St Mary’s Church in Burston is an asset to community

Len and Rachel Hobson at Burston church where a grant has helped towards roof repairs.

Len and Rachel Hobson at Burston church where a grant has helped towards roof repairs.

St Mary the Virgin Church in Burston, near Diss, is valued and used by the whole community.

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And recently a nine-month project to replace the deteriorating chancel roof was completed to enable it to continue as a place of worship and meeting place for years to come.

The restoration of the roof was made possible due to a grant of £177,000 from the Heritage Lottery Fund.

But during the work it was discovered there was decay in the stonework of the east window. The wall was repaired and the stained glass window was removed and cleaned.

The church – which also functions as a village hall – also had improvements made to the drainage system.


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These costs were not covered by the lottery grant and now members of the church are trying to raise about £17,000 to cover the shortfall.

Len Hobson, who is on the parochial church council (PCC), said: 'One of the things we are keen on is it being used by the community. It is important to use as church members but also the community who hold events here.

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'Different organisations book it and the parish council hold their meetings here.'

His wife Rachel, who is also on the PCC, added: 'The work to the roof was essential. We were getting to the stage where the church was getting dangerous.

'We are delighted, particularly with the window. It sparkles when the sun shines through it.'

The church has received grants from the Norfolk Churches Trust, the Bishop of Norwich Community Fund and through activities held by the Friends of Burston Church.

And to help with the fundraising a gala auction is being held.

Items available to bid on include a tie worn on an episode of Have I Got News For You by presenter Ian Hislop and a red and white wine set from Highgrove and donated by the Duchess of Cornwall.

The event will take place at the Park Hotel in Diss on Friday, September 16, from 7pm. Tickets cost £3 and can be bought on the door.

For more information, contact Len Hobson on 07712 670926.

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