For many years, St Peters Church did not have a suitable place for the young church members to be taught, nor toilets or even a water supply!
This has now changed. On the 13th May 2006, the Rt. Revd David Atkinson, Bishop of Thetford, lead the Service of Dedication for our New Church Centre. The centre consists of a meeting room, kitchenette, two toilets and an entrance lobby, and available for hire to other groups in the community.
Careful consideration was given to ensure the exterior blended in with the existing Grade 1 13th century church.
Gone are the days of children, and leaders, crammed into the draughty porch, or the youth group meeting at the back of the church where the main service can also be heard. Or dashing home for the loo.
Children now gather in the meeting room which is carpeted and heated, for their appropriate activities.
Provision of toilets and kitchen facilities bring St Peters into the 21st century, and will enhance the various events held in the church.
Use of the Church Centre is not limited to church activities. If you would like to hire the meeting room for use by yourself or a group, please contact our booking secretary telephone number 01603 714392. We envisage the facilities being used for small group meetings but not for children’s parties as it is not quite big enough.
The Story of the Church Centre
1990 The PCC starts to discuss the need for proper space for children's activities and toilets. The idea of a temporary portacabin was discussed.
1991 It is decided to pursue the plan of providing facilities on the north side of the church by re-opening the blocked north doorway.
1993 Major repairs are carried out to windows, stonework and the roof.
1994 Revd Vivien Elphick is appointed priest-in-charge. Approaches are made to 2 firms of architects to design a suitable scheme. An induction loop is installed in the church.
1995 Mr Stuart Offord of OWL Partnership is appointed as our architect.
1996 An open meeting is held for all in the village to view the proposals. This is followed by a meeting with all the relevant planning authorities: the Parish Council, District Council, Diocesan Advisory Committee and English Heritage. They require an alternative design.
1997 Informal approvals are received for the revised scheme.
1998 The PCC agree to proceed to the stage of planning permission and tenders. Repairs are carried out to cracks in the east gable wall.
1999 Outline planning permission is granted by Broadland District Council
and the first firm figures for cost obtained, which were higher than antici¬pated.
2000 The PCC decide to proceed with the project and in September, the fund-raising appeal is launched with a Gift Day.
2001 The electrical system in the church is renewed and a new lighting system
installed. 2000-2003 Fund-raising work goes on. £100,000 has been raised by the end of
2003. In the period, interest rates had fallen and builders' costs increased
2004 The PCC agrees to proceed with a phasing of the project. Detailed plans are approved by Broadland District Council, the Diocesan Advisory Committee and English Heritage. The archaeological dig produces no finds.
2005 The Diocesan Chancellor grants a faculty for Phase 1 of the project to
proceed and the work goes out to tender. The project is £26,000 short of the sum needed to proceed. The PCC decide to proceed; to delay would have meant increased costs and the loss of a £10,000 grant. John Youngs are appointed as main contractors and work on Phase 1 starts in October.
2006 May 13th sees Phase 1 of the building dedicated by the Rt. Revd David Atkinson, the Bishop of Thetford.