Saxthorpe with Corpusty
St Andrew's Church
St Andrew's Church
The villages of Saxthorpe and Corpusty lie in a shallow but sheltered valley on the road from Norwich to Holt. The straightness of the road south to Norwich suggests a Roman origin. The fordable river Bure, inspite of the water meadows both up and down-stream, gives the site its special character. The mill house by the bridge is a sign of what were once many other village activities. For much of their long history the parishes had a separate existence.
Corpusty parish church stands sentinel to the south. However, it had only a small income and was without an incumbent in 1894. It is now in the care of The Friends of Friendless Churches, who have raised considerable funds to maintain the essential fabric. A Service is held there once a year in July to keep alive the sense of it being a holy place. The parish had its own Methodist Chapel within the last ten years.
The railway, now long closed, brought a new prosperity to Corpusty. The station area is now a bustling Village Hall and a field with a new children's play area. Corpusty Primary School, raising the children from the villages around looks out over the village green. It is a pleasure that some photos of their Christmas display illustrate our web-site. We look forward very much to when they come to church for their Christmas Service. The green has a shop and an inn by it - and various kinds of excellent work is done nearby.
Saxthorpe Church has a connection with Pembroke College, Cambridge going back its foundation in 1347. This continues a living part of the Church's life, keeping open a spiritual window on a wider world. Recently, the present Dean, John Watchorn, brought the College Choir to visit us, with its members staying with families all round the benefice.
The church with its fine square tower is well described in the guide-books. Our bell-ringers handle an excellent set of light bells - and write about themselves on this page. The church is large enough to host a number of benefice occasions as it stands to invite us all to be renewed by God seen in the face of Jesus. On Good Friday we have had a Procession of The Cross around the outside of the church as a public expression of our remembering this great day in our Christian calendar. The Candle-light Service on Christmas Eve will shortly be an occasion when the church is filled with people of every age as we celebrate again the mystery of His Birth.
The Bells at St Andrews Church.
The six bells at St Andrews Church are very small when compared with other church bells. Bell weights are classified by the weight of the tenor bell; the largest in the ring. The tenor at Holt is 7cwt, at Reepham is 8cwt, Aylsham 17 cwt., and St Peter Mancroft 37cwt. At Saxthorpe the tenor is only 2.25 cwt.; very small. In Norfolk only the bells at The Shrine at Walsingham are smaller. Their light weight makes them more difficult to ring; you must be very gentle with them. They are hung with an unusual metal mechanism called a Hastings Stay. The stay prevents the bell from going round and round. Most bells have an Elm stay.
The bells were cast and hung on a metal frame in 1957 very new for bells; most are two to three hundred years old. They are in very good condition except for the ropes that are a little decayed. The bells are quite loud inside the church but not so loud outside due to their size. The ringers practice on most Tuesday evenings between eight and nine o'clock and ring for some services.
Little Barningham, Blickling, Edgefield, Itteringham, Oulton, Wickmere, Saxthorpe & Corpusty, Norfolk, England