Take a look inside stunning new venue for non-religious ceremonies at former church
PUBLISHED: 16:10 19 February 2019 | UPDATED: 12:11 20 February 2019
Jamie Honeywood Archant Norwich Norfolk
For those who dream of a church wedding without the white, lacy frills, a new venue in Norwich could be the perfect place to say 'I do'.
Lesley Durant, 60, of Dereham Road, and Trish Price, 54, of Holly Drive, have started a new venture hosting non-religious ceremonies at a former church in Ber Street called The Flint Room.
They had rented the medieval church to store a horde of weird and wonderful props from their previous caravan photo booth business, which they ran for three years.
The church, once known as St John Sepulchre, closed in 1984 and was used for many years by an Orthodox congregation until 2009.
Mrs Durant said: “I was overwhelmed by the building.
“We asked the Norwich Historic Churches Trust whether we could have wedding ceremonies and bring back some of its former use, rather than let it sit empty.”
Mrs Durant and Mrs Price wanted to create a bespoke venue for people from all walks of life to celebrate a wide range of ceremonies.
They envisioned The Flint Room as a friendly environment for LGBT people, as well as for families wanting to celebrate baby naming ceremonies, renewing vows, holding funeral services and celebrating loved ones’ lives.
The religious furnishings and pews had already been stripped away from the deconsecrated church and the clear windows bear no biblical imagery.
Although all religious aspects of the former church have gone, its charm still remains in the high ceilings and beautiful woodwork.
The creative pair have decked out the hall with a mash of locally-sourced, upcycled vintage furniture and seating for up to 120 guests, with shelving made from reclaimed wood.
The rustic screen which disguises the altar has been adorned with flowers and greenery and Spanish moss now hangs from the tall windows.
“We haven’t interfered with anything,” Mrs Durant said. “We wanted to create a friendly atmosphere where everyone would feel comfortable.”
Mrs Price added: “The Flint Room represents a place where there can be equality and diversity all under one roof. It is welcoming and offers a venue where unity in all its forms can be celebrated.”
Members of the public are invited to the official launch of The Flint Room on Friday, March 1, at 7pm.
For more information, visit: www.theflintroom.co.uk