St Andrew is a hugely impressive 14th century church, the tower has carved vines and fancy flint flushwork and unusual setback buttresses. Inside are 15th century doors, carved pew ends and a painted 15th century rood screen, now in the south aisle.
The church is currently on the Heritage at Risk register and urgently needs funding of over £0.5million for repairs to the windows and buttresses, and to repair the damage after lead was stolen from the south aisle roof. Currently the church has to be closed during bad weather due to the risk from breaking glass.
The busy and active church community hope to use any funding to turn the church into a hub for local events, as well as repairing the fabric of the building.
Deopham is home to both Pipistrelle and Natterer's bat roosts, and there are droppings scattered throughout the church in the summer months.
Deopham has been part of a number of research projects including a PhD analysing the diet of bats in the church to gauge their impact on agricultural pest insects.
The Bats in Churches project is working to support the church's bid for funding for major repairs. We've commissioned Wild Wings Ecology to carry out surveys throughout summer 2021 and suggest some solutions for the church.
We are also helping to fund some pilot events and public engagement projects to support funding bids and grant applications, and linking the church with other churches applying for funding so they can share their experiences.