Other grants were also received from the Norfolk Churches Trust, the Garfield Weston Foundation, the Holkham Estate and the Geoffrey Watling Charity to fund their project.
A key part of the project is to make All Saints’ Waterden better known and easier to visit. A small, five place car park is being built up by the entrance to the lane. With the help of Norfolk County Council, new signposts have been erected on the two roads from which Waterden Lane is accessed.
Work got underway last November on the new car park and in the new year, work started on the repairs to the church.
As well as this the nave roof was stripped right back, its timbers strengthened and repaired, the bell-cote made good and re-seated onto the pitch of the roof, and the tiles re-laid onto new felting and battens. The temporary roof has now been dismantled and the new roof revealed.
Whilst the roof work was being done, major remedial repairs started on the stonework and brickwork around the whole building. Work has now started on the porch to the north door which was in a very poor state of repair. This porch was also used as a roost by the local barn owls who now have a splendid new nesting box, thanks to the Friends of All Saints’ Waterden, on a tree in the south of the churchyard.
For the first time in its 1,000 year history, All Saints Waterden will have gutters and down-pipes, with the rain water draining away instead of pouring straight down onto the walls. These will be installed shortly.
There is also a myriad of smaller works that need to be completed, such as improving the ancient north and south doors, putting the bell back into working order, finishing off the car park with railings and a grass surface, putting up another sign at the entrance to the church in Waterden Lane, and generally tidying up and then resowing the grass around the church walls.
However, the project will secure the church’s fabric and its simple charm will remain unchanged. When you visit Waterden Church in the future you will find the same spiritual calm and peace but, unless you look very carefully, you won’t notice much change at all.
Please note that the church is closed to all visitors whilst the work is underway. Work is expected to be completed by the end of August, when the doors will open again.