South Norfolk churches celebrate open doors
2012: Two South Norfolk churches are celebrating being open to the public and for worship, against the odds.
The congregation of St Mary the Virgin at Hackford, near Wymondham, celebrated a special Easter Sunday Communion last weekend for its reopening following major structural works to keep it open for future generations.
Villagers rallied round to save the 11th century building after it was closed in 2006 after a large crack appeared in its chancel arch and raised £12,000 to add to major grants from English Heritage, the Garfield Weston Foundation and Norfolk Churches Trust.
There was standing room only at the service to mark the reopening of the church following more than £100,000 of work to make it structurally sound and church officials are now looking forward to holding monthly services at St Mary’s and can stage weddings, funerals and christenings again.
Rev Colin Reed, Rector for the church, said it was important to keep churches open and praised the fundraising efforts of local people: “I think the Church of England is committed to being a church for everyone. It is a bit like the Post Office, we are committed to being everywhere and it means that people know they have access to the church,” he said.
St George’s Church
(right) will hold its first Holy Communion in more than 25 years later this month. It will celebrate its Patronal Festival on Monday, April 23
at 10.30am, followed by wine and nibbles.
It is also celebrating 25 years since the vesting of its care to the Churches Conservation Trust and to mark the anniversary and the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee, celebratory cake and wine will be available at the church between 2pm and 4pm on Tuesday, June 5.
Organisers Sheila Cooper and Maurice Philpot said: “Many years ago Christians built and set apart St George’s for prayer; they made their church beautiful with their skill and craftsmanship and here they met for some of the most important turning points of their lives. Although services are no longer regularly held, the building remains consecrated; inspiring, teaching and ministering through its beauty and atmosphere.”
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