In 1896 the tool shed in the churchyard was built of stone to match the church.
Despite the beautification already carried out and the modifications made in 1885, the interior of the church was still considered very old fashioned and, at a meeting of the more influential pew holders in 1897, it was decided to modernise it by making three structural alterations over a period of ten years. First to put in a new floor and new pews in the nave, secondly to carry out the twenty year old suggestion of extending the church with a chancel, and thirdly to reseat the galleries.
Collections and sales of work were held to raise funds for the project, but before it became a reality the parish was to go through a very turbulent period.
As the century neared its close and the prospect of the four townships being united under one Urban District Council became imminent, new private property sprang up in various parts of the parish. The occupants, coming from outside the district and wishing to have a say in the running of the church, soon found themselves at loggerheads with an autocratic vicar who refused to adapt himself to the new regime.
The tower bell ringers were the first to feel the effect of this antagonism. They had made a number of requests for new ropes and fittings and, even though they had the support of the parishioners, they had been ignored. At a very stormy Easter Monday vestry meeting in 1898 the ringers walked out and did not return until repairs had been carried out in time for the harvest thanksgiving of 1899.
It must not be thought that the bell ringers life was one of regular arguments and walk-outs, for apart from their campanology prowess, which during the 1890s was beginning to be recognised, they were invited to join the Cheshire Guild of Change Ringers in July 1896. They also knew 'how to enjoy themselves, for they had some 'merry times' when each summer they and 'their friends hired a wagonette and visited a Cheshire beauty spot; and their annual potato pie suppers at the Red Lion were occasions to be noted in the local press.
The vicar's interference with the running of the Sunday School and the resignation of the superintendant led to some of the teachers taking their charges and holding classes in their own homes; his replacement of the day school managers without due notice led to an inquiry by the National Society as to its running. The only person who survived the storms was the worthy organist who, when he got his 'notice', ignored it and carried on as usual.
By 1902 the attendance at church had sunk so low that the churchwardens and a number of pew holders petitioned the Bishop of Chester on the 'deplorable and unsatisfactory conditions now prevailing at Norbury church'.
This led to an enquiry being held at Norbury by Bishop Jayne and Archdeacon Woosman in the December of that year, but Mr Wilmer, with the help of a lawyer, was able to convince his superiors that there was nothing wrong with his ministry.
Not satisfied with the results of this enquiry the same group of people then complained about the excessive grave yard charges. An enquiry was held at Chester in June 1903, when a standard charge was fixed for surplice fees, which became a guide for the whole of the Diocese.
The parish magazine that had started in such grand style had now shrunk to four pages dealing with church items only.