Bride to re-open historic King’s Lynn chapel 44 years after her wedding

John and Janice Hardy to officially open St Nicholas Chapel at King's Lynn ANL-150909-163320001
John and Janice Hardy to officially open St Nicholas Chapel at King's Lynn ANL-150909-163320001
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An historic Lynn church will be re-opened to the public this weekend by a couple who were married there more than 40 years ago.

Dozens entered an online competition to be the person who will unveil the £2.7 million transform of the St Nicholas Chapel.

Wedding couple at St Nicholas chapel John and Janice Hardy ANL-150909-163330001

Wedding couple at St Nicholas chapel John and Janice Hardy ANL-150909-163330001

And the honour has been given to Janice Hardy, from North Lynn, who said she was “over the moon” to have been chosen.

Mrs Hardy married her husband, John, at the chapel on December 18, 1971, 18 years before it was last used for religious worship.

But that’s not the only family connection to the building as John himself was christened there.

Mrs Hardy was told by chapel officials that she had won last Friday

She said: “I just thought it (the competition) was a lovely idea.

“It’s such a lovely church and it was a lovely church to get married in, but I never thought in a million years I’d win.”

Many of the couple’s family are expected to attend the formal opening at 11am tomorrow.

And officials are urging local people to come along to support Mrs Hardy at the opening.

The chapel has been closed for the past 18 months to enable work on the project to transform the building into a modern community concert venue to take place.

Much of the cost was met by a Heritage Lottery Fund grant which was secured after local campaigners and supporters raised around £250,000 towards the project.

Civic leaders, campaign donors and project officials were given a preview of the finished work during an event earlier this week.

And Crispin Truman, chief executive of the Churches Conservation Trust, which has overseen the work, said: ‘I couldn’t be more proud of the partnership between the people of King’s Lynn and The Churches Conservation Trust which has made the rescue of this internationally important building possible.

“The roof angels of St Nicholas’ were in danger of being lost forever before the community mobilised to help us save the chapel.”

Adrian Parker, chairman of the chapel’s Friends group, added: “It’s a great pleasure that the Chapel is about to open again for use by the people of King’s Lynn.

“I’m looking forward to seeing lots of people mark this new life by going to the grand opening weekend, and then at the Fairey Band concert on October 17.”