Needham Market church to reopen after thousands invested in major repair work
PUBLISHED: 17:48 31 August 2018 | UPDATED: 17:51 31 August 2018
A historic church in Mid Suffolk is hosting a weekend of celebrations following a successful restoration project costing upwards of £370,000.
The Church of St John the Baptist in Needham Market is set to reopen after a six month project to repair the building’s unique oak single hammerbeam roof – which has been damaged by infestation, rotting wood and water ingress.
The Grade I-listed church has organised a celebration weekend with a medieval theme to mark the special occasion – with a talk from a local member of the House of Lords, as well as a session of Morris Dancing and displays of the extensive work undertaken to restore the historic building.
Over the course of more than two years, the church raised money in the community, received donations and was also awarded a grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) to achieve its funding target for the costly restoration work.
The church received £227,800 from the HLF to reach its £377,000 goal to fund the repairs – which began in January 2018.
The improvement work will allow the number and range of church events to be expanded, including concerts, stage presentations and question time events.
The building’s value as an educational resource will also be developed, with opportunities for more school visits and full day projects, in addition to using the church as a drop-in centre for advice on social issues.
The celebration weekend will take place from September 14 - 16, and is free for all to attend.
A full programme of events is listed below:
Friday, September 14
7pm onwards: Baroness Scott of Needham Market, roof funding patron, to give a talk on her time in the House of Lords
Morris Dancing in the church
Refreshments and licensed bar
Displays of the work that has been undertaken
Saturday, September 15
9.30am - 4pm: Church opens with displays of work on the roof
Old registers available to view
Sunday, September 16
10am: Celebration service
4pm: Cafe Church in the Ark
6pm: Celebration songs of praise