Above From the left, Richard Waite, Elizabeth Truss, Paul Skillings and Janet Edgson. Picture: Tony Jones

South-west Norfolk MP Elizabeth Truss has pledged to support a church known as ‘the forgotten jewel of the Fens.’

Ms Truss, who is the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, visited St Clement’s Church in Outwell on Tuesday.

She was invited by the Parochial Church Council as part of its campaign to raise funds to conserve and restore the church, which contains some rare roof carvings.

Ms Truss, said: “St Clement’s is a fantastic church and it was great to be shown round by the rector and the Friends.

“Buildings like these do need to be in regular use; currently coffee afternoons are attracting a number of local residents but there are ambitions for future events like concerts and Christmas fairs.

“With a wealth of historic features and superb stained glass windows, I will continue to offer my support to the Friends of St Clement’s in helping to preserve this treasure trove of medieval sculptures and carvings.”

The Friends of St Clement’s Church hope the MP’s support will add weight to their bid for money from the government.

Around £300,000 needs to be raised to repair St Clement’s roof and from next month, the government will have money available for church roof repairs.

If the bid is successful, it is hoped the government could give a grant of up to £100,000.

Chairman of the Friends of St Clement’s Church, Kate Jackson, said the visit by the MP went well.

“Elizabeth Truss looked at all the carvings and we told her about plans for the church.

“In the long-term, we would like to have a community centre.

“But there is a lot of damp which causes damage to the carvings the church has.

“The carvings are of national as well as local importance as they are so rare.”