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On the left the Salvation Army Band lead a procession from Oak Square to St Remigius and on the right uniformed organisations and clergy gather outside the church.

A special songs of praise and service of thanksgiving organised by Hethersett and District Churches Together was held at St Remigius Church, Hethersett, to mark the completion of phase one of a major renovation scheme. 

The celebrations started with a procession from Oak Square in the centre of the village to the church. This was led by the Norwich Citadel Band of the Salvation Army followed by uniformed organisations from the village, clergy and local dignitaries and members of the public. Over 200 people braved the rain for the half mile walk to the church. 

The service was led by the Rector of Hethersett, the Rev Di Lammas with a special address by the Archdeacon of Norfolk, the Venerable David Hayden. Methodist Minister the Rev Derek Grimshaw gave a Bible reading from Genesis and prayers of thanksgiving were led by the Rev Mary Kerslake. 

Phase one of the church improvements has included restructuring the entry to the church to include new ramps to improve wheelchair access. Further work is planned in the future 

In his address the Archdeacon praised the work of all those involved in the improvements: 

“There has been a church on this site for 1000 years and this church has been here for 700. Every generation has had the opportunity to adapt the building to its particular needs. Without that happening it would have fallen into ruin. In 1874 the transept and chancel were re-built, now you are re-developing the building to make it a church for today,” he said. 

The Rev Lammas thanked all the people that had “inspired the church to move forward” and also Hethersett Middle School and Hethersett Old Hall School where services have been held over the past few months. 

Future planned work includes further improvement to heating and lighting, opening up more space at the back of the building, extending the seating by introducing a gallery and providing a room to be used both for quiet reflection and as a crèche. 

After the main service the congregation circled the outside of the church for a “symbolic hug” of the building. This was followed by refreshments. There was also a special presentation to churchwardens Vic Redington and David Neal to mark their outstanding contribution to the improvements.

Details of the service

Hymns featured in the service were: Come and See The Shining Hope,  Christ Is Made the Sure Foundation, Come on and Celebrate, All People That On Earth Do Dwell, In Christ Alone My Hope is Found, O Lord My God, Lord for the Years Your Love Has Kept and Guided, Thine be the Glory and Praise God From Whom All Blessings Flow.

The Bible reading was from Genesis 28: vv 10-22.