Church launches bid for £280,000 revamp
A project to raise more than a quarter of a million pounds for a major extension so a Norwich church can move into the 21st century was launched on July 28.
Visitors to St Mary's Church in Hellesdon can today look around the historic building, see the 3D plans for the extension and talk to members. There will also be an exhibition of historical parish documents by the Norfolk Record Office.
John Browning, 86, chairman of the Friends of St Mary's Church Executive, said: “People have worshipped on this spot for 1,000 years and parts of the church go back that far.
“What we are seeking to do is extend facilities at the church for people to worship, and take advantage of the church in the 21st century.
“People think £279,000 is a daunting sum, but fundraising chairman Canon Jack McGinley has had experience of fundraising before, and he is confident that we will raise the figure.”
The money is needed for a new meeting room, new toilets and a kitchen.
The parish hall next to St Mary's and the church will be open from 2pm to 5 pm today and at 11am tomorrow there will be a service in the church to mark the start of the extension building project.
Mr Browning added: “It's an ambitious scheme but we are making progress.
The Friends have been active working for this for about 10 years, and we have collected about £49,000 through functions and an anonymous donor has just given £1,000.
“The whole purpose of this weekend is to elicit interest and support and prayers. We know it will be a long haul.
“We have not set a timescale on when the money has to be raised, but obviously we cannot start building work until we can show contractors we have the money.”
Norwich Diocese has given permission for the work at the Low Road church and letters were sent to people and groups in the area to get support for the fundraising. The Friends also had a stall at the Hellesdon carnival.
The work will be the first major addition to the fabric of St Mary's since the 14th century.
Story and picture of fund-raising team courtesy of www.eveningnews24.co.uk