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£325k church restoration project being celebrated

PUBLISHED: 13:00 25 September 2020 | UPDATED: 13:55 25 September 2020

People at Beighton Church, which has undergone a lsrgd restoration project. Picture: Beighton Church.

People at Beighton Church, which has undergone a lsrgd restoration project. Picture: Beighton Church.

Archant

An open weekend is being held to celebrate the completion of a major six-year £325,000 restoration project at a 14th century Norfolk church.

Beighton church has undergone major restoration work. Picture: Beighton Church.Beighton church has undergone major restoration work. Picture: Beighton Church.

All Saints Church at Beighton has seen work carried out on the nave roof, the clerestory windows and walls plus installation of an accessible toilet and kitchenette.

The church got a £221,000 National Lottery Heritage Fund grant to help make the historic church wind and waterproof and fit for purpose well into the 21st century.

Kate Ashcroft, PCC treasurer, secretary and fabric officer, said: “One of the attractions of the church is that the thatched roof, with its rare 14th century scissor-braced timbers, is visible from inside. But the thatch was badly deteriorated. The clerestory windows were greatly in need of re-glazing and re-leading whilst the surrounding knapped flint facing had become detached from the main wall construction. Internally, there are areas of medieval plasterwork and paintings along the south wall which still require stabilising.”

While undertaking the vital restoration work, the church council felt this was a great opportunity to add new amenities by converting the vestry and adding an accessible toilet plus installing a kitchenette in the south-west corner.

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Together with some removal of pews, this will enable much better community use of the building.

Apart from the regular services, in the last few years activities at the church have already included drama, exhibitions and concerts which it is hoped can be added to with new facilities.

Rector the Rev Martin Greenland said: “The essential repairs and much-needed facilities will help us share this inspiring building with many more people, now and in the future: we are delighted to receive this support thanks to National Lottery players.”

As well as the award from the National Lottery Heritage Fund, grants have also been received from The National Churches Trust, The Garfield Weston Foundation, Norfolk Churches Trust, The Geoffrey Watling Trust and Allchurches Trust. Together with a herculean fundraising effort locally.

To celebrate the completion of the restoration, an open weekend is being held at the church on September 26/27 from 9.30am-4pm.

To book a table for refreshment or for further information is available Kate Ashcroft on 01493 751637, email kashcroft58@gmail.com or through the benefice website www.abychurches.co.uk.


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