Rural Norfolk church needs help after being hit with £19,000 repair bill

The project team who are raising £19,000 to repair structural damage at Hemblington Church. From left, Sue Shillam; Rev Canon Janice Scott; Catherine Howe; Simon Mutten; and architect, Ruth Brennan. Picture: Denise Bradley The project team who are raising £19,000 to repair structural damage at Hemblington Church. From left, Sue Shillam; Rev Canon Janice Scott; Catherine Howe; Simon Mutten; and architect, Ruth Brennan. Picture: Denise Bradley

Thursday, January 3, 2013
6:30 AM

The congregation of a 700-year-old rural church is appealing for help after being hit with a costly repair bill for the Grade I listed building.

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Hemblington Church, in need of repairs costing £19,000. Picture: Denise BradleyHemblington Church, in need of repairs costing £19,000. Picture: Denise Bradley

All Saints’ Church in Hemblington, near Blofield Heath, recently underwent its detailed five-yearly structural inspection.

A number of problems were identified with the church’s roof, masonry and down-pipes, problems which are going to cost over £19,000 to repair.

The Friends of Hemblington Church are now faced with raising £8,000 to ensure the work is completed before the problems worsen and become more costly to repair.

The Church Commissioners, who are responsible for some of the church’s chancel, and the parochial church council, which is responsible for the rest of the church, are paying part of the cost.

Those contributions bring the total down to around £14,000, as Sue Shillam, fundraiser for the project, explained: “Thanks to the tremendous support we have had from our growing congregation and the local community over the last couple of years, we have sufficient funds in reserve to immediately allocate £6,000 towards the project.

“That still leaves us a further £8,000 to find. The work needs to take place as soon as the winter weather has passed and will probably start early in March. It should only take six weeks at most and the church will then be ready for important events in the spring and summer of 2013.”

In a village where around 300 people live and a church which has a regular congregation of around 25 parishioners, finding that money is set to be a big challenge.

But Mrs Shillam is hoping for a helping hand from far and wide, adding: “It is quite an isolated church but it’s well supported. A local farmer put water into the church and others have paid for our electricity before.

“We are hoping people who have used the church, who have got married or been baptised there, or indeed been to a funeral at the church, will support us.

“We want to reach out to the wider church community.”

To make a donation, or help with fundraising, contact Mrs Shillam on 01603 211629 or sue.shillam@btinternet.com, Catherine Howe on 01603 270360 or ancaviniam@hotmail.com or donate at www.hemblingtonchurch.org.uk

13 comments

  • The country already has enough old buildings if they cant afford to fix it knock it down. Survival of the fittest.

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    Z:)

    Friday, January 4, 2013

  • The church is one of the biggest tax avoidance scams going, using land stolen from the people in days gone by, by using threats of going to hell etc. If they can afford to loose £800 million on the black Wednesday crash, then they can afford £19,000 for repairs to this and other churches instead of keep holding out the begging bowl.

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    "V"

    Thursday, January 3, 2013

  • £19000 bill, 25 parishioners, works out at £760 per parishioner. If these people wish to believe in this medieval mythology then they can pay. Those of us, clearly the vast majority, or 25 would be many more, will not, simple as that. I already pay chancel repair liability insurance to protect me from some vicar coming cap in hand to my home, that alone is bad enough. If said vicar ever does appear he, or she, will have a disappointing day, to say the least!

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    windup

    Thursday, January 3, 2013

  • Ah, the Black Monday when the Church Commissioners performed better than the FTSE. And maybe, if there had not been the pension fund tax every year since 1997 (opposed by yet continued by the present government) there would be funds available beyond paying pensions for retired clergy. I look forward to your stewardship of the national finances.

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    Fundman

    Thursday, January 3, 2013

  • Interesting thoughts on state ownership of church buildings. This is what they do in Germany and every tax payer contributes. The UK government has cut funding for Church buildings so it ain't gonna happen. I would close all Churches and worship in school halls etc. They are warm and dry and some one else repairs them. The rent would be far cheaper. However, when Churches choose to close the objections come from those who don't come! And, the Churches Conservation Trust appeared on the "bonfire of quango's" announced by "call me Dave" in 2010 - so closing the place does not actually achieve anything as far as local costs go. Delighted to read that 'v' has a long memory and has never made a decision that has been regretted or shown to be ill-advised. Would this be the same Black Wednesday that the Chancellor of the Exchequer and the entire might of the treasury infra-structure and every UK bank got wrong? 'V' - we need you running the country so please stand for election. I will vote for you.

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    Fundman

    Thursday, January 3, 2013

  • Yes, I would agree with Daisy Roots except that 1. English Heritage no longer fund church repairs and have not done so for many years. This government cut the budget and until Sept last year EH administered HLF money. The latest government cut eliminated the EH staff that did this work – so EH have no involvement at all. 2. HLF will fund church repairs but the programme only opened last week with the first round of applications finishing on 28th Feb. There is then a decision making process and a twelve month project development process. 3. I do not know the financial position of the Diocese of Norwich. I am not aware that there has ever been central CofE support for repair of Church Buildings (and it is a field in which I have worked for 21 years this coming Saturday). 4. There are other grants available and the parish would be well advised to follow these up.

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    Fundman

    Thursday, January 3, 2013

  • www.churchofengland.orgabout-usfacts-statsfunding.aspx >>> Fundman. The full facts of funding the C of E, including Pensions.

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    "V"

    Friday, January 4, 2013

  • Maybe the church could afford to pay for it if they only didnt have to pay out to all the claims of child abuse.

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    wes1975

    Thursday, January 3, 2013

  • There is a simple solution. If these church goers really do believe that the universe is run by a benevolent supernatural cosmic enitity, as prescribed in their Bible, then they should simply ask it to repair their church. If nothing happens, they can conclude that their imaginary friend is either a) not benevolent, or b) does not exist. If so, they should renounce their medieval cult, and hand over this beautiful historic building for the taxpayer to maintain. On the other hand, if their deity does decide to repair it, we can all rejoice and be thankful.

    Report this comment

    GoodRockinDaddy

    Thursday, January 3, 2013

  • V has helpfully omitted the liabilities side of the equation that relates to pensions. I leave him to compute that sum and publish it. Windup raises a matter that has concerned the church for a number of years - indeeed, ever since the Heritage Lottery Fund dictated that these liabilities had to be reactivated. The Church has managed to get legislation passed that limits them and has also got charity commission agreement that if the relevant church councils do not register the members will not be deemed negligent. They belong in the past and never should have been there in the first place. When I bought an industrial park for a charity our insurance premium was £53.00 and that covered the risk indefinately. I would hope that 'said Vicar' would never call on such a matter as that is what the insurance cover deals with. I also happen to agree with your financial summary - we manage that where in this part of the country so why not in Norfolk?

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    Fundman

    Thursday, January 3, 2013

  • www.guardian.co.ukbusiness2010jan25church-loses-40m-in-new-york >>> 5.7 BILLION in investments in 2007 down to 4.4 BILLION in 2008. Sell these investments off and repair the churches. Like I said the Church is one big tax avoidance scam.

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    "V"

    Thursday, January 3, 2013

  • Surely the tower, being round, is older than that? In any case, such an old building should be listed and protected and its care paid for by the C of E ( which can afford to look after its buildings) and English Heritage and even the National Lottery fund. Looking after the buildings which were the centre of our village lives for hundreds of years, no matter what their purpose, should be important and the cost is trivial in the general scheme of things. Certainly more important thanfunding the fancy houses built by corrupt administrators with our foreign aid payments.

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    Daisy Roots

    Thursday, January 3, 2013

  • Sorry Fundman. It should have been Black Monday and the year was 1987.

    Report this comment

    "V"

    Thursday, January 3, 2013

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

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