Building project

September 2023

It is finished!

Front of Church 17-11-23

August 2023

Letter to church and wider community giving update and thanks to all parties, without who's help this project could not have been successfully completed.

Click here to see the letter

July 2023

building update

As you can see the building is finally emerging from its cocoon of scaffolding. After a very long process of stabilizing the walls. The render is now ready for painting and then finally all the scaffolding will be taken down and we hope to have an official unveiling around 23rd September 23. The Lord has been very evident during this arduous renovation and we have been greatly blessed by the way the money has come in as it was needed. We worship a great, loving God.

April 2023

building works 2building works 1

  You will be aware that the repair work on the outside walls at the Chapel is taking a long time. Various difficulties have cropped up as the work proceeded which have meant changes to the plans, new specifications to submit to the listed building authorities, and greatly increased costs. We all recognise that building costs have been soaring in recent months! 

It’s now 3 years since the original plans were approved, and in that time the project has almost doubled in cost.

We are very thankful for the support we have received from members, friends and the local community, and also the grants received from a range of charitable organisations, including

All Churches Trust (now called the Benefact Trust)

Norfolk Churches Trust

Paul Bassham Trust

Geoffrey Watling Trust

Garfield Weston Foundation

Congregational and General Charitable Trust

Despite everyone’s generosity, In view of the increased costs, we also decided that we needed to apply for a loan from the Baptist Building CIO  to be able to complete the works this year.  This is an organisation that supports Baptist Churches to maintain their buildings  by providing affordable loans and we can now report that this loan has been granted, we are very grateful for their support.   

We don't often ask for help, but we would like to inform the local community of the situation, and ask if you are able to help us financially at this time? 

Any gift, however small, would be most welcome. These can be taken to the Coffee Shop, or posted in an envelope through the chapel door, or paid by Bank Transfer 

(details from Beryl - We hope it won't be too long before the scaffolding can come down and the building look a lot better!

In the meantime, we continue to enjoy meeting with God and each other inside the building with services, prayer, worship, activities and serving the community.


Phase two

As at December 2022, the work is still going on. The latest job has been the removal of the paint/sealant from two sides of the building. This covering did not allow the bricks to breath and caused the damage to them and to the timber frame. Work will now pause for the Christmas period and our contractors will continue early in 2023. Please Pray that no further problems will hinder this process and that the money will be found to complete this work.

You will see from the photos that work has commenced M.S. Oakes is our contractor. Scaffolding now surrounds the building and work on the walls begun. The old render has been removed revealing the extent of the damage to underlying brickwork, which is more serious than first thought. A structural engineer will now inspect this brickwork and a decision made as to the best solution, which may involve rebuilding the brick skin.  Originally it was hoped that all the work would be completed by December 6th 2021 but this is now unlikely.
The good news is that the Loft insulation upgrade is now complete, and lighting has been installed, together with boarding which will allow this extensive space to be utilised for long term storage.

side door

back view

front with scaffolding

front door

The oldest part of our church building was built in 1811. It is a timber frame with a single brick cladding. 

Phase Two

Following the completion of Phase One (see below) we have now embarked on the next stage in 2021

Update on our latest Church Repair Project 2021

The most recent Quinquennial Report, dated July 2019, outlines the urgent work still needed to repair and improve the outer walls of the sanctuary.

 The External Repair Project 2021 consists of three sections:

 1 Renovation of the outside of the building.

 2 Improving disabled access and parking.

 3. Insulation of the large roof void. 

The work for section 1 comprises the following:

 i) Remove hard render cement to South and West Elevations and replace with lime based external render; (in several places the render is coming away from the walls leaving large gaps where water can enter)

 ii) Remove cement based paint finish from external brick facing, re-point bricks where necessary and provide Kiem shelter coat finish;

iii) Investigate and repair the external fabric to the Prayer room.

pic 1pic 2pic 3pic 4pic 5

 Section 2: involves the replacement of some external gravel areas with tarmac to form two wheelchair accessible car parking spaces. Please Note: This phase has had to be postponed because the main building repairs will now cost significantly more than first estimated and consequently the money set aside for the car park has had to go into the building repair fund

 Section 3: comprises the addition of loft insulation and safe access platform across the loft for future maintenance and adjustment of the timber facia to increase ventilation of the roof space.

 The total cost, including professional fees is £99,777 including VAT. We have just received planning permission for the works from the Baptist Union Listed Buildings Association Committee, and approval of building regulations from South Norfolk District Council. 

 We hope to be able to complete the work in 2021.Preferably starting May/June, and completion by November. 

We are in the process of applying for grants, and members and friends have already begun to contribute, so our building fund stands at £30,000 for now. We have already had offers of grants of around £25,000 from 3 providers, and are waiting for responses from others. Anyone can help… maybe you could collect small change on a bottle… pick one up from the Coffee Shop when you are passing.. or if you would like to make a donation, drop it off at the Coffee Shop when we are open, or post through the door. 

We hope to complete this work in 2021, to protect the walls from further deterioration, and ensure that we can continue to welcome old friends, and new, as we begin to step into a new normal!!

 We Pray that God will make this project possible and that this Chapel (built in 1812) will remain for another 200 years to witness and spread the ‘Good News’ of Jesus Christ.

Phase One

Over the last 200 years, the frame had badly deteriorated and was in need of extensive repair. Investigative works identified the extent of the problem, which involved replacing much of the oak sole plate and a significant amount of timbers followed by making good the interior walls and redecorating. 

The works were expected to cost in the region of £90,000. A vast sum for a modest rural church to find. 

We started fundraising in September 2017 and by September 2018, we had raised £80,000. This has been accomplished from a mixture of donations, collections and grants. In April 2018 we held a special Gift Weekend as part of our Anniversary celebrations and raised a magnificent £8,000. We are so grateful to people for their generosity and to God for His faithfulness through this project.  


We are pleased to announce that the builders began work on 24th September 2018 and the work was completed in April 2019 in time for the Easter services. 

See below for updates during the building works with accompanying photographs. And the last entry as we prepare to take back our building.

Praise the Lord !!!

November 2018

We are pleased to report that the building work at our church is progressing well. Please take a look at some photographs taken this week.

Building project 1

This photograph was taken inside the main hall of the church looking west. 

Building project 2

This is another image of the westerly wall of the main hall in the church. 

Building project 5

This image looks towards the back of the room and shows the balcony around the back and sides. The floor is covered in boards to protect the carpet.

Building project 7

This last image looks towards the easterly wall in the main hall and shows the mezzanine floor.

We hope that you find these photographs interesting and encouraging as the work progresses towards completion. 

February 2019 

Latest building work - February 2019Unfortunately, the builders have discovered further problems with the timber framework of our chapel. It was found that some of the windows were allowing rain water to reach the framework, including the new timbers. So this had to be rectified. In this process it has been discovered that the framework supporting the windows has just rotted away. It now means most of the windows now need examining and remedial work undertaken. Not only will this mean further cost, but this additional work will also delay our return to the chapel. The latest estimate for our return is now Easter. We are very grateful to the architect and the builders,  who are doing such an amazing and thorough job.

April 2019 

As the day approaches when we will return to our chapel at Carleton Rode Baptist Church, here are some photographs taken in April of the progress made by the builders. You'll see quite a difference from the pictures taken in February.

Chapel April 2019

Chapel April 2019

Chapel April 2019

Chapel April 2019

We are so pleased with the progress that's been made and we look forward to the day we can return to our home in Carleton Rode. Why not come along and visit us in our newly restored home at the Chapel. We hope to see you soon.

Building Project Thanksgiving

We are so pleased to announce that our Timber Frame repair project is now complete. After around 12 months of planning and fundraising, the work on the walls began in September 2018. Having overcome some further problems which were encountered as the work progressed, we are finally able to use the church again.

We have been so grateful to everyone for their support; members, friends, people in the local community and the wider Baptist family have all contributed in an amazing way and without their support we would not have been able to carry out the work. Thank you to you all.

We also want to give thanks and praise to God for the many ways He has clearly helped and led us through this whole project.


We wanted to mark the re-opening in a special way, so we planned  thanksgiving celebrations to coincide with our Church Anniversary weekend on Saturday 11th and Sunday 12th May 2019. This was well attended and a very special day for us .

It will not come as much of a surprise to say that restoration work has not finished, the building is, after all, over 200 years old.

Further work is now needed to the outside of the premises. As yet we have not got a start date for this. We will update this page when more is known. 

Good news!!! The majority of the money is now promised and so it is with excitement that I can report that the work on the outside of the premises  will commence before the end of September. You will soon see scaffolding going up as the first stage. Then the builders will commence to remove the render from the walls and replace with a suitable material.


Organisations supporting CRBC

We are grateful to the following organisations for grants towards the project. Without their support we would not have been able to complete the work.