Find out which churches in Norfolk and Suffolk have received grants worth a total of £502,700
Churches in Norfolk and Suffolk are today celebrating an early Christmas present of more than half a million pounds towards repairs and restoration.
The Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) is giving £502,700 to five churches in the Norfolk and Suffolk area.
They include St Margaret's Church in Drayton, St Mary's Church in Rougham, All Saints Church in East Winch, St Peter and St Paul Church in Griston and St George, in Tombland, Norwich.
The grants come as part of an initiative by the HLF called Grants for Places of Worship (GPOW). The programme was launched in March 2013 with the promise of safeguarding the future of the UK's listed places of worship.
The money from HLF, which comes from profits made by the National Lottery, will be used to carry out important structural repairs to the churches. The fund aims to make a lasting difference for heritage, people and communities across the UK and help build a resilient heritage economy.
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The focus of the GPOW scheme is to make certain the churches continue to bring the local community together. It is hoped the programme will promote greater community use and engagement, helping to increase the number of people who take an active interest in celebrating these historic buildings and who will care for them in the future.
Primary school children will be involved in many of the projects in a bid to widen their knowledge about the construction and history of the buildings.
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The Grants for Places of Worship programme outlines that listed places of worship in the UK of all denominations and faiths are eligible for the grants.
List of all the churches involved:
St Margaret's Church, Drayton, Norwich: £57,500 grant
The thatched roof of St Margaret's Church, Drayton will be repaired following an award of £57,500. The Grade II* listed St Margaret's is in urgent need of repairs, not only to its thatching but also to its roof timbers and rainwater drains to prevent surface flooding in the church grounds.
St Mary's Church, Rougham, Suffolk: £35,900 grant
A Grade I listed Suffolk church will receive a new roof thanks to the Heritage Lottery Fund. St Mary's Church, Rougham has been awarded £35,900 for the retiling of its chancel roof after experts from English Heritage advised that the work should be carried out quickly to prevent serious structural defects.
All Saints Church, East Winch, Norfolk: £193,800 grant
Urgent structural repairs will be carried out on All Saints Church, East Winch as a result of a grant of £193,800. The Grade II* listed church will benefit from work including repairs to its tower walls, the fitting of bird netting to the belfry, repair of the tower west door and upgraded heating.
St Peter and St Paul Church, Griston, Norfolk: £150,400 grant
Essential structural work on St Peter and St Paul Church, Griston will be carried out thanks to a grant of £150,400 from the fund. Repairs to the tower and roof will make the Grade I listed church weather-tight, while internally there will be electrical re-wiring and repairs to the decayed floor.
St George, Tombland, Norwich, Norfolk: £65,100 grant
The historic church in the centre of Norwich has been awarded more than £50k to help restore the tower and windows. In addition, the project will develop proposals for displays and interpretation helping to celebrate the stories of this unique church.