A 'PARISH CHURCH' like ours in the Church of England is a spiritual venue, a sacred space for all parishioners - wherever a person might identify themselves on the spectrum of faith or understanding of life. Every resident has a civic right to access their parish church not only for quiet reflection, prayers, and historic interest, but also to mark the 'seasons of life' including the celebration of a new arrival (CHRISTENING - a Christian service of blessing and thanksgiving), WEDDINGS (for people of any faith and including divorcees), and FUNERALS in church, or with the Vicar (Rector / parish priest) at a crematorium chapel, including for people who considered themselves 'not particularly religious' - many people today are 'spiritual but not religious' or might believe in 'Something' in life without wanting to give it a name; we are here for you, we are here for everyone. Contact the Upper Wensum Benefice (local parish / village grouping) Rector, the Reverend Robin Stapleford, at the 'Get in touch' tab on the left-hand column for more information or specific enquiry.
We are open daily (at least 10 am to 4 pm) for quiet reflection, prayer, and historic interest.
The building (click HERE) is medieval, with evidence of a Saxon doorway to the left of the porch as you approach, indicating the church's millennium heritage.
St Helen or Helena was the early 4th C. Christian mother of the Emperor Constantine who had a major influence on the widespread acceptance of Christianity after he himself was converted to the Christian faith. Helena took an interest in the original locations of Jesus' life-story and is said to have organised a dig that unearthed the cross of Jesus as Jerusalem. This helped set in motion the tradition of pilgrimage to the 'Holy Land' that continues to this day. Helena / St Helen is depicted in art bearing the cross illustrating her own significance. She appears on a modern (early 20th C. 'reredos' altar screen, and as a clay image, made in recent years by church members, standing in the porch central niche as you approach the church. Either side are two other Christian women, perhaps Julian of Norwich to the left and the Lady of Redbourne (see next paragraph) to the right.
The church remains rustic, like stepping back in time. For instance it has never had a mains electricity supply. Pre-Reformation, medieval survivals include eight rood screen panel saints and religious celebrities. There are equal numbers of each gender either side, including 'the lady of Redbourne', thought to be a unique depiction of her, and John Schorne casting a devil from a boot - symbolic of a gift of curing gout.
There is a rare Charles I coat of arms near the main door, perhaps indicating the traditional political persuasion of the village (!).
The bell frame dates to the 14th Century. There is one bell remaining, for chiming only.
The churchyard grass is maintained by occasional sheep.