A Dereham church which has been in the town for more than 240 years is entering an exciting new era.

Work has started on creating a new entrance off Chapel Walk to Dereham Baptist Church (DBC).

A badly damaged wall opposite the QD store is being taken down and replaced with a new one, with a gateway into the church’s  garden.

There will also be a new wheelchair and pram accessible entrance to the building.

Once the project is completed it will mean there will be four ways into the church – one from the main drive off the High Street, a second off Norwich Street, a third through a gate from the Ellenor Fenn Garden plus the new one.

The initial phase of the work is being carried out before Easter with an aim for it all to be completed by the summer.

The church is planning to have a special celebration event later in the year so people from the town can see what has been done.

The project - being carried out by Bunting & Son Ltd of Stibbard - is being funded by a generous legacy as well as donations from church members.

DBC lead minister the Rev Nigel Bayley said: “This is a really exciting opportunity for our church to make ourselves much more visible to the town and help more people see how God is using the building."

Associate minister the Rev Dave Ward added: “God has shown amazing blessing in making the finances available for the work and it will fulfil a vision given to us for our building to be accessible from all four directions in the town.”

As well as the Sunday services and a Saturday evening service for the Portuguese congregation, DBC is involved with a large number of activities during the week from a coffee shop to a table tennis group to a parent and toddler group.

The church is also in a partnership with the Love Dereham charity and Green Pastures, which operates the book shop and community hub in Norwich Street where the community fridge is based.

In addition DBC runs a weekly Little Fishes parent and toddler group and a twice-monthly Little Fishes Sunday family church at Toftwood Village Hall.

*For more information on the church visit the website www.derehambaptist.org.