Help is needed to save one of King’s Lynn’s most historic buildings.
Urgent repairs, expected to cost around half a million pounds, are needed to restore crumbling stonework at The Minster and a major fundraising appeal is to be launched next year.
The Grade One listed building, formerly St Margaret’s Church, has been placed on Historic England’s Heritage At Risk Register because of its decaying masonry.
Support for the Saturday Market Place building has been pledged by the Heritage Lottery Fund, but there will be a £110,000 shortfall which must be raised in the next year for the project to proceed.
The Rev Canon Chris Ivory, vicar at the Minster, said: “Support from the Heritage Lottery Fund is a fantastic endorsement of what we are and what we want to do.
“I hope that everyone who loves King’s Lynn will help to support this next stage in the life of the Minster.”
The project will also see new facilities including toilets installed and work carried out to improve accessibility at the building, which is visited by more than 45,000 people a year.
Church members have already raised some money and Canon Ivory said a major appeal would be launched early next year once preliminary work had been completed and a more detailed programme drawn-up.
“For many people, King’s Lynn Minster is a place of peace and prayer. For others it is a place to mark the great events of life through baptisms, weddings and funerals,” Canon Ivory said.
“It is a place for concerts, exhibitions and plays, but it is also a place to celebrate our history and culture and to show off the glories of the town to the increasing number of visitors.”
A £24,000 National Lottery grant will get the project rolling next October, followed by a further grant of up to £218,000 towards the full programme of improvement works.
West Norfolk Mayor David Whitby said he was pleased that such an important building would be repaired, modernised and have access improved.
Robyn Llewellyn, head of Heritage Lottery Fund East of England, said he was delighted the project was to be supported through National Lottery players to ensure the heritage could be preserved and enjoyed for many years to come.
Send your donations to: King’s Lynn Minster, St Margaret’s Vicarage, St Margaret’s Place, King’s Lynn. PE30 5DL.