Restored Norfolk church tower dedication
On Thursday April 30,2015 at 6.30pm the Bishop of Thetford, the Rt Revd Alan Winton, will preside over a service of dedication marking the restoration of the Tower of St Mary’s in Great Melton. The service will be one of celebration marking the years of hard work put in to this project.
The ruined tower of St Mary has been on the Norfolk County Council's Historic Buildings at Risk Register for over 25 years. The flints were crumbling and falling off the tower and it was subsequently surrounded by corrugated fencing to comply with health and safety concerns for those visiting the churchyard and particularly the graves that are located close to the base of the tower. In 2004 the Parochial Church Council (PCC) first started investigating whether there was any grant aid available to restore this tower.
However in 2011 an architect from English Heritage visited the Church of All Saints and advised that English Heritage had a secular fund available for monuments such as the Tower of St Mary. Following a detailed examination of the tower it was discovered that this was a much bigger project than originally envisaged. WREN (Waste Recycling Management Limited) stepped into the breach and offered a grant. The two main grant providers were English Heritage (£61,000) and WREN (£47,665) with the balance of the funding coming from Norfolk County Council, the Garfield Weston Foundation, the Pennycress Trust and some donations. Work began on restoring the Tower of St Mary in May 2014 and was completed in October 2014.
Since the Tower of St Mary has been brought back to its former glory, there have been many more visitors to All Saints church which is open every day from the beginning of March to the end of October.
The restored tower is pictured.