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New entrance underway for Fakenham Church

St Peter and St Paul’s church in Fakenham is undergoing improvements to its entrance doors to enhance accessibility. The project includes installing an automatic glass door to replace the heavy wooden one, creating a purpose-built ramp and steps, and commissioning a design by Norfolk artist Teucer Wilson for the new door. Additionally, the back three rows of pews will be removed, and the floor will be leveled for safety and accessibility, especially for those with prams or wheelchairs. Reverend Tracy Jessop expressed the church’s desire to make the building more welcoming and to create a community space. The church is fundraising £125,000 to match a legacy left by Doug Flegg, with funds being boosted by a recent Christmas Tree Festival.

For the time being, access to the church is through the north door, which is sign-posted, and visitors are advised to dress warmly as the building currently has no heating. The Norfolk-based firm, King & Company, is carrying out the work in three stages. The first stage is expected to take nine weeks, and the church has committed to providing regular updates on their social media channels to keep everyone informed about the progress.

The church’s decision to improve accessibility reflects a long-held aspiration to make the building more welcoming and to be used by a wider range of people, not just on Sundays. This aligns with their vision of creating a more accessible and community-oriented space, and the project is a step towards achieving that goal. The involvement of local artist Teucer Wilson in designing the new glass door adds a unique, artistic touch to the project, emphasizing the church’s commitment to creating a more inclusive and inviting environment. The fundraising efforts also demonstrate community support for the project, as funds were boosted by a successful Christmas Tree Festival. Overall, the church’s initiative to improve accessibility reflects their dedication to building a more inclusive and community-oriented space for all.

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