Three churches in one churchyard; Reepham awarded £18,300 grant

Author: Geoff Freeman

Published on: 7 June 2015

Reepham PCC have received Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) support for their Three Churches in one Churchyard project.

The project aims to repair and restore the mediaeval tower of St Mary’s Church because of the poor condition of its roof and stonework. An initial grant of £18,300 has been awarded by HLF to help Reepham PCC to progress their plans to apply for a full grant later this year. The anticipated cost of the whole project will be approximately £305,000. This first development phase is due to cost £32,000.

Reepham is unique in that its churchyard has three churches, belonging to three different parishes. Two churches stand complete today, the third has only a fragment of wall remaining. Alongside the essential restoration and repair work to the tower of St Mary’s, the PCC plans to discover more of the history and the outline of the third church, All Saints Hackford. The work will involve a geophysical survey, and the development of a trail and information resources for visitors.

Both Reepham Primary and Reepham High Schools are keen to be involved at all stages, and there are also plans to involve the community in history and archaeological days.

St Mary’s, Reepham and St Michael’s, Whitwell stand in the heart of Reepham, just a stones-throw from the Market Place. Both churches are in frequent use. St Mary’s is the primary place for worship and is open daily. St Michael’s, which was completely refurbished in 2011, is well-used by church and community groups.

The Rector, the Revd Margaret Dean said:

“‘We are delighted that the Heritage Lottery Fund has given us this support. The tower needs urgent repair and we have had to fence off the base for over a year because of the danger of masonry falling onto the public footpath immediately below. It is also very exciting to be given the opportunity to explore the ruin of All Saints, which we hope will not only reveal more of its history but also offer the whole community an outdoor space for prayer and reflection.”

A first-round pass means the project meets HLF criteria for funding and the HLF believe the project has potential to deliver high-quality benefits and value for Lottery money. The application was in competition with other supportable projects, so a first round pass is an endorsement of outline proposals. Having been awarded a first-round pass, the project now has up to 12 months to submit fully developed proposals to compete for a firm award. On occasion, an applicant with a first round pass will also be awarded development funding towards the development of their scheme.

Find out more about HLF grants and funding at

The author...

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Geoff Freeman

Parish Funding Support Officer

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