Beccles

Church Explorers

Convenor: Peter Westmacott
Date: 3rd Thursday of the Month April to October
Time: 2pm to 4pm
Venue: See below VACANCIES Contact Peter via the bird

I am hoping that with the development of a vaccine to tackle Covid-19 we might be able to resume our church visits in the spring of 2021. As we missed the entire 2020 programme of visits because of lockdown, I am hoping that we might be able to undertake
all the 2020 visits from April 2021 until October 2021.

Since the lockdown, it has been difficult to visit churches, even on your own or in pairs. Many have been locked for much of the time and/or have had Covid-19 restrictions placed upon them. At various times they have hardly been open to the priesthood or churchwardens. Some are now open for private prayer only.

These restrictions inevitably make our chosen leisure activity all the more difficult. However, all is not lost. I can recommend a programme on BBC iplayer called "A Passion for Churches" by Sir John Betjeman. It was produced in the 1970s so might seem a bit dated. It is a delightful look by Betjeman at churches in Norfolk, some of which we visited last year - St Peter Mancroft and Ranworth. At Ranworth he particularly examines the rood screen. The programme looks at the architecture of churches, amongst other things, and lasts about 50 minutes. It reminded me that we ought to visit Lound church, 'the golden church', full of gold and colour in the Anglo-Catholic tradition. Sir John Ninian Comper, the famous Gothic Revival architect, transformed the church and left his distinctive mark there. Perhaps we can visit it in 2021!

I can recommend a book called "100 Norfolk Churches of Village and Countryside" by Andrew Swift. It is a hardback, full of excellent and helpful photos on one side of each two-page spread and a single photo and an informative text on the other. The author explores many of the lesser known churches of the county, so no mention of Salle, Ranworth and Cawston. These are all covered adequately elsewhere. An interesting section at the end of the book has Swift listing his Top 12 Norfolk churches. In completely random order, they are: Irstead, Litcham, South Burlingham, Belaugh, Framingham Pigot, Ringland, Ketteringham, Claxton, Erpingham, Upper Sheringham, Ditchingham and Hardley. I have to confess I have only visited four of them, so still plenty more to discover! The book is Published by Velox Books and costs around £20.

I hope you have managed to locate Simon Knott's internet sites onSuffolk Churches and Norfolk Churches. As we can't visit the churches now, we can at least get a feel for them by reading Knott's descriptions and looking at his wonderful photographs. I must go and see what he has to say about Lound .....

Details of our meetings in 2018 and 2019 can be found by following the link to The first two years

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Church Explorers Classical Music Appreciation 1
Classical Music Appreciation 2 Coffee Morning
Computer Confidence Group Creative Writing
Cribbage Current Affairs
Cycling Digital Photography Group - Home Page
Dog Walking Drawing and Painting
Drawing and Painting English Country Dancing
Family History French Conversation
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Italian Conversation 1 Italian Conversation 2
Italian for improvers Jazz Appreciation
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Walking 2 Walking 3
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