Joy as coastal church gets lifeline grant

Retired Cromer bank manager Martin Braybrook said: "Nobody seems to be able to make a decision." P

Martin Braybrook. - Credit: Karen Bethell

Much-need work to the roof, parapets and rainwater gutters at All Saints Church in Beeston Regis can now go ahead thanks to a £22,000 grant from a government culture recovery fund. 

The works to the church - which has stood sentinel over the cliffs between Cromer and Sheringham for about 800 years - had been put off for years due to a lack of funds. 

Martin Braybrook, treasurer of Beeston Regis parochial church council, said he was delighted the project could now proceed. 

All Saints Church at Beeston Regis in north Norfolk. 

All Saints Church at Beeston Regis in north Norfolk. - Credit: Martin Braybrook

Mr Braybrook said: "This grant is going to be a tremendous help to a small church like ours.

"This essential work was identified at a quinquennial inspection four and a half years ago but until now we just didn’t have the funds to carry it out.

"This will cover the bulk of the repair bill and we have also received a smaller grant of £1,500 from the Norfolk Churches Trust. Beeston Regis Church has stood on its present site for some 800 years and is much loved by residents and holiday makers alike."

Mr Braybrook said that like all churches,  All Saints had been been badly affected by the pandemic. But they had plans for a family service on Christmas Day and there were hopes regular weekly services could resume early in 2021.

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Beeston Regis was once a hive of religious activity on the north Norfolk coast. The ruins of a former Augustinian Priory stand nearby. Unlike the clerics at most other priories, at Beeston they got involved in the community, preaching at nearby churches and running a school for boys. 

MORE: Weird Norfolk: The farmer and the ghost, Beeston Regis

The church is one of 162 historic places across the country benefiting from the fund - from Durham Cathedral to the dinosaur sculptures at Crystal Palace Park in Bromley. 

Duncan Wilson, Historic England's chief executive, said: “This funding is a lifeline which is kickstarting essential repairs and maintenance at many of our most precious historic sites, so they can begin to recover from the damaging effects of Covid-19. It is also providing employment for skilled craft workers who help to keep historic places alive and the wheels of the heritage sector turning.”