Bishop of Lynn taking special service at Gayton church

St Nicholas Church open again after refurbishment project

A special service to mark the end of a �102,000 facelift will be held at a West Norfolk Church on Wednesday night.

St Nicholas Church at Gayton, with its unusual domed tower, has stood at the centre of the village since the 13th century.

But it has now been brought up to date thanks to a project which has seen a new kitchen and toilets added to the building.

The Bishop of Lynn, the Very Rev Jonathan Meyrick, will be at the church for a 7pm service to mark its reopening following completion of the scheme.

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The heating system has also been updated as part of the project and the walls of the nave lime-washed. Repairs were also made to the chancel wall where stonework has been weather damaged.

Money for the work to the Grade I listed building has come from legacies and donations.

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Parochial Church Council secretary Stan Watkinson said the work would make a huge difference to the church and its congregation.

The building work took about three months to complete and during that time the church was closed to the public, apart from services.

Grant help was not available for the toilets and kitchen as they were considered a new-build rather than renovation work – which would attract funding help.

'There is more work to be done –inside the chancel needs re lime-washing and repairs while the inside of the tower also needs doing.

'We are hoping that there will be some grant money available for this as it is restoration work rather than anything new,' said Mr Watkinson.

The total cost for the completed work is expected to be about �102,000.

Mr Watkinson said there were a lot of hidden costs, including a bat survey and archaeological work, which all pushed the cost up.

'We had a contingency fund for these, but it all adds to it,' he said.

Fundraising events for the church will continue with a Christmas Tree Festival starting on December 14.

There are also plans for a week-long festival next year to coincide with the Queen's Diamond Jubilee.

A flower festival, concerts, barbecue, car boot sale and stalls are already in the pipeline for the event beginning on May 28.

Mr Watkinson said they would also like a ceilidh band to play one evening to help raise money, but so far they had all proved too expensive.

If a band would like to help, contact 01553 636629.

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