Joy as ancient church reopens after £140,000 facelift

Diana Smith, Friends of All Saints Gresham commitee member, Peter Campbell, church warden, and Julia

Diana Smith, Peter Campbell, and Julia Drury at All Saints Church, Gresham, which is about to reopen following a refurbishment. - Credit: Danielle Booden

The doors of a 1,000-year-old Norfolk church are about to swing open again following an extensive renovation project. 

All Saints in Gresham, the tower of which was built before the Norman Conquest of 1066, has just undergone a facelift thanks to a £140,900 National Heritage Lottery Fund grant.

Diana Smith, Friends of All Saints Gresham commitee member, Peter Campbell, church warden, and Julia

Diana Smith, Friends of All Saints Gresham committee member, Peter Campbell, church warden, and Julia Drury, chair of the friends group. - Credit: Danielle Booden

The church has been closed since March last year, and will reopen from October 18, under the watchful eyed of members of its Friends committee that week on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday, 10.00am-midday and 2.30-4.30pm.

Julia Drury, chairman of the Friends, said: "We are delighted that our church can once again welcome worshippers and visitors from Gresham, north Norfolk and further afield.

All Saints Church in Gresham. Picture: Danielle Booden

All Saints Church in Gresham. - Credit: Danielle Booden

"The committee will welcome visitors, point out and explain the improvements. 


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"Refreshments will be provided and everyone is welcome."

Works have included the installation of a new rainwater dispersal system, repairs to the north chancel roof, tower, windows and re-plastering the nave. 

Julia Drury, chair of Friends of All Saints Gresham, helping clean up the newly renovated All Saints

Julia Drury, chair of Friends of All Saints Gresham, helping clean up the newly renovated church. - Credit: Danielle Booden

It is hoped the restoration will allow the church to be used for more community events

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On Wednesday, October 20 from 6.30pm, there will be a wine and cheese event to thank those who have supported the project through the Heritage Lottery Fund.

Ms Drury said: "All lottery players in our community and beyond are warmly invited to attend.

"The Samphires, a small local choir, will stage a concert on Wednesday, November 10 at 7.30pm.

A stainglass window at All Saints Church in Gresham that was taken away to be restored. Picture: Dan

A stained glass window at All Saints Church in Gresham that was taken away to be restored. - Credit: Danielle Booden

"A local art group will be exhibiting their work during the second weekend of December.

"The church will also be available free for concerts - it has excellent acoustics - exhibitions and any other suitable activities, during the autumn and winter."

Other events planned include a celebration service on October 24, and a series of free history lectures starting on November 3.

Ms Drury said: "The subject of the first lecture will be Gresham Castle and the speaker will be John Paston I, the 15th century owner of Gresham Castle. It promises to be an interesting, if unusual evening."

Anyone interested in hosting a concert or other event at the Church lane building can contact Ms Drury on 01263 577794. 


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