Rood stairs and lofts – why they were so essential for medieval churches

After rood screens featured in the September 2021 edition of The Round Tower, Richard Barham discusses rood lofts and stairs. Why was it necessary to be able to access the walkway, or loft, which ran across the top of the … Continued

Milestone project at Norfolk church celebrated at special service

Almost exactly two years ago a North Norfolk round tower won a major lottery grant.
All Saints, Gresham, has now re-opened for regular services after a major refurbishment funded in large measure by a National Heritage Lottery Fund grant.
An invited congregation of about 50 supporters, church leaders and members of the Friends of All Saints Gresham celebrated at a special service at the end of October.
It has been a marathon effort as the £140,900 project involved repairs to the north chancel roof, the tower, windows and replacing rainwater goods, re-plastering and repainting walls. The church has been made weather and water-proof.
The round tower church has been transformed, thanks to the efforts of contractors and volunteers, into a bright and welcoming centre for community activities.
Julia Drury, chairman of the Friends, said that supporters had raised more than £12,500 since the group was launched almost five years ago. The additional funds have helped to pay for some of the work, which has been carried out.
She plans to stand down from her demanding role in March 2022 after five years of dedicated work. It was a further irony that she was informed that the church had been successful in obtaining key National Lottery Funding more than two years ago but a formal announcement could not be made because of the rules around the 2019 General Election.
Now the church can welcome visitors again for regular service and also for wider community activities, talks, lectures and concerts in the coming months.
Although further work to the upper stages of the round tower will be necessary in the coming months, the essential repairs to the main body of the church have been carried out despite all the headaches caused by the Covid-19 lockdown.