New look church blessed

MORE than a decade of dedicated fund-raising reached a celebratory end when Pakefield parish church put its sparking new facilities on show at a special blessing ceremony.

Members of the congregation of All Saints' and St Margaret's Church proudly showed off their-new look building on Sunday to the Bishop of Norwich, the Rt Rev Graham James.

Bishop Graham was given a guided tour of the �70,000 improvement work which involved building a new entrance lobby, path, creche/meeting room, kitchen and toilet at the scenic clifftop church.

As Bishop Graham blessed the church's facelift, it marked the end of 12 years of fund-raising events – among them a memorable stunt which successfully caught the public imagination.

In 2001, the Rector, Canon Bob Baker, ran the London Marathon, and completed the course with an imitation toilet cistern and seat strapped to his back and front.

On Sunday, he was beaming with pride as he showed Bishop Graham around the improved facilities, which will be used by the wider community.

Canon Baker said: 'I think it looks fantastic and it means we can play an even larger role in the community.

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'The generosity of many church members and parishioners has been truly wonderful and we hope the end result pleases everyone.'

Church warden Maureen Hill said: 'It makes the church look so much bigger, even though it is still the same size. The work has made a big difference to what we can offer here.'

As well as fund-raising events, the �70,000 project received funding from the National Churches Trust, the Suffolk Historic Churches Trust and the Adnams Trust.

Bishop Graham said the work was the perfect example of how churches should play a role in the community and help share friendship and the love of God.

All Saints' and St Margaret's, which has a congretation of about 80, is celebrating the 60th anniversary of its rededication this year after it was almost destroyed in the second world war.

Sunday also saw a special celebration service at St Andrew's Church in Roman Hill, Lowestoft, as it marked the completion of a �750,000 project to renovate, expand and enhance the building.

A community carol service is being held around the Christmas tree, opposite the Tramway pub, in London Road, Pakefield, on Wednesday evening between 6.15pm and 7pm. The singing will be led by Canon Baker and there will be mulled wine and mince pies available. The tree and lights this year have been provided by the Promoting Pakefield Group.

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