A brief history of the church - continued

Condition of the church and its fittings
The building has some significant structural problems. The tower and nave are settling at different rates and this movement is resulting in serious cracking where these two elements of the building join. Serious cracking is also evident in the chancel and major investment is needed to repair these faults and stabilise the building.

The structural engineer visited St Andrew's in September 2001 and noted that the distress in the chancel has worsened since his last visit in 1997. Elsewhere, little appears to have changed. He proposed to underpin the walls of the cancel, north and south aisles and the tower, and similar beam underpinning for the columns of the arcades. In the short term, he suggested introducing a more thorough monitoring system, improving the timber centering around the chancel windows, and giving consideration to carrying out a soil survey to give proper information on the properties of the soil beneath the footings. He concluded that within five years, a decision will have to be made whether the church is to undergo some major strengthening.

The Friends of Friendless Churches asked the architect to implement the three above recommedations and used the structural engineer's medium and long term observations to support its grant aid application to English Heritage.

Although most of the pews are intact, a number of their platforms have rotted through. The short transverse pews at the eastern ends of the north and south aisles are missing and the choir stalls of the chancel have suffered disturbance.

A wooden beam supporting a cross spans the arch to the chancel on the walls of which are two marble wall memorials to members of the Hussey family.

The stone pulpit has lost its metal handrail but like the stone font is in otherwise good condition.

Two stone coffin lids are stapled to the west wall of the north aisle whilst another lies on the floor of the church broken in two pieces. A cast iron Victorian heater stands beside the font and a timber screen, minus its doors, divides the nave from the base of the tower.

Within the tower base is a floor memorial to a member of the Marshall family. Access to the tower has been blocked.

The Rev. T. M. L. Owen recorded the following description of the church bells in his book The Church Bells of Huntingdonshire which was published in 1899:

"The tower has four bells which are inscribed (1) WM. MACKNESS CHURCHWARDEN, HUGH PALMER MINISTER 27 ins; (2) 1841 27.5ins; (3) 1841 28.5ins; (4) J EAYRE FECIT 1764: HUGH PALMER MINISTER WM. MACKNESS CHURCHWARDEN 31.5ins.

The first and fourth bells were cast by Joseph Eayre of St Neots whilst the second and third are probably by Mears of Whitechapel... The Rev. Hugh Palmer was Rector 1760 to 1777 and Mackness is a frequent name in the Registers. The bells are in fair order having been re-hung in 1860, on rebuilding the tower by Eaton of Titchmarsh. Though light, the tenor is a beautiful bell, sweet and musical; the treble is also a good one..."