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Some Mothers Do 'Ave 'Em Norfolk church set for restoration

PUBLISHED: 12:12 04 January 2010 | UPDATED: 07:11 02 July 2010

Runham Church

Runham Church

Stephen Pullinger

A Norfolk church, which became famous when a hapless Frank Spencer disappeared through a hole in the roof during a 1970s episode of Some Mothers Do Av Em, is set to be restored.

A Norfolk church, which became famous when a hapless Frank Spencer disappeared through a hole in the roof during a 1970s episode of Some Mothers Do Av Em, is set to be restored.

The dream of determined parishioners at St Peter and St Paul Church, at Runham, between Acle and Yarmouth, is set to be finally realised this year.

After decades of unremitting decline, the parlous state of the church was exposed to millions of television viewers during the Christmas episode of the popular TV comedy show.

Weddings had stopped in the 1960s and soon after only one service a year - a carol concert - was being held.

Its remarkable turnaround began when a small group of parishioners, led by Bobbie Walsh, started to hold services again in their homes with the aim of returning to the abandoned church.

After nearly two decades of fund-raising and exhaustive grant applications, the villagers have seen the roof, stained glass windows and floor restored, and celebrated such landmarks as the return of christenings and weddings.

Now the vicar, Rev Graham Steel, hopes that this year will see the walls being restored as the final piece in the jigsaw.

He said: “They will have to put up scaffolding around the whole church so it is going to cost about £25,000. The work will involve complete re-plastering and then lime-washing the walls.”

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