Stunning drone images capture church restoration from above

Restoration work St Mary's RC Church Great Yarmouth

Drone pictures offering a bird's eye view of urgent restoration work going on at St Mary's RC Church in Regent Road, Great Yarmouth, and its place in the town. - Credit: Brian Lafferty

A church restoration project is offering a new perspective on its town and the streets that surround it.

Pictures taken documenting repairs to the roof of St Mary's Roman Catholic Church in Regent Road show its crowded urban setting, hemmed in by houses and Great Yarmouth's main tourism thoroughfare of Regent Road.

Restoration work St Mary's Great Yarmouth

Drone pictures offering a bird's eye view of urgent restoration work going on at St Mary's RC Church in Regent Road, Great Yarmouth, and its place in the town. - Credit: Brian Lafferty

The drone images taken by Brian Lafferty, chairman of the church's finance committee, offer new views of the town from above; the Minster, town hall, and St Spyridon's tower rising up in the distance.

Work to repair the roof of the Grade II* centre for worship is going ahead thanks to a grant of close to £150,000 from English Heritage - but £1.5m is needed to fully restore it.

Restoration work St Mary's Great Yarmouth

Drone pictures offering a bird's eye view of urgent restoration work going on at St Mary's RC Church in Regent Road, Great Yarmouth, and its place in the town. - Credit: Brian Lafferty

Mr Lafferty said a time capsule containing messages from Bishop Alan Hopes, the priests, pupils of St Mary’s and St Peter’s RC School, local politicians, volunteer groups, and parishioners, as well as coins from our era and a copy of this newspaper had been put inside the roof to mark the completion of the first phase. 

St Mary's RC Church time capsule Great Yarmouth

Member of the St Mary's RC Church congregation in Great Yarmouth with the time capsule containing items from today as well as wishes for the future. - Credit: Brian Lafferty


You may also want to watch:


St Mary's was opened in 1850 on land which, at the time, lay outside the main town.

Today it is in the heart of a compact urban area facing directly onto Regent Road with its souvenir shops, sweet treats and bustling holiday vibe.

Most Read

On a normal Sunday it has a congregation of up to 400 people drawn from some 48 nations. During the pandemic services have been broadcast via YouTube.

Restoration work St Mary's RC Great Yarmouth

Drone pictures offering a bird's eye view of urgent restoration work going on at St Mary's RC Church in Regent Road, Great Yarmouth, and its place in the town. - Credit: Brian Lafferty

Mr Lafferty said the beautiful building was at the heart of the town reaching beyond the Catholic community to welcome everyone.

Visitors who strolled in off Regent Road were impressed by its ornate beauty, but behind the scenes the church was in a parlous state.

In the 1960s the Welsh slate roof had been replaced by concrete tiles whose weight was causing huge strain on timbers.

Restoration work St Mary's RC Church Great Yarmouth

Drone pictures offering a bird's eye view of urgent restoration work going on at St Mary's RC Church in Regent Road, Great Yarmouth, and its place in the town. - Credit: Brian Lafferty

In places water had come in and ruined paintings.

Mr Lafferty said the aim was to get the whole community involved with an online candle project launching soon allowing people to make donations from £1.

"St Mary's was the first thing that was on the beach. The whole town was built up around it.

"It is important to everyone," he said.

Its architect Joseph John Scoles (1798-1863) designed a number of listed buildings in the town including St Peter's Anglican Church (later St Spyridon's Greek Orthodox Church) and Britannia Terrace on Marine Parade.
 

Restoration work St Mary's RC Church Great Yarmouth

Drone pictures offering a bird's eye view of urgent restoration work going on at St Mary's RC Church in Regent Road, Great Yarmouth, and its place in the town. - Credit: Brian Lafferty

Restoration work St Mary's RC Church Great Yarmouth

Drone pictures offering a bird's eye view of urgent restoration work going on at St Mary's RC Church in Regent Road, Great Yarmouth, and its place in the town. - Credit: Brian Lafferty

Restoration work St Mary's RC Church Great Yarmouth

Drone pictures offering a bird's eye view of urgent restoration work going on at St Mary's RC Church in Regent Road, Great Yarmouth, and its place in the town. - Credit: Brian Lafferty

Restoration work St Mary's RC Church Great Yarmouth

Drone pictures offering a bird's eye view of urgent restoration work going on at St Mary's RC Church in Regent Road, Great Yarmouth, and its place in the town. - Credit: Brian Lafferty

Restoration work St Mary's RC Church Great Yarmouth

Drone pictures offering a bird's eye view of urgent restoration work going on at St Mary's RC Church in Regent Road, Great Yarmouth, and its place in the town. - Credit: Brian Lafferty

Time capsule for St Mary's RC Church Great Yarmouth

Brian Lafferty, church treasurer with Peter Candon, chair of the parish council, placing a copy of The Great Yarmouth Mercury in the St Mary's time capsule, overseen by Father Anthony. - Credit: Brian Lafferty

time capsule St Mary's RC Church Regent Road Great Yarmouth

Father Anthony and Brian Lafferty at St Mary's RC Church with time capsule marking completion of the first phase of repairs. They are flanked by architect Gethin Harvey and project manager Luke Munford. - Credit: Brian Lafferty


Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter
Comments powered by Disqus