Floral art event starts push for Norfolk village’s church extension

Plans to raise more than �50,000 for facilities at a village church have been kick-started by a successful flower-arranging event.

Parishioners and church officials have taken on the task of raising the large sum to build a new extension for 700-year-old Hemblington church, near Blofield Heath, so that toilet and kitchen facilities can be added.

Villager Joyce Burton Shaw, 58, is one of the regular parishioners involved in planning the project and attended the flower-arranging event.

'We raised just over �300 and that will go towards the extension,' she said.

'We realised that we couldn't hold that many events in the church, and we are quite isolated from the village anyway, so first off we have got some lighting and we are hoping for a kitchen and a toilet as well.

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'The lighting will hopefully be in before Christmas and the kitchen is hopefully on the way so the next big push will be for the toilet.'

Because of the building's rounded tower it is likely to need to have a small extension added to the side of the church, but this is still in the early planning stages.

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The organisers are also looking to install better access for the elderly and disabled people as at the moment the access to the church is two steep steps.

The church has a regular group of about 20 attending their weekly services but organisers hope they have something special up their sleeves to attract more people in.

'We have a huge wall painting of St Christopher's life which is supposed to be one of the biggest in the country,' Mrs Burton Shaw added.

'It's in good condition so we want to be able to bring that to a wider audience as well once we have got these new facilities.'

Ann Pratt of Blofield Florists led the event on Wednesday evening at a cost of �6 per person to raise money for the project.

Mrs Burton Shaw said: 'It went very well. It was a a very happy event.'

For more information about the church go to www.hemblingtonchurch.org.uk

Are you raising money to extend your local church or for another special project? Call reporter David Freezer on 01603 772418 or email david.freezer@archant.co.uk

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