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North Runcton “Georgian Gem” project receives National Lottery Heritage Fund grant

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North Runcton Parochial Church Council (PCC) has received initial support* from The National Lottery Heritage Fund for its “Georgian Gem” project.

The Heritage Fund has awarded a Development Phase grant of £45,185 to fund a series of investigation works, community consultations and activity development sessions at the church.

The grant will enable North Runcton PCC to progress towards a full Heritage Fund Delivery Phase grant at a later date.

Made possible by National Lottery players, the project ultimately aims to conserve the fabric and heritage of All Saints’ through essential restoration work to the tower, spire roofs, rainwater goods and drains.

This will remove the church from the Historic England “At Risk Register” where it is currently classified as being “at immediate risk of deterioration”. The project will also offer a series of innovative new activities and wellbeing sessions inspired by the heritage of the church and its churchyard for learners of all ages.

This will include partnerships with local schools, community groups, the Diocese “Inspired Classrooms” initiative, King’s Lynn Borough Council, North Runcton Parish Council, the Norfolk Wild Life Trust and local wildlife and conservation groups.

As a Georgian building, All Saints Church is unique among the churches in the Diocese. As a result of the collapse of the previous medieval church tower in 1703, the nave and chancel were “laid flatt”. A new, Georgian style church was built to a design by Henry Bell, a local architect and contemporary of Christopher Wren. The work was finished 1720.

The recent installation of toilet and kitchenette facilities in All Saints’, has been key to it already being used for some community activities. Success at this Development Grant phase will allow the PCC to further build on this excellent start to the benefit of the community at large.

Commenting on the Heritage Fund grant, Churchwarden, Ken Matthews, said: “North Runcton PCC are absolutely delighted to receive this award thanks to National Lottery players. All Saints’ is a Grade I listed building and it is very timely that we can make urgent progress towards the conservation of this “Georgian Gem”, celebrating its heritage for all in our community.”