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Bishop of Norwich joins celebrations at village church near Fakenham

PUBLISHED: 11:09 28 July 2014 | UPDATED: 11:09 28 July 2014

The Bishop of Norwich Graham James, with from left, church warden Stephen Miles, Lay Preacher Amanda Sands and church warden Andrew Lee outside of Fulmondeston Parish Church. Picture: Matthew Usher.

The Bishop of Norwich Graham James, with from left, church warden Stephen Miles, Lay Preacher Amanda Sands and church warden Andrew Lee outside of Fulmondeston Parish Church. Picture: Matthew Usher.

© Archant Norfolk 2014

A village church near Fakenham has enjoyed its first visit from a Bishop of Norwich for more than 60 years.

The Rt Rev Graham James joined the celebrations at Christ Church, Fulmodeston yesterday to mark the completion of more than £220,000 of essential refurbishment works.

The church has a new roof and drainage system and the pathway has been altered to ensure it is more disabled friendly.

The work has been funded by a Heritage Lottery Fund grant of £90,000, plus contributions from other organisations including the Geoffrey Watling Charity, Allchurches Trust and Norfolk Churches Trust.

A further £13,000 was raised locally in the space of a year.

Bishop Graham attended a celebration service to give thanks for the completion of the work.

He said: “It’s wonderful to see what has been done.

“This church was built in 1882, so it is quite modern for Norfolk, but it still needed a good deal of work.

“There has been a renewed interest in this church recently.

“It’s been great to see the community fundraising that has helped to make this possible as, without that, they would not have received the grants.”

Churchwarden Stephen Miles said: “This church is here for the community so it’s really nice to have this community celebration today and to be joined by the Bishop of Norwich.

“This is the first visit this church has had from a Bishop of Norwich since the early 1950s so it’s a really special day.”

Yesterday’s celebration featured a commemoration of the start of the First World War.

There was also a blessing of oil stocks used for anointing the sick and at baptism which had been given by the former rector of Fakenham, the Rev Adrian Bell on his recent retirement at Fakenham and Fulmodeston.

Are you involved with a church restoration project? Email newsdesk@archant.co.uk

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