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Plan to tempt tourists into churches

PUBLISHED: 13:39 29 March 2009 | UPDATED: 09:34 13 July 2010

A bishop has given his blessing to a new church trail aimed at highlighting the hidden jewels that embellish north Norfolk.

Twenty nine churches in the Repps deanery around Cromer, Sheringham and Mundesley are featured in a new leaflet launched at the weekend.

A bishop has given his blessing to a new church trail that highlights the unsung jewels that embellish north Norfolk.

Twenty-nine churches in the Repps deanery around Cromer, Sheringham and Mundesley are featured in a leaflet launched at the weekend. Rural dean the Rev Michael Langan, who had the idea, said: "If Cromer is the gem of the north Norfolk coast, the parish churches are the jewels."

The brochure, published by the local Poppyland Partnership with the help of sponsors, encourages people to discover churches

such as:

Sidestrand, which was moved stone by stone inland in 1881

to avoid coastal erosion.

Knapton, where the angel-decorated roof is said to be the handsomest in the country.

Overstand, burial place of anti slavery campaigner Sir Thomas Fowell Buxton.

Gunton Park, looking like a classical garden temple, designed by the architect Robert Adam.

Felbrigg, in the National Trust park, with a rare wafer oven in the tower wall.

Paston, with wall paintings including three skeletons doing

a dance of death and a pew carving of the devil sticking his tongue out.

The leaflet was launched

at another of the jewels - St Bartholomew's, Hanworth - which has no electricity, relying on gas for light and power, and where the organ is still pumped by foot-operated bellows.

The Bishop of Lynn, the Rt Rev James Langstaff, said: "This is a more positive message than the usual impression that rural churches are a burden to the local communities.

"They are not just pieces of architecture but buildings with a story about local people and their faith. We are hoping to turn tourists into pilgrims and that people, whatever their own faith, will find them places of quiet contemplation and spirituality in the wider sense."

The leaflets are available in churches and tourist information offices.


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