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Watertight Merton Church serving the community

Picturesque St Peter’s Church in Merton, near Watton, has had a new roof, as well as an upgrade of facilities, and is now able to host community events.

In March 2019 St Peter’s Church in Merton received a grant of £100,000 from The National Lottery Heritage Fund (NLHF) to develop the church building as a community and visitor centre supporting worship, heritage and the arts.  As a consequence, the Grade I listed building, which had suffered from the theft of lead, has undergone urgent repairs and the nave roof has been restored with zinc. 


Works started in October 2019, and whilst the roof works were being carried out, it was discovered additional repairs were required, and grants for these were awarded by The Norfolk Churches Trust, The Round Tower Churches Society, The Geoffrey Watling Charity and The Paul Bassam Charitable Trust.


The work was finally completed April 2023, following delays due to the pandemic. The church building is now weatherproof, and a new kitchenette and catering facilities have also been installed. A new guidebook and new heritage displays have been produced. The NLHF also funded the development of a new website for St Peter’s.


Subsequent community events have included: Church Tours, Art Day, Concert, Music and Heritage Videos, Organ Workshops and Lessons, Daffodil Day and a celebratory Heritage Open Day. Visitor numbers at this historic building have already increased and the PCC are busy planning future events.


St Peter’s is a small flint church, with a Saxo-Norman round tower, beautifully situated in Merton Park with a splendid view across a small lake to Merton Hall. It is of particular architectural interest as a well-preserved example of a 14th century church, with many details and fittings from the same period and some fine workmanship from later periods.


Carole Haggett, Churchwarden, said: “Our thanks go to The NLHF, and everyone who has helped to make this project so successful. We now have a sound roof and completely weatherproof building, and the new kitchenette facilities will enable the building to be used for various functions, ensuring the survival of our beautiful church into the future.”


The Round Tower Churches Society is a registered charity with over 500 members, working for the preservation of these churches, and exploring their origins and history. In the last 50 years, it has made grants to churches of almost £400,000.


The photos are courtesy of St Peters Church


TonyRothe150Do you have a news story or forthcoming event relating to Christians or a church in Mid Norfolk?  

If so, e-mail [email protected] with details and, if possible a suitable picture. 

Tony Rothe, 21/08/2023

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