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Parishioners fear losing historic parsonage

by
13 September 2013

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From Ann Meakin
Sir, - Is there any wonderful person out there who could tell me how to rescue Martham Parsonage?

Martham Parsonage is probably the only surviving parsonage house in the whole country built when priests were first allowed to marry. It has been the much loved home of the Vicars of Martham and their families for more than four centuries. It has been the place where the clergy have ministered to their parishioners and prepared their sermons and prayed for their flock for 450 years; and yet the diocese of Norwich wishes to put a stop to all that.

Having been built in the 1560s and modernised in the 1830s, Martham Parsonage has the appearance of a small Georgian house. Nevertheless, it still retains some of the original features. This house stands proudly beside the tower of its magnificent neighbour, proclaiming to the village: "This is where you will find the people of God in this community."

The house does need further updating and maintenance to bring it up to the standards expected nowadays, but it provides the sort of facilities and opportunities needed by the parish and benefice that the smaller new replacement house will not provide. We have no church hall to use. We are asked to be "committed to growth", but the diocese wishes to take away our resources for doing just that.

Once, on holiday, I heard a brilliant sermon on the theme "This generation has dropped it." Must Martham Parsonage be another very usable treasure to be added to that list?

ANN MEAKIN
6 Marsh Close, Martham
Great Yarmouth NR29 4UF

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