Reepham Parochial Church Council has received a grant of £216,000 from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) for the completion of the Three Churches Project.
A first-stage grant of £18,000 was awarded in March 2015 to carry out initial investigative work and to seek the necessary permissions.
As a result of the lottery funding, the project will now be able to repair and restore the medieval tower of St Mary’s church in Reepham because of the poor condition of its roof and stonework.
Pews in the north aisle of St Mary’s will also be removed to open up space, and a new handrail will be installed on the steps between St Mary’s and the adjoining St Michael’s.
The ruin of All Saints will be conserved and the outline of this third church, identified through the results of a geophysical search, will be highlighted.
Three archaeological test pits will be dug within the area of All Saints, which will involve Reepham’s primary and high schools, as well as the local community. There will also be opportunities for young people to gain work experience in stonework conservation.
Following this work, information boards will be installed and a trail devised with accompanying leaflets so visitors can be guided around the unique heritage of Reepham’s three churches in one churchyard.
St Mary’s and St Michael’s churches are physically linked together, the latter having been completely refurbished in 2011 and is used for both church and community activities.
The Rector, Revd Margaret Dean, said: “We are delighted that the Heritage Lottery Fund has awarded us a second round grant for this exciting project, and we are enormously grateful to the local community for its enthusiasm and generosity thus far.
“The grant will enable us to restore the tower which, because of falling masonry, has become a danger to passers-by.
“The work on the north aisle will open up St Mary’s for increased movement and flexibility in worship and access for visitors.
“The work in the churchyard will enrich the experience of visitors and parishioners in appreciating the site of the third church of All Saints.”
See our earlier stories:
- Plans for All Saints Hackford to become a place of reflection
- Gift day raises funds for Three Churches Project
- Three Churches Project gets the green light
- Lottery funding bid to repair St Mary’s church tower