About Us

St. Mary’s has little that is remarkable in the sense of things to see, but with the sun flooding through onto its light woodwork, it pleases the eye.  The brick floors are warm, and it continues to serve this community as it has done for centuries past.  The fabric of the church was largely reconstructed in the late 19th century, although this is not apparent from the outside. The low roof makes the building appear long, but this isn’t the case, and once inside its dimensions shrink.  Looking at the windows the restoration work can be seen with the renewed windows punctuating 13th century survivals.  There remains one small Norman window. The priest’s door in the south wall of the chancel has five orders of mouldings around it, and also dates from Norman times.

The font is Victorian, and bears a close resemblance to the Norman Tournai marble font at Boulge church.  It has a fine wooden cover with iron decoration.

On the north wall of the nave hangs an Italian painting of the Nativity given in memory of a former rector who died in 1927.  Joseph is leaning on a staff, and kneeling in worship are a woman and two shepherds. 

Another small picture hangs in the nave, this time a delicate portrait of the Virgin Mary.

The double piscina in the sanctuary is unusual, its pillars giving it a graceful form, and is still in regular use. Each of the drainage bowls have a different shape.

The lectern, a gift to commemorate the men who served in the Great War (1914-1918) is a fine wooden eagle, its eyes looking out of the window onto the world. 

In the Sanctuary are two panels carrying the Ten Commandments, Lord’s Prayer and Apostles’ Creed.  The placing of such boards began in the reign of Elizabeth 1st.

This remains an agricultural area, and the church celebrates the four rural festivals of Plough Sunday, Rogation, Lammas and Harvest every year.  The church records tell us that in 1892 the owner of Homersfield Mill, Charles Smith, provided refreshment at the mill to the Church Rogation Procession – the “Beating of the Bounds”. 

The church organ is a standard box-style, and perhaps could have been better situated when installed.  Its present position intrudes somewhat upon the communion rail, and visually unbalances the chancel area.

The village, (formerly known as St. Mary South Elmham), possesses England's oldest surviving concrete bridge, built by Lord Waveney in 1870.  The Adair Bridge, (named after the local land-owning family), crosses the Waveney river in a single-span of 48 feet.  At the entrance to the village there now stands an impressive wood pillar by local sculptor Mark Goldsworthy.  Commissioned in 2000 by Waveney District Council, it captures the feel of the nearby river and is entitled “River Story”.