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Ludham Ken misses out on award

PUBLISHED: 09:42 11 December 2009 | UPDATED: 15:54 03 July 2010

Don't worry Ken - we know your true worth to the community.

That was the supportive message to the church warden of St Catherine's Church at Ludham, near Great Yarmouth, who failed to win the Unsung Heroes of the Rural Churches award.

Don't worry Ken - we know your true worth to the community.

That was the supportive message to the church warden of St Catherine's Church at Ludham, near Great Yarmouth, who failed to win the Unsung Heroes of the Rural Churches award.

Ken Grapes had been nominated for the national awards for his role over the last seven years in preserving and promoting St Catherine's, parts of which date back to the 14th century.

Mr Grapes, a retired Lt Col, was the only person from Norfolk to be put forward for the finals of the awards which were organised by Country Life in recognition of Church of England volunteers across the country.

Despite Mr Grapes' efforts in helping the church become a focal point of the open churches scheme and being instrumental in organising fund raising events, he failed to win the award which was won instead by John Fall, a Yorkshire church warden.

Mr Grapes had been nominated by Jennie Hawks from the Diocese of Norwich's open churches project and who praised his work at St Catherine's yesterday.

Mrs Hawks said: “Ken is one of that wonderful band of Norfolk folk that believe in doing their bit for the community and do not do it for self gain.

“Those of us who know the amount of work that has gone into the maintenance and restoration of St Catherine's Church see Ken as a prime mover.

“He has been very helpful to me in my role as open churches officer and has an excellent grasp of what makes church open and welcoming.

“We are all very proud of him.”

Mr Grapes went up against 11 other church volunteers at the ceremony in London's Lambeth Palace last Friday.A report on the awards will be in Country Life's December 16 edition.

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