End of an era for Cobholm church as housing plans are filed

St Luke's Church, Cobholm.

St Luke's Church, Cobholm.

Tucked between the terraces, the church of St Luke's in Mill Road, Cobholm, was a cornerstone of local life for over 100 years until it closed in 2012.

Rebuilding of St Luke's church in Cobholm following damage in WW2 bombing and 1953 floods, dated May

Rebuilding of St Luke's church in Cobholm following damage in WW2 bombing and 1953 floods, dated May 1960 - Credit: Archant

Now the church has been sold to a local builder for conversion into housing.

The change of use comes after nobody from the community stepped forward to take over the place of worship.

First opened in 1908 to ease the strain on St Nicholas in Yarmouth - now the Minster, the foundation stone at St Luke's is the only clue to its age.

Like much of the town, the church suffered damage from bombing during the Second World War and then floods in 1953. This led to the original Edwardian-style wooden structure being replaced by a brick building in 1960 - much of the funds raised by residents.


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Original features such as the square bell turret were recreated and the community feeling continued through the decades and in 2012 a war memorial was unveiled to honour service personnel and residents of Cobholm killed in wars since 1914.

However, just three months later in August St Luke's doors were closed due to health and safety concerns.

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The congregation was told it was a temporary measure but with repairs totalling around £100,000, the church never reopened, despite the Cobholm community coming together again to try and save the focal point.

At the time, Erika Chalkley from the Make It Happen neighbourhood development programme told the Mercury there was a strong local fondness towards St Luke's, with everyone having a memory.

She said: 'Everyone I bump into has a story; they got married there or their children were christened there, so there's a big strength of public feeling.'

Team Rector of the Great Yarmouth Team Ministry and Rural Dean of the Great Yarmouth Deanery, Canon Chris Terry said this week: 'After closure we had hoped that the community might be able to take over and repair the building for community use.

'Although we held off for over 18 months nothing was possible and so the building was put up for sale.

'A local builder has now made an offer to purchase the building for conversion we understand to domestic dwellings subject to planning permission.'

Rev Terry said the Diocese of Norwich, which holds responsibility for churches across Norfolk and Waveney 'do not have details of the proposal.'

He did confirm that there would still be access to the war memorial, which will be moved from its present position to a place yet to be decided.

He said: 'The sale will also mean that the other Church of England churches will not have to meet the standing charges etc that owning the property bring.'

The congregation of St Luke's is now served at the Minster and St Mary's Church, Southtown.

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