Sue Rockley delivered the following report at the Annual Parish Meeting held on 15th April 2024:

“In some ways, the last year has been relatively quiet for the PCC – although the church has hosted three splendid concerts. The Dereham Brass Band made full use of the splendid acoustics, we enjoyed Carl Simon’s tributes to the likes of Frank Sinatra and Michael Bublé, and had a taste of Christmas music from around the world with the return of the Big Heart and Soul Choir in December.

Once again, the church resounded to the sound of joyous singing when years 1 and 2 from the School visited before Christmas, and we are looking forward to the older children coming for a special service in May. Revd Laura Purnell’s post includes working with schools and she is making huge strides in building up relationships with schools in the benefice.

Revd Rachael Dines arrived in the summer. She has particular responsibilities for Swanton Morley, East Bilney, Beetley and Hoe and has made an excellent start. Canon Paul Cubitt is the third member of the ministry team. He is very energetic and outgoing and keen to explore how Scarning and Dereham can complement each other’s offerings in terms of times of services etc. The benefice is very fortunate in its ministry team which is ably supported by lay readers.

There has been some progress on the major project around the repairs to the tower and the wish-list of facilities – a toilet and storage in the base of the tower, a raised ringing floor, and a kitchenette. An architect has been appointed and we now have a topographical survey of the building and the churchyard. The next stage is for the architect to produce draft plans for the internal work and for us to commission a structural survey of the tower to give a more accurate idea of the likely costs. We will then begin the quest for funding and bring together the people who have kindly offered to help with the project. The tower has been placed on the Heritage at Risk register which should count in our favour in terms of grants.

We are planning a number of fund raising events and hope that the church will be open as part of this year’s Heritage Open Days.

As ever the PCC is very grateful to the Parish Council for funding the grass cutting in the churchyard and for maintaining the clock. Once again, the Christmas tree provided by the Council, combined with the decoration of the Village Hall, made a splendid focal point for the village over Christmas.

The monthly coffee mornings continue to attract people with the promise of exceptional bacon butties and other delights. The next one on 4 May will also include a plant stall. We hope to see you there!

If anyone would like a fun day out on 22 June, we are having a spring clean – everyone welcome.

We wish to record our thanks to everyone who helps the church in any way – including our bellringers, cake bakers, and everyone who runs and supports events. Together we can secure the future of our beautiful church.”

Sue Rockley – Church Warden, Scarning Church