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Restorations completed on 14th century church in mid Norfolk village

PUBLISHED: 14:24 23 July 2018 | UPDATED: 14:24 23 July 2018

(L-R): Reverend Sally Kimmis, Jenny Marchant, Paul Marchant, the Bishop of Lynn, Paul Marchant, and Reader Norman Johnson outside All Saints Church Wood Norton. Photo: All Saints PCC

(L-R): Reverend Sally Kimmis, Jenny Marchant, Paul Marchant, the Bishop of Lynn, Paul Marchant, and Reader Norman Johnson outside All Saints Church Wood Norton. Photo: All Saints PCC

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Parishioners at a 14th century mid Norfolk church have celebrated its reopening after works began on the building two years ago.

The reopening service included a sermon delivered by the Bishop of Lynn. Photo: All Saints PCCThe reopening service included a sermon delivered by the Bishop of Lynn. Photo: All Saints PCC

All Saints Church, in Wood Norton, near Fakenham, was awarded £193,000 from the Heritage Lottery Fund and £15,000 from North Norfolk District Council’s Big Society Fund in 2016.

And after community fundraising provided the remainder of the money, it has now reopened its doors as a community hub with a celebration service held on Sunday, July 1.

Paul Marchant, fabric officer at the parochial church council (PCC), said: “In 2016 we also received £3,500 from the All Churches Trust, which is the charitable arm of the church insurance, and £2,000 from the Norfolk Churches Trust.

“We also raised £4,500 from holding concerts and open garden events in 2016, as well as a Norfolk evening, a talk from Keith Skipper and running various donations and appeals.”

Reverend Sally Kimmis and the Bishop of Lynn. Photo: All Saints PCCReverend Sally Kimmis and the Bishop of Lynn. Photo: All Saints PCC

Mr Marchant added: “We are helped by the fact that the heritage lottery will only donate if we can demonstrate that there’s a community cause and that the building will be used widely.”

The revamped church features a permanent exhibition on the village’s history, including information about people from Wood Norton who served in the First World War.

The church has been fitted with a sound system which works alongside hearing aids to improve the experience of people who are deaf or hard of hearing.

Other refurbishment works included an upgrading of the church heating system, the installation of a kitchen and toilet, and a new video projection system.

The building has also been decorated with carvings of owls, inspired by those nesting in the church’s surroundings, created by Norfolk carver Gerald Adams.

The restoration was carefully designed to fit with the building’s architecture and history, which dates in places back to the 14th century.

The church is known for its honeycomb-style windows.

The reopening service was held at 10.30am and included a sermon delivered by the Bishop of Lynn, the Rt Reverend Jonathan Meyrick.

All Saints Wood Norton is one of thirteen churches in the Heart of Norfolk Group

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