TV presenter Loyd Grossman hopes community can help King’s Lynn chapel appeal hit target
TV presenter Loyd Grossman last night appealed for more people and businesses to come forward to help restore a King's Lynn chapel to its former glory.
The Through the Keyhole star is chairman of the Churches Conservation Trust (CCT) which is working with the Friends of St Nicholas to raise �210,000 which is needed to secure Lottery funding.
So far the appeal has raised �175,000 and fundraisers have got until Christmas to raise the remaining funds before an application for the �1.5m grant is submitted to the Heritage Lottery Fund.
The American-British TV star has described the chapel in the heart of Lynn as an internationally important jewel in the crown of the trust.
He continued: 'We're so delighted and grateful for the community's support for this project so far.
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'With only �35,000 out of the �210,000 target left to raise, we're almost there, so every donation big or small can make all the difference at this stage.'
The �1.5m project will include �800,000 to re-roof the nave and south aisle while adding insulation. A further �130,000 is needed to provide toilets and a kitchenette area, while �120,000 will provide a heating system and �30,000 will light the beautiful carved angels in the ceiling.
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Friends' secretary Adrian Parker said: 'We still waiting for a number of charities and organisations, based in Norfolk and across the region, to respond to funding applications.'
The original deadline for the appeal was the end of October but this has now been extended to Christmas by the trust.
Mr Parker added: 'If this was a football game, I would say we were in extra time and we are very fortunate we've been given a little bit longer to raise the remaining money. We are now approaching businesses in the town to see if they can donate money or materials to help our appeal.'
If the application to the Heritage Lottery Fund is successful, work could start on the chapel by next September before reopening the following May.
One of the largest events held to raise money for the cause was the Festival of Angels which saw individuals, companies and organisations create some 81 angels which adorned the historic building for two days in June.
There were angels made entirely of recycled materials, one made out of vegetables and another made out of old copies of the EDP which all made for out-of-this-world viewing at the special festival and helped to raise �7,000.
The plea by Mr Grossman comes after the historic chapel was given the green light by borough councillors to have 92 solar cells on its roof as part of the major refurbishment scheme.
It is believed to be the first time solar panels visible from the ground have been allowed on the roof of a Grade I listed place of worship.
The installation of solar panels will allow for the provision of heat and lighting to the church and will have a huge impact on future running costs of the medieval building, the CCT has said.
The trust has 341 buildings and St Nicholas' Chapel is its biggest. The trust has managed the building, which is still consecrated, for more than 20 years.
Any donations to the appeal can be made at True's Yard Museum, close to the chapel.
For more information about the Churches Conservation Trust see www.visitchurches.org.uk.