Sunday, 31 January 2010

St Mary the Less Church Letter

Dear Editor, Anybody who has travelled along the Bury Road in Thetford recently surely would not have failed to spot the now gaping hole in the roof of St Mary the Less Church. I suspect many people in Thetford feel as disgusted as me that this has been allowed to happen. A much smaller hole first appeared at the start of 2009, and the photograph above shows the extent of damage on the 4th May 2009. The other photo above shows the damage as of this week. In the not too distant future I suspect it will get worse, particularly with the wet and cold weather we will no doubt have over the coming weeks and months. Myself and many others have made Breckland Council aware of this issue on numerous occasions over the past year in the hope that they will take action, it would appear they have done nothing. They have a statutory obligation to protect historically significant buildings. St Mary the Less is a Grade 2 listed building, and on the Buildings at Risk Register. Its churchyard contains notable Thetford figures including Sir Richard Fulmerston. Neither the owner, or Breckland Council have done anything to safeguard this important building. What exactly is required to occur before something is done? Maybe they are waiting for it to completely fall to the ground?


James said...

Very sad. Is there a congregation that currently meets there or a new church looking for a home (part of the new evangelical movement). I was think a different angle for funding or advocacy can been approached. For example is there a Fulmerston society? The only other thing I can think of would be a private buyer or corporation looking for a potential commercial (retreat center or such) that would appeal to them. Has the council explained why their is no action (lack of funding) at this time?

James said...

Oops -- I see that it is up for sale now. 300K is a bargain. I hope someone comes in and can do the restoration job it deserves.