Storm Doris leaves ‘holey’ church in Fakenham counting its blessings

A piece of the tower fell off Fakenham Parish Church during Storm Doris - punching holes in the roof

A piece of the tower fell off Fakenham Parish Church during Storm Doris - punching holes in the roof. Photo: Fakenham Rotary Club - Credit: Fakenham Rotary Club

A north Norfolk church damaged in this week's windy weather may not be able to fully reopen for another month, it has emerged.

Churchwarden Roger Burbridge inspects the damage at Fakenham Parish Church following Storm Doris. Pi

Churchwarden Roger Burbridge inspects the damage at Fakenham Parish Church following Storm Doris. Picture: Marc Betts - Credit: Marc Betts

Fakenham Parish Church was partially sealed off on Thursday after Storm Doris dislodged a piece of the tower - which crashed to the ground, punching holes in the roof along the way.

The drama unfolded on the church's busy market day - less than an hour after the last stall had closed - and a member of the public raised the alarm.

Recalling the moment during an inspection on Friday, churchwarden Roger Burbridge said: 'The top foot of the north-east pinnacle, right at the top of the tower, came off and crashed into the west end of the nave roof, smashed some of the slates, made holes in the roof, and the stone then fell down onto the north aisle roof - some of which then catapulted off into St Peter's garden and some of which is still on the roof.

'We put ropes across the two ways in to (the church) garden in case more fell off because that was at the height of the wind and we wondered what else was going to happen.'

A piece of the tower fell off Fakenham Parish Church during Storm Doris - punching holes in the roof

A piece of the tower fell off Fakenham Parish Church during Storm Doris - punching holes in the roof. Photo: Fakenham Rotary Club - Credit: Fakeham Rotary Club


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The cost of the damage is unknown but it is hoped repairs can be completed by March 18, when the church is expected to be packed for a concert.

Builders are expected to carry out preliminary repairs to make the building wind and water tight on Monday.

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But Mr Burbridge added: 'The closed off areas won't affect any church services.'

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