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Supporters given bird's eye view of restoration work at a Fenland church

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A dozen supporters of an important restoration programme being carried out at an ancient Fenland church were given an inside view of the project this week.

The group were given a guided tour of the work, which is being carried out at the 900 year old St Peter's and St Paul's Church in Wisbech thanks to£363,000 of funding from the National Lottery Heritage Fund.

Work involves urgent repairs to the church roof and masonry as well as improvements such as the installation of toilets and better kitchen facilities to make the historic fit for the 21st century and to meet its aim of being a 'Church for the Future'.

Supporters of St Peter's Church restoration project were given a tour of the work currently in progress at the historic building. (49938410)
Supporters of St Peter's Church restoration project were given a tour of the work currently in progress at the historic building. (49938410)

The improvements will enable St Peter's to become more of a community hub providing a suitable venue for more events such as a summer arts festival and also being able to provide hot meals and shelter for the homeless.

Val Spriggs, church treasurer and project co-ordinator, explained the tour was limited to just 12 people and they were chosen from different sections of the community who have helped get the project up and running.

Part of the Heritage Lottery bid involved having to show community support for the project and hundreds of school children have played their part in that too.

Those chosen to see the work in progress were: Damien Homden, assistant deputy head at the Orchards Academy, whose children have been heavily involved in the project since its inception three years ago.

Graham and Kirsty Leach who have provided a blog giving update information of the project's progress to the community at large.

David Crouch,treasurer of the Wisbech Society, which provided funding for information boards inside the church and has helped to design them.

Susanah Farmer, who in her role as deputy town clerk, has always supported the church.

And finally the vicar the Rev Canon Matthew Bradbury.

The group were taken on a tour inside the church for an explanation of what is happening and then climbed the scaffolding accompanied by Nicholas Warns the architect who is responsible for the development of the scheme and Sam Roe his assistant.

The National Lottery Heritage Fund aims to encourage people to find out more about the buildings for which they have gained funding and to learn how to care for them.

Nicholas Warns explained how restoration work has changed over the years. He emphasised that materials are only being replaced when necessary so that original timber is left in place wherever possible, with sections removed where rot is found and lead is recast and then relaid.

Another group of supporters will be given a similar tour next month.

Read more: Fenland church counts its blessings after receiving £363,200 funding for urgent repairs

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