Saints Alive – a
country church is trying to identify a number of Norfolk Saints featured
on a highly colourful Victorian window.
All Saints Church,
Great Melton, has a fascinating history that church members are hoping to
bring to a wider audience, starting with details of the six Norfolk Saints
featured on the stained glass of the East window.
St Edmund has already
been identified but some of the other saints are slightly more obscure.
“We would very much like to fully identify them and produce some
leaflets and a poster for visitors to the church to help promote the
church’s standing in the local community,” said churchwarden Maggie
The East Window is
made from Victorian glass and dated 1876. It was erected in memory of
rector Charles Eyres who spent 25 years in the parish. It is thought that
the window was made in London. It clearly depicts six Norfolk saints
around the cross in the scene of the crucifixion.
All Saints Church has
an unusual shape, appearing almost like a private dwelling or institution
when viewed from the back. It is part of the village’s fascinating
religious history. Next to the existing church and in the same grounds are
the ruins of St Mary’s Church. Although the two churches stood next to
each other, they served separate manors until they were brought together
in the early 18th Century. All Saints was abandoned around 1710
with its congregation worshipping in St Mary’s until this became
In 1882 All Saints
was restored and St Mary’s was abandoned and partially demolished. Some
of the materials from St Mary’s were used in the renovation of All
Saints. Today only the tower of St Mary’s remains as a Grade Two listed
building. Ironically All Saints is itself built on the site of a ruin of
which the 15th century tower survives as part of the modern day
Inside the present
church there have been some subtle improvements over the past couple of
years. There is a new alter cover, made by craftspeople from St John’s
Roman Catholic Cathedral in Norwich. The Mothers’ Union banner has also
been renovated by embroiderers from St John’s and has been dedicated to
church stalwart and warden Phyllis Curson as part of her 80th
information on the Norfolk Saints depicted in the window can contact
Maggie Murrell on 01953 602185.