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The Norfolk and Norwich Christian community website

Cash boost secures future of Norfolk churches

The Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) yesterday (December 20) announced over £500,000 in grants to help secure the future and increase community involvement in seven of the East of England’s most historic churches, including four in Norfolk. 

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The money will make vital repair work possible and help to ensure they remain at the heart of the communities they serve. The grants have been awarded though HLF’s Grants for Places of Worship (GPOW) programme.
 
Norfolk churches receiving grants are St Margaret's Church, Drayton, Norwich (£57,500 grant); All Saints Church, East Winch (£193,800); St Peter and St Paul Church, Griston (£150,400); St George, Tombland, Norwich (£65,100)
 
GPOW was launched in March 2013 and provides money for urgent structural repairs to the UK’s listed places of worship. In addition, the programme will also fund new works that support and encourage greater community use and engagement, helping to increase the number of people who take an active interest in celebrating these historic buildings and who will care for them in the future. 

The thatched roof of St Margaret's Church, Drayton will be repaired following an award of £57,500 from HLF. Grade II* listed St Margaret’s is in urgent need of repairs, not only to its thatching but also to its roof timbers and rainwater drains to prevent surface flooding in the church grounds.
 
As part of the project, Drayton CofE Junior School will produce a heritage trail around the village and there will be activities focused on the uses of Norfolk reed. A heritage open day will invite local people to share their memories and photographs of events such as weddings held in the church over the years, with displays exploring the history of the building and its place in the community. Local residents in the First World War whose family names are shown on the War Memorial in the churchyard may also be involved.
 
Urgent structural repairs will be carried out on All Saints Church, East Winch as a result of an HLF grant of £193,800. The Grade II* listed church will benefit from work including repairs to its tower walls, the fitting of bird netting to the belfry, repair of the tower west door and upgraded heating. There will also be a dedicated heritage website for the church, new guide books and a heritage trail.
 
Local schools will be able to visit the church on themed trips including Ghoulish Graveyard (looking at old gravestones), Stories in the Windows (pictures in the stained glass that tell stories about people), Animal Magic (looking at the medieval pew ends that depict animals including a spitting cat), Have A Go (in the pulpit, up the tower, ringing bells, playing the organ) and Stone Me (looking at the geological aspect of the church).
 
Essential structural work on St Peter and St Paul Church, Griston will be carried out thanks to a grant of £150,400. Repairs to the tower and roof will make the Grade I listed church weather-tight, while internally there will be electrical re-wiring and repairs to the decayed floor. Other work will include the installation of longer rainwater spouts on the tower roof, repairs to flintwork and stonework and the installation of new belfry and silence chamber louvres.
 
Griston Archive Group will help to set up a dedicated website for the church, create a heritage display and produce a new children's guide book and heritage trail, all aimed at encouraging the local community to learn more about the church and its surroundings. 

The historic St George's, Tombland in the centre of Norwich has been awarded more than £65k to help restore the tower and windows. In addition, the project will develop proposals for displays and interpretation helping to celebrate the stories of this unique church.
 
For more information about applying for HLF’s funding for places of worship visit the HLF website
 
Pictured above is St Peter and St Paul, Griston by Simon Knott: www.norfolkchurches.co.uk


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