Norwich church holds special service

A Norwich church celebrates its new lease of life

Dear old St Mark's Church, between City Road and Hall Road, had been in desperate need of some loving care and attention and had been threatened with closure.

But now it has been given new future. It has been 'born again' and is reaching out to the community with open arms.

It was a privilege for my wife and I to be part of a splendid thanksgiving and rededication service conducted by the Bishop of Norwich, the Rt Rev Graham James, who singled out PCC treasurer Peter Phillips for special praise.

The church has had major repair work done to the roof and drainage system and interior redecoration which have totally transformed it.

Under the guidence of architect Christopher Codling and the technical expertise and craftsmanship of the builders, G F Attowe, based around the corner in Cyprus Street, this project has given St Mark's the future it deserves.

The money to pay for it had come from grants from the English Heritage Lottery Repair Fund, the Norwich Churches Trust and the John Jarrold Trust along with contributions from other trusts and legacies.

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The church also now boasts a kitchen and a toilet so more people can use it. Among those at the service was Norwich South MP Simon Wright, the archdeacon of Norwich, the Ven Jan McFarlane, two previous incumbants, John Wilson and Martin Smith and many other clergy.

And one of the lessons was read by Father Gordon Cordy, representing the Roman Catholic congregation who celebrate Mass at St Mark's on Sunday evening.

After the service, the Bishop cut a special cake made by Anne Hipper and a reception followed. The festivities continued the following evening with a concert by the Poringland Singers under the direction of Ian Elliott and a special family event for 'Back to Church' on Sunday.

St Mark's is a beautiful church and is part of the fabric of Lakenham but don't take my word for it – go and have a look for yourself.