Rockets help launch Norwich church’s roof replacement bid

Rockets being lit at St Matthew's Church, Norwich. PIC: Peter Walsh.

Rockets being lit at St Matthew's Church, Norwich. PIC: Peter Walsh. - Credit: Archant

Five, four, three, two, one...and then lift-off for a campaign to raise money for a new roof at the heart of a Norwich community.

Rockets being lit at St Matthew's Church, Norwich. PIC: Peter Walsh.

Rockets being lit at St Matthew's Church, Norwich. PIC: Peter Walsh. - Credit: Archant

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 more than £13,000 has been raised by the church-goers since January.

A campaign to raise the remaining cash was officially launched when five rockets were sent firing into the sky above the 1982-built site.

Robert Clifton, a retired priest and chair of the roof appeal committee, said: 'The roof leaks quite badly and has been patched up several times before but now the time has come to do a proper job.


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'It means taking off all the tiles and felt which has perished and replacing it and putting in proper insulation.'

'Today is part of the campaign and was really to launch it which is why we've got the rockets.'

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The rocket launch was counted down by former England cricketer Eileen Ash, 105, who lives near to the church and said she was 'delighted' to play a part in the event.

As well as the rocket launch there were guided walks, Thorpe Hamlet history trails, stalls and displays in the church and even a chance to buy a tile and have names put on them.

Reverend Patrick Jordan, vicar of St Matthew's Church, said: 'It's been brilliant it was a really good day.

'We set ourselves a target of £10,000 by Easter and have got up to £13,000 which is brilliant but we're going to need a lot of help to get up to the £100,000 that we need.'

Rev Jordan said they were also seeking to access money through grants although this is made more difficult because, as a modern church, it does meet the heritage criteria often needed to be successful

The new 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.

To find out more about the church visit www.stmatthewschurch.org.uk

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