On Friday 8 May, Fr Andrew saw on the rightmove website a leasehold property for sale for £50,000 in Norwich at 134, Oak Street. It is 60 square metres and is at present used as offices and rooms for a cultural centre. It has electricity, heating and water and is in very good condition. It is so cheap because it is leasehold, in other words, you have to pay £100 in rent per month for the ground it is built on. This amount is fixed until 2032. The lease itself is even longer – it lasts until 2047.
On Wednesday 13 May we organized a visit to these premises, attended by 9 people.
By Friday 15 May, Orthodox in Norwich had generously promised to donate £5,250.
On Monday 18 May Fr Andrew received Archbishop Mark’s blessing to buy the building if possible, meaning we could start obtaining pledges to donate.
On Thursday 21 May we heard from the surveyor that it would cost £3,000-£5,000 to knock down the internal walls and make good the floor and ceiling, so we could use this building as a church. This was lower than Fr Andrew had estimated.
On Wednesday 27 May we heard that our offer of £42,500 had been accepted. However, since conversion and furnishing costs will come to £12,500, this meant that we should need £55,000 in all.
On Friday 29 May we submitted the planning application for change of use from offices to a place of worship. This will take 6-8 weeks but should result in a positive answer.
On Wednesday 3 June we launched a public internet appeal for the remaining £49,750, given that £5,250 had already been pledged.
By Wednesday 17 June, total gifts and pledges had reached over £31,000. Can you help us reach our target of £55,000?
All donations, when required later this year in July or August, will be made to our charitable trust: East of England Orthodox Church (Registered Charity No 1081707). But please remember that we prefer pledges to actual donations for now. To make a pledge, please inform us at this address: email@example.com. May God bless you for considering the Russian Orthodox Community in Norwich in your alms.
Archpriest Andrew Phillips
17 June 2015