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Medieval church's renovations completed

PUBLISHED: 10:49 02 April 2009 | UPDATED: 13:32 03 July 2010

A historic Norfolk church was standing tall yesterday as it celebrated the completion of a £140,000 renovation project.

For six years the villagers of Strumpshaw, near Acle have raised the vast majority of funding for the work on St Mary's Church.

A historic Norfolk church was standing tall yesterday as it celebrated the completion of a £140,000 renovation project.

For six years the villagers of Strumpshaw, near Acle have raised the vast majority of funding for the work on St Mary's Church.

Thanks to the residents' strong community spirit, the 750-year-old church was able to show off its new look nave roof and resplendent stained glass window in the spring sunshine yesterday.

Villagers organised a whole host of find-raising events, including umbrella sales, barbecues and arts exhibition, to raise £120,000 for the £140,000 renovation fund. The rest of the funding came from heritage groups.

When the fund was launched £30,000 was donated in just one day by the church's congregation and residents.

Made by Norwich-based artist Karim Yasamee, the stained glass window depicts a journey of life, with its brighter colours symbolising childhood and its darker shades capturing old age.

The Rev David Wakefield, who has been at the church for two years, said: “It has just been a magnificent effort by everyone.

“The fact that such a small village has raised £140,000 for this project is a reflection of the tremendous community spirit we have here in Strumpshaw.

“The current generation have ensured that our lovely medieval church will remain both spiritually and physically in the centre of our village for future generations.

“It is also encouraging to see people coming into church to worship God in these beautiful surroundings.”

The stained glass window was donated by Strumpshaw residents, Nick and Judy Price, in memory of their parents.

Mr Price, a retired Norwich Union manager, said: “I think the church looks marvellous now and it is no surprise to me that it received so much support from the people of the village.

“Everybody who has seen St Mary's says it looks wonderful now and I agree.”

Work has started on re-thatching the St Mary's church in Somerton, near Yarmouth following an £10,000 restoration appeal.

Reed from Somerton and Martham will replace timber and stonework on the church's nave and porch roofs. The work will also see a new drainage system installed.

People from Somerton raised about 10,000 for the scheme and grants were also provided by preservation and church trusts for the work on the church, parts of which date back to the 11th century.


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