Church News


Support Team (Note from Rev. Penny)

The Christian life is based on relationships just as our life in the place where we live is; and relationships are something that you can love or hate but what you can't do is live without them.

Our Benefice is about to launch a visiting team from the four churches, the aims are to support people when moving into villages or when life has changed with the arrival of a new baby. The team will also offer support when people are coping with life changing illnesses or bereavement. We need your help to let us know of anyone that is needing support, we have a key contact for each of the villages but if you are unable to contact your village visitor please try another contact on the list.



 Michelle Goodman: 01603 748741



Sarah Smith 01603 757865



Margaret Seely 01603 880888

Colin Rymill: 01603 742111




Felicity Maton: 01603 880846


Bawburgh Voices Rev. Penny Goodman

In December 2017, an article was written by Mary Wilkinson on our Interim Priest in Charge, Rev. Penny. This was published in Bawburgh News. Some information from this article is given here.

Penny was born in London; her father a curate. When she was only two, the family moved to Hertfordshire. Her father's parish was two villages, similar in size to Colton and Bawburgh. The family moved to another parish when she was 10.

Penny started training to be a midwife at 18 and was one of the youngest qualified nurse/midwives at 21. At 21 she also married Garry. After Garry had a serious back injury, they moved to Norfolk in 1976, Penny continuing her job as midwife. After 35 years as a midwife, and having been a Reader, as was Garry, in the Anglican Church since 1993, in 2006, her attention turned to ordination training. Garry and Penny went through the training at the same time. In 2009 Penny was ordained deacon and in 2010 ordained priest in local ministry. 

Penny and Garry have three acres of land, four beehives, 15 to 20 chickens, four ducks, one goose, a turkey and two black Labradors. Family is important with 2 sons living nearby, both married, one with 5 children. Their daughter is in Australia. Penny's mother, aged 94, lives with her and Garry, and her long term foster son. Since 1982, Penny and Garry have fostered about 100 children, several remaining members of the family.

Welcome Rev. Penny Goodman

Bishop Jonathan has announced he has appointed the Rev. Penny Goodman to be interim Priest in Charge for twelve months from Tuesday 10th October 2017 to cover Laura's adoption leave, currently due to start on the same day. We welcome her and wish her well.

 Rev. Laura's last service will be the annual Harvest Service at 11.00am at St Andrew's Colton. It will be followed by a 'bring and share' lunch. In previous years the weather has been very good and the meal has been outside but if, this year, the weather is not so good, it will move into the Church. As in recent years, Harvest donations went to The Food Bank.



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.


 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.

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.

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

    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.


Parish Share

Bawburgh PCC has received a certificate and letter from Bishop Graham, Bishop of Norwich and Richard Butler, Diocesan Secretary, May 2015, 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.

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....


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.

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 (



Farewell, Alison and Robin Green

We say farewell to Alison and Robin Green, September 2017. Alison was Church Warden for almost twenty years, and chaired the committee that organised the St Walstan 1000 years celebrations. The Greens have also hosted the annual St Walstan celebrations in their garden of Church Farmhouse for the last 28 years.

They are not moving far, into the city. Their new community will be richer for their presence. Thank you Alison and Robin for all you have done for our village, and our Church.


Bottle Stall: Fete and Duck Race 2017

As has been the custom for some years now, the Church ran its bottle stall at the Fete and Duck Race Day on Bawburgh Village Green. A total of 400 was raised on the day to go towards the cost of running and maintaining St Walstan's. We would like to thank all the generous donors who provided items for the stall, those who helped with the stall, and all those who purchased tickets on the day. We hope that not too many of you were disappointed.


Graveyard Regulations Updated

Recently the Diocese of Norwich has published a new leaflet regarding the rules and regulations surrounding Churchyards. This is due to a large number of Churchyards in the Diocese (including our own) which are not meeting the Graveyard Regulations. These regulations are legal requirements enforced by the Chancellor. They set out what is allowed to be placed in the churchyard, including on graves. When a family asks to have a loved one buried in one of our churchyards they are agreeing to abide by these regulations. The full regulations are, as always, available in the porch of each church but the following is a basic summary:

- Fresh flowers on graves are welcome, but the only artificial flowers allowed are Christmas wreaths, which must be removed by the end of January.

- Spring bulbs may be planted in graves, but no other sorts of plants, shrubs or trees without a special application to the Diocesan Registrar (Faculty).

- For any kind of memorial - headstone, plaque, or cross - you must have made a formal application.

- The materials from which memorials can be made are set out in the Regulations: your funeral director or stonemason can guide you through these.

- To make it possible for the churchyard to be kept neat, certain things are not allowed, including kerbs or fencing round graves, and chippings of any sort (stone or wood).

- Ornaments, toys, and so on also make it much more difficult to keep the churchyard tidy, and therefore the Regulations do not permit them.

Since our PCCs have to abide by the Churchyard Regulations, it may be necessary to remove things which fall outside them, which can then obviously cause upset. You can help to keep our churchyards welcoming places for everyone by contacting the Rector or churchwardens for advice before making any changes or additions to graves.


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).


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.



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


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.


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


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


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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