Two Norfolk churches receive funding boost
Parish churches in Beighton, near Acle, and Thursford, near Fakenham have both received substantial grants from the National Churches Trust towards essential repairs and improvements.
Grade I Listed All Saints’ Church in Beighton, pictured above, which is on the Historic England ‘Heritage At Risk’ Register, receives a £20,000 repair grant, which will help fund the re-thatching of the roof, making the church watertight and preserving its historic fabric.
This small rural church is a 14th century building of flint with stone dressings. The nave roof is thatched with eyebrows over the clerestory windows and is supported by 28 original 14th Century single-framed scissor braced collar rafters. The project work will re-thatch the church’s nave and repair flint work to the north and south nave walls. Further improvements including installing mains water, an accessible toilet and a kitchenette. The work should remove the church from the Historic England Heritage at Risk Register.
The Reverend Martin Greenland, Rector, and Mrs Ann Adey, churchwarden at All Saints’ church said: “With the support of the local community, we have been planning, praying and fundraising for this for five years: the National Churches Trust grant is the one which has finally got us over the line. Thank you so much; we are delighted!”
In the north of the county, the £10,000 Cornerstone Grant will help fund the installation of an accessible toilet at the Grade II* listed St Andrew’s church, Thursford, pictured right, along with a kitchenette, and associated drainage works.
The church dates back to the 13th Century but was extensively restored in the late 19th Century and contains some notable Victorian stained glass. This includes the east window designed by Albert Moore and described by Pevsner as "one of the most beautiful of its time in England".
In a joint statement the St Andrew’s Parochial Church Council said: “We are so grateful to National Churches Trust for their offer of a £10,000 grant, which is a huge contribution towards helping us make the church a community facility as well as a centre for services. We raise money regularly for the fabric of the church through well attended concerts and events, but working in a small community, we can only achieve our objectives with the generosity of organisations like the Trust.”
The National Churches Trust is the charity supporting church buildings of all Christian denominations across the UK. A total of 48 churches and chapels in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland will benefit from the latest grants in a total payout amounting to some £280,000.
Broadcaster and journalist Huw Edwards, pictured right, Vice President of The National Churches Trust, said: “The UK's historic churches and chapels are a vital part of our national heritage. But to survive, many need to carry out urgent repairs and install modern facilities. The cost of this work is far beyond what most congregations can pay for themselves. So I’m delighted that these Norfolk churches are being helped in this way, which will help them better serve their communities.”
Last year, the National Churches Trust helped support 202 projects with grants of £1.2 million. 23 churches and chapels were removed from the Heritage at Risk Register in 2018 with the support of the Trust’s grants. Churches and chapels open for regular public worship in the British Isles and the Channel Islands can apply for a grant from the Trust. More details at www.nationalchurchestrust.org/grants
The pictures are all courtesy of the National Churches Trust.