The Church of Our Lady Saint Mary South Creake is one of the most beautiful and spiritually uplifting churches in England. Come and visit us - we're open every day of the year. Click here for How to Find Us. Have a browse through our picture Gallery to see our famous angel roof and the other treasures of this amazing Grade I Listed north Norfolk church.
Our Sunday Eucharist is at 9.30 am (for very occasional variations see the Calendar to the right). It's inclusive Common Worship in the Anglo-Catholic tradition with incense and bells and a friendly welcome to visitors.
On our FAQs page we answer, or attempt to answer, some of the more commonly asked questions about our Church and our Christian faith.
Closure of All Saints' Waterden during restoration work
A major restoration project is starting at Waterden on 2 January 2019 and will continue through until the summer. During these works, the church will be completely closed to visitors.
In anticipation of the successful completion of the project, the Rt Revd Jonathan Meyrick, Bishop of Lynn, has agreed to Rededicate the church at a Festal Evensong on Sunday 18 August at 3.00pm.
Following the Rededication the church will reopen to visitors and the normal pattern of sevices will resume with:
Harvest Festival Sunday - 15 September 6.00pm
Patronal Festival: Holy Communion (CW) - Friday 1 November
Service of Lessons and Carols - Christmas Eve 4.00pm
South Creake Parochial Church Council has received a confirmed National Lottery grant of £182,000 for vital restoration work to the ancient church of All Saints’ Waterden. This hidden and remote North Norfolk gem nestles in the fields near the site of a lost mediaeval village.
Thanks to money raised by National Lottery players, the support through the Heritage Lottery Fund aims to make the roof and porch watertight, combat damp, repair walls and do other essential work to preserve the 11th century gem for future generations. This work is much needed. Although services and other events are held in the church, its poor condition means it is on Historic England’s Heritage at Risk Register.
The project will secure the church’s fabric but its simple charm will remain unchanged. It has no electricity or water and that is how it will stay.
As well as the National Lottery grant, the project, costing £235,000 in total, is being made possible by generous donations from other grant funders. The Norfolk Churches Trust are donating £10,000, the Garfield Weston Foundation £7,500, and the Geoffrey Watling Charity £1,000. The nearby Holkham Estate has also given £3,000.
As part of the project, research into the history of the church and the nearby lost village of Waterden will also be carried out. The village disappeared in the late Middle Ages but it is unclear why. New literature will be prepared to inform the public about the Grade II listed building and the village.
The project will also ensure that the beautiful church becomes better known and is made more accessible to visitors and worshippers. They will be helped by a small new car park set well away from the church on land leased from the Holkham Estate, an orientation board in the car park, and new road signs. The programme of community involvement with this much-loved place will be stepped up.
A community group, the Friends of All Saints’ Waterden, has been established to help to care for the church and to maintain the churchyard. In addition to raising funds for the maintenance of the church, the Friends hold events to stimulate interest in it and to share its beauty and spirituality.
All Saints has a venerable history. It is mentioned in the Domesday Book of 1086 and is a jumble of architectural styles from Norman to early English and Tudor. A storm in the early 17th century caused part of the nave to collapse but the church kept going and now holds eight services a year including a popular candlelit Carol Service on Christmas Eve for the local community.
The church is remote even by the standards of North Norfolk and its peaceful charm has attracted some well-known people. The playwright Alan Bennett has written about it in his diaries and the cartoonist Osbert Lancaster drew a delightful line drawing of the church.
Fr Clive Wylie, Rector of Waterden and Vicar of South Creake, said: “All Saints’ Church is a wonderful place of great spirituality and peace. I am delighted that we have received this support for our 1,000-year-old church thanks to the National Lottery players and I hope it will help to secure its future for another 1,000 years.”
Robyn Llewellyn, Head of HLF, East of England said: “We have been delighted to support All Saints’ Waterden, to carry out urgent repairs and to make the history of this fascinating church accessible to more people. Thank you to the National Lottery players who have made it possible.”
South Creake Parochial Church Council, which has the care of the churches of Our Lady Saint Mary South Creake and All Saints Waterden, fully supports and accepts the ordination of both men and women as deacons, priests and bishops in the Church of England and in the wider Anglican Communion. We welcome everyone to the family of our churches regardless of their age, physical ability, ethnicity, gender, or sexuality.
This statement was formally and unanimously agreed at South Creake Annual Parochial Church Meeting on 9 April 2014.