Community focus for N Burlingham church build project
St Andrew’s Church, North Burlingham has taken the first step in a building project which will enable it to be enjoyed by the whole community.
Earlier this month, Revd Kevin Billson signed contracts with architects signalling the start of developments to the church. The new building project aims to make improvements to several areas in the church, which will enable the building to be enjoyed fully by the community.
The hamlets of North Burlingham and Burlingham Green have several joint activities throughout the year, but currently there is no hall or meeting room anywhere in either village that can be used for such activities.
At the same time, Norfolk County Council, having developed (and continuing to expand) the Burlingham Woodland Walks, are very keen to provide facilities, specifically a kitchen and toilets, for use by the walkers.
Therefore, the church community and the County Council decided to work together to provide toilet facilities in the church for visitors to the church and walkers using Burlingham Woods. An electronic timer lock has also been installed on the church door so that the church will now be open every day of the year.
As well as improving facilities for walkers, the church is also improving the heating system and removing some of the pews to create a multi-purpose space. These improvements will enable the church to be used for more services, community activities and projects.
When deciding what the development of the church should look like the PCC contacted local schools and conducted a village survey. The church community hopes that the new facilities will enable the church building to be fully utilised, and will encourage visitors, schools and families to visit the church and enjoy use of the woodlands.
Sue Shillam, PCC Secretary said: “The results of the survey showed overwhelming support for the church and suggested changes. Although we haven’t a local school, our nearest school was interested in visiting the church for educational purposes. There was also support for worship, community activities, refreshments, concerts and conservation activities. It was felt that once the facilities were available, the church would become more of a focus in the village to residents as well as visitors using the Burlingham Woodland Walks.”
Revd Billson said: “This project is an important step to help the church share the Gospel with the local community by making the church a place of welcome and hospitality.”
The attractive church will be a familiar landmark to anyone who has driven from Norwich to Yarmouth. The magnificent tower of St Andrew’s can be seen from the road and the short drive to the church also gives access to Burlingham Woods.
The greater part of St Andrew’s church dates from the early part of the 16th century and one of its most striking features is the oak roof which is beautifully carved with a series of angels and figures on its supports.
The photo at the top shows Rev Kevin Billson, right, signing the contract with architect Ruth Brennan nearest on the left. Behind her is Nigel Rolls, vice Chair of the PCC.
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