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Church upgrade to benefit future generations after £200,000 grant

PUBLISHED: 12:23 06 August 2018 | UPDATED: 12:43 06 August 2018

Father Paul Chanh , Beryl Edwards finance chair, Rt Rev Alan Hopes Bishop of East Anglia, Tony Walmsley and Deacon Stephen Pomeroy. Photo: Keith Morris.

Father Paul Chanh , Beryl Edwards finance chair, Rt Rev Alan Hopes Bishop of East Anglia, Tony Walmsley and Deacon Stephen Pomeroy. Photo: Keith Morris.

Archant

A Lowestoft church will receive a £221,500 grant to widen its community access and carry out essential repairs.

Our Lady Star of the Sea Church, in Gordon Road, is set to be given the money by the National Lottery’s Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF).

The funding will go towards the church’s £284,266 project to repair and increase the usage of the listed building.

External repairs will be carried out on damaged stonework and the tracery of the west window in order to prevent rainwater leaking into the church.

The project also includes the development of an innovative digital guide and map of the church – so visitors can find out more about the architecture, art and religious significance of the building through their mobiles and tablets.

Parish treasurer Tony Walmsley said: “We’re delighted that we’ve received this support thanks to National Lottery players.

“As well as continuing to be a place of worship we are pleased that the local community will have a greater chance to use and enjoy it.”

Mr Walmsley, who is also acting as project manager, added: “We also want to make the church more accessible to the public to come in and look around as one of the few places of genuine historic interest in the town centre.

“We want to help people understand what the church is all about, its history, architecture and art and how the Catholic faith is practiced here.

“Nowadays people like to access such information online and we are developing a digital guide and map which they can access through their own electronic device or ones which we will provide.

“We will also be able to help children who are doing religious studies at school with that part of their curriculum.

“We also want to provide extra facilities for people who want a place of quiet and contemplation.”

An initial grant from the HLF, in March 2017, of development funding of £25,400 has been used by the church to progress the plans to the current stage.

Parish priest Father Paul Chanh added: “As well as continuing to be a place of worship we are pleased that the local community will have a greater chance to use and enjoy it.”

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