Friends of All Saints' Waterden

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Our members are drawn from literally all over the county of Norfolk and the UK but the one thing we all have in common is our love for the remarkable church of All Saints' Waterden and our determination to keep it open and in good repair for years to come.

We have a very active executive committee and a total membership of around 70 people. To achieve our aims (see below on the right) we need to build on that number and attract people who are willing to help financially by paying subscriptions, support the committee in the promotion of fund-raising and profile-raising events, and get involved with hands on help in the day-to-maintenance of the building and the churchyard.

Individual Annual Membership is £15, Joint Annual Membership £25, Individual Life Membership £100, and Joint Life Membership £200.

Click here and download the Friends' Membership Form NOW or contact the Friends' Secretary, Lucy Hodges, here.


Our Patron

We are delighted to announe that Dame Fiona Reynolds DBE, Master of Emmanuel College, Cambridge, has agreed to become our Patron.

Dame Fiona Reynolds DBE became Master of Emmanuel College, Cambridge in 2012. She came to the college from the National Trust, of which she was Director-General from 2001-2012. During her time at the National Trust she made it warmer and more welcoming, bringing the houses to life and raising the profile of the Trust’s work in the countryside.

Before becoming DG of the Trust, she was Director of the Women’s Unit in the Cabinet Office (1998-2000), Director of the Council for the Protection of Rural England (now Campaign to Protect Rural England, 1987-98) and Secretary to the Council for National Parks (now Campaign to Protect National Parks, 1980-87).

Fiona is a Non-Executive Director of Wessex Water, and Chair of the Cambridge University Botanic Garden, the Green Alliance, the International National Trusts Organisation and the Cathedrals Fabric Commission for England. Fiona was appointed CBE for services to the environment and conservation in 1998 and DBE in 2008.


Latest news

Friends' Chair Michael Prest, Secretary Lucy Hodges, and Committee Member Kate Libovitz, ran at the Diocese of Norwich Family Fun Day and Archdeacon's Charge held at Holkham Hall on the May Bank Holiday. Their sponsorship money for running the 5km course will be split between the East Anglia Air Ambulance and All Saints' Waterden. Left to Right in the photo are Barbara Allen, Churchwarden, Kate Libovitz,  committee member, and her daughter Alice, Fr Clive, Rector of All Saints' Waterden, Michael Prest, Chair, Lucy Hodges, Secretary, and Alison Wakeman, Churchwarden. Note the snazzy yellow vests being worn by the runners bearing the Friends' logo.


Upcoming Events

Hexachordia Concert Saturday 16 June 7.00pm Our Lady Saint Mary South Creake

After their highly successful concert in 2016, the Hexachordia Trio are returning to Our Lady Saint Mary South Creake on Saturday 16 June at 7.00pm. This concert of sixteenth and seventeenth century music is being presented by the Friends of All Saints' Waterden with all proceeds going towards the upkeep of Waterden Church. Tickets £10 (to include light food) at the door or from the Brazen Head Bookshop in Burnham Market or from Adam Bunkle 07825 871896.


Lecture by Peter Stanford, Writer and Journalist, 29 July 6.00pm All Saints' Waterden

Peter Stanford, the celebrated writer, journalist, broadcaster and biograhper, has written widely over the last 35 years on religion and the challenges of faith and belief. In his 2010 book The Extra Mile: A 21st century Pilgrimage, in which Stanford visits as a pilgrim some of the most ancient religious sites in Britain, taking the spiritual temperature of our apparently secular and sceptical age, he talks movingly about the silence and mystery of All Saints' Waterden and in his talk he will expand on this rich topic of pilgrimage.

Wine, soft drinks, and nibbles served.  Entry free but donations in aid of the Friends' funds will be gladly accepted.


Open Day All Saints' Waterden 5 August 12 noon - 5.00pm
To co-oincide with the Diocese of Norwich's event Celebrating Open Churches, the Friends are organizing an open day at Waterden. There will be people at the church all day to greet visitors and there will be three talks: one on the planned repair project (to be given by the architect, Iain Walker of Nicholas Warns Architects); a second on the history and architecture of the church (by ‘Lyn Stilgoe of the Norfolk Churches Trust); and the third on wildlife at Waterden (by local naturalist Lin Brice). Timings to follow.


Service of Lessons and Carols 2018

The biggest event of the year at Waterden is the Service of Lessons and Carols held at 4.00pm on Christmas Eve. Held by candlelight this is a hugely popular occasion and the church is packed with people and, unless you arrive very early, it's standing room only. The Friends of All Saints' Waterden will be offering mulled wine, tea, and mince pies afterwards to all the attending the service.

Follow the usual advice: come very early, park carefully on the verge to leave plenty of room for any tractors passing by, wear warm clothes and footwear (there's no heating at Waterden), and bring a torch!


Why we need your support 

Waterden’s Anglo-Saxon church has miraculously survived for 1000 years. It is much loved by locals and others for its beauty and spirituality and is still used as a place of Christian worship and a destination for visitors and pilgrims. But it has been a struggle to keep this Grade II* listed church and its churchyard in a good condition. Now a group of volunteers has set up a Friends group to put the maintenance of the church and its graveyard on a sustainable footing. 

By becoming a Friend you will help to provide a regular income to ensure the church continues for future generations. The money will cover daily maintenance and running costs. We also want to make the church better known locally and further afield by telling the fascinating story of the church and promoting it as a place to visit.


Churchyard clean-up

On Monday 14 August 2017 nine people spent five-and-a-half hours slashing, mowing and strimming the overgrown churchyard. It is now free – more or less – of brambles and nettles. While the cattle looked on in amazement, we laboured away, stopping only to munch chicken kebabs from the barbecue and drink Alison Wakeman’s welcome tea. We hope to keep the churchyard looking this neat and tidy from now on.

Thanks to Adam Bunkle, Kate Libovitz, Kit Pike, Christine Abel, Andy Culshaw, Cath O’Driscoll, Sarah Dyson, Michael Prest and Lucy Hodges for their efforts.

Since then Richard Powell has been keeping the vegetation under control. We are very grateful to him for his hard work.