After dwindling congregations and a lack of parish funding, the gates to a church in mid Norfolk have been shut for more than three years.

There has not been a service at St Peter and St Paul’s Church in the village of Wendling since a Christmas carol service was attended by only a handful of people.

Church Reverend Miriam Fife said the parish-funded place of worship was now no longer safe to enter because it had deteriorated since closing its doors.

Dereham Times: Wendling church

Revd Fife, who oversees 17 churches, said: “It’s a sad state of affairs.

“The church is in a poor way, and it wouldn’t take long before the building begins to crumble.

“There have been no services at the church for three years now.

“Parish churches are solely funded by the people in the parish – there is no pot of money or funding.”

However, there is hope for the forgotten church.

Earlier this month, the parish council agreed to take on the responsibility of maintaining the grounds of the church and Revd Fife has hopes of people in the village establishing a ‘friends of St Peter and St Paul’s Church’ group to raise funds to open its doors once more.

Dereham Times: Wendling church

“I live and hope that one day people in the parish will want to use the church again and we will be able to hold services again,” she said.

“I’d like to see there be a friend’s group with a rota for the maintenance of the church. It could even hold fundraising events in the community.

“We’d love to see the church used again.”

Wendling church, which is just off the A47 to the west of Dereham, dates back to the 14th Century.

Dereham Times: Wendling church