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All Saints Beighton celebrates restoration project

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The project involved extensive repairs to the Nave roof timbers (most of which were 14th century), a full rethatch, repairs to the clerestory windows including realignment of the stonework and re-glazing/re-leading, re-seating the flint facing to the clerestory walls, repairs to the Vestry to enable conversion to an accessible toilet and the installation of mains water and a kitchenette. We also included improvements to the lighting.

The whole job took over 12 months to complete but we first approached the idea in August 2014, six long years ago.

We succeeded in securing development funding from the National Lottery in 2016 but failed to get through the second round in 2017 to secure funding to deliver the project. We immediately reapplied on the advice of the National Lottery East of England team and were again granted development funding in 2018. A change of architect saw a much stronger application drawn up and thankfully this was successful at Stage Two with a grant of £221,000 awarded in February 2019. Other grants were secured from the National Churches Trust, the Garfield Weston Foundation, Norfolk Churches Trust, Allchurches Trust and the Geoffrey Watling Trust.

Together with years of herculean fundraising efforts, all funding was in place to enable the work to begin on Monday 29 July 2019.

All was going quite smoothly until COVID-19 arrived but thankfully building work resumed in mid-May and the thatcher had been able to continue during lockdown as he was a lone worker. Finally the work was completed in mid-August, except for the mains water connection which took a few more weeks to get sorted.

At last we were ready to welcome visitors back to All Saints on Saturday 26 and Sunday 27 September, followed by the visit from Bishop Alan the following week. During the service the Bishop also blessed the new altar frontal made and donated by Mrs Jan Wright of Beighton as well a new altar fall made by Mrs Kati Cowen of Reedham in memory of the late Peter Trueman, our long term Lay Reader.