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St Mary’s Banham Church Repairs Nearing Completion!
Since the award of a National Lottery grant of £229,000 from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) in August 2016, major progress has been made at St Mary’s Church Banham to complete the repairs to the building and to open the Grade 1 listed church as a centre for community heritage activities in addition to its historic function as a place for worship. The total project costs of £313,153 are being met by generous grants from a range of grant-making bodies and local groups. The list of funders to whom thanks are due for their support includes: HLF, without whose initial grant work of this scale could not have been achieved, and also the generosity of the Wolfson Foundation in association with ChurchCare, the Norfolk Churches Trust, the Friends of Banham Church, Banham Parish Council and The Six Villages Newsletter.
Thanks to money raised by National Lottery players, the work that has been completed by April 2017 includes structural work to the tower, the south aisle and east chancel flint-work, and lead-work repairs to the tower and aisle roof. The east chancel window was completely removed to enable its stonework and glass to be been repaired and renovated: the reinstated window is now filling the church with bright light and vivid colour - being inspected here after reinstallation. In the churchyard, improved drainage work has been completed and the muddy traces of this are already disappearing.
The project has also widened the understanding of heritage within St. Mary’s both to the local and wider communities through a range of dynamic interpretive activities, which have been taking place regularly throughout the period of the repairs. These have included two visits to the workshop to see the progress of the repairs to the chancel window, plus demonstrations on flint- and stone-masonry, taking advantage of the interest aroused by the repair work in progress. Tower-bell plus hand-bell ringing and wood-carving workshops have offered excellent opportunities for participants to learn new skills. A fascinating live ‘bat-watch’ night has also been well attended.
To enhance the heritage activities and the week-to- week running of church activities, a state of the art projector and screen have been installed with an improved sound system. These add to the variety of church services, the activities of the Youth Cafe and have also enhanced the popular film nights.
PCC Member and Project Manager Mrs. Anita Bounds commented: “The Parochial Church Council of St Mary’s is extremely grateful to all the funding bodies and groups for their support, and also for the hard work and generosity of many groups and individuals in Banham. Together they have made this complex and exciting project possible.”
Rev. Canon Steve Wright added: “Now we have our building back we appreciate it and it's spiritual message even more. It is so wonderful to have a dedicated place to pray and we are inspired now to use it for an even wider range of events that people will value.”
Scaffolding gone, revealing a rebuilt wall.
About the Heritage Lottery Fund
Thanks to National Lottery players, we invest money to help people across the UK explore, enjoy and protect the heritage they care about - from the archaeology under our feet to the historic parks and buildings we love, from precious memories and collections to rare wildlife. www.hlf.org.uk. Follow us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram and use #HLFsupported.
About Banham Parochial Church Council (PCC)
The Parish is part of the Quidenham Group of 6 Parishes, which is headed by a full-time, priest-in-charge, the Rev. Canon Stephen Wright. The Parish is run by 8 volunteer members of the PCC, including 1 Churchwarden, who are either ex officio or elected by the Annual Parochial Church Meeting (APCM) in accordance with the Church Representation Rules. The PCC has no salaried officials, either full or part-time.
For further information, images and interviews, please contact: Mrs Anita Bounds of Banham PCC on firstname.lastname@example.org or Rev. Canon Stephen Wright, 01953-887183, email@example.com