Top work! Yarmouth seaside church shows off £700,000 new roof

Drone images show off new roof at St Mary's in Great Yarmouth East Anglia Drones Ltd

St Mary's Church in Regent Road, Great Yarmouth, shows off its new roof bathed in early morning sunshine. - Credit: East Anglia Drones Ltd

Drone pictures are giving an impressive bird's eye view of a seaside church's new roof.

Phase two of works at St Mary's Church, in Regent Road, Great Yarmouth to re-roof the nave got underway before Christmas and has just been completed.

Drone images show off new roof at St Mary's in Great Yarmouth East Anglia Drones Ltd

The new roof at St Mary's Catholic Church in Regent Road, Great Yarmouth. - Credit: East Anglia Drones Ltd

Church treasure Brian Lafferty said he was delighted with the results which made it look so much nicer and also protected the building for the future.

To celebrate a drone was launched at 6.30am on Monday ,July 11, before the holiday crowds gathered in the tourism thoroughfare, to record and share what had been achieved.

Drone images show off new roof at St Mary's in Great Yarmouth.

The new roof at St Mary's Church in Great Yarmouth looking 'very smart'. - Credit: East Anglia Drones Ltd

The work involved stripping back concrete tiles which were installed in the 1960s.

Billed as the perfect material they turned out to be so heavy they were pushing the walls apart and causing leaks.

St Mary's Catholic Church, Regent Road.

Flashback: The roof of the church in October 2021 when it had been partly replaced with the nave yet to be done. - Credit: Brian Lafferty

The new slate tiles looked better and would last, Mr Lafferty said.

The project was funded mainly by the department for  Digital, Culture, Media and Sport's (DCMS) recovery fund through Historic England's capital works programme via two grants.

Drone images show off new roof at St Mary's in Great Yarmouth.

The roof at St Mary's Church in Regent Road, Great Yarmouth, has been completely replaced. - Credit: East Anglia Drones Ltd

People were also invited to sponsor a tile with an inscription for posterity - an appeal supported by both Yarmouth MP Brandon Lewis and Prime Minister Boris Johnson.

Mr Lafferty said: "Everyone is so pleased. It does look smarter."

Drone images show off new roof at St Mary's in Great Yarmouth East Anglia Drones Ltd

Top work! St Mary's Church in Great Yarmouth shows off its new roof. - Credit: East Anglia Drones Ltd

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One casualty of the leaky roof, a painting - The Shrine of Our Lady of Arneburgh - still needed to be rescued with restoration costs estimated at upwards of £700,000.

Meanwhile, momentum was building for phase three, Mr Lafferty said, which involved opening up the hall to create a more usable community space.

St Mary's Church in Regent Road Great Yarmouth has a new roof

The old roof on St Mary's Church in Regent Road. The concrete roof tiles put on in the 1960s were so heavy they were pushing the walls apart. - Credit: Brian Lafferty

At present it was divided into separate rooms that could only hold small groups.

The desire was to create a community hall to compensate for the loss of the Drill Hall in York Road, now home to an arts and circus hub.

Drone images show off new roof at St Mary's in Great Yarmouth.

St Mary's Church in Great Yarmouth has a whole new roof which worshippers say looks 'beautiful'. - Credit: East Anglia Drones Ltd

The building is being formally handed back to the church on Friday, July 15.

A series of events are planned to celebrate the restoration.

St Mary's Church in Regent Road Great Yarmouth has a new roof

Fr. Alvan’s PanAfro band which will be performing in St Mary's Church in Great Yarmouth on Saturday July 16 to celebrate its new roof. - Credit: Brian Lafferty

On Saturday July 16 a Nigerian band will perform in the church from 7pm. Tickets are £10 for adults and children free.

And on July 24 Bishop Alan Hopes will visit.