Crumbling church tower appeal hoping to benefit from Cash For Charities campaign

The inside of St Mary's church tower in Surlingham which needs repairing.

The inside of St Mary's church tower in Surlingham which needs repairing. - Credit: Derry Kelleher

Urgent repairs are needed at a medieval church tower which is at risk of collapsing if the major work is not done, according to concerned volunteers.

The Grade II*-listed round tower at St Mary's Church in Surlingham, south of Norwich, dates back to the early 13th century and features six bells.

But two of the bells, cast in 1381, cannot be rung because of structural issues within the tower including the corrosion of the cast iron frame inside the belfry caused by the expansion of internal ironwork and loose areas of external flintwork.

St Mary's Parochial Church Council (PCC) needs to raise between £90,000-£130,000 for the repairs and the Surlingham Church & Poor Charity, which was formed centuries ago, is helping the appeal.

And you can help the charity by supporting it through this paper's Cash For Charities campaign in which readers can collect coupons for over 120 Norfolk and Suffolk groups up until July 3.

The tokens, which are in the Eastern Daily Press, Norwich Evening News and sister weekly titles, have to be collated by individual charities and £20,000 will be shared between organisations depending on how many coupons are collected.

Reporter Sophie Wyllie holding a Cash For Charities campaign coupon

Reporter Sophie Wyllie holding a Cash For Charities campaign coupon. Picture: Danielle Booden - Credit: Danielle Booden

Derry Kelleher, chairman of the PCC, said: "The significance of St Mary’s Church has many dimensions. It has played a crucial role in the lives of Surlingham families. This work therefore requires urgent attention in order to ensure that the risk of any further deterioration or collapse is avoided."

He hoped that building work could start next year and the PCC will apply for various grants.

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Another charity which is hoping to benefit from Cash For Charities is Pakefield Singers near Lowestoft which raises its own funds through concerts.

Pakefield Singers at a live concert in October 2019 at All Saints' and St Margaret's Church in Pakefield.

Pakefield Singers at their last live concert in October 2019 at All Saints' and St Margaret's Church in Pakefield before the coronavirus lockdown in March 2020. - Credit: Graham Betts

The 65-strong choir, which includes singers aged 18-89, wants to use any funds raised through Cash For Charities to go towards a free performance for the community on July 10 outside All Saints' and St Margaret's Church in Pakefield.

Christine Mason, Pakefield Singers chair, said: "We are always on a  knife edge when it comes to funding. It has been a tough year but we are determined to keep going. Singing is so good for positive mental health and wellbeing."

For more information email

What charities have signed up?

1st Attleborough (St Mary's) Scout Group

1st Bungay (School) Sea Scout Group

1st Caister Scout Group

1st Hoveton & Wroxham Scout Group

1st Mattishall Scout Group

1st Snettisham Scout Group

1st Southwold and Reydon Scout Group

1st Wymondham Scout Group

2nd Wells Brownies

469 Lowestoft Air Cadets

Age UK Norfolk

All Saints' Church, Threxton

Allsorts support services CIC, Lowestoft

Asperger East Anglia

Astro Brain Tumour Fund, Hunstanton

Aylsham Older People's Association

Bact Community Transport. Bungay

Beccles Men's Shed

Beccles Lido Limited

Big C

Caister Youth and Community Centre, Caister-on-Sea

Cancer Community Chest, Norwich

Carers Matter Norfolk, Young Carers & Families

Caring Friends for Cancer Mid Norfolk

Charles Burrell Centre, Thetford

City of Norwich Aviation Museum

City WI Norwich

Company of Four, Norwich

Dereham Cancer Care

Dereham Men's Shed

Dereham Theatre Company

Ditchingham Men's Shed

DPA Performing Arts Academy, Gorleston

East Anglian Air Ambulance

East Anglia’s Children’s Hospices

East of England Apples & Orchards Project, Fakenham

Edith Cavell Day Centre, Swardeston

FEED Waveney Community, Lowestoft

First Dereham Scout Group

First Focus, Fakenham

Fresh Start Future Enterprises Ltd, Norwich

Friend in Deed, Cawston

Friends of Clinks Care Farm, Toft Monks

Get Me Out The Four Walls, Norwich

Great Ryburgh Playing Field

Great Yarmouth Gateway Club

Guide Dogs For The Blind - King's Lynn branch

Hanworth with Gunton Memorial Hall

Harleston and District Young Farmers

Headway Norfolk and Waveney

Hear for Norfolk (Norfolk Deaf Association)

Hepworth Recreation Ground, near Diss

Hethersett Jubilee Youth Club

Home-Start Suffolk

Home-Start Norfolk

How Hill Trust

Ingham Village Hall

Keeping Abreast, Norwich

Little Snoring Playgroup

Louise Hamilton Trust, Potter Heigham

Lowestoft Museum

MenTalkHealth, Thorpe St Andrew

Motor Neurone Disease Association - Kings Lynn group

N&N Hospitals Charity

Nansa (Norfolk and Norwich SEND Association)

Narborough and Narford Community Centre

Nelson's Journey

Norfolk Accident Rescue Service (NARS)

Norfolk Citizens Advice

Norfolk Community Law Service

Norfolk Family Carers

Norfolk Federation of WIs

Norfolk SEN Network

Norfolk, Norwich and Waveney Branch of the Motor Neurone Disease Association

North Lynn Methodist Church

North Walsham Play

North Wootton Village Hall

Norwich & District Diabetes Youth Group

Norwich Foodbank

Norwich Marchesi Rotary Benevolent Account

Norwich Samaritans

Oak Grove Community Church, Norwich

Oulton Broad Water Sports Centre

Pakefield Singers

People For Animals Care Trust, Woodrising

People's Foundation of South Norfolk and Broadland

Priscilla Bacon Hospice

River Waveney Trust, Harleston

Rotary Club of Bungay

Rotary Club of Downham Market Trust Fund

RSPCA East Norfolk

Runhall Recreation Ground

Rural Coffee Caravan, Harleston

SENsational Families, Lyng

Silver Road Community Centre, Norwich

Sing Your Heart Out, Norfolk

Southwold Sailors Reading Room

Sprowston Parochial Church Council

St Martins, Norwich

St Mary's Church, Tittleshall

St. John Ambulance

Still Good Food, Bury St Edmunds

Star Throwers CIO, Wymondham

Sue Lambert Trust, Norwich

Surlingham Church & Poor Charity

Swainsthorpe Community Charity Trust

Swan Youth Project, Downham Market

The 389th Bomb Group Memorial Exhibition Hethel

The BUILD Charity, Norwich

The Charing Cross Centre, Norwich

The Clare School, Norwich

The Friends of Kelling Hospital

The Hamlet Charity, Norwich

The Museum of the Broads, Stalham

The Pastures

Thetford & District Dementia Support Group

Third Thorpe Rainbows, Thorpe St Andrew

Three Rivers Talking Newspaper, Bungay

Waveney Enterprises Craft Workshop, Beccles

West Norwich Lions

Whitwell Hall Country Centre Ltd

William Cowper Preschool Nursery, Dereham

Wymondham and Attleborough Talking Newspaper

YMCA Norfolk