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Renewed fundraising appeal for Swanton Morley church

PUBLISHED: 07:45 03 July 2013 | UPDATED: 07:46 03 July 2013

Friends of All Saints Church in Swanton Morley are launching a fundrasing drive to pay for a new kitchen and toliets. Pictured at the church is David Stone. Picture: Ian Burt

Friends of All Saints Church in Swanton Morley are launching a fundrasing drive to pay for a new kitchen and toliets. Pictured at the church is David Stone. Picture: Ian Burt

Archant © 2013

A renewed fundraising appeal has been launched to pay for vital improvements to Swanton Morley’s church – after recent electrical and roof repairs drained £40,000 from the ancient building’s bank account.

So far this year, the Friends of All Saints Church have contributed £21,000 towards a complete overhaul of the building’s electrical system, having already spent £20,000 on repairing and re-leading the tower roof three years ago.

But, with the end ambition of creating a self-sustaining community venue which can host its own fundraising events and concerts, the group is now redoubling its efforts to help find another £50,000 for new kitchen and toilet facilities.

The appeal in the parish, near Dereham, will begin with a Great Village Yard Sale on July 13, with 28 different locations already committed to taking part.

An Auction of Promises will be held in the church a week later, on the evening of July 20, where people can bid for about 60 charity auction lots donated by local companies.

David Stone, of the Friends of All Saints Church, said: “We have always tried to make the church self-sustaining in terms of making it more useful to the general public.

“We are raising some money through concerts, but they have been difficult to get people to go to because it is so jolly cold in the winter.

“We have now got some heating in, but we have not got any toilet facilities, which is a big drawback in putting on a significant event.

“After the last few years, the church is now waterproof, the roof has been repaired and we have got the surface drains and the electrics renewed. So now we are taking a deep breath and saying: ‘We have not got much money left, but what does the Parochial Church Council want our help with in the future?’”

The church is run by the Parochial Church Council (PCC), a small group of volunteers drawn from the congregation, while the Friends is a registered charity with about 100 subscribing members whose objective is to raise funds for maintenance and restoration. Other major contributions made by the Friends in recent years include £18,000 to have the five bells in the tower re-tuned and a sixth bell recast in 2000, another £18,000 to restore the chancel roof in 2004 and £1,900 towards the cost of repainting the clock face in 2007.

The Auction of Promises and Hog Roast Supper will be held on July 20. The bar will be open from 6pm and the auction starts at 7.30pm, with a diverse range of donated “promises” for sale including holidays, restaurant vouchers, tickets to tourist attractions, shooting lessons, racecourse passes, and a distillery tour.

Tickets cost £7.50 and are available from James Layte on 01362 637793 or David Stone on 01362 637592.

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