A rural south Norfolk church is to host a double celebration in June.

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June 1 marks the 25th anniversary of the vesting of St George’s, near Diss, in to the care of the Churches Conservation Trust.

To mark the anniversary and the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee, celebratory cake and wine will be available at the church between 2pm and 4pm on Tuesday, June 5.

Organisers Sheila Cooper and Maurice Philpot said: “Many years ago Christians built and set apart St George’s for prayer; they made their church beautiful with their skill and craftsmanship and here they met for some of the most important turning points of their lives. Although services are no longer regularly held, the building remains consecrated; inspiring, teaching and ministering through its beauty and atmosphere.” Dwindling congregation numbers at the parish church in Shimpling resulted in the Diocese of Norwich abandoning the round towered St George’s as a place of worship.

The village graveyard is also the resting place of sculptor Ivor Roberts-Jones who made the statue of Winston Churchill in 1971, which stands in Parliament Square in London.

The Churches Conservation Trust is the national charity which cares for historic churches that are no longer required for regular worship by the Church of England. Shimpling St George is one of 341 churches in its guardianship.

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