Joy as church restoration is completed in time for Christmas celebrations
- Credit: Nick Butcher
Parishioners are celebrating as work to restore a village church has been completed.
A restoration project last over a year has taken place at St Margaret’s in Fleggburgh, near Great Yarmouth, bringing the Grade II* listed church back to its former glory.
The total cost of the work was £240,000, with a grant of £190,000 from the Heritage Lottery Fund and smaller grants from nine other trusts and foundations including Norfolk Churches Trust and Geoffrey Watling.
The head of the Heritage Lottery Fund in the East of England, Robyn Llewellyn, said the church has a unique history and has played an important role in village life for centuries.
She added: “Thanks to money raised by National Lottery players, we were pleased to support this project which will secure a bright future for the church – and its thatched roof – and enable people of all ages to explore its history.”
The building, which dates from medieval times, is one of only 53 completely thatched churches left in the county.
Its roof has now been completely rethatched thanks to work carried out by thatcher Mick Alfred using Norfolk reed.
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Other works included installing drainage and soakaways around the outside perimeter of church, repairs to the parapets, gables and buttresses including major works on east nave wall and buttress on north wall tower.
A new dormer window was installed, the internal walls rerendered and painted and a new set of church gates put up.
John Clarke, who is a member of the church council and project leader thanked those who carried out the work on the church.
He added: “My family has had a long association with Fleggburgh church and I hope the heritage activities we are planning will encourage more families to visit our church.”
Some of the village heritage activities include the formation of a bell ringing team, the compilation of a historic guide to the church and a local school production of a children’s guide to the church.
There is an exhibition of the building works inside the church and an exhibition of a school project on thatching.
An official re-opening of the church and dedication service will be conducted by the Bishop of Thetford on Sunday, December 10 at 10.30am.