Record fund-raising boosts latest grants to a dozen Norfolk churches

An urgent rescue project to prevent the loss of 14th century wall paintings was among the latest grants made by the Norfolk Churches Trust.  All Saints, Crostwight, near North Walsham, was awarded £10,000 to stabilise the walls of the remote church.

At the Trust’s Spring meeting, a total of £67,000 was given to a dozen churches across Norfolk.  Crostwight has a remarkable series of nine wall paintings depicting The Passion, which details the entry of Christ into Jerusalem, the Last Supper and The Crucifixion.  Michael Sayer, chairman of the Trust’s Grants’ Committee, said that the wall paintings were in great danger of being lost unless the walls of the church were stabilised. In total, this phase of the rescue operation is set to cost more than £52,000.

Another £10,000 award was made to St Andrew, Saxthorpe, which needs to raise about £92,000 to re-roof the south aisle roof and also to restore peal boards dating from the reign of Queen Anne in the early 18th century.

In north Norfolk, a £7,000 grant was made to St Mary, Wiveton, following the dramatic collapse of a substantial chancel roof timber in August 2019. In total, the church faces a repair and restoration bill of almost £130,000.

A north Norwich church, St Catherine, Mile Cross, was given £7,000 towards the £35,000 cost of repairing the nave and also both aisle roofs. The church is an important centre for worship in the north of the city and also a focus for the community.

In west Norfolk, the church of St John, Terrington St John, (pictured right) was awarded £5,000 towards the refurbishment of the north slope of the nave roof. The work of re-slating the aisle roof was also “very, very urgent.”

As further problems had been identified since repair work started in January at St Mary, Great Snoring, a further £3,000 grant was agreed. Almost three years ago, urgent tower repairs were recommended, which was now being carried out. However, the belfry and silence chamber in the tower needed additional work.

Courtesy Simon Knott

St John the Baptist, Alderford, near Reepham,  (pictured left)  was awarded £7,000 for another programme of urgent repairs, in particular to the porch and vestry roofs and also to the south chancel and nave buttresses. Although the church has just received emergency covid-19 funding from Heritage England of some £21,000, it faced a deficit of almost £9,000 to complete the necessary repairs.

David Missen, treasurer, said that the record proceeds of last September’s Big Bike Ride of more than £174,000 had made it possible to fund the awards. At last year’s Spring meeting, the trust awarded £54,325.

Other awards

Caister-on-Sea, Holy Trinity £5,000

Carleton Rode Baptist Church £3,000

Great Walsingham, St Peter £3,000

Heacham, St Mary £4,000

Kelling, St Mary £3,000

EDP coverage on 21st March can be seen here