Church Conservation

February 2017

All Saints has had its 5-yearly** architect's report.

The glass in the windows is in dreadful condition, and there are other urgent things too.

Earlier repair work on the fabric of the church was completed by September 2015. In particular the tower and the south porch have been extensively repaired - both were in a poor condition.

Worn and broken stonework has been repaired or replaced, new rainwater guttering and drainage system has been installed and the west window and door have been repaired.

Now that David and Brian have finished their great work of clearing the plant growth away, its full horror is revealed; The photograph shows a typical length of the wall.

To go towards the thousands needed to repair it, we are running an 'Adopt a Brick' scheme.

You pay £1 and a brick is named after you!

Donors' names are written on a wall of bricks, and all the money received will go towards repairing the crumbling wall along the A47. I can't promise that we'll be able to point to Fred's brick or Myrtle's lump of carrstone, but as you drive by, you can tell yourself, "I own a bit of that wall!"

If you would like to a'Adopt a Brick

Contact Nell 840814 or Wendy 842281




Below see the text of a Press Release concerning the award of a grant to the church for necessary repairs.

Further down the page see more about the conservation report that highlighted the need for repair work to be carried out.

The most pressing need being the wall along the A47.

East Winch Parochial Church Council are thrilled to have received a confirmed grant of up to £163,800 from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) for the repair and improvement of the church. The works will preserve the tower and south porch in particular, as they are in a poor state, and the tower has been declared "at risk" by English Heritage.

The works will also conserve the west door and west window, improve guttering and drainage on the north side of the church, and indoors,update the heating. A programme celebrating the history and architecture of the church has also been planned, to include heritage displays and holiday workshops for children in the summer.

Lead stolen from the Church roof

It may be said that the churchyard wall is no longer the most pressing problem!

See more here

News Update - June 2015. Already, looking up, you can see the difference that is being made to the tower by the repairs. The jackdaws have fledged, and the young are flying about with their short stumpy tails, but bluetits and swifts have also nested in the tower. Precautions are being taken not to disturb them.

The main entrance is blocked by scaffolding on the south porch, and anyone visiting the church has to use the chancel door. Unfortunately, people in wheelchairs or who are unable to walk easily will find it difficult to get into the church for the time being.

This dignified Grade 2* listed building has developed and changed from the twelfth

to the twentieth centuries, and its earlier history is linked with the rise of the Howard family, from whom came the Dukes of Norfolk. The church was mostly built in the fifteenth century and almost certainly paid for by Elizabeth Howard and her husband, the Earl of Oxford, whose coats of arms appear on the font. But not all its history goes back that far. The Rev. Alvis, who did so much for the church and village in the late nineteenth century and Sir William Lancaster, a great local benefactor, and other lesser characters make up the rich history of people who loved this church.

Nell Steele of the Parochial Church Council said, "We're all delighted that HLF and Historic England have acknowledged the historic value of this church, and feel very grateful for the grant. It's great to know that the tower is safe, and the new heating will mean that people coming to church for services or entertainment will be fairly comfortable for a change."

Robin Llewellyn, head of Heritage Lottery Fund, East of England said, "Thanks to National Lottery players, these urgent repairs will ensure that this wonderful historic building can continue to play its central role in the community. The new displays and activities will enable its many fascinating stories to be shared and appreciated."

About the Heritage Lottery Fund.

From the archeology under our feet to the historic parks and buildings we love; from precious memories and collections to rare wildlife, we use National Lottery players' money to help people across the United Kingdom explore, enjoy and protect the heritage they care about.

About East Winch PCC.

East Winch Parochial Church Council, together with the churchwarden, is responsible for keeping the church in good order and for fundraising, and works closely with the rector, the Rev. Riaz Mubarak, to ensure that it remains a centre for worship in the village and a venue for community activities.


Previous information concerning the condition of the church is below:-

The following are extracts from the report and are intended to give an indication of the condition and extent of the repairs considered to be necessary. For those wishing to see more detail, the complete report may be viewed and/or downloaded - see the foot of this page.

The Conservation Report

Introduction to the church:-

East Winch is a large village some 6 miles E. of Kings Lynn on the A47. The church is adjacent to the road, on the S side. The churchyard (TF69091625) is rectangular and the church lies a little to the S. of the mid point.

The church is a grade II* listed building and consists of: Chancel with S. Organ Chamber, Nave, N. & S. Aisles, West Tower and South Porch.

The development of the church

Domesday Book records that East Winch had 51 households. No church is mentioned but this is a common omission and it is probable that a settlement of this size would have had a church.

The Priory of Carrow, a house of Benedictine Nuns in Norwich, held the advowson of the church from the late 12th. century until the Dissolution.

The church had wealthy patrons in the 14th & 15th centuries, the Howard family and John de Vere, 12th Earl of Oxford. The Howard family had interests in East Winch from 1317 until the mid 15th. century. John de Vere married Elizabeth Howard in 1428. She was the sole heir to the estate. He was executed after the battle of Towton in 1460 but Elizabeth retained her interest in the estate until her death in 1475. The Howards are the ancestors of the Dukes of Norfolk.

The west tower was built in the later 14th. century and the body of the church soon after. There are records of two bequests, the first in 1388 for 20 shillings (£1) "to work on the church", the second by Margaret Howard in 1416 of £10, "to building the church" .

It is possible that the tower was built some distance W. of the 14th. century nave, as this would have provided working space on all sides and allowed the church to remain in use during construction. Very soon after it was built the tower was raised in height by building up the


The present Nave, celestory, north and south aisles and south porch were built in the first half of the 15th century, The work has been associated with John de Vere, 12th. Earl of Oxford who acquired lands in East Winch on his marriage to Elizabeth Howard in 1428.

Francis Blomfield records that "in the chancel east window are the arms of Vere Earl of Oxford, of Howard and Vere and Howard Impaled"

A Faculty was granted in 1778 to sell two bells and some old lead towards repairs to the church. It also states that the whole (nave) roof to be taken down and rebuilt and the aisle roofs repaired. The new nave roof to be covered with glazed pantiles and the aisle roofs with lead.

Restoration. Sir George Gilbert Scott (1811--1876) restored the church. He applied for a grant from the Incorporated Church Building Society and the work was described as the restoration of nave and aisle roofs. The grant was approved and this work was carried out between 1872 &.1875.

The builder was Bardell Bros. of Middleton and Kings Lynn. The restoration was completed in 1878 at a cost of £2000.

The Tower was built in c.1400. The interior is arranged in three stages; a tall ground stage and tower arch, a ringing chamber with clock and a belfry containing a single bell dated 1624 hung

on a pair of steel joists set on the sills of the bell openings.

The tower is a good example of Perpendicular architecture and the alterations to fit in with the scale of the slightly later nave and aisles are of particular interest. The present character of the tower is mellow and blends well with the rest of the church. It is therefore recommended that any loose stonework should be stabilised and that only heavily weathered stones are replaced. Any defective and/or hard pointing should be cut away and the walls re-pointed with an appropriate lime mortar.

The greatest care should be taken to preserve as much as possible of the present

character. The W. door should be carefully examined and necessary repairs put in hand.

The south Porch dates from the first half of the 15th. century. It is built of red brick and has flushwork panels around the entrance arch. A truly remarkable structure for the use of brickwork augmented with render, particularly in the formation of the detail of the very large side windows and entrance arch

In October 2014 English Heritage published the latest listing of Buildings at Risk - All Saints was included in the listing.

Read about this here

Why the scaffolding at the church?

In the summer of 2014 the Parochial Church Council, in respect of an application for a grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund, commissioned a report on the condition of the church and the need for repair. Proposed repairs were focused particularly on the tower. Also to be included however were repairs to the drainage, gutters and downpipes, and improvements to the heating system within the church.

The report was completed late in the summer of 2014.

The brickwork is in reasonable condition but there are cracks in the head of the entrance arch. Most of the external render has gone and the pointing is in need of attention. The internal plaster is in poor condition and some parts are in need of consolidation and repair.It should be stressed that this is an exceptionally sensitive situation and that the repair programme should be designed to preserve and consolidate the fabric as it stands. Ideally the work should be carried out under the supervision of a conservator.This is a church of considerable interest for the unusual development of building and the way this appears to have been influenced by the Howards and the Earl of Oxford and also for the restoration by Scott in the later 19th. century.The present state of the exterior of the church is in part due to time and weather but also to the desire in the 19th century to see fabric exposed. But what is of importance here is the very considerable evidence for rendered stonework and particularly the use of render on brickwork seen in the S. Porch.It is therefore vital that the proposed programme of repair does not have an adverse effect on the exterior of the church and that every effort is made to conserve the present condition.The complete 'Conservation Report' is available to read or to download - see below - click on the file name to read it - click on the blue arrow to the right to download it to your computer.