Great Yarmouth – St. John’s Church

A short way from the busy seafront is this closed and redundant church, looking a little sad. Its future is though more positive, as it was sold to the Great Yarmouth Preservation Trust in 2016 for £1 and the organisation has plans to restore the building and use it for the community. The funds aren’t currently in place to complete the project, but the Trust seems hopeful that they can be secured.

A rather charming tree in the churchyard.

Sadly, at the moment the entire church is fenced off. The church had first opened in 1858 when it was opened by the Beach and Harbour Mission. During the Victorian period the church was primarily used by the local beachmen, sailors and their families.

The church’s former chapter house. The building was built by John Henry Hakewill, who designed and restored many churches during the mid-Victorian period.

The Trust is restoring and preserving seven documents which were found in the church, including an impressive baptism roll. It’s delightful that these documents have been secured for the future, as without the Trust’s intervention there must have been the risk that the church would have been turned into flats and the contents lost for ever. The kneeler cushions, which had been left unused for years, were also kept and there are plans to repair and preserve them.

The restoration of the church appears to be in good hands, and the Trust said to the local media that the repairs would be sensitive and that the interior wouldn’t be reconstructed. Hopefully in a few years this building will once again be used by the community, and I can then have a little look inside.