West Dereham Sign Gary Trouton

Letter from the West Dereham Rectory

April 2009

Janet looks back at the history of St Andrew's and looks forward to further improvements

Dear Friends,

This month I have asked one of our ministry team, Janet Gough, to write on behalf of St. Andrew's Church, West Dereham

I wish you all a peaceful and uplifting Easter

With best wishes,

Judith Grundy

If you came to work at St Andrew's church in 1901 you might have got wet! It was during this year that the roof, which was made of thatch, fell in. Imagine the scene as the parishioners arrived for morning worship, what a mess! But the folk of the village joined together, set about clearing up the debris and through great effort and teamwork a new roof was erected.

Exactly 500 years previously, in 1401, it was declared " St. Peter's was so diminished in income that a priest could not be maintained. The convent and parishioners were freed from the repair of the church and chancel." (Calendar of Papal Registers).

Did the church change its name from St. Peter's to St. Andrew's? The truth is that there were originally two churches in West Dereham, St. Peter's was on the same site as St. Andrew's but there was not enough money to keep both going so St. Peter's crumbled away.

Our village here in West Dereham is very fortunate because we have been able to keep our remaining lovely church repaired with the help of grants and generous donations by local people.

The next phase is the repair of the windows and the porch. We have been again been very thankful to receive a grant from English Heritage of £112,000 for this work but, and there is always a "but", we have to raise £42,000 ourselves. Our next event will be on April 21st when Downham Choral Society will be presenting a concert in church.

We do hope that with everyone working together again our church will be here in another 500 years. Any good fundraising ideas would be welcome. It would be very sad if St. Andrew's were to crumble away also!

With best wishes,

Janet Gough

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