£55,000 Reached in Eight Weeks! Thank you!
On Wednesday 3 June we launched an internet appeal for £55,000 in order to set up our own church in Norwich. By Wednesday 29 July, eight weeks after the appeal launch, total gifts and pledges had reached £55,000. We are now waiting for legal documents to be exchanged. Once this has happened we can start building work to transform the building into an Orthodox church. With God’s help we hope to start services in November. At last a permanent home for Russian Orthodoxy in Norwich after over thirty years of struggles. Thank you!
All donations, when required in September, will be made to our charitable trust: East of England Orthodox Church (Registered Charity No 1081707). May God bless you for having considered the Russian Orthodox Community in Norwich in your almsgiving.
Archpriest Andrew Phillips
20 August 2015
On Friday 8 May, Fr Andrew saw a leasehold property for sale on the rightmove website for £50,000 at 134, Oak Street, Norwich. It measures 88 square metres externally 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 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 local Russian Orthodox.
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 would 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 would take at least 6-8 weeks but should result in a positive answer.
Wednesday 3 June we launched a public internet appeal for the remaining funds, given that £5,250 had already been pledged.