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East Anglia’s last Wesleyan Reform Union chapel, in Swanton Abbott, invites you to celebrate and have tea

PUBLISHED: 11:00 23 May 2016

Pastor Peter Mitchell outside Swanton Abbott's Wesleyan Reform Union chapel.

 Picture: MARK BULLIMORE

Pastor Peter Mitchell outside Swanton Abbott's Wesleyan Reform Union chapel. Picture: MARK BULLIMORE

Archant Norfolk 2015

A chapel which is unique in East Anglia is holding a service to mark both the anniversary of its founding, and of its restoration.

Buried in rural north Norfolk, the Victorian Swanton Abbott building is now the only Wesleyan Reform Union chapel left in the region, according to its pastor, Peter Mitchell.

On May 28 at 3pm everyone is invited to celebrate its opening in 1856 and the successful completion of a restoration project last year.

The service will be led by the national president of the Wesleyan Reform Union, Pastor Andy Wilcock, and will be followed by tea in the chapel.

Chapel supporters were determined to keep it open when it was threatened with closure three years ago.

With the aid of a grant from the Union, and the chapel’s own reserves, they carried out a £58,000 restoration, finished last May.

The restored chapel now features disabled toilets and access, a new kitchen and lounge area, new carpets and chairs.

Mr Mitchell said weekly Sunday services were held at 11am and the chapel also hosted Tuesday coffee mornings and prayer meetings, and meetings of Swanton Abbott Parish Council.

He is keen to hear from anyone who would like to use it for retreats, or similar events, and can be contacted on 01692 218125.

Over the past decade Wesleyan chapels in north Norfolk which have closed have included those in Colby, Cawston, and Smallburgh.

The chapel is on The Street, Swanton Abbott, near North Walsham, NR10 5DX.

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