Bungay church moves a step closer to realising ambitious community plan

A redundant historic church has moved a step closer to becoming a community and tourist facility as part of an ambitious �180,000 plan.

The Friends of St Mary's Church in Bungay are hoping to bring in a new meeting room, toilets and kitchen facilities as part of their plans for the church.

The church no longer has a congregation, but although fundraising concerts and events do take place, it is hoped the listed building can benefit the community greatly in the future.

Friends chairman Martin Evans said that they had been visited by the Churches Conservation Trust (CCT), English Heritage, conservation architects and Rural Development Programme for England to help achieve listed building consent and cover some of the costs of their plan.

Mr Evans said: 'We should know by early summer whether we can proceed with the project in whole or in part.

'We have had a rocky ride, with much challenging advice, but they (the CCT) look after these ancient buildings and have to do their side of it.

'Hopefully by next year's annual meeting we may be opening the Bowerbank Room and its adjoining facilities.'

Most Read

The room would be named after Kathleen Bowerbank, who left nearly �500,000 to the church when she died in 2006.

At the Friends of St Mary's Church annual meeting the group also agreed to underwrite the cost of work on the church's eight bells.

The bells have not been overhauled for eight years and it was warned that if the work, which will be a further �2,000, is not done, the sound of St Mary's bells ringing out over the town could be lost.

The church building dates back to the 14th or 15th century, but it became redundant more than a decade ago when the small congregation joined with the town's Holy Trinity congregation.

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter