Historic church set for closure

A CHURCH council is planning to close one of East Anglia's "greatest" churches as it is too cold for the congregation and its rising maintenance costs cannot be met.

A CHURCH council is planning to close one of East Anglia's "greatest" churches as it is too cold for the congregation and its rising maintenance costs cannot be met.

The Parochial Church Council of Redgrave cum Botesdale is holding an open meeting on December 11 and will explain to local residents that the rising costs of maintaining Redgrave's St Mary's church, a Grade I listed building, have become too great.

Repairs costing £60,000 were identified during the building's last architectural inspection and in June the council passed a resolution to pursue the possibility that it should be handed to the Churches Conservation Trust, which cares for redundant churches.

The Rev Chris Norburn, the church's rector, said: "It has been a long hard process and certainly wasn't a decision taken lightly.


You may also want to watch:


"During the winter months we meet in the village's Mission Room, because the church is too cold. That means that we only worship in St Mary's a maximum of 17 times a year."

All residents of Redgrave and Botesdale have received a letter inviting them to the meeting in Redgrave's Mission Room at 7.30pm, which will be attended by the Archdeacon of Suffolk, the Ven Geoffrey Arrand, and the assistant diocesan secretary, James Halsall.

Most Read

Charles Michell, Suffolk county councillor for the Hartismere division, said: "Firstly I am very saddened to hear that they are thinking of closing it. It is one of the greatest churches in this area and the effigies of the Bacon family are very important in this part of Suffolk.

"The fact is that it is one of the finest village churches in Suffolk and in a wonderful position but it is remote from the village and suffers from a lack of congregation.

"These things are very expensive to keep and if they are not well supported then they do not serve a useful purpose.

"It is historically significant so I hope it will be kept open for concerts and other important occasions."

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter