A labour of love
St George Tombland is a 13th century grade 1 listed building and is one of eight medieval churches in the city still in regular use.
Old age has taken its toll and over recent years we have had to undertake major works on the building. These have included, in 2008 restoring the clock tower and building a disabled toilet as well as a foldaway kitchen. More recently during 2013 to 2015 we undertook major work, which involved refurbishing the clerestory windows and replacing outer brickwork. Additionally, the south porch and the south-west window were restored, tie bars installed, and new corbels to support the nave roof. In 2016 the electric pew heaters were replaced with more efficient units.
Currently we are about to undertake restoring the medieval staircase in the tower turret which is beginning to collapse. At the same time we will be opening up the north porch doors which were the original entrance to the church.
None of the above could have been accomplished without the generous support of our congregation in giving both money and time; the latter in respect of appeal letters and applications for grants. We were also supported by a number of local charities as well as substantial funding via English Heritage and subsequently the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF). Indeed it is only through the support of the latter that we are able to embark on the restoration of the tower turret and the north porch door.
We do have a duty to care for the building entrusted to us, both as a place of worship but also as part of the heritage of Norwich and the country. Apart from this, the benefits have included, ‘a working together’ by numerous members of the congregation who undertook various tasks, making the building more user friendly for both regular worshippers and visitors and when the current north porch work is completed, providing easy disabled access.
Finally, money included HLF support continues to become ever tighter and the information required more rigorous. We would be happy to share our experiences and any expertise we have with others.
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