Denton church on the ‘Heritage at Risk’ register given huge cash boost for repairs

Members of the community celebrate a funding boost for St Mary's Church in Denton.

Members of the community celebrate a funding boost for St Mary's Church in Denton. - Credit: Archant

A Norfolk church which has been placed on the Heritage at Risk register has received a cash boost to carry out urgent repairs.

A grant for £249,400 has been awarded to St Mary’s Church in Denton by the Heritage Lottery Fund.

The money will pay for repairs to the roof of the north and south aisle, work to the drainage system and masonry repairs to the porch and tower.

Johnnie Carslake, church fabric officer, said: “We are over the moon with the grant and it is a huge relief because it is the third time we have applied. The church is probably about 900 years old and when they built it they probably didn’t think it would still be standing here today.

“Over the years the custodians of the building have maintained as well as rebuilt and added to it and it is now our generation’s turn to look after it.”

The church was placed on the Historic England Heritage at Risk register in 2014 - which aims to protect and manage important buildings at risk of being lost to the nation.

Church members have been aware of the structural issues for some time as well as problems with rising damp and ingress of rainwater.

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The grant, awarded to the Parochial Church Council of St Mary’s, is split into two stages, with £24,400 being given to develop the repair plans and £225,000 to deliver them if all requirements are met.

Mr Carslake said: “This year will be for development work with assessments, surveys and costs leading to a delivery in 2017 of urgent extensive repairs to our church. In due course you will see various banners in and around St Mary’s and the village and anybody will be able to visit the church to view the work that is taking place.”

And 2018 is being dedicated to a year of celebration at the church, which will kick off a month before in December with an angel festival and also includes plans for an event to mark the end of the First World War.

Revd Chris Hutton, rector at St Mary’s added: “We are delighted with the news which will help to secure the future of the church building. It will enable St Mary’s to continue to serve the community of Denton and enable the church to be used for many more years.”

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