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Flushed with success - church has new facilities thanks to funding appeal

PUBLISHED: 17:25 16 January 2018 | UPDATED: 17:25 16 January 2018

All Saints Church in Swanton Morley. Byline: Sonya Duncan Copyright: Archant 2018

All Saints Church in Swanton Morley. Byline: Sonya Duncan Copyright: Archant 2018

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It has cost a pretty penny to spend a penny but now visitors to a mid Norfolk church have the use of all the mod cons.

Swanton Morley church's new facilities. Byline: Sonya Duncan Copyright: Archant 2018Swanton Morley church's new facilities. Byline: Sonya Duncan Copyright: Archant 2018

After several years of fundraising a new toilet, kitchen and storage facilities at All Saints in Swanton Morley will be officially dedicated by the Archdeacon of Lynn, the Venerable John Ashe, at a special service on Sunday.

Donations and grants totalling around £40,000 have been put towards the project to enable them to provide not only the facilities that everyone now takes for granted, but also encourage greater use of the church as a venue for concerts, lectures and other events.

The project has had its complications, not least in getting a water supply into the 14th century church on top of a hill at the end of the village.

But project officer Judy Stone said they were delighted with the craftsmaship by Robson Construction to build facilities that blend in so well with the church’s interior.

Archdeacon of Lynn John Ashe. Picture: Ian BurtArchdeacon of Lynn John Ashe. Picture: Ian Burt

Limed oak doors perfectly match the medieval stone work and clever openings minimise the space taken up at the back of the church.

All the work had to be approved by the Diocesan Advisory Committee, which acts like a planning committee for church works.

“We are still waiting for the water to be connected but we hope that will be this week,” said Mrs Stone.

“The work has been so beautifully done with such attention to detail.”

Swanton Morley church's new facilities. Byline: Sonya Duncan Copyright: Archant 2018Swanton Morley church's new facilities. Byline: Sonya Duncan Copyright: Archant 2018

Where old vestries once stood there is now an accessible toilet and a flower and utility room with boxes full of poppies and other artificial flowers stored for special occasions.

A kitchenette means refreshments can easily be served while bookshelves with sliding doors neatly hold the hymn books and service sheets which had previously been at risk of being spoiled by bats.

The church has an active bat population and is being surveyed as part of a pilot scheme to find out the best ways for congregations to live in harmony with the protected creatures.

Mrs Stone said: “As so many donations were anonymous we would love people to come to the service on Sunday so we could publicly thank them and tell them how delighted we are to have completed the project.”

The service will start at 2.30pm.

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