South Norfolk church is brought back to life
2012: The restoration of a South Norfolk church took a significant step forward when it was officially brought out of redundancy on Wednesday (August 15).
Since the 1980s, historic Grade I listed Forncett St Mary church has stood redundant, but on Wednesday the Rt Rev Alan Winton, the Bishop of Thetford, led a service to celebrate the reopening of the church following an extensive restoration project by a local group.
The Friends of Forncett St Mary Church have so far spent £50,000 restoring windows and providing a new vestry with a parish office, as well as installing a new heating system so the church can be reopened to the public.
However, the fundraising group has also applied to English Heritage for a £185,000 grant to carry out further repairs to the windows, the tower and the stonework.
Graham Prior, project co-ordinator for the Friends group, said having the church back in public use would increase the chances of securing the English Heritage funding. He added that it was unlikely there would be regular Sunday services, but the church would be open for some religious services and community events.
Picture by John Salmon