New urgency for fundraisers as historic window has to be covered over at Swaffham church

A �250,000 fundraising drive at Swaffham Parish Church has taken on new urgency after a historic window was boarded-up for safety reasons.

The St Peter and St Paul Church appeal was launched by its president Baroness Gillian Shephard in November and more than �5,000 has already been raised.

Supporters hope to raise enough money to repair and re-glaze seven windows at the medieval building – thought to be at least 850 years old – to replace the ageing heating system, build a new kitchen and area for young people and also carry out general maintenance work. Since the launch, a window in the south porch has become increasingly dangerous and has had to be covered over.

'This demonstrates the importance of the appeal and the need to raise funds as quickly as possible,' said appeal committee member Melvyn Gay.

The next planned fundraiser will be an evening with Keith Skipper on Friday, March 25, and this will be followed by a number of regular events and activities over the coming months to boost the fundraising efforts.

Each window will cost �10,000 to repair and re-glaze and donations to the appeal can be recognised with commemorative inscriptions in the panels.

All donations, however small, will also be recorded in a special donations book.

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The rest of the �250,000 needed will pay for new heating, a kitchen, an area for young people and general maintenance work on the landmark building.

For more information on the event in March, the appeal or to make a donation, call Mr Gay on 01760 723245.