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Old Buckenham villagers hope 10km run will raise the roof

Organiser Celia Clarke and local runner and resident, James Colman
Organiser Celia Clarke and local runner and resident, James Colman

A new 10km run has been organised to help raise funds to replace the thatched roof on All Saints’ Church in Old Buckenham.

The Grade I-listed building and is believed to be the only church in the country with both a fully thatched roof over the nave and chancel, along with a full height octagonal tower.

The whole roof needs to be completely replaced, however, which will cost more than £100,000.

The Old Buckenham 2000 Trust has organised the run on Sunday, April 22, and is seeking entrants to help raise money for the church restoration project, called Raise the Roof.

“We chose to support the Raise the Roof campaign for the whole village and it’s the first time a race of this kind has been held in the village,” said Celia Clarke, chairman of the Old Buckenham 2000 Trust.

“Electronic timing chips will be provided for all runners to enable those who want to beat the clock, but those who wish to take their time and enjoy the views are also very welcome.”

Up to 300 runners are expected to take part, with all profits going to Raise the Roof.

The race is due to start on the village green at 11am before heading out into the countryside. It costs £15 to enter.

“This year’s winter weather has been the final straw as water made its way through the church ceiling and on to the floor,” said village resident Alison Hannah.

“The thatch is made with reed from the Norfolk Broads and replacing it will require 400 bundles.

“Villagers have already raised around £15,500 but this is our first big fundraising event, thanks to the trust.”

Under-18s must be accompanied by an adult for the run and the race is also open to wheelchair users.

Registration and prize giving for all categories will take place at Old Buckenham Village Hall.

For more information, go online to www.tinyurl.com/oldbuckrace.

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