Community raises the roof for Bungay church

Treasurer Graham Gibbs outside the church which has received donations from the community to help fu

Treasurer Graham Gibbs outside the church which has received donations from the community to help fund urgent repairs. - Credit: Nick Butcher

A community has helped to raise the roof of a church which was struggling to fund essential repairs.

A fundraising campaign began late last year after water started to pour through the roof of Emmanuel Church in Upper Olland Street in Bungay, dripping on to pews, and weeks later plaster coving above the organ fell down on it.

Work began at the end of last year to repair the roof and now complete, fundraising is continuing to raise the remaining funds needed to cover the final bill for the work.

Treasurer Graham Gibbs said: 'The scaffolding has come down, the dust has cleared and we are now waterproof again.

'The letters and notes of encouragement, the reasons why people have given, have bought a tear to the eye – individual lives having been touched deeply by our presence.

'The final cost is £30,172 and we would like to thank everyone who has made a donation, big or small, because without you, we couldn't have afforded to do these essential repairs.'

The church has received a number of grants to help with repair costs, including one from the United Reformed Church of £7,500 and it can also apply to the Listed Places of Worship VAT Scheme to receive the total amount of VAT spent £5,002 which leaves a balance of £8,291 to pay back.

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Emmanuel Church has been in Bungay since 1658 and Mr Gibbs said of the building and its grounds: 'The founder of the Printing Works here in Bungay was John Childs, a staunch Congregationalist whose tomb stands proudly to the left of the path as you enter into the Emmaus Room and he has a beautiful stained glass window dedicated to him in the Lecture Hall which is part of the Bungay Town Trail.'

If anyone would like to support the fundraising campaign by donating £1 or more, contact the Treasurers - Graham and Janet Gibbs on 01379 852415, or email or by post – Emmanuel Roof Fund, c/o The Paddocks, Church Rd. Weybread, Diss, Norfolk, IP21 5TR.

Are you taking part in a fundraising event? Email or call 01502 712060 to speak to a reporter.