A West Norfolk church is among 142 historic sites to receive a share of £35m grants from the government’s Culture Recovery Fund.

A total of £85,229 has been awarded to the group Friends of Friendless Churches for St Mary’s Church at Fordham near Downham Market. The charity rescues and protects historic places of worship.

Duncan Wilson, Historic England’s chief executive, said the grants were “hugely welcome at a time when the people and organisations who look after our vast and varied array of heritage urgently need support to carry out essential repairs”.

“Heritage is a fragile eco-system, with an amazing cast of characters who keep our historic places alive, with specialist skills that take time to learn and experience to perfect. 

“These grants will protect their livelihoods, as they use their expertise to help our heritage survive,” he said.