Rallying call to support £90,000 church roof appeal
- Credit: CELIA FRYER
A modern church in the heart of a Norwich community is at risk of severe water damage unless thousands of pounds is raised.
St Matthew's Church and Community Centre on Telegraph Lane West, Thorpe Hamlet, has to use buckets to catch rain water because of problems with the tiled roof which needs replacing.
The extensive repairs will cost £100,000 and so far £10,000 has been raised by the church-goers since January 2017.
But the religious centre, built in 1982, is launching its appeal on Monday, April 17, at a church community event to raise the outstanding £90,000 by the end of the year.
Sharon Morter, parishioner and appeal co-ordinator, said: 'St Matthew's Church and Community Centre is used on a daily basis, not just for worship but for the whole community.
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'The roof is leaking badly so everything has to be stripped back and replaced. The problem gets worse the longer you leave it.
'Nobody would expect a building of 30 years to require a new roof. Once the roof is repaired and watertight the building can be used for many years to come.'
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She added because the church was a modern building it did not qualify for heritage Lottery grants.
The church was built after the former St Matthew's Church, which opened in 1851, on St Matthew's Road, became a building for offices.
The new church was built in the centre of Thorpe Hamlet which covers Mousehold Heath, Riverside Road and Thorpe Road.
Mrs Morter, 65, from Thorpe End, has been going to St Matthew's Church since her daughter was baptised in the 1980s.
'That church is my home. It is my family. It is in the heart of the parish an really important to the area,' she added.
The launch event is happening from 10am-4.30pm and includes displays, history Trails and guided walks of the area.
Trail maps costing £3 will be sold in aid of the appeal.
Visitors can also see the restored 1947 Moray-Smith panorama painting of Norwich in the church.
Mrs Morter is encouraging anyone with fundraising ideas to get involved or form fundraising groups.
Contact 01603 763695 or visit www.stmatthewschurch.org.uk