June 19 2013 Latest news:
By DAVID FREEZER
Wednesday, March 20, 2013
Vital repair work is set to cause disruption to a 13th-century city centre church for six months after a £200,000 fundraising target was reached.
Parishioners of St George Tombland, near Norwich Cathedral, will see scaffolding erected inside and outside their church as work starts on Tuesday, April 2.
Work to Victorian-era windows at high and low levels is badly needed as iron framings are wearing away, while roof supports and structural work to the church’s south porch are also needed.
The work is due to be carried out over 24 weeks, finishing in mid-September.
Canon John Minns, who has been priest in charge at St George since 1991, said over £20,000 of the target has been raised by parishioners, around £175,000 has been donated by English Heritage and the rest has come from charitable trusts.
Canon Minns said: “The congregation have been a really loyal, hard-working little group. I think this city has more medieval churches than any other northern European city, and it’s our responsibility to maintain them for future generations.” It is far from the first major works carried out at St George Tombland however. Canon Minns estimates that around £500,000 has been spent on repairing the Grade I listed church in his 22 years.
In the early 1990s, around £90,000 was spent on structural repairs to the church tower and around 10 years ago major repairs were made to the church’s chancel.
The Friends of St George Tombland Norwich have been fundraising for many years, which has included selling postcards, coasters, tea towels and greeting cards to raise funds.
The church has a regular Sunday congregation of around 60 people, as well as smaller groups at mid-week services.
Canon Minns added: “It’s been a continuous work in progress in my 22 years and nobody is paid here, all are volunteers. In the 22 years I have been here I would say we have spent the best part of half a million pounds and our congregation have raised the best part of £60,000 in that time.”