April 23 2014 Latest news:
Saturday, October 26, 2013
A “landmark” north Norfolk church has been deemed in danger of decay after being added to a list of buildings at risk.
St Peter’s in Corpusty, which dates back to the 14th century, is among 10 structures in the east on England to be added to English Heritage’s at risk register.
The hill-top church has already had extensive repairs to its tower, roof, windows and guttering but its interior remains in poor condition, and it is the need for its ongoing renovation - coupled with its historical importance - that has landed it a place on the register.
But the Norfolk Churches Trust, which looks after the building, is not too concerned about its inclusion and have seen it as an opportunity for its future.
Malcolm Fisher, secretary of the trust, said having St Peter’s on the list raised its profile and its need for repairs, while giving it a compelling case when applying for funding.
He added: “There’s 654 medieval churches in Norfolk, the majority of them need attention in some way or other. We have got the greatest need and at the moment there’s no way the local communities can support that and therefore it needs national funding.
“I want to get St Peter’s off the register but the only way to do that is to raise funds and get it in good order.”
After a chequered history the church fell into disrepair until it was taken on by the Friends of Friendless Churches in 1982, who carried out substantial work to the tower.
In 2009 it then passed into the hands of the trust which, with support from English Heritage, carried out more repairs, strengthening the nave and chancel, installing guttering and restoring its windows that had been boarded up due to vandalism.
Work was also carried out to its roof but Mr Fisher said this needed more attention, as well as its interior.
He said: “It appears from the outside to be in good condition. Well it’s not because as soon as you get in the door it’s got no floor. It’s just dirt, again because of vandals and rot.
“There’s still a lot to be done with it.”
Mr Fisher estimated that another £200,000 would need to be spent on the church to fully re-roof it, re-plaster 50pc of the inside walls - which have been ruined by damp - put in a floor and decorate it.
Out of the 13 churches in the trust’s care, Mr Fisher thought St Peter’s was fourth on the list of needing attention and the group would now be applying to the Heritage Lottery Fund for a grant to carry out the next phase of works.
“It’s stands up there on that escarpment as a landmark,” he added. “Our aim is to ensure that churches remain open as places of worship.”
Anyone interested in supporting the trust can send cheques, payable to Norfolk Churches Trust Ltd, to Norfolk Churches Trust Ltd, Sancroft Cottage, Laxfield, IP13 8EQ or make a donation online via www.justgiving.com/norfolkchurchestrust
To pledge directly to St Peter’s call Mr Fisher on 01986 798777.