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Celebrating building project successes during COVID

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Ana Moskvina, Historic Church Building Support Officer shares some celebratory stories of what three churches have managed to achieve with their buildings during these challenging times.

Ana writes:

During the Covid restrictions, any achievement has become so much more valuable, and here are three churches that have reached different stages in their projects.

At St Mary’s church in North Elmham, the south chapel roof was close to collapsing and supported by scaffolding, but now the works are almost complete. Susanna Wade-Martins, the Churchwarden, writes that the work costing £57,000 (excluding VAT) ‘began just as the first lockdown began in March 2020. Immediately work ceased for five weeks and Covid restrictions meant that work was severely delayed. However, the good news is that it is nearing completion and will soon be signed off by the architect.’

In the meantime, St Mary’s church in North Tuddenham has reached another, equally exciting, phase. Major works to the church’s tower have just started, following £385,000 being secured. Mike Smith, the Fabric Officer, has written: ‘It has definitely been worth the 2-year campaign locals have fought to raise the serious money to enable the tower to be restored. I thank all those who have made this possible – individuals, charities and many more – to ensure that St Mary’s tower will remain an integral part of this treasured church for centuries to come.’

Finally, St. Lawrence’s church at Harpley has just secured the necessary £64,000 to fix the roofs following lead thefts and will be soon ready to start the repairs. The PCC Secretary Gina Wagg, who has worked hard to secure the funding, writes: ‘Along the way, there have been high points when we have received grant offers, and low points, when we went into lockdown and our Heritage Lottery Fund application was abandoned. We feel we have reached the end of the first stage of the project, and now look forward to the work being carried out later this year’.

I hope these stories are inspiring and would like to thank all of you for working so hard to repair your church buildings.

If you would like help or advice relating to church buildings on the Historic England At Risk Register or fundraising, please contact DAC support