When the church was reopened, It started to become involved in the community - hosting a Poetry Workshop, a Craft Fair and a talk about the Holocaust and World War 2, a subject dear to Graham Prior’s heart, which raised £175. Then 120 people attended the initial ‘Carols by Candlelight’, raising an amazing £720.
This activity led to a major landmark in 2012 when St Mary's was officially taken out of redundancy. What had been achieved at St Mary’s had the full support of the Parochial Church Council, the Diocesan Authorities and the Bishop of Norwich. And then In September saw the marriage by Special Licence of Elizabeth Rohde and Nick Champion – the first in the church for 43 years.
The next few years saw major progress with the restoration of the fabric, under the direction of Nicholas Warns of Bishopgate, Norwich. This work was made possible by grants from English Heritage/Heritage Lottery grants of £148,000 plus £18,000 for project development and reports. This covered the installation new windows in the nave and vestry, flintwork repairs plus drainage and guttering.
An additional grant of £5,000 from the Garfield Weston Foundation contributed to the windows costs. The Norfolk Churches Trust added £6,000 and the Geoffrey Watling Trust £5,000. A grant from the Norfolk Community Foundation enabled the purchase of 120 comfortable chairs - ex-2012 London Olympic Games.