£400k restoration hopes for King’s Lynn’s oldest church

Father Adrian Ling outside All Saints Church.'www.lynnnews.co.uk/buyaphoto ENGANL00120120420195021

Father Adrian Ling outside All Saints Church.'www.lynnnews.co.uk/buyaphoto ENGANL00120120420195021

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Lynn’s oldest church could be receiving a £400,000 restoration project if new plans come together.

The heating system at All Saints’ Church in Hillington Square was condemned more than two years ago, which has forced the team to hold some of its services in other churches.

But all that could change if a new renovation project, include some building work and internal renovations, comes together.

Fr Adrian Ling and his colleagues hope to pay for this work by applying for grants along with launching a fundraising appeal later in the year.

Fr Ling said: “This project would mean that the church has the basic facilities that you would expect in a public building in the 21st century.

“We would also hope that the building would be open to other community uses so that we will able to have concerts, talks and other events throughout the year and not just when it is warm enough to hold them.”

The renovation project, which is at a preliminary stage, will include re-pointing the building and repairing some of the masonry work.

It is also hoped to repair some windows along with re-plastering and decorating the church.

But important parts of the plans include a kitchen servery, toilets and a new heating system.

The church’s heating system as condemned two-and-a-half years ago.

Electric fires are used to provide some heat and the midweek services are held in the smaller Anchorhold.

The nearby catholic church has also kindly allowed the congregation to hold some of its services in their warm building.

Fr Ling said: “If we had repaired the heating system there was no guarantee it would be successful. We could not afford to take that risk to spend money and for it not to work.

“The congregation numbers are holding up pretty as well as the people who come along enjoy the mass and it is important to them. They are near the heaters and withstand the cold.

“We are further away but one of the great things about wearing vestments is that you have a number of layers to keep warm.”

Fr Ling is also hoping to install a kitchen sink and cooker within the church to serve refreshments after concerts and services.

He said: “Hospitality is very important to us.”

For the project to go ahead, the plans will need the relevant permissions.

Funding applications are due to be submitted to bodies such as English Heritage later this year.

All Saints,previously known as All Hallows, is the oldest church in Lynn. It is mentioned in a 1101 document which looks at the building of Lynn Minster, then St Margaret’s.

Much of the current building dates back to 1400.

After the Reformation, the church went into a period of decline but its fortunes were revived during the Victorian era with restoration projects.