St Margaret's Church, Paston has received a Christmas funding boost, having been awarded £10,000 from the National Churches Trust Cornerstone Grant.
The grant fund is part of a £483,000 third round of grants made by the Trust in 2020. Nationwide, 260 projects have shared in a total of £1,723,000.
St Margaret's is closely linked with the Paston family - famous for their collection of letters written between 1422 and 1509. The church contains a series of rare and important medieval wall paintings, some of which were discovered during restoration work in November 2013. These paintings include symbols which, whilst usually found in wood and stone carvings, are rarely seen in wall paintings - in this respect, St Margaret's is a church of international significance.
The Paston Community Project will transform the church into a welcoming, flexible and engaging community hub, through significant and imaginative 'reordering' (reorganisation) of its internal spaces.
Philip Burton, Churchwarden of St Margaret's said:
We are delighted to have been selected for support by the National Churches Trust to whom we are extremely grateful. The grant of £10,000 signifies a real boost to our fundraising efforts and takes us within striking distance of our target of £158,000. The works - which we are planning to start in Spring 2021 - will create a superb facility for the local community and visitors, and will underpin the long-term sustainability of our ancient historic church. Full details can be found on our website: www.pastonchurch.org.uk.
Duncan Baker, MP for North Norfolk said:
One of the many glories of East Anglia is its outstanding churches, with their sweeping architecture and visible presence on our landscape. Imaginative projects like these play a valuable role in ensuring churches are used and accessible to the whole community not just on Sundays, but every day. In many villages, the church is the last remaining place around which the community can gather, so I am delighted at Paston's success and congratulate the whole team at St Margaret's for their dedication, vision, and enthusiasm. I look forward very much to visiting the completed project.