Church plans work to benefit community
AFTER more than a decade of fundraising, building work is poised to start later this year to modernise facilities at Pakefield parish church.The congregation of All Saints and St Margaret's has spent the past 12 years raising money for improvement work, and now plans for the project have finally been drawn up.
AFTER more than a decade of fundraising, building work is poised to start later this year to modernise facilities at Pakefield parish church.
The congregation of All Saints and St Margaret's has spent the past 12 years raising money for improvement work, and now plans for the project have finally been drawn up.
The church, which is well-known clifftop landmark, is celebrating the 60th anniversary of its rededication this year after it was almost completely destroyed in the Second World War and it is hoped that the building works will allow it to be meet the needs of the local community into the future.
A new glass-walled lobby is going to be built inside the church's north-facing entrance and the steps leading in from the churchyard will be removed to provide disabled access.
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A toilet will be installed alongside a new cr�che and the porch on the south side of the church will be turned into a small kitchen.
Canon Bob Baker said: 'The church is being used so much more now by the community, so we really need the toilet and kitchen facilities.
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'We've been planning this for about 12 years. In 2001, I even ran a marathon dressed as a toilet to make the point, so we're finally seeing it come to fruition.
'It is such a great space so it will be nice to get this work done and be able to use it properly.'
He said: 'The improvements will cost about �70,000. We've raised about �35,000, which is tremendous, so we're looking for grants to cover the rest of the cost but we're going ahead with the work this year anyway.
'People have been so generous donating for years so it is important that they finally see some work getting done.'
The church is already used for a wide range of events and services, and Mr Baker said that the improvements will make it even more welcoming and useful.
The popular Messy Church event, which is held on the second Thursday of every month, sees families from around the village take part in craft activities, watch puppet shows and have supper together.
Mr Baker said: 'We have about 70 people come to that every month, and most of those are people who can't make the traditional Sunday services, so it is important that we can offer things at other times to suit our congregation.
'It is lovely to see so many families and children coming into the church, and hopefully the new facilities will allow us to do even more so that more people can get involved.'
Forthcoming events at the church include the summer fete on July 3, with the opportunity for teddy bears to parachute from the tower.