Monthly Archives: June 2019

Church service celebrates restoration project

Repairs to St Margaret’s Church, Herringfleet, have been completed and a service of re-dedication taken by Bishop Alan of Thetford has been held in the church.

The structures of the nave and porch of St Margaret’s Church, near Lowestoft, have both been quite extensively repaired and both roofs re-thatched.

The society made a grant of £4,000 towards the total cost of the repairs. A new drainage system has been installed and the chancel re-rendered. When the rendering on the nave was removed, it was decided not to replace it but have the flint wall re-pointed.

Since this did not come under the scope of the Heritage Lottery Fund grant, it was funded with the help of the RTCS grant.

Inside the church has been rewired, with smart new ceiling spotlights and some “old style” wall lamps, and blissful under pew heating fitted. One of the panels of stained glass on the east window has been repaired and re-installed within the grant funding, and another panel will be refurbished with their own funds.

The inside plaster has been re-done and the walls gleaming white making the church so much brighter and enhancing the colours of the windows.

Grants’ officer Nick Wiggin and the membership secretary Teresa Wiggin attended the service, which was held on Wednesday, June 12, and the celebrations afterwards.
Herringfleet, St Margaret

Lead thieves strike Breckland church twice in 24 hours

Thieves have taken lead from the aisle roof of an 11th century church in west Norfolk.

St Mary’s Church, Beechamwell, near Swaffham, was the target of thieves twice in 24 hours, it appears. The theft of large areas of lead was discovered on Wednesday, May 29 – and it is likely that they may have removed lead the previous night as well.

St Mary’s Church, Beechamwell.

St Mary’s Church, Beechamwell, has been described as Anglo-Saxon partly because of the evidence of the early belfry openings near the top of the circular part.

However, the leading specialist architect, the late Stephen Hart, suggests that despite the formidable weight of this virtually unanimous opinion, there are convincing grounds for dating the church and tower as post-Conquest.

It may be of the same period as the round Saxo-Norman church towers at Herringfleet and Haddiscoe. The term “Saxo-Norman” is used here as meaning architecture of Anglo-Saxon workmanship or style executed after the Conquest.

Anyone with any information, which may help detectives find the thieves, is asked to contact Norfolk police.

Two more grants to fund restoration work

Two grants worth a total of £6,500 have been made by the Round Tower Churches Society for immediate restoration projects.

It brings the total awarded to churches to £22,500 for current and future restoration work  – and follows the £14,500 distributed last year.

Within a fortnight of receipt of the latest two applications, the committee agreed on the latest grants. Stuart Bowell, chairman, said that as the society has received several very generous legacies in recent months, it was determined to use its funds to help as many churches as
possible.

A major restoration project costing almost £250,000 has started at All Saints, Stuston, on the Suffolk and Norfolk border.

Restoration work has started at All Saints, Stuston.

The society awarded £5,000 – with half from the Stan Barnes legacy – for repairs to the tower and also improving access to the church, which is near Diss. The work, which started on April 14, will also include re-tiling the chancel and north transept roof, improvements to drainage and repairs to the internal render.

A grant of £188,147 from the Heritage Lottery Fund has covered the lion’s share of the £238,053 cost but it still leaves a shortfall of more than £47,000.

A £1,500 grant was also made to All Saints, Keswick, near Norwich, which will enable accumulations of bird dung to be removed from the tower and appropriate mesh guards to be replaced. Apparently, the visiting pigeons and doves have started to cause some damage to the tower’s fabric.

The society’s last grant to the church was £200 in 2007.

The society’s members will be visiting the church on Saturday, September 7 on the season;’s final guided tour, starting at Intwood (2.30pm), then Keswick and finally Swainsthorpe.