Funding boost for Thurning and Caston churches
A North Norfolk church is to receive a National Churches Trust grant to help fund urgent roof repairs, whilst a South Norfolk church will get help to install an accessible toilet.
St Andrew’s Church in Thurning, near Briston in the heart of rural North Norfolk, pictured above, will receive a £15,000 National Churches Trust Cornerstone Grant to help fund roof, making the church watertight and preserving its historic fabric.
The grade II listed church was built in the early 14th Century. It was originally thatched but was, at an unknown date, changed to slate, probably around 1825 when the building underwent a number of other alterations including installation of box pews, a triple-decker pulpit and other elements.
The project will help fund roof repairs. All the nails for the slates on the roof are life-expired and the roof will be stripped and re-slated. Any rotten timbers will be replaced. The work will prevent further deterioration to the church building.
Ada Fisher and Justina Hume, church wardens at St Andrew’s said: “We are extremely grateful to National Churches Trust for this generous award. We are a tiny parish of 60 people and without this help it is a daunting task to re-roof the church.”
Further offers of funding for the Thurning repairs have been received from Norfolk Churches Trust (£7,000), Wolfson Foundation (£5,000), AllChurches Trust (£4,500) and the Paul Bassham Trust (£1,000). The estimated total cost of these urgent repairs is £125,000.
Holy Cross Church, Caston, between Watton and Attleborough in South Norfolk, right, will receive a £10,000 Cornerstone Grant to help fund the installation of an accessible toilet at the Grade I listed building, making the church better able to serve its local community.
The earliest mention of a church in Caston is in a document of 1218 but it is likely that there was one on this site earlier. The fine 14th Century tower is a principal feature of the church, whilst the medieval Nave roof which features a collared scissor truss roof with a barrel-shaped interior of chestnut boarding between ribs painted in barber's pole fashion with gilded bosses. A total rethatch of the nave and chancel roofs and repairs to roof timbers and ceiling boards were completed in 2018.
On behalf of Caston PCC, Garham Penfold said: “This is absolutely fantastic news and means that for the first time Holy Cross church will have a toilet which will be fully accessible to all. A previous grant from the National Churches Trust enabled us to install a kitchen and the church already has a new heating system and improved access so this really does help to complete the plan to make the church fit for the 21st Century. Our grateful thanks go to the National Churches Trust for making this possible.”
A total of 31 churches and chapels in England and Wales will benefit from the latest grants from the trust, totalling 333,000 nationally. The National Churches Trust is the leading national independent charity concerned with the protection and welfare of churches, chapels and meeting houses throughout the United Kingdom.
Broadcaster and journalist Huw Edwards, right, Vice President of The National Churches Trust, said: “The UK's historic churches and chapels are a vital part of our national heritage. During the coronavirus pandemic churches are doing so much to help vulnerable local people and boost morale”.
“Many churches need to carry out urgent repairs and install modern facilities to ensure their buildings can continue to be used well into the future. But the cost of this work is often far beyond what most congregations can pay for themselves.”
“So, I’m delighted that these two Norfolk churches are being helped these grants”
The photos of Thurning church and Huw Edwards are courtesy of the National Churches Trust.
The photo of Caston Church is courtesy of http://www.norfolkchurches.co.uk/
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