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Six-year project to repair Norfolk church complete 

After a six-year repair project, the historic Carleton Rode Baptist Church in South Norfolk is finally finished and a thanksgiving service will be held in September. Steven Halsted from the church reports.

Carleton Rode Baptist Church is over 200 years old, a Grade two listed building and not surprisingly was in need of extensive repair. This work was started in 2017, with the first phase entailing the repair to the wooden framework of the building which, when looked at closely, was in a much worse condition than was originally thought. In fact the framework, which was designed to support the roof, was so badly rotten, that the roof was being largely supported by the brickwork outer skin of the building. Extensive fundraising and generous grants allowed the work to go ahead and the work was completed in 2019.

It was then the second phase began. It was established that the brickwork, had, years ago been painted with a material that prevented the walls from ‘breathing’, which locked in moisture and caused the wooden framework to rot. Also because this single skin brickwork had been supporting the weight of the roof, it had bulged and crumbled. Then Covid hit the nation and the next phase was delayed.

The repairs were started in 2021 and it was hoped that this work, could be completed within the year. Again the church embarked on another fundraising drive and Our Lord once again proved his faithfulness. The money came in and the grants were provided. However, the damage was found to be far more extensive than originally thought. Also this was the period when building material costs were rising dramatically and our original estimates of cost became woefully inadequate. But with much prayer and the continued generosity of grant providers and our congregation and others the extra funding was forthcoming.

It is with much gratefulness to Our Lord, that finally, our beloved Chapel, that has been encased in scaffolding since 2021 is finally emerging, like ‘a butterfly from its chrysalis’ and all that remains is for the building to be given its new coat of paint and the scaffolding to be completely removed. Then on Saturday September 23 at 2.30 pm we will have our thankgiving celebration.

All are invited to come a share with us, in giving our thanks and praise to Our Lord.

Pictured above is Carleton Rode Baptist Church covered in scaffolding.


Keith Morris, 10/08/2023

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