Broadland church outgrows garden shed home
2012 : A North Norfolk church’s congregation has grown too big for its current premises, a garden shed in Sutton, and they are now appealing for land to enable them to build a new place of worship.
St Fursey’s – as the tiny structure is known to the flock of Father Stephen Weston – is run as an Orthodox church and holds regular services and ceremonies. But its cramped 18ft by 13ft size is taking its toll on the expanding congregation, who are now looking to find a piece of land where they can build a new, bigger place of worship.
Mr Weston, a former Church of England priest, built the chapel in the back garden of his Sutton home in 1998, when he established St Fursey’s after joining the Orthodox faith.
He said: “Our little church is not big enough for us now. We can get 10 in quite comfortably but any more than ten is a bit of a squeeze and we have had up to 20 in there. We also want to lift the profile of the Orthodox church in the area, so our ambition is to build a new parish church. Everything happens in our Lord’s will and we have got to keep pushing at different doors until the right one opens.”
Since Father Weston was ordained as St Fursey’s priest last May, he has been on the hunt for the ideal plot of land locally, approaching landowners, the district and county council, and even the local Tesco supermarket.
Plans and a model of the proposed St Fursey’s, which would measure a spacious 20ft by 40ft, have already been drawn up and Mr Weston has estimated the whole project – including the land – will cost only about £80,000. Since the structure will be built of wood, and much of the work would be done by the congregation.
“The Orthodox Church could be described as the Mother of Christendom – the original Christian church, which started in bible times” explained Father Weston. “The Orthodox Church in England originated in Anglo-Saxon times, and pre-dates all other denominations. Folk are familiar with the Greek and Russian Orthodox churches, but we re-started in England in 1994, and there are now 26 communities throughout the country.”
If you know of, or have a suitable plot of land in the Stalham or Sutton area, please call Mr Weston on 01692 580552.
The church, under construction, is pictured, above.