recent heavy rain, it was brought into our back yard for cleaning, and for making an amusing fountain.

They don’t give you lectures on drain pump maintenance at theological college. Or on boilers for that matter. But they probably should.

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Oh dear. The sump pump the Vicar thought he’d got working last night didn’t do the business. When he went into the basement to check this morning he found that the water was at the same depth. As he’s off on the diocesan clergy conference for a couple of days, a church member is going to look into what needs to be done. But the Vicar wanted the water to be out so the church member could quickly get on with the work. And he was worried about the boilers that are in the basement. Thankfully, the Vicar had a brainwave and dug out the pump that we normally use to empty the portable baptistry.

A bit of Heath Robinsoning later and the Vicar and BytheSea had popped the pump in the sump and the delivery hose into the churchyard. The Vicar then left for his conference and BytheSea has been cementing his ministry training by popping out regularly to ensure that the water isn’t running back down the basement steps.

This was the sight that greeted me as I went down to the school to help with Christian Club. And BytheSea has now reported that most of the water has gone. For now.

Unexpected Churchyard Water Feature

Unexpected churchyard water feature

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Today the diocese sent some chaps round. Don’t worry, they’ve not discovered that I mistook the liturgical season for Christmas instead of Epiphany. We’re keeping that one quiet. The chaps came round after we reported the repeated leaks in our living room ceiling. They’ve known about them for ages actually. And sent chaps round before. The chaps sealed the window in the living room a few times. And then they sealed our bedroom window sill a few times too. And then we’ve had more weather (strong winds and heavy rain do it best) and the leaks have continued and the Vicar has worked out the path the water has been taking (under our bedroom window sill, down the inside of the wooden panelling above our window and then into the panel above the window in the living room).

The panelless living room ceiling

The panelless living room ceiling

The Vicar’s latest email to the diocese mentioning possible damp and rot elicited a rapid response team who arrived today. And they had to take the panelling down in the living room. It was rotten. And there are some patches of rot in the oak lintel above but they can be treated. And the window sill above is now covered in felt. They’re going to reinstate everything when the promised double glazing arrives next month and things have dried out.

And this evening the Vicar had to head to the church basement, where the boilers live. There, appropriately dressed in wellies and rubber gloves, he discovered that the sump pump intake was blocked with leaves and other debris. A trugful of slimy gunk later, he was able to start the pump again and hopefully tomorrow the basement will be free of water.

These have been minor irritations compared to what others have suffered in this recent damp spell, but I’ll be glad when the weather perks up a bit, I must say.

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