Norwich churches celebrate new lease of life
2010: Two Norwich churches are celebrating after major work has been completed to leaking roofs and damaged buildings after attacks by lead thieves and the weather.
Christ Church, Eaton, fought back against lead thieves to complete £80k of repairs and improvements and provide a lighter, drier and warmer welcome for visitors. The work has just been completed to lighten children’s areas, improve insulation and decoration, repair roofs and drains, put in more radiators, heating, hot water, storage space and a sink.
The roofing and drainage in the south of the church needed repair and upgrading. The children’s rooms in the north were dark and damp and needed more ventilation and storage space and a sink with running hot water. After consultations with English Heritage and other bodies starting over a year ago, work began in early June, and lead thieves struck in July, just as new lead had been put on the roof, causing £2k worth of damage.
Vicar, the Rev Dr Patrick Richmond, said: “We’re delighted to have completed these repairs and improvements and now face the winter cold, dark and rain with warmth, light and hope. We gave thanks to God at our harvest festival on Sunday and I’d like to thank the many people who have made this possible. We’ve been able to finance these works from the donations of so many in the past, but more fundraising is a priority if we are to maintain and improve this beautiful building for the future.”
Anybody who would like to donate funds to the church should visit www.eatonparish.com
or write to Parishes Office, 41 Church Lane, Norwich, NR4 6NW.
Meanwhile, at St Mark’s Church in Lakenham, Norwich
(pictured right), a service of Thanksgiving and Rededication was conducted by The Bishop of Norwich, the Rt Rev Graham James
on September 24.
The church reopened at Pentecost after a full programme of repairs both inside and out. Both Anglican and Roman Catholic congregations meet in the church and community groups are using the re-vamped building.
The leaking roof at St Mark’s Church, Lakenham had caused severe damage to the plasterwork, and without the support of English Heritage and the Lottery Repair Fund, it is likely that the church would have had to close within a few years.
Treasurer Peter Phillips, who was key to the project, said: "As it is, the church looks splendid; while the new roof is hardly visible, the newly decorated interior is a total transformation from the stained and peeling walls and ceiling of before, raising the spirits and bringing new hope to both the Anglican and the Roman Catholic congregations who share the church for worship. In addition, the Parochial Church Council (PCC) raised enough funds for the old flower room to be converted into a toilet and a new servery to be constructed."
During the year of closure, both congregations have worshipped in the Church Hall, so services have continued without a break.
The thanksgiving service was also attended by Norwich South MP Simon Wright, city Sheriff Derek James and previous incumbents John Wilson and Martin Smith.
Pictured top is the repaired roof at Christ Church Eaton.