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Massingham church launches charity following lead theft

A new charity set up to help pay for repairs to Little Massingham Church following a lead theft four years ago, is holding an arts and crafts exhibition there tomorrow.

It will launch the Friends of St Andrew's Church to spearhead the mammoth task of raising £150,000 to help replace the church roof.

The 'Friends' charity was formed last year in response to a fundraising walk from Colchester to Holme undertaken by Rosemary Jewers, which raised close to £9,800.

Rosemary Jewers and Rina Adams take ab reak at Little Massingham Church (49307591)
Rosemary Jewers and Rina Adams take ab reak at Little Massingham Church (49307591)

Rosemary lives in Colchester but was born and raised in Little Massingham and is the patron of St Andrew’s Church – a patronage passed down through her family.

She said: “The aim of the charity is to help support the church and raise much needed funds and the launch event is to raise awareness within the local community and to attract members to join us.”

It was a major blow when lead was stolen from the church roof over several visits in 2017. There is also damp and decay that needs attention and at all presents a huge undertaking for a small rural community.

Rosemary said: “I undertook the long distance walk last September with a friend, Rina Adams. We should have set off in April but lockdown put an end to that. I wanted to walk this long distance route because I thought it would be an excellent way to raise money for the church roof and at the same time prove that Peddars Way did indeed run from Colchester to the north Norfolk coast. The theory that this ancient road run to Colchester was handed down through my family. When I mentioned to some people in Norfolk that I was going to walk from Colchester tracing Peddars Way, I was surprised that they also knew or had been told that the same story!

“I spent a long time researching the route, looking up old maps and reading research written by other’s. Overtime the exact route out of Colchester has been lost but we walked the majority of this lost section of Peddars Way through Suffolk.

“When we reached Little Massingham the former Bishop of Lynn gave us a blessing in the churchyard.

“I was very fortunate in raising so much money to go towards restoring the church roof. Not only did Norfolk people support me but a huge number of Colchester people and others from around the country also donated.”

The arts and crafts event will be open between 11.30am and 3.30pm.

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