The Norfolk and Norwich Christian community website

Hundreds of Norfolk churches throw open doors

OpenChurchesBooklet400More than 300 historic churches across Norfolk will be throwing open their doors and running a packed programme of special events and activities during Norfolk Open Churches Week 2011, from Saturday August 6 to Sunday August 13. Keith Morris reports.
Visitors can enjoy the ecclesiastical car rally from Norwich Cathedral to Raveningham, hop on and off a vintage bus and visit the Elmham group of churches, enjoy Jacobean Japes at Forncett St Mary and take part in the annual service at St Benet’s Abbey in the heart of the Broads.
There are events celebrating the 400th anniversary of the King James Bible, including a trail round the Scarrowbeck group of churches in North Norfolk, plus concerts, flower festivals, children’s activities, craft demonstrations and author talks.
Download guides to open churches week at www.norfolkopenchurches.com, or pick up the Open Churches 2011 booklet at TICs throughout the county. Open Churches Week features churches in the Diocese of Norwich and the Diocese of Ely (churches around Downham Market). For general information about Norfolk see www.visitnorfolk.co.uk.

Open Churches Week Highlights


Ecclesiastical Car Rally: The week gets off to a ‘roaring’ start with the fourth annual Ecclesiastical Car Rally on Saturday, August 6, featuring more than 60 cars. The oldest cars are Talbot 1936, MG Magnette1934 and a Rolls Royce 1932. The rally leaves Norwich Cathedral Close at 9.30am, then heads to Raveningham via Caistor St Edmunds, Shotesham, Chedgrave, Loddon, Hales, Stockton and Toft Monks finishing at lunchtime at the Raveningham Centre.


Scarrowbeck Group Bible Trail: Saturday, August 6 to Sunday, August 14, daily, celebrating the 400th anniversary of the King James Bible; St Lawrence Ingworth, introduction to the trail; St Mary’s Erpingham, from scroll to book, early Bible manuscripts; Our Lady & St Margaret Catlthorpe, printing changes things, the Bible from Wycliffe to Tyndale; St Mary’s Aldborough, the creation of the King James Bible; All Saints Thwaite, taking the bible round the world and Flower Festival; St Ethelbert’s Alby, Bibles since the King James Version – more information tel. 01263 768073 or 768209.
St Andrew’s Norwich: NR2 4AD, Saturday, August 6 and Monday, August 8 to Friday, August 12, open 2.30pm to 5pm, display celebrating the 400th anniversary of the King James Bible and the history of the church in the 17th century; Tuesday, August 9, 1pm, organ recital by David Ballard organist at St Nicholas, North Walsham ‘Giving thanks for the Bible’. 
KJBCover350Christ Church Fulmodeston, NR21 0LZ, Saturday, August 6 to Sunday, August 14, open daily dawn to dusk, exhibition celebrating the 400th anniversary of the King James Bible featuring a facsimile copy of the original edition (pictured right); Saturday, August 6, 5pm, concert celebrating the King James Bible in songs and readings with Meg Starling, Stephen Miles and Kathleen Wyatt, free (retiring collection); Sunday, August 7, 5pm, Festival Choral Evensong with the Richeldis Singers – more information tel. 01328 878364.
St Catherine’s Ludham: NR29 5QA, Saturday, August 6 at 7.30pm St Catherine’s Singers concert Mad Dogs & Englishmen, ticket £8, tel. 01692 678437 or 678427 and Sunday, August 7 to Sunday, August 14 daily 10am to 5pm, Ludham at Work exhibition.
St Peter’s Hedenham: NR35 2LF, Saturday, August 6 to Saturday, August 13, open daily 10am to 4pm, activities: brass rubbing for children, local artists exhibition, local history display.. Special events: Sunday, August 7, 1pm to 4pm readings by author Diana Athill; Tuesday, August 9, readings by The Right Hon. The Earl of Ferrers, author of ‘Whatever Next’; Wednesday, August 10, 10am to1pm, pottery display and pottery activity for children, and 1pm-4pm organists practice: Saturday, August 13, 10am to 1pm Sally Connor craft and jewellery maker – hands-on session and 1pm to 4pm readings by author Diana Athill.
St John the Baptist Mileham: PE32 2RD, Saturday, August 6 to Saturday, August 13, open daily, Bible display including a history of The Bible in Britain, to celebrate the 400th anniversary of the King James Bible.
VintageBus350St Mary’s Whissonsett: NR20 5ST, Saturday, August 6 to Sunday, August 13, open daily, celebrating the 400th anniversary of the King James Bible with The Art of theBook,  display of bibles of all types plus contemporary artists books, floral displays and demonstrations of book related arts e.g. bookbinding and conservation, plus papermaking and hands-on opportunities for visitors.
Elmham Group of Churches: Sunday, August 7, hop on and off the vintage bus (pictured right) and visit Elmham, Guist, Twyford, Bintree, Billingford and Worthing churches and take part in the Treasure Trail for a chance to win a prize hamper. Free half-hourly service to all churches between 12noon and 5.30pm.

Vintage buses provided by The Eastern Transport Collection and sponsored by GF Atthowe Builders and Eastern Office Equipment. Parking at Elmham, Bintree, Billingford and Worthing, tel. 01362 668435 for more information.
StBenetsAbbeyEdGrapes420St Benet’s Abbey: (pictured right by Ed Grapes) Sunday, August 7 – The Bishop of Norwich, who is also Abbott of St Benet’s, will be conducting the annual service at the abbey at 3.30pm.
St Mary’s Heacham: PE31 7HJ, Monday, August 8 to Friday, August 12, music in the church at 12noon and exhibition about the history of Heacham including the village’s connection to Pocahontas; Saturday, August 13, 7.30pm, concert with Jenny Vickers and friends, ticket £6.
St Mary’s Wroxham: NR12 8SG, Thursday, August 11 to Sunday, August 14, 10am to 5pm daily, Flower Festival. 
St Michaels & All Angels Bunwell: NR16 1TE, Thursday, August 11 at 7.30pm, Col. John Crosland CBE MC presents the second David Money Memorial Lecture, The Black Hat, The Cog and The Wheel. 
St Peter’s Forncett St Peter: Low Road, Forncett St Peter, Saturday, August 13, 4pm, full choral Evensong using liturgy from the King James Bible, read from a 17th century copy of the work featuring music from Orlando Gibbons and William Byrd.
St Mary’s Forncett St Mary: Low Road, Forncett St Mary, Saturday, August 13, 1pm-3pm poetry workshop with Caroline Gilfillan, pre-booked only tel. 01508 4818576 and 7pm, Jacobean Japes, Vioamente presents a programme of secular songs and instrumental music by composers active around 1611, notably Gibbons, Byrd and Ravenscroft. Ticketed event tel. 01508 481856.
Jennie Hawks, Historic Places of Worship Support Officer, Diocese of Norwich, said: “Open Churches Week is our way of showcasing the wonderful historic churches which have been part of the rich history of Norfolk for over a thousand years. It is also the time for local communities to show their pride in their churches, which have been at the centre of our villages for centuries. Please come and enjoy them with us.”
Lydia Smith, Director Norfolk Tourism, said: “Norfolk is blessed with hundreds of wonderful historic churches. Open Churches Week is a great opportunity to get out and about in the county, leave the car at home and visit local churches by foot, boat, bicycle and train.”

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