Bawburgh Church News


2016: Saint Walstan - 1000 Years:  A note from Rev. Laura

A huge thank you to all those who helped with and supported the St Walstan 1000 years celebrations at the end of May. I received so much positive feedback from everyone I met about all aspects of the weekend - the beautiful flowers, the pilgrimage, the service and the warm welcome visitors received. The weekend would not have been possible were it not for the work of a small planning group who worked extremely hard to organise and run the whole event - a big thank you needs to go to them. And to Alison and Robin for allowing us to use their home for the whole weekend. It was a fantastic event.


2016: Saint Walstan - 1000 Years: 28th - 30th May 2016



The flower Festival was pivotal to all proceedings throughout the three days of Celebrations. There were 20 stunning arrangements of very different aspects - some representing parts of the St Walstan legend. Cherie Silvester, shown here, was part of the organising committee, and used a cart, built by Robin Green, for her arrangement. And on Sunday morning. 29th May at 11.30am, the cart became the host for a clue on Radio Norfolk's Treasure Quest!





Bawburgh School visited the church the week before the Festival, to see their sculpture which had received "Highly Commended" last year at Norwich Cathedral and was much admired throughout the weekend, in its position in church among the flower arrangements.

More Photos of St Walstan 1000 years


A message from Alison Green: Thank you to anyone who did anything to help in any of the multitude of ways it took to put on all the parts of the weekend - especially the planners during the past year and the bakers who kept bringing amazing cakes.


Sandy Munro and Richard Woodham lead the three mile pilgrimage from Marlingford to Bawburgh 29th May 2016

Huge thanks to Alison and Robin Green for not only hosting the event of 28th - 30th May 2016, but masterminding and leading its organisation for well over a year. They will be the first to say that it could not have happened without its hard-working Committee, in particular her fellow Churchwarden, Sandy Munro, and Marion Malone, who took a great deal of the load, including the production of mugs, and, in her role as Treasurer of the PCC, the finances. Helen Liddle and Cherie Silvester, helped Alison with much of the organisation, especially the wonderful Flower Festival which was much praised by the stream of visitors. Helen also produced the essential rota, in which many from the village helped to man the church and refreshments. Lin Gibson produced the new Walstan booklet and Betty helped with printing and publicity. June Tucker gathered together the amazing array of home-made cakes, upon which much praise was heaped, and David Goodman and the Village Hall in particular provided practical help with tables, chairs and equipment. The thank you list is enormous, since without all the helpers, stewards from Bawburgh Wanderers group and cake-makers, these events just would not happen - but without Alison and Robin's meadow and garden there would not have been the amazing venue for the service, refreshments and the memorable rounding-up of pilgrims for well-earned complimentary drinks. It was a weekend of much variety and happiness, which produced many memorable moments in the history of the already 1,000 year Walstan story, and the village of Bawburgh.

More Photos of St Walstan 1000 years


Bishop James of Norwich, Rev. Laura and the RC Bishop Alan of East Anglia around the Well following the open air service on 29th May 2016 to commemorate the 1,000 years since Saint Walstan died and was buried in Bawburgh

More Photos of St Walstan 1000 years


Installation of Rev.Laura Montgomery

It was a very happy occasion, when our new Rector, Laura Montgomery was instituted by the Rt. Rev. Graham James, Bishop of Norwich on 15th November 2015,  seen below after the ceremony, which was well attended by all parishes of Laura's new benefice of Bawburgh, Colton, Easton and Marlingford.

Welcome Laura to the Easton Benefice!

Photo with thanks to the Betty Martins




Bawburgh Voices (September 2016)



The September Issue of Bawburgh News ran an article by Mary Wilkinson on Rev. Laura. Here is a shortened version of that article. The words are mostly Laura's.

I was born in the old Norfolk and Norwich Hospital, and grew up in Thurton. I attended Thurton Primary School, and from there went to Framingham Earl School, and then the London Bible College to study for a degree in Theology. After college I was a church-based youth worker in Liverpool. Then I did a Post Graduate Certificate in Education in Oxford. While I was teaching in Gorleston the vicar of the church I attended persuaded me to do some preaching. I started to explore the possibility of full-time church work. Then, in a sermon at a friend's ordination ceremony, the preacher asked the question 'Is God calling you?' A couple of years later I went to St John's College, Nottingham to prepare for  ordination. My first curacy was in Warrington, in the Liverpool diocese. Warrington was very urban, although the job here is very similar, but the people and the parishes are very different, with different priorities. I belong to everyone!

As a woman, no colleagues have made me feel I shouldn't be there. No one has been confrontational although I know other women priests have met opposition.

When I was a teenager the most important influences were the church youth workers, a few years older than me. They showed me I could be a Christian AND a normal person! Later it was the vicar who pushed me into preaching, college lecturers, and friends, especially Colette, who was a curate. She really inspired me.

I adopted my son Jacob in December 2014 when he was 21 months old. He was admitted to hospital every 6 weeks for the next year with viral-induced asthma. I came here for the support of my parents. Since the move Jacob has been in hospital only once. He has dramatically improved with country air and new medication.

As a teenager I especially admired Martin Luther King, reading his sermons and what he said about equality and peace. I also admire Bono as he cares about social justice, the poor, working people who don't have a voice. He supports a number of charities and campaigns, and he has faith.

Book choice: Lord of the rings where good triumphs over evil.

Surprising Fact about Rev. Laura: I used to own 12 pet rats. They are the best pets, really intelligent and affectionate (see above).


Bottle Stall: Fete and Duck Race 2016

The Bottle Stall at the Fete, on the 9th July 2016, made an amazing 500 and we are grateful to everyone who very generously donated bottles and other items and also to those who spent their money buying tickets.


Blessing of the Second Saint Walstan's Well


On the 13th April 2016 the second Saint Walstan's Well on Costessey Park Golf Course was blessed by Fr. David Ward, Parish Priest of Saint Walstan's Roman Catholic church, Costessey.


Church and Churchyard Building Works 2016

A new heating  system  has been installed in the church (we will at last have a warm church in winter!) and the churchyard path has at last been resurfaced (see photo below).

The works were completed just in time for the Saint Walstan 1000 years celebrations.




Message from our New Rector (as written in Bawburgh News November Issue 2015)

As I write I am currently surrounded by large boxes and cleaning products, ready for the big move back to Norfolk. I am looking forward to coming to work with you in the Easton Benefice, and also to make that move back home to the Diocese of Norwich. From the moment I read it, your benefice profile really excited me for several reasons - the clear desire for relevant outreach into Queen's Hills, the real sense of community in (and between) your parishes and also because there appeared to be a willingness to learn more and try out new things, alongside your current patterns of worship. This excitement was confirmed as I explored the parishes and churches on the orientation day before the interview and I was able to talk more with people. (A big 'shout out' needs to go to Tony, my chauffeur and guide, who made that afternoon so entertaining!). I have been overwhelmed by the response to my appointment and I am so glad that the feeling was in some way mutual! I am so glad that I will have the opportunity to become a part of your communities and I look forward to exploring with you all exactly what God has for us and wants to lead us into.

A little bit about me: I was born and brought up in South Norfolk, in a little village called Thurton and my parents now live in East Dereham. I am single but I have a young son who came to live with me late last year and who I adopted officially over the summer. We have two crazy collie-x dogs and six chickens!

I began to feel the call to full time ordained ministry at the ordination into the Baptist Church of a good friend of mine. After a period of exploration I was sent forward for training by the Norwich Diocese as I was living and working as a primary teacher in Gorleston-on-Sea at the time. I studied at St John's College in Nottingham and decided on a curacy in the Liverpool Diocese close to my brother, sister-in-law and, at the time, my young nephew (another one has come along since then!). I was ordained Deacon in Liverpool Cathedral in 2009 and Priest the following year. I am currently just finishing working in a Team Ministry in Warrington and have two very large suburban parishes.

I love: music (rock/grunge/pop/classical), films, training and walking my dogs, gardening and growing veggies, baking, real coffee and plenty of chocolate! Jacob loves: Peppa pig, dinosaurs, playing outside, music, spotting lorries/diggers/'big buses', spending time with Grandma and Grandad, and biscuits.

Jacob and I move into the new Rectory ('The Acorns') very shortly and will be doing our best to get orientated before I begin my ministry on 15th November. If you see us out and about, then do stop and say hello!     

 Rev Laura Montgomery

Parish Share

Bawburgh PCC has received a certificate and letter from Bishop Graham, Bishop of Norwich and Richard Butler, Diocesan Secretary thanking us for the payment of 9,072 re Parish Share for 2014. These documents can be viewed by clicking here.  Thank you to all who made it possible to reach our target payment.


Bottle Stall, Fete and Duck Race

The church bottle stall manned by Alison, Marion, Joy and Peter 11th July 2015

The bottle stall at the Fete raised 321 for church funds. Many thanks are due to all those who kindly contributed items for the stall, purchased tickets for the tombola and helped on the stall. With the likely cost of the new heating system and electricity supply, and the improvement of the church path, falling due within the next few months, we shall need all the funds we can muster to cover this. Further details of the costing will be available as soon as the works have gone out for tender and the tenders have been received.


Safari Supper 2015

On a beautiful sunny August evening, 40 villagers gathered on the little green for a glass of bubbly and mackerel pate amuse bouche! We were given our secret addresses for our starters and main courses, and several of us passed each other en route throughout the evening. We all met up in the Village Hall for what can only be described as a pudding extravaganza, some more wine and then coffee!

Thanks to the generosity of all the participants, our hosts, and the pudding makers, the evening raised 625.00 for the Church. From us all on the PCC - thank you.


Bawburgh School Saints' Project 2015

The children from Year 1 at Bawburgh School visited St Walstan's Well during May, as part of a project on Saints. As a result, they have made a wonderful Saint Walstan figure for the Saints in the Making Exhibition which will be held in the Cloisters at Norwich Cathedral from 30th June to 6th July. The exhibition is well worth a look! Mrs Sharpe and the children had a jot of fun learning about St Walstan and making their figure. All the Saints in the Exhibition will be judged and the winning School will receive a free activity day for some of the pupils at the Horstead Centre. Good Luck to Bawburgh's Saint Walstan! It is hoped he will survive to be on display next year....

Have you ever thought how Bawburgh Church keeps going financially?

Many people think that the Church is very wealthy, and in terms of property owning, they are right. In Norfolk the Church owns over 600 church buildings, many of them are historic and beautiful, as well as churchyards and vicarages, but these do not bring in any income - instead they cost money to maintain. In addition there are clergy to employ and pensions to pay. So we are not talking about a rich and wealthy, land-owning Church. Those days are long gone! Now the Diocese of Norwich has to ask each church to contribute to the costs of running the Diocese by paying a yearly Parish Share. The four parishes of Bawburgh, Easton, Colton and Marlingford are asked to fund the costs of paying our Vicar, providing and maintaining the Vicarage and a sum towards the other costs of running the Diocese, costs such as insurance, energy and routine building maintenance, as illustrated below.

General Funds - the running costs for the year.

Fabric Funds  We keep a separate account, all of which is made up from donations and fund-raising events, for special building projects such as the work on the tower which was completed in 2014, and renewing the heating and improving the path which are planned for later this year. We always apply for grants to help fund this kind of work, but there is increasing competition for these.

To keep the Church alive in the village we are hugely grateful to everyone who makes regular donations, puts money in the church collection and supports fundraising events. The diagrams above show that in 2014 the running costs were greater than the income, so if you feel that you could contribute too. please contact our Treasurer, Marion Malone (


Annual Parish Church Meeting 2015

APC Meeting was held on Tuesday 17th March at Bawburgh Village Hall. Sandy Munro and Alison Green were re-elected as Churchwardens, Sue Knight as PCC Secretary, and Marion Malone as PCC Treasurer. David Goodman will continue as the PCC's representative at the Deanery Synod. In addition, Lin Gibson, Cherie Sylvester, Nan Garrod, Philip Bradshaw and Neil and Vicky Bond were appointed to the PCC for the coming year. Thanks were expressed on the huge effort provided by the churchwardens in particular, but also to the whole team who had been involved in church activities during the last year, especially in the absence of a vicar. Thanks were also given to the flower arrangers, the cleaning team and the churchyard mowers for their invaluable assistance. We face a challenging and busy year, with the search for a new vicar and the various improvement works to the church and churchyard (details to follow), but we are confident of meeting these challenges with the help and support of the church members as well as the wider community.

Our Vicar Darleen Plattin's Last Service

On Sunday, October 12 2014,  Bawburgh Church was full of people from the four Parishes for the Vicar Darleen Plattin's last service in the Benefice. She has completed just over four and a half years of ministry in the Benefice, and is now moving to the other end of the Southern By-Pass, to the Benefice of Great and Little Plumstead with Thorpe End and Witton. The service was followed by a gathering in the Village Hall to enable people to say farewell to Darleen, with tasty cakes provided by many members of the congregation, and a presentation was made to her and Anne. We have been greatly helped and encouraged by Darleen during her term here, and we wish her and Anne much happiness and fulfilment in their new home.


Restoration of the Bell

October 2014

The bell has been rehung and restored, ready for use. The bell weighs several tons and is dated 1635 and was cast by the famous Norwich bell maker John Brend. The work involved removal of the bell from its cradle so that a new headstock (the beam that carries the bell) could be inserted and then the alteration of the ringing device so that instead of being chimed the bell is partially swung. What is rather nice is that several of the newly installed parts come from other churches in Norfolk - the headstock and clapper come from Saxlingham Nethergate, the chiming lever from St Nicholas Kings Lynn and the bell rope from Necton. Its rather good to know these items have been 'recycled!' Peter Trent, the craftsman carrying out the work, has pointed out that several of the oak beams in the ringing chamber supporting the bell mechanism are considerably older than the bell itself and are in remarkedly good condition, considering their age. 

Further information on restoration of St. Walstan's bell with photos


St Walstan's Day 2015

This year's celebration took place on 7th June which turned out to be a beautiful sunny day. There was a Procession to the Church from the village green, along the old pilgrimage route followed by the service in the Church. This was led by the Dean of Norwich, the Very Revd Jane Hedges. After the service there was the procession to the Well for more prayers and the St. Walstan hymn, before proceeding to the tea in the gardens of Church Farmhouse. The tea party featured the products of the Great Bawburgh Bake-Off, the winner receiving the title of Bawburgh Baker of the year and a copy of Mary Berry's latest cook book.  Our own resident cook, Zena Calton, judged each entry on their merits; giving points for overall appearance, cut, bake, ingredients, taste, and of course soggy bottoms - not that any of our entries were so inflicted! This year's winner was Margaret Seeley's "Chocolate and Guinness" cake, with the junior entry won by Eleanor Brolly and Zoe Watchorn who had baked a gluten free, egg free and dairy free layer cake of many colours - look out Mary Berry - Eleanor won last year too! All the delicious baking was offered as part of the tea party.

Thanks to all who were involved with making the day such a success. We are pleased to say that 400 was raised towards the General Church Fund.

Photo with thanks to Robin Green

photos from 2014 St Walstan's Day


The Meaning of Christingle

Christingle means 'Christ's Light' and is a symbol of the Christian Faith. Oranges are decorated with a candle on top, symbolic of Jesus, the light of the world. Four cocktail sticks stuck into the orange at 90 degrees to each other around the middle represent the four corners of the world. Sweets or dried fruit are put onto the cocktail sticks representing God's gifts to the world including kindness and love. (The foil at the bottom of the orange is to catch the wax as it melts from the candle!). During the service at Bawburgh, the children (and most adults) are each given a decorated orange, and the candle on the top is duly lit (youngsters are supervised by Mum and Dad).

Photo with thanks to Neil Bond



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