Sheringham church to meet in ruined priory
Lighthouse Community Church in Sheringham will be meeting this Sunday evening in the ruins of the medieval Priory of St Mary in the Meadow in Beeston Regis, in what will be the first of a series of monthly Sunday evening services. Tony Rothe reports.
The new evening services will run from 5pm to 6pm on the third Sunday of each month and focus mainly on worship, with a short message. Most will be held at Lighthouse itself, but the July and September meetings will take place in the atmospheric surroundings of Beeston Regis Priory.
Ian Savory from the leadership team said “In seeking under the Holy Spirit to be a Hub Church, the early monastic movement has ancient teaching about Community that brings transformation. So we are going back to the old places to get inspiration for the new. We are praying that God would open new wells amongst us that will flow with living water”.
The Priory of St Mary was founded by Margery de Cressy in 1216 for a small community of four canons. The canons were ordained priests that followed the rule of St Augustine and belonged to the Order of Peterstone, a small and somewhat mysterious Norfolk-based religious order. One of their important roles was to act as parish priests for nearby churches.
The Priory was closed by Henry VIII in 1536. It was stripped of all valuables and then used as a source of building materials. Fortunately, much of the Priory church survives as ruins because it was converted into farm buildings soon after its abandonment as a religious building.
The ruins of the church are owned by the Norfolk Historic Buildings Trust, who have kindly given their permission for these services to take place. The site is managed by Norfolk County Council’s Monuments Management Project.
St Mary’s Priory is located at NR26 8SF, close to Beeston Regis Common and The Priory Maze and Gardens, with finger-post signs providing directions from the A149. There is no parking on site, but Priory Maze have kindly given permission for their car park to be available and there is also a layby to the south of the Cromer Road, opposite the Maze entrance.
“Holidaymakers and locals alike will be very welcome to join us” added Ian, “but I suggest you bring a chair or blanket if you want to sit down!”
The 5pm services for rest of 2019 will be on June 23 and September 22 at Beeston Priory, and on July 21, October 20, November 17 and December 15 all at Lighthouse, 62 Cromer Road, Sheringham, NR26 8DF.
Photos by Tony Rothe.
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