Village churches around Yarmouth set to benefit from new £3m fund

Filby church

Filby church - Credit: Nick Butcher

Three church communities are benefiting from a share in a new £3m fund for roof repairs.

Mautby church

Mautby church - Credit: Eastern Daily Press © 2015

They are among 15 churches across Norfolk set to receive grants of up to £100,000 each from the government's roof repair fund.

The money is part of a wider funding package of £22.9m earmarked for 401 historic places of worship across the country.

In many cases the grants will help make the churches watertight and safe from interior flooding.

Among those benefiting are All Saints Church, Filby, which has been allocated £40,000 and Great Yarmouth Minster which is being handed £34,800.

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The 11th century St Peter and St Paul in Mautby is to receive £24,100 to repair its round tower, which is leaking.

Church treasurer Richard Howard said the tower had not been refurbished since Victorian times.

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Mr Howard said the announcement was 'great news'.

He said: 'The tower is letting water through and if that is not repaired then it would eventually need major reconstruction, so this will help us prevent that in the future.

'The fact that we have now got money for the tower means that's one less thing that we have to fundraise for and we can focus on attracting visitors.'

The government has also launched an English Churches and Cathedrals Sustainability Review to help put these buildings on a more sustainable financial footing.

Chaired by Bernard Taylor, a panel of church and independent experts will develop tools and resources so the important heritage buildings can be maintained and protected for future generations.

Heritage Minister Tracey Crouch said: 'Churches and cathedrals are the jewel in the crown of our national heritage and it is vital they remain in good repair and are accessible for all. These buildings are at the heart of communities across the country and I am delighted so many will benefit from this important fund.'

Chancellor George Osborne said: 'Churches and cathedrals are a pillar of British life and we are committed to ensuring future generations will be able to admire and use these historic buildings.

'Thanks to the work we've done over the last six years to secure Britain's long term economic security, we are able to support the upkeep and repair of places of worship across the UK.'

Sir Tony Baldry, Chair of the Church Buildings council: 'It is fantastic that a further 400 church buildings will receive significant help with roof repairs from government and we are hugely grateful to the chancellor.

'We now need to ensure a sustainable way of funding church buildings in the future and this is a question for which I hope the Department for Culture Media and Sport Taskforce on Church Buildings will find viable and deliverable answers.'

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