Financial boost for region's churches

HISTORIC churches in East Anglia are set to benefit from nearly £3million worth of lottery funding that has been made available to places of worship across the region.

HISTORIC churches in East Anglia are set to benefit from nearly £3million worth of lottery funding that has been made available to places of worship across the region.

English Heritage and the Heritage Lottery Fund have awarded £2.8m worth of grants for repairs to Grade I and II listed churches in the region.

The funding, which is part of the Repair Grants for Places of Worship scheme and ranges from £9,000 to £185,000, has been made available to 43 churches including 13 in Suffolk, three in Essex and 19 in Norfolk.

St Mary the Virgin church in Bramford, near Ipswich, has been given the highest grant in Suffolk, worth £149,000, which also amounts to the second highest in East Anglia.

Rev canon Roger Dedman, of St Mary the Virgin, said: "It really is very good news and we are very pleased that we can now set to work in improving the church.

"The money will be used in the recladding and conservation of lead panels at the base of the church spire which I think was last done in 1860.

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"It will be a two stage process with £11,000 spent on the preliminary and research work and £138,000 being used for the actual cost of work itself. Hopefully we can start by Christmas but it depends how everything goes.

"Unfortunately I don't know how long it will take because obviously it all depends on exactly what has to be done but it really is very encouraging.

"I have been at the church 13 years and in that time we have repaired both rows of isles, carried out substantial work on the east and south walls of church and last year spent £91,000 on two buttresses in the tower."

Elsewhere St Peter's Church in Monk Soham will receive £96,000, All Saints Church in Gazeley will get £81,000, St Mary and St Lambert in Stonham Aspal will get £77,000 and St Andrew in Sotherton £66,000.

Opinion - page 6.

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