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Historic coastal church awarded National Lottery Heritage Fund grant

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This follows an application made to the National Lottery Heritage Fund with the support of the local community, including Waveney M.P. Peter Aldous, Kessingland Parish Council, the village Church of England Primary Academy, and a diversity of village businesses and community voluntary groups.

The church has a fine flint flushwork tower, which has been a landmark for seafarers since it was built in the mid-fifteenth century and has many mementos of the fishing heritage of the village. However, the seventeenth-century thatched roof is in a dilapidated state, and with additional water damage to the buttresses, the church was officially declared ‘at risk’ and in danger of closure.

The project to carry out essential urgent repairs is expected to cost around £220,000 in total, with over £37,000 of this amount already having been raised by local residents and supporters. It includes the creation of a new heritage area in the church and new guides of the church and village, with the involvement of the Church of England Primary Academy. This project will enhance the attractiveness of the church and village to visitors to this small holiday resort. In addition, the churchyard will be made more wildlife-friendly and extra church-centered social activities will be developed for the village community.

The Revd Mandy Bishop, the Rector of Kessingland Benefice said:

“We are delighted to receive this funding. It validates the huge local support and effort that has gone into securing the long-term future of this vital building for our community. St Edmund, Kessingland Parish Church seeks to serve its community from Cradle to Grave and has in the past two years seen substantial growth in numbers and people wanting to assist us to serve our community. Besides providing services of worship, St Edmund’s Church regularly stages community outreach events and supports local groups who use the Church Centre. Now, thanks to all National Lottery Players, and all donors and fundraisers the project will restore St Edmund’s roof so that it can continue to serve its community through the twenty-first century. We give our heartfelt thanks to the National Lottery Players everywhere and our wonderful community who have made this possible. THANK YOU. TOGETHER WE DID IT!”