Norfolk churches receive Historic England grants
A listed Grade I church, two Grade II* churches and a Grade II church in Norfolk have received over half a million pounds of funding for urgent repairs.
Grade I listed St Michael Coslany in Norwich is a deconsecrated church and now home to Lost in Translation Circus. The church has remained at the heart of its community by being transformed into the Oak Circus Centre, a space for artistic creation, community outreach and education.
A grant of £137,500 will be used to repair damage to the building’s historic fabric and also ensure that it can continue to provide social and education activities and contribute to the local economy as a commercial property to hire.
St Mary Fordham has also received a grant. This late 13th century church is Grade II listed. Built of carstone and ashlar, there were additions in the 14th and 18th centuries. It is being given £85,229 and is in the care of Friends of Friendless Churches. In 2018, it held its first service in decades.
Meanwhile St Mary's Great Yarmouth and Our Lady of Consolation and St Stephen in Lynford are among 17 sites receiving funding from the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales, which in turn received £2.9million from Historic England for urgent repair programmes.
Overall heritage sites across England are to receive a boost of £35 million from the Government’s Culture Recovery Fund, which is administered on behalf of the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) by Historic England.
St Mary’s Great Yarmouth receives £298,132 for roof renewal as part of a project to create ‘a safe haven for 50 nations’. After receiving funding in the first round for re-roofing the chancel and side chapels, St Mary's was successful once again in gaining funding for the next phase of the project to ensure that this important historic building is watertight and to prevent further deterioration of the significant internal decoration.
The works will remove the existing concrete tile roof coverings from the roofs of the nave and side aisles and replace them with Welsh slate to match that installed on the chancel and side chapels under the Cultural Recovery Capital Works Fund 1.
The church of St Mary was built in 1848-50 by JJ Scoles and is a fine Grade II* listed building in the East Anglian style. Internally it is adorned with several outstanding schemes of decoration which unfortunately have been badly damaged due to water ingress from the leaking roofs.
At the same time, Our Lady of Consolation and St Stephen, Lynford receives £199,956 for urgent repairs. The church is a Henry Clutton masterpiece and is leased to the Norfolk Historic Churches Trust. The application for this project was prepared by the Trust Secretary, Scilla Latham and architect Ruth Blackman of Birdsall, Swash and Blackman.
The Norfolk Churches Trust was founded in 1976 to provide support to churches of all denominations in the county through grant aid and advice. Over the past 45 years the Trust has awarded grants for urgent repairs to church buildings and their contents of £6.7 million.
Norfolk has the greatest density of medieval churches in the world: 659 in all. The Trust is dedicated to keeping them all open. It also cares for thirteen redundant churches leased from the Anglican Diocese of Norwich and the Catholic Diocese of East Anglia. Occasional services are held in them. There is more information on their website.
The Church of Our Lady of Consolation and St Stephen at Lynford is one of the most important small Catholic Churches in East Anglia. It is believed to be the only church in England dedicated both to St Stephen and to Our Lady of Consolation. It was commissioned from the architect Henry Clutton (1819-93) and built in the grounds of Lynford Hall by Yolande Lyne-Stephens, the rich widow of the MP, Stephens Lyne-Stephens.
Pictured above is Our Lady of Consolation and St Stephen in Lynford (image: Scilla Latham).