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Tiny church marks blaze restoration

PUBLISHED: 20:19 07 July 2009 | UPDATED: 11:08 12 July 2010

A south Norfolk church is holding its first flower festival in living memory to celebrate the building's restoration following a devastating fire 50 years ago.

A south Norfolk church is holding its first flower festival in living memory to celebrate the building's restoration following a devastating fire 50 years ago.

The blaze in August 1959 destroyed the roof and interior of the beautiful 14th century church of St Morley Botolph.

It was a bitter blow for the small community and even today work still needs to be carried out on the chancel roof which survived the fire and was cleaned, but now lets in water.

Parish priest, the Rev Barry Furness, said: “The village was without church for a long while. The roof had fallen in and burnt the whole of the interior, so it was only a shell.

“To celebrate the fact that the church was restored, the village is holding a celebratory festival in the church. We thought it would be nice to do something like this, and it will be its first flower festival since the fire.”

The event will be held on August 8 and 9 - exactly 50 years after the disaster - and features a concert in the church by the Norfolk Fellowship Brass of the Salvation Army on the Saturday.

On the Sunday morning, the Lord Bishop of Norwich, the Rt Rev Graham James, will be present at a festival songs of praise which starts at 10am.

The organisers are appealing for anyone with photographs of the fire or the ruined church to contact them, as they would like to include them in a display during the flower festival.

For more details, contact Mr Furness on 01953 606437 or email barrry.furness@norwich.anglican.org


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