Move to close Norfolk church and sell it to the Girlguides

Holy Trinity Church, Great Hautbois.
Picture: ANTONY KELLY

Holy Trinity Church, Great Hautbois. Picture: ANTONY KELLY - Credit: Archant

The Church of England wants to close a little-used Victorian church in rural Norfolk and sell it to the Girlguides.

Holy Trinity Church lies close to the headquarters and activities centre of Girlguiding Anglia in Great Hautbois, near Coltishall.

The grade two listed building only hosts occasional services and the congregation is down to just four people who all live in Coltishall where they could attend St John the Baptist Church instead, according to church chiefs.

And so they have decided that the church: 'does not meet a pastoral need nor does it have a sustainable future as a place of worship,' and should be sold.

The plan is for the Girlguides to use it for their activities, as well as 'cultural and community uses'.

A drop-in session about the proposal will be held at Girlguiding Anglia's Great Hautbois House, Great Hautbois Road, NR12 7JN from 3.30pm to 6.30pm on Thursday February 9.

Representatives of the Church Commissioners, diocese of Norwich and Girlguiding will be there to answer questions.

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And anyone wanting to make representations for or against the draft scheme has until March 17 to write or email. Objections could result in a hearingon whether the proposal should go ahead.

Julia Haig, chief executive of Girlguiding Anglia, was reluctant to be drawn on their hopes for the church before the consultation was over.

But she said Holt Trinity was alongside the guides' current centre and would make a 'nice extension to add to our portfolio.' It would be used to support girls and young women in a range of positive activities, she added.

The church, one of two in Norfolk designed by architect Thomas Jeckyll, includes a churchyard but, according to church chiefs, it is 'unburied, except possibly for some buried ashes to the east of the church.'

Representations should be made to James Davidson-Brett, Pastoral division the Church of England Church Commissioners, Church House, Great Smith Street, London SW1P 3AZ, or email: james.davidson-brett@churchofengland.org

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