Norfolk church begins ten-year £1m restoration
2013: An ambitious £1m project to restore one of Norfolk’s rare Greek Orthodox churches has begun and is now appealing for community support.
Stonemasons have begun phase one of a ten-year programme likely to cost around £1m to repair and restore the Grade II listed St Spyridon’s
near Great Yarmouth’s
Under English Heritage
rules the local community needs to raise 20% of the cost of restoring the tower, plus repair the clock and get it working for the first time in 20 years – a total of £20,000 a year.
Treasurer Peter Ioannou
told the EDP
: “It was a big decision from the community to make a start on a project like this. To raise the funds we are doing charity evenings in local restaurants and have all nationalities coming to support us.”
He said the orthodox community, which includes people from Romania, Bulgaria
among a growing range of nationalities, felt it was their duty to maintain the church as part of the town’s historic fabric and to guarantee it for future generations. There has been a Greek presence here in Great Yarmouth since the 1940s and a number of people are buried here.”
Father Fotios Bithas
- the only permanent Greek orthodox priest in Norfolk and Suffolk - said around 200 families were attached to the church with Sunday services seeing around 120 people. The building also housed a community hall and Greek school: “It is a big building and old building. It costs a lot to our community but we have to do this.”
Read more of this story on EDP24
Picture of St Spyridon’s Church by Simon Knott: www.norfolkchurches.co.uk