Author joins fundraising efforts to upgrade west Norfolk church facilities

Kathleen Saunders with her book Three Million Wheelbarrows.

Kathleen Saunders with her book Three Million Wheelbarrows. - Credit: WNC/ Luke Burridge

The author of a book telling the story of a diverted river has joined fundraising efforts to upgrade facilities at a west Norfolk church.

St Margaret's Church in Clenchwarton is holding a book, puzzle and bric-a-brac sale on Saturday, July 31 and Sunday, August 1 to help raise £80,000 to upgrade facilities and make the church "more viable for the congregation, community and visitors."

Plans include installing a kitchen and toilet facilities which has disabled access.

To help with fundraising efforts and to mark the Eau Brink Cut bicentenary, author Kathleen Saunders will be signing copies of her book Three Million Wheelbarrows at the church on Saturday, and will be making a donation to the church fund for each copy sold on the day.

The book tells the story of the opening of the Eau Brink Cut on July 31, 1821 and how the cut changed the face of marshland forever.

Picture by Mike Page shows :-

Picture shows River Great Ouse by King's Lynn paper mill. - Credit: Mike Page

Mrs Saunders said: "The Cut diverted the River Great Ouse from a winding course through marshland to a short channel directly from Wiggenhall St Germans to King’s Lynn in order to improve drainage and reduce floods."

She added that it was important to support the church to help "maintain its fabric for generations to come."

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Churchwarden Debra McGowan said churches survive on the "good will of their congregation and community" and due to the churches being closed they lost revenue from their collection plates.

The churchwarden said the need for the facilities is for them to "be relevant" and to support the community  with things such as lunches in need, and coffee mornings and music nights to offer social activities. 

She added: "At the moment some of our church visitors can’t even stay for coffee at the end of the service for fear of needing the toilet.

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"Unless we obtain these facilities, so that we can become of use we will eventually close like so many other churches around the country."

The sale will take place from 10am to 4pm on Saturday and 12pm to 4pm on Sunday.

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