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A colourful ‘hug’ for village church

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At least 75 colourful quilts were wrapped around the outside of a village church this week as part of a fundraising mission.The Friends of St Andrew’s Church in Little Massingham launched a “giant hug” project to help restore the Grade 1-listed building and raise money for urgent roof repairs needed to remove it from Heritage England’s Buildings At Risk register.As well as helping the church, the Friends teamed-up with Quilts 4 Care Leavers to pass on the hand-made quilts as a lasting gift to young people in Norfolk leaving the care system.The completed quilts went on display for three days in the village before on Monday being wrapped around the church in a “giant hug” gesture. The quilts are now with the Quilts 4 Care Leavers charity where they will be padded and then handed to Norfolk County Council for distribution.It is estimated that eventually, around 150 quilts initiated by the Friends’ project will go to young people who will get to choose a design from quilts made countrywide.Rosemary Jewers, Friends’ treasurer, said it was lovely to see the quilts stretch all the way round the church.“It was such a lovely day. We had so many people turn up,” she said. Once the quilts have had padding added, they will return to the church for two days in July for the last time before the handover.The weekend quilt exhibition and hug raised more than £1,000 for the roof repairs, which cost an estimated £122,000. Rosemary said in the four years the Friends has been formed, it has raised £23,000 for the church.It is also hoped the hug project will also help the church obtain grants towards restoration by illustrating the community involvement and benefit.

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