Covering Dereham, Scarning, Swanton Morley, Hoe, Beetley with East Bilney, Shipdham and Bradenham

Church Office: 01362 693143

St Nicholas' Building Project

A history of the St Nicholas' Building Project

In 2018 a Five Year Strategic Plan was conceived for the mission and ministry of the parish.

Part of the plan was to ‘Improve the church building for the use of the whole community’

A parish away day on 27th January 2018 saw a wide range of ideas circulate. These were narrowed down by a Building Project Group which met in October 2018 with the following ideas:

  • Install two toilets
  • Adding a proper kitchen
  • Improve south porch entrance – this was completed in 2023 when the cobbles were repointed to make it easier for pushchairs and wheelchairs to enter the church
  • Replacing the heating system
  • moving the boiler from the vestry

The PCC are investigating alternative heating systems. This will include a visit to St Peter Mancroft in Norwich to see their solar panels, air-source heat pumps and batteries.

  • To create communal areas for mixing and socialising.
  • To adapt the stage/dais area.
  • Re-seating the church
  • Improving the sound system – this only covers the nave area. A new sound system will be installed in 2024 after a bequest was made for this purpose.

The 2018 Vision was put on hold when the Team Rector moved on from Dereham and became the Bishop's Chaplain in 2019. 2020 saw Covid and the arrival of the new Team Rector and some changes were made to the early stage of the building plan:

2021 Post Covid Adaptions

  • The church was used as the prime venue for funeral visits during the pandemic rather than the home of families.
  • Baptism and wedding meetings have generally been in the church rather than the home.
  • However, effectiveness of pastoral encounter is limited by a lack of privacy as the church is open to visitors all day

Proposed solution: – enclose the North Transept to create a pastoral/community space with independent heating with access to the toilet and kitchen facilities

The Statement of Need

The Statement of Significance

The Plans:

the proposed floor plan


St George's Chapel remodelled (south aisle east end)

The Chancellor’s Judgement and the Faculty

The need to restore the Tudor ceilings as part of the granting of the Faculty


In May 2024 the architect started the process of gathering tenders for the project.

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