Norwell St. Laurence
Norwell is a fortunate parish. It has a large grade 1 listed medieval church. It stands at the extreme eastern end of the village in a large tree-filled churchyard looking south across water meadows to open country. It is a church which is held in great regard by parishioners. But it is vulnerable.
Its vulnerability was all too well demonstrated in July 2011 when four and a half tons of lead were removed from the south transept and south aisle. We felt violated and unbelievably anxious about how we were to meet a bill of £30,000 for re-roofing and improving security.
We rang Nottinghamshire Historic Churches Trust; they had been generous to us in the past for planned repairs and improvements, but we were pessimistic about re-roofing after theft. They could not have been more helpful and assured us that they were prepared to consider an application from us.
It is a pleasure to report that not only did Nottinghamshire Historic Churches Trust give us a grant of £2,500, but they also passed on our application to the National Churches Trust and they, too, gave us a grant of £2,500. Other grant awarding bodies very kindly supported us. With the help of a loan of £15,000 from Southwell and Nottingham Diocesan Board of Finance we were able to get the work done before the winter. Our parishioners and other supporters have helped us raise money in many different and imaginative ways. Amazingly, after almost six months to the day we had reached our target of £30,000 and were able to repay the loan.
The stolen lead has been replaced by terne-coated stainless steel. We are truly grateful and take enormous comfort from the fact that something most unpleasant has drawn so many people and organisations together to help. Thank you.