Light fills St Mary’s Church in Banham as repair project nears end

Church of St Mary the Virgin at Banham. Photo: Bill Smith

Church of St Mary the Virgin at Banham. Photo: Bill Smith - Credit: Archant © 2012

Bright and vivid colour is once again filling a village church in Banham, as a £313,153 restoration project nears completion.

Workers have been striving to bring the 14th century St Mary the Virgin church into good repair, working on the tower, the south aisle and east chancel flint-work, and making repairs to the lead-work of the tower and aisle roof.

The east chancel window was completely removed to enable its stonework and glass to be repaired and renovated, and there has also been drainage work done in the church yard.

Anita Bounds, parochial church council member and project manager, said the stained-glass window was now back in place, with coloured light streaming through.

Mrs Bounds said: 'The parochial church council of St Mary's is extremely grateful to all the funding bodies and groups for their support, and also for the hard work and generosity of many groups and individuals in Banham. Together they have made this complex and exciting project possible.'

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Rev Canon Steve Wright said: 'Now we have our building back we appreciate it and its spiritual message even more.

'It is so wonderful to have a dedicated place to pray and we are inspired now to use it for an even wider range of events that people will value.'

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The project at the Grade 1 listed church was given a major boost by a grant of £229,000 from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) in August last year.

Other supporters have included Wolfson Foundation, in association with ChurchCare, the Norfolk Churches Trust, the Friends of Banham Church, Banham Parish Council and The Six Villages Newsletter.

The project has also spurred a renewed interest in the church and its history, with activities taking place during the repairs including visits to a workshop where the chancel window was being repaired, demonstrations of flint and stone masonry, tower bell ringing, wood-carving workshops and a bat-watching night.

A state-of-the-art projector, screen and sound system have been installed for use during heritage events, Youth Cafe, film evenings and other activities at the church.

Is something exciting happening at your church? Email Stuart Anderson at

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