Church leaders have praised the response of supporters to an urgent appeal for help to fund much needed repairs and new facilities at the King’s Lynn Minster.
Almost £50,000 has so far been pledged since a fundraising campaign towards the £670,000 project began in the summer.
And, ahead of its next big fundraiser this weekend, minster officials have revealed that lottery funding for the project could be confirmed within weeks, with work beginning in February.
A £270,000 fundraising target was outlined in July when it was revealed the cost of repairs, plus new amenities like toilets and step-free access, was likely to cost far more than originally thought.
The minster’s vicar, Canon Chris Ivory said: “Four months ago, raising £270,000 by the end of 2017 seemed an impossible task.
“But the picture has changed – local people have responded generously and the expected costs are a bit less.
“Repair work can start early next year, and we can take until next spring to raise £160,000 still needed for the new works.
“Half could come from grants, but £80,000 has to be raised locally and the Minster rightly remains dependent on the goodwill and support of local people and businesses.
“We want to thank everyone who has contributed and supported the appeal, and to thank Lottery Players who make possible the Heritage Lottery Fund, please keep up the good work!”
The trust was previously offered a £240,000 grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund towards the project.
Evaluation of the current proposal is under way and Canon Ivory said an award could be announced in December.
Meanwhile, fundraising efforts will continue with the minster’s annual Christmas fair this Saturday, November 25, from 10am. The event is due to be opened by borough deputy mayor Jim Moriarty.
Almost 800 people have also signed a petition in support of the minister. Donations can be made to the Minster Office, St Margaret’s Vicarage, King’s Lynn, PE30 5DL or online at www.stmargaretskingslynn.org.uk/.