St. Mary's Church
The Parish Church of St. Mary the Virgin, Colkirk with Oxwick and Pattesley, is part of the Upper Wensum Village Benefice in the Burnham and Walsingham Deanery in the Diocese of Norwich. ( www.norwich.anglican.org )
The other parishes in the Benefice are Whissonsett, Horningtoft, Brisley, Gateley, Great Ryburgh with Little Ryburgh and Testerton, and Shereford with Dunton.
Benefice Website on www.upperwensum.co.uk
Parish Priest........Revd. Robin Stapleford. 01328 853 226
( Scheduled Day Off : Monday....Unless really urgent )
Reader.................Mr. Richard Hirst.... 01328 864 128
Churchwarden....Mr. Michael Barter.. 01328 855 137
Verger..................Mr. Michael Barter..01328 855 137
Treasurer.............Mr. David O'Neill.....01328 863 906
Information on St. Mary's Colkirk and All Saints' Oxwick can be found by clicking on the names.
Church Restoration Appeal
St Maryís Church has supported many past and present generations of Colkirk families and will continue to do this for many years to come. The present incumbent supported by the churchwarden and members of the church council are merely custodians of this historic grade II* listed building, which has a direct link to the nineteenth century revival of Englandís Convocation movement.
To keep St Maryís in good condition for future generations we need your help to achieve this. A recent church architectís report informed the church council that the battlements on the church tower and other parts of the church need repairing. This is costly work. Funding from various sources is being sought and includes local fund raising activities.
The church visitorís book contains many favourable comments from people who have visited St Maryís. These include many visitors from overseas. Perhaps one of them may be you, or you might have a connection to Colkirk. If you would like to support this restoration work, any donation large or small would be gratefully received.
Please make cheques payable to St Maryís Church, Colkirk, PC and enclose a letter stating the donation is specifically for church restoration work. Please send your cheque and letter to: Mr M. I. Barter, Churchwarden, St Maryís Church, 5 Jarvis Drive, Colkirk, Fakenham, Norfolk, NR21 7NG.
The Parish Magazine " The Upper Wensum Diary " can be delivered to your home for £3 per year and gives service details for all churches in the Benefice.
Points of interest about the Church
1538 Church Registers began
1676 Earliest dated stone in the churchyard to a Lynn shipmaster's daughter.
1767 Samuel Collison's stone with a medallion portrait of the deceased couple
1850 Primitive Methodist Camp Meetings held on the Camping Land ( which was glebe )
1857 In the first week of Rev. Sweet becoming Rector he dispensed with the orchestra in the west gallery and installed a harmonium and a choir in the chancel.
In his first year Rev. Sweet commenced a church restoration. The chancel was re-roofed with slate and pitch-pine. The church was re-seated with open pews, stretching from the pulpit to the west end. This project was helped by a grant of £40 from the Incorporated Church Building Society of which Mr. Henry Hoare was treasurer. A new pulpit, lectern, altar rails and choir stalls were erected. The building was re-floored in red and black tiles and a coke stove installed in the nave. The east window was filled with bright glaze showing scriptural scenes and texts in memory of Rev. Tatham. The ancient iron work of the south door was replaced by floral wrought iron hinges and the porch was closed by big, rather nice, Gothic gates in wood and iron.
1860-70 Rectory barn demolished
1863 The church spire was removed.
1864 Rev. Sweet claimed the Camping Land as Glebe and enclosed it to prevent trespass of cattle and games on Sundays.
1871 Rev. W. M. Hoare added the North aisle and Vestry-cum-organ Chamber, the cost being £389. The old nave roof was replaced at the cost of £120. The money was raised by selling the old lead from the roof. Also, in this year, the churchyard was extended to the North and East.
1873 Opening of the church organ. Building as we see it today.
1875 The Sanctuary Chair, a gift from the Rev. W. M. Hoare was made by Halliday of Wells, Somerset. The churchyard gate was made by the village carpenter, James Nelson and the village blacksmith, William Eastwick. The Nelsons were the village carpenters for nearly 250 years.
1876 Three South windows filled with coloured glass by Henry Hughes of London - scriptural scenes and texts, with angels walking on purple clouds in the tracery lights.
1883 Rev. W. A. Chapman's stone is dated this year. It is interesting as the inscription is on the back and the face is used for texts so that persons entering the churchyard can read them.
1912 The present rood screen was placed under the Chancel arch by W. M. Hoare and his family. The architect designer was Percy Fielding, the screen being made in London. The plain oak cross was local work. The figure of Christ was carved in the Black Forest. The cost of the whole was £100.
1930 Electric light installed. Brass candle holders on wooden stems were removed from their sockets on every other pew. The remainder were used until the end of WW2. Organ enlarged by a gift from Capt. F. S. Burrows.
1939 Rev. Garnier curtained off the Vestry from the aisle. The Sanctuary and Chancel floor were reduced in height
( Brass plaque reads: The Riddells, Dorsel, Posts and Altar Frontals as well as improvements to the Sanctuary and Chancel floors and curtains to the Vestry are a memorial to Thomas Vernon Garnier. M.A O.B.E Rector of Colkirk 1930-9. Dedicated October 15th 1939.)
1940's A 17th century monument, an early 14th century stone coffin lid and a small organ for use in Sunday School were brought to Colkirk from Oxwick church when it closed.
1953 Church organ was overhauled and an electric blower added.
1998 " New " Organ from Blofield Church.
( Brass plaque reads: Dedicated in memory of Fred and Eve Wayne. 1912-74 and 1913-96. Both Churchwardens of this Parish. )
2001/2 Re-roofing and replacement of guttering downpipes.
2003 Interior decoration.