Churches' joy at grants windfall
Churches in Norfolk are celebrating a huge windfall after £2.6m of grants were announced for the East of England.Norfolk is to receive the lion's share of the grants, with six churches in the county getting between £178,000 and £123,000 each for vital repair and conservation work.
Churches in Norfolk are celebrating a huge windfall after £2.6m of grants were announced for the East of England.
Norfolk is to receive the lion's share of the grants, with six churches in the county getting between £178,000 and £123,000 each for vital repair and conservation work.
The biggest sum went to All Saints Church, at Brandon Parva, near Dereham. It has been awarded £178,000.
The cash is part of a joint funding round by English Heritage and the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF).
Across England, £15m is being handed out to support urgent conservation work in 160 Grade I and II* listed places of worship as part of the organisations' joint Repair Grants for Places of Worship scheme.
Grants totalling £2.64m have been announced to help repair 17 listed churches in Norfolk, 10 in Suffolk, four in Cambridgeshire and one in Essex.
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Much of All Saints, at Brandon Parva, was restored and repaired during the 19th century but essential work is needed to repair and stabilise its 14th century tower, currently considered to be dangerous.
A decorative internal arch is currently propped up with wooden supports and shows a crack which looks like the church is splitting down the middle.
The Rev Douglas Alexander, the rector of All Saints, said: “When I came here 10 years ago it was like it. The tower is falling away as it moves over the years.
“We are delighted that English Heritage and the Heritage Lottery Fund have been able to help us. This church is not only a beautiful treasure, but also a living focal point for the community here in Brandon Parva.”
Other churches have seen pieces of roof and masonry fall during services, luckily missing the congregations.
Anne Mason, an East of England HLF committee member, who lives near King's Lynn, said: “This generation has a duty to maintain these pieces of history for their historical and architectural interest and for future generations.”
Greg Luton, regional director of English Heritage, said: “The French sometimes say that the English countryside is one of the world's natural wonders. But for me it is the sudden glimpse of an ancient church on the skyline that really makes the heart leap.
“Many of these time-worn treasures are only maintained through the hard work of small and hard-pressed communities. Today's grants will go some way to providing much-needed support.”
Narford, St Mary the Virgin
A Grade I listed church built in about 1200. it has been given a £166,000 grant to re-tile the nave roof and re-lay the tower roof.
Great Fransham, All Saints
The tower dates back to the late 13th century. Repairs are to take down and rebuild a nave wall; relay nave slate roof. Total grant of £95,000
Ashill, St Nicholas
12th century church with 15th and 19th century restoration. Repairs to tower roof and stonework. Total grant of £87,000
Griston, SS Peter & Paul: Repairs are to strip and re-lay nave and porch roof. Total grant of £66,000
Oxborough, St John: Repairs to chapel roof, plus masonry repairs. Total grant of £46,000.