CHURCHGOERS across Suffolk are celebrating after being awarded a pot of almost £330,000 to spend on vital repairs for their historic places of worship.

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The money has been handed over by the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) as part of an ongoing programme of grants.

Among those to benefit is St Andrew in Little Glemham, near Framlingham, which is Grade I listed and received £115,000.

The money will be used to repair the tower and a mausoleum, which was built for the North family who lived at Glemham Hall during the 18th Century.

Reverend Barrie Slatter, vicar at St Andrew Church, said they were delighted to receive the money. He said they would start initial investigations this year to see exactly what work had to be done, before beginning the repairs in 2014.

Rev Slatter added: “We’ve still got a lot of fundraising to do on our own. We now need to find another £15,000-£20,000.”

Elsewhere, the Grade I listed All Saints Church in Laxfield received a grant of £127,000, which will used to repair two faces of the 15th Century tower along with one of its floors and repairs to the chancel roof. Warden Liz Hammond said: “The work is very urgent. The tower is an important landmark in the area and is visible for miles around. The church is very well used by the whole community - it’s not just a place of worship. We want it to be an ongoing, living facility for everyone to enjoy. This grant will be a huge help.

“We estimate the whole project will cost something in the region of £170,000 so there is still more money to raise.”

The Grade I listed, 15th Century, St Mary the Virgin, at Erwarton, near Ipswich, has received £60,000 for urgent repairs to its tower.

Meanwhile, St Mary the Virgin at Bawdsey, near Woodbridge, which dates from the 14th Century and is Grade II* listed, has been given £22,000 to undertake repairs to the tower.

The Grade I listed St Margaret, at Syleham, near Diss, which dates from the Saxon period, rounds off the Suffolk list, receiving £26,000 for tower repairs.

Churches in the east of England received a total of £3.6m from the HLF’s Repair Grants for Places of Worship scheme.

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