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Norwich churches get extra help

PUBLISHED: 06:00 16 March 2010 | UPDATED: 08:51 02 July 2010

Jennie Hawks

Jennie Hawks

Sam Emanuel

Historic churches in Norwich will now be better looked after thanks to a new project designed to help congregations understand, care for and make best use of their buildings.

Historic churches in Norwich will now be better looked after thanks to a new project designed to help congregations understand, care for and make best use of their buildings.

Jennie Hawks, who has worked on several projects for the Diocese, has been put in charge of the Churches Discovery Project, a post part-funded by English Heritage.

The new post, part of a national English Heritage scheme to offer support to congregations which care for historic buildings, is a boost to the city's numerous churches, many of which date back to medieval times.

Mrs Hawks said: “I will be responsible for the Churches Discovery Project, which aims to ensure a sustainable future for the historic places of worship in the Diocese of Norwich and within their communities. I'm looking forward to giving support to churches in openness and welcome to visitors and pilgrims, and in promoting heritage.”

The Archdeacon of Norfolk, the Venerable David Hayden, added: “In the Diocese of Norwich, we have more wonderful medieval churches than anywhere else in the world. They have been there as part of the community for hundreds of years and have so many stories to tell.

“The church members, and others in the community, have worked so hard to maintain the churches. It is a huge achievement and we are so grateful for the commitment of hundreds of people.

“We now want more people to discover the wonder of these buildings. The Churches Discovery project will seek to get our churches open Monday to Saturday, as well as on Sundays. Just opening them for worship on Sundays gives the impression that they are only for the worshipping community. They are not. We want the rest of the community and visitors to see what they have to offer.”

The Churches Discovery Project will be launched at the Hostry at Norwich Cathedral on Wednesday, April 21 at 4.30pm.

For more information on the English Heritage Support Officer scheme, visit www.english-heritage.org.uk/inspired.

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