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South Norfolk church needs fundraising help

PUBLISHED: 09:00 11 April 2010 | UPDATED: 09:35 02 July 2010

Members of a commintuy group who have been raising money to renovate the church in Flordon so it can be used as a comminuty centre too.

Members of a commintuy group who have been raising money to renovate the church in Flordon so it can be used as a comminuty centre too.

Stephanie Brooks

Villagers are appealing for people to get behind a fundraising campaign to transform a run-down south Norfolk church into a thriving community centre.

Villagers are appealing for people to get behind a fundraising campaign to transform a run-down south Norfolk church into a thriving community centre.

The Flordon Community Group has spent the last five years working to collect more than £230,000 to rejuvenate St Michael's church due to fears it could fall into disuse.

So far it has received £117,000 in donations and a further £55,000 has been pledged, but it continues to look for financial backing with the hope of hitting its fund-raising total and completing the project this year.

The vision is to turn the church, which is almost a century old, into a place which can be used by community groups and family functions, but will still remain a place of worship.

David Harrison, member of the Flordon Community Group, said: “You look at a lot of country churches and you see that they risk falling into disuse as congregation numbers fall. We didn't want that here. There's nowhere else people can meet in the village.”

With the money raised so far, the group has been able to repair the church walls and its roof. In the next few months it wants to turn its attention to the building's interior by installing a kitchen, toilets, heating, relaying the flooring and replacing the pews with chairs. Historic features, such as the chancel and altar, will remain but they will be roped off when functions take place.

As well as the diocese, Mr Harrison said permission had to be sought from various restoration and heritage organisations.

He added that although some church-goers were sceptical about the changes, the majority of people were onboard with the scheme.

The group now hopes people will come out in support of its latest fund-raising event so it can find that final £60,000 needed to turn its dream into reality.

Wreningham Village Hall will host the Official Chicago Blues Brothers Show on April 30, from 7.30pm, with all proceeds being donated to the project.

Tickets, which must be booked in advance, cost £13 for adults and £7 for children. For more information, call 01508 470118 or 01508 471888.

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