Major repairs for Norwich city centre church

Some congregations are known for raising the roofs of their churches with singing, but worshippers at a Norwich city centre dug into their pockets to raise �15,000 to fix theirs.

St John The Baptist's in Timberhill is currently surrounding with scaffolding, as �90,000 worth of work is carried out on the medieval church.

The work was needed to fix the roof of the church, which dates back to 1420, with renewal of the felt, battons and slate pins which help hold it up.

And rector Father Martin Smith hailed the 'incredible achievement' of the congregation in raising �15,000 towards that work.

He said: 'Everyone in the congregation was sent a letter saying we needed to raise an extra �12,000 for the work on the roof.

You may also want to watch:

'We knew that some of the congregation could afford to contribute �1,000 and some could afford a pound or two, but they responded with a fantastic �15,000. It shows how much people love the church and how they value it.'

The building work is set to continue until October, with 150-year-old slate pins having to be removed as part of the re-roofing.

Most Read

Some repairs will also have to be done to stonework around the bellcote.

It is the second part of a major repair programme for the church - the main Anglo Catholic Church in Norwich - with work on the southern side completed last year.

Rev Smith said: 'We are still open and there's not really been any disruption, apart from a bit of dust!'

The church was re-opened in 1980 after a closure for about 35 years because it was deemed surplus to needs.

St John The Baptist's is not the only city centre church undergoing building work. St Stephen's Church, near the Chapelfield Shopping Centre, has been shut since autumn 2009.

A large crack had appeared in the east wall of the church after a water main burst in nearby Malthouse Lane undermined the foundations, which meant major structural work was needed.

While that has been carried out, the church has been closed to visitors and the congregation has been using Chantry Hall in Chantry Road for worship instead.

• Are you raising money for repairs to an historic city building? Call reporter Dan Grimmer on 01603 772375 or email

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter