Irstead: St Michael, Irstead

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Benefice News
A very warm welcome to the Revd David Robert Smith who was accompanied by his wife the Revd Angela Smith on the occasion of his Institution and Induction as the Rector of the Benefice of St Benedict by the Bishop of Norwich and the Archdeacon of Norfolk on 31st July at St Michael and All Angels, Barton Turf”. 

Irstead Church News
A warm and peaceful welcomes you to Irstead Church which is open daily during daylight hours, and which has been awarded "Highly Commended" in the Diocese of NorwichMost Welcoming Church Awards 2016St Michael's is a Broadland church of character and great charm situated in the hamlet of Irstead,150m from public moorings on the River Ant just below Barton Broad on the Norfolk Broads.

Church History
St Michael's is basically a 14th century church (probably a reconstruction on the site of a 12th century church) with a 15th century South Aisle, so there has been 600 years of worship and prayer here. The walls are built of flint with stone and brick dressings. The nave and chancel are thatched with local reed and sedge capping with a traditional decoration of split hazel.

Above the South porch is a modern sculpture of St Michael fighting the serpent  (dragon like), then entrance to the church is by a very old oak door with a decorative ironwork plate which date from about 1290. Arabic numerals can be seen on the inside of the door which may represent the carpenter's numbering. Norman fragments on the inside of the north (now blocked up) and south doorways can also be seen.

"St Michael's Close Up" - Photographic Exhibition 6th-22nd August, open daily
Follow the 'eye' of the camera to discover the treasures and craftsmanship of St Michael's.

Irstead History
During the last few years Irstead PCC has been exploring the history of  St Michael's, the village of Irstead and its people.  We have collated much information for our archives and staged two exhibitions in the church - Irstead Memories 2011 and Beyond the Guide 2013. 

To mark the Centenary of the First World War we have become part of Neatishead, Irstead and Barton Turf Community Heritage Group who mounted five exhibitions in all  five village churches  (St Michael's Irstead, St Peter's Neatishead, St Michael and All Angels Barton Turf, Neatishead Baptist Church and Barton Methodist Church) during Open Churches Week August 2014.

This two year project entitled "Living through World War 1 in three Norfolk Broadland Villages - Neatishead, Irstead and Barton Turf" undertook meticulous research to establish all those from the villages who served their country during WW1 and who are now remembered on a new memorial plaque at the New Victory Hall dedicated in November 2015.   Please visit the project's dedicated website to find our more information about the project and the men researched.

Those men who fell in both WW1 and WW2 are remembered on memorials in each of the three parish churches and in Neatishead Baptist Church.

We are interested in all historical information (photos, memories, documents) relating to life in Irstead, to borrow or copy that we may then use in displays or keep in our archives, so please use the email contact on this page to get in touch.

Children's Guide
Neatishead Primary School (in the next village) have written a guide to our church especially for children and their families - see our photo album on this website. Do come along, follow the trail and take the booklet home to remind you of your visit.

Dragon Trail
St Michael's is part of the local Dragon Trail which includes St Benedict's Church at Horning, St Catherine's Church at Ludham and St Benet's Abbey.  Pick up a leaflet in the church or click on the link right of the page.

Parish Magazine
The NIB, our Parish Magazine, available to download, see under "News". Find out about local events in Irstead, Neatishead and Barton Turf and the other villages in our Benefice.

Parish boundary view Bird's eye view

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Claire Penstone-Smith
Wren Corner
Shoals Road
Irstead NR12 8XR
(01692) 630580 (PCC Member)

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(Hymn Books / Orders of Service etc.)

Assistance dogs (eg guide dogs, hearing dogs, dogs for the disabled) welcome

Stained Glass Wall Paintings
Church Open St Michaels is open daily.Ramped entrance into the church is available, though 24hours notice is required to enable it to be put in place. Please contact Claire Penstone-Smith via email. Thank you.

Foodbank or foodbank collection point
Other information
Incumbent: The Revd David Robert SMITH
A Church Near You ID (venue number): 4739
Style of worship: Central
Our Patron: Bishop of Norwich
Archdeaconry: NORFOLK (262)
Parish Legal Name: Irstead (260213 )
CofE Church Info: (626213 26/213)
Short URL:
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The current editor is: Claire Penstone-Smith

This page was last updated on Wednesday 19th October 2016
Irstead: St Michael : Shoals Road, Adjacent to River Ant, Irstead, Norfolk, NR12 8XS


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