Church reveals new plans for £300,000 application to fund vital repairs

St Margaret's Church, Lowestoft. photo: Nick Butcher.

St Margaret's Church, Lowestoft. photo: Nick Butcher. - Credit: Nick Butcher

A Grade I listed church has revealed a series of planned 'heritage activities' to help bolster a £300,000 application for vital repair work.

Church warden Pam Shaw and Rev Michael Asquith. Photo: James Carr

Church warden Pam Shaw and Rev Michael Asquith. Photo: James Carr - Credit: Archant

On Saturday, St Margaret's Church, in Hollingsworth Road, Lowestoft, hosted its first 'Heritage Coffee and Cake Morning' to showcase initiatives which could be included on its new Heritage Lottery Fund application.

In 2016 the church put forward a £300,000 application to the Heritage Lottery Fund under the Places of Worship Scheme.

This was to repair the clerestory windows and antiquated boiler. However things did not go to plan.

Church warden Pam Shaw said: 'Halfway through the process it was announced the scheme would end – it was oversubscribed and despite having a good application we were turned down.'

St Margaret's Heritage Coffee and Cake morning. photo: James Carr

St Margaret's Heritage Coffee and Cake morning. photo: James Carr - Credit: Archant

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In the intervening years the problems have only increased with the faulty windows causing 'terrible draughts' and the boiler being 'absolutely on its last gasp'.

Mrs Shaw said: 'We are now putting in for another grant under the Heritage Lottery.

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'But the competition is enormous – we are competing with tourist attractions and stately homes.'

Before the application process can begin the 750-year-old church must have planned 'heritage activities' in place.

These initiatives must share the church's heritage with the community.

Mrs Shaw said: 'The emphasis is on learning and lasting. People learning from what we do and it having a lasting community impact.'

The four activities suggested include the digitisation of parish records; production of a mural celebrating the church's history; the creation of a churchyard trail focusing on the architecture, history and wildlife and a long 'Heritage Walk' from Lowestoft's Ness Point to the church.

The 'Heritage Walk' would feature specialised QR codes along the route – which when scanned through a phone will provide historical information.

Those in attendance were asked to complete a questionnaire which will be used in the funding application to illustrate public backing.

Mrs Shaw said: 'We need to indicate support for what we are doing and so we are also appealing for letters from the public.

'The most important thing is have plans in place and to show the input and support of the public.'

To have your say or show support, write to St Margaret's Rectory, 147 Hollingsworth Road, Lowestoft, NR2 4BW

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