Video: Norwich vicar says she is heartened by community support shown after church hall was devastated by fire

The Rev Clare Dowding, vicar of Earlham, outside the church hall at St Anne, Earlham that was set on fire. Photo: Steve Adams The Rev Clare Dowding, vicar of Earlham, outside the church hall at St Anne, Earlham that was set on fire. Photo: Steve Adams

Tuesday, February 18, 2014
6:30 PM

The vicar of a Norwich church which saw its hall devastated by fire has spoken of how she has been heartened by how the local community has rallied round to help following the blaze.

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And she said the “resilient” church congregation was determined to bounce back following the tragedy.

The church hall of St Anne, Earlham, was devastated by a fire on Monday, and police have said they believe the fire was started deliberately.

The Rev Clare Dowding, vicar of Earlham, said it was heartbreaking seeing the damage and it was likely the hall, by Colman Road, would need to be rebuilt.

She said the support from local people had been amazing.

“These sort of things happening are terrible but they can be a really powerful way of demonstrating how communities work together,” Rev Dowding said.

She said the church community was in shock at what had happened, but added: “They are a resilient congregation – they lost their church in the war.

“Most feel they will pull together and we will manage.”

Anyone with information about the fire which could help the police should call Norwich CID on 101 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.

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