Help us save Forncett St Peter’s Church

Written by Administrator on .

Forncett St Peter Church Sept 2019 D Kirk
Photo: David Kirk

The Problems
This beautiful Grade 1 listed building has been central to life in the Forncetts since Saxon times. Now it is in desperate need of major repairs and renovations. Most important is the need to make the building watertight – extensive areas need re-roofing, failing lead work needs replacing and faulty gutters, down-pipes and surface drains need repair / replacement. Structural deterioration and cracking of external stone and flint-work has meant that areas of the churchyard have had to be cordoned off incase of falling masonry. Windows, cracked internal masonry, collapsing floor surfaces and areas of death-watch beetle all pose major challenges. The wonderful 15th century Drakes Tomb is suffering from cracking and discolouration. Once the structural work has been completed redecoration will be essential and the remarkable set of carved pew ends can be repaired.

Toilet and kitchen facilities are non-existent and the very limited heating means the church is too cold for services or community use during the winter. This is the ideal opportunity to provide these basic requirements, which will bring the church back into the centre of our life and improve it’s accessibility to visitors. We will be at pains to make changes sensitive to the historic importance of the building and its wonderful spirit of calm and peace.

The Plan
£450,000 is estimated as the combined cost of repairs and improvements. This is an eye-watering amount for a small village to raise.
The Friends of St Peter’s have been set up to spearhead the work, both of fund-raising and involving the local community.
We will be making grant applications including a major National Lottery Heritage Fund Grant (NLHF), as well as raising funds through Events, Donations and developing collaborations with other interest groups, such as Round Tower Churches Society.
A Just Giving campaign will also be started to appeal to potential supporters world-wide.

Progress

By mid 2020   NLHF Grant Expression of Interest to be submitted
    Enabling Works identified
    Community Audit to highlight how local people would like the building to be used in preparation
     
February 2020   Interviews for Project Architect
     
January 2020   Diocesan Advisory Committee team visit St Peter’s to discuss proposed works and contractor access
     
December 2019   Essential work to make the building watertight is underway.
Work underway to appoint an Architect to lead the technical aspects of the project.
     
November 2019   Norfolk Churches Trust awards grant of £1,000 for urgent repairs
     
 October 2019   Friends of St Peter’s Church is inaugurated [Link to article].
£1,125 raised as a result of the first meeting