Church bells appeal
The race is on to get the bells ringing again at a Breckland church as parishioners go all out to raise more than �60,000 by the end of the year. With its unusual cupola, parapet and pinnacles, the tower of All Saints Church in Necton has stood for generations as the most recognisable landmark in the village.
The race is on to get the bells ringing again at a Breckland church as parishioners go all out to raise more than �60,000 by the end of the year.
With its unusual cupola, parapet and pinnacles, the tower of All Saints Church in Necton has stood for generations as the most recognisable landmark in the village.
But having been rebuilt in the 1860s, when local squire Colonel Mason donated half the money required, cracks have started to appear in the structure and it is in need of urgent repair.
The church bells have had to be silenced for fear that their being rung could increase the damage and the congregation has been told the repair bill will come in at �206,000.
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English Heritage has said it will give a grant of �25,000 towards the cost of the investigative needed work and another �113,000 towards the restoration but to receive the money locals must raise a further �68,000 by the end of the year.
Di Daniels, church warden and chairman of the church fund raising committee, said: “We cannot have the cash unless we can have raised the rest of the money by the end of the year.
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“So far we have raised �3,000 in grants from the Norfolk Churches Trust and another �5,000 in gifts and pledges.
“We can go back begging to English Heritage if we have to but we are determined to get it.”
As well as the tower, the Tuns Road church also boasts an impressive medieval hammerbeam roof which was thoroughly restored in 1982 after a previous fund raising effort.
Vicar Stephen Thorpe said the church had always enjoyed good support both from the congregation and the wider community.
“I think it means a lot to people,” he said.
“It is a well attended church with a good congregation but people who do not come to church regularly also cherish it.
“Nobody would want to think of it falling apart.”
A whole range of activities and events are planned to raise funds.
A charity postcard with an image of the tower and the slogan “Necton cupola need you” written on it is already on sale and the village will hold a summer festival early next month to raise funds.
With barbeque, fun day, concerts and much more, villagers hope the weekend of events will get them off to a flying start.
There will also be dance, quizzes and other events throughout the year.
For tickets for the festival or to pledge money to the tower fund call Julie Keay on 01760 440464.