The Churches
Conservation Trust


The CCT have been conserving and opening its portfolio of historic listed churches across the country (now totalling 345) to the public for the last 45 years. Its conservation policies have been developed over this time and with the help of expert advisors.  More information can be found about these principles on the CCT website.


The Regeneration Taskforce of the CCT specifically works to develop new uses for its buildings. Their approach to conservation and regenerative re-use is explained here.



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St-Lawrence church, Norwich


The St Lawrence church is a spacious and beautiful medieval city church and a well-known landmark in Norwich. It possesses a robust tower, clerestories with 11 window bays at each side, and a ‘hammerbeam’ truss in one single piece, covering both the nave and the choir. The church was built between 1460 and 1472, but the tower and the choir were most likely completed 30 years later.

The church was decommissioned in 1968 and donated to the Churches Conservation Trust in 1992. As part of the HERE project, the CCT wanted to explore options for the reuse of the church.

An options appraisal was conducted, the result of which was to explore using the building as a combined community workspace - The Common Room.

The Common Room is a joint project between the CCT, / Civic Systems Lab, Un-Ltd and the University of East Anglia.  Its aim is to transform St Lawrence’s Church into a new type of shared space, made and shaped collectively, and run on the principles of collaboration, connection and resourcefulness.


The aspiration is that this wonderful building at such a central location could become a shared resource and a platform for people and organisations across Norwich - providing a shared  space for community activities, enterprise exploration, collaborative innovation, co-working and more – taking lessons from a variety of innovative and successful projects and ventures created elsewhere in the UK and beyond.



»  CCT project page

St-Nicholas chapel, King’s Lynn

Mainly dating from 1419, but with parts dating back to 1200, this is a building on a grand scale, reflecting King’s Lynn as one of the main port towns of medieval England. Wonderful carved roof angels, dazzling stained glass and spectacular monuments, some with startlingly life-like painted figures, celebrate King's Lynn's seamen, merchants, mayors and shopkeepers and illustrate the town's long history as a busy commercial centre and port. The quality of the woodcarving is so high some parts are in the V&A Museum in London.

Grade I listed, it is the largest “chapel-of-ease” in England and contains a rare surviving consistory court dating from 1617. The building remains consecrated, used for occasional services, but due to dwindling congregations it was closed for regular worship in 1992, coming into the care of the Churches Conservation Trust. The FSNC (Friends of St Nicholas Chapel) are a local charity that since 2002 has managed the building in partnership with the CCT.


The chapel is currently used for music events and cultural festivals, particularly in the summer months. The regeneration business plan is an example of where a national and a local organisation have increased what they are able to achieve and offer together. CCT and FSNC worked jointly on a regeneration project to conserve and build on the chapel’s rich heritage while also extending its activity to people who have never experienced its wonderful acoustics and atmosphere.


An activity & interpretation plan and business plan was developed to secure a Heritage Lottery Fund grant of £2.3m, with additional match funding of £125,000 raised through joint fundraising.  As well as an all year round venue with improved facilities, the Chapel will also become a flagship for the inclusion of sustainable technologies: the design scheme will see the installation of a low carbon heating and lighting strategy to be powered by a large array of Photo Voltaic (PV) cells.




Lead partner:
Kempens Landschap vzw

Peredreef 5
2580 Beerzel (Putte)


Tel: +32 15 22 82 37

Suffolk Mind
Hyntle Barn, Hill Farm,

Silver Hill, Hintlesham,

Suffolk, IP8 3NJ

United Kingdom

Interreg 2 seas

Les Arcuriales 45

rue de Tournai 5/D

F-59000 Rijsel


The Churches Conservation Trust

Society Building
8 All Saints Street

London N1 9RL

United Kingdom