Roof replacement at Beachamwell starts

A 10-day roof repair programme should be completed at a Breckland church in September.

St Mary, Beachamwell, is replacing its south aisle lead roof with coated-steel after thieves stripped the lead in 2019. The £41,000 cost will be met, largely, by insurance although there are some concerns that there has been some damage to the roof timber by weathering.

Pat Clarke, treasurer to the parochial church council, said that the next major repair involving re-thatching. It had been hoped to re-thatch the south side of the church roof this autumn but about £30,000 is needed.

With the latest grant of £3,000 from the Norfolk Churches Trust in July, the re-thatching now stands at more than £15,000. And £500 donated by a villager arrived while Mrs Clarke was updating this total.

“It is now likely that the thatching will start in May 2021. We’ve appointed a contractor, Anglia Thatching. Some minor work is also needed to the north side of the roof at the same time,” she said.

As the contractors cannot disturb roosting bats, the work will start after May 1.

Mrs Clarke said that the Friends of St Mary’s Church have also been working hard to raise funds but a number of events, including village garden open days, have not been possible this year because of Covid-19. “The village and community has been very supportive. Any further contributions will be most welcome,” she added.