Norfolk churches land grants for vital work

Worshippers are celebrating the award of more than �150,000 of lottery funding to support vital repairs to three grade two listed Norfolk churches.

Under a scheme funded by Heritage Lottery Fund and administered by English Heritage, St John's Church, in Lancaster Road, Great Yarmouth received the biggest windfall of �104,000.

Meanwhile, St Spyridon's Greek Orthodox Church in St Peter's Road, Yarmouth was awarded �22,000 and All Saints Church, in Great Melton received �27,000.

Welcoming the grant, Paul Davies, chairman of Yarmouth Local History and Archaeological Society, described St John's Church as 'historically important', with a striking hexagonal vestry designed by well-known local architects of the day, Bottle and Olley. 'It was founded in 1858 to improve the moral and religious condition of the beachmen, sailors and their families and its popularity led to extensions in the 1860s and 1870s,' he said. The church had been closed for the past three years due to disrepair and the grant would pay for urgent roof repairs as part of a longer-term scheme to reopen the building for worship and community use.

St Spyridon's church treasurer Antonios Papageorgiou described the grant as 'very kind' and said it would fund urgent work to the tower roof and other repairs, including making the windows round the tower safe. He said the 19th century church was nationally important and worshippers visited from as far afield as London and Kent.

Elisabeth Plummer, secretary of the parochial church council at Great Melton church, said the grant would go towards repairing the tower and prevent flint falling onto the roof and damaging it.

'The church is very much part of community life, but we are a small village and without English Heritage would not have been able to proceed with this work,' she said.

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