There are a number of local churches in the area to visit, which are of particular historical and architectural significance.
St Withburga’s, Holkham
Click here for services and contact details
St Withburga’s is part of the Wells-next-the-sea Group of Parishes, which serves the local community. One of the patrons of the group is the Earl of Leicester. It incorporates the parish churches at Egmere and Quarles, All Saints and St Mary Magdalene churches at Warham (a small village, but served by two churches), All Saints at Wighton and St Nicholas at Wells-next-the-sea. The churches may not necessarily be open all the time and service times vary. Click here to visit the Church of England Diocese of Norwich website.
In Wells-next-the-Sea you will find the churches listed below:
St Nicholas, Church Street
Services: Sunday 8am, 10.30am & 6.30pm and Wednesday 10am.
Methodist Church, Theatre Road
Services: Sunday 11am and Wednesday 10.30am.
Congregational Church, Clubbs Lane
Service: Sunday 3pm.
Our Lady Star of the Sea Roman Catholic Church, The Buttlands
Services: Saturday 6pm, Sunday 9.15am, Holy Days 9.30am.
Society of Friends (Quakers), Church Street
Services: Sunday 10.30am.
The Spiritualist Church is open every Saturday in the W.I. Hall.
The Burnham Group of Parishes
The Burnham Group churches are steeped in history and incorporate the parish churches of St Mary the Virgin at Burnham Westgate, St Margaret’s at Burnham Norton, St Clement at Burnham Overy and Burnham Sutton cum Ulph All Saints with St Ethelbert. The churches are open every day during daylight hours. For service times please see the Burnhams Benefice website or telephone the Rector, Graham Hitchins on 01328 738317.
Click here for the Burnhams Benefice website.
Click here for the Round Tower Churches Society.
All Saints is well worth a visit for its historic naval connections alone. Burnham Thorpe was the birthplace of Horatio Nelson; his father Edmund was the Rector of the church. The church dates from the 13th century and was restored in Nelson’s honour in the 19th century. All Saints is part of the Burnham Group of Parishes. Services: the first Sunday of the month.
St Margaret’s has one of the most complete round towers in Norfolk, built between 1000 and 1066 and in the church graveyard is located the grave of Captain Woodget, Master of the Cutty Sark. Services: the fourth Sunday of the month.
St Clements at Burnham Overy, which was once a bustling port, has the graves of sailors and sea captains. Its register contains records of many bodies washed up on the shore. Services: the second Sunday of the month.
St Mary’s at Burnham Westgate. Services usually take place on the third Sunday of the month.
All Saints, Sutton cum Ulph. This is the smallest church and oldest parish in the Burnhams.
Services: every Wednesday and if there is a fifth Sunday of the month.
Methodist Church, Station Road. Services: Sundays at 11am
The Church of our Lady St Mary is noted for its architecture, most notably the west window, decoration, carvings and restoration. The church at South Creake is part of a group of parishes, which include St Mary’s at North Creake, All Saints at Waterden, St Mary’s at Syderstone and St Mary and All Saints at Sculthorpe. The Earl of Leicester is one of the patrons of the group. Click here for further information.
The ruins of Creake Abbey at North Creake are also to be noted. Once an Augustinian Abbey, English Heritage now owns the ruins.
Binham Priory (St Mary and the Holy Cross) is now maintained by English Heritage. This historical site features the ruins of a Benedictine Priory, which was founded in the late 11th century. The original nave of the priory is still used as a place of worship — St Mary and the Holy Cross — with services held outside in the summer months. Click here for more information.
Known as England’s Nazareth, Walsingham has been a place of pilgrimage since 1061. It is the site for Roman Catholic, Anglican, Methodist and Orthodox religions.
St Mary and All Saints Parish Church, Little Walsingham was burned down in 1961 and re-built in 1964. The modern interior is in stark contrast to the 14th/15th century exterior. Regular services are held throughout the week.
St Peter’s Parish Church, Great Walsingham, which was built in the 1330s, is noted for its poppy head pews. Holy Communion: 9am Sundays; 10.30am Tuesdays and Fridays.
Methodist Chapel, Little Walsingham
Built in 1794, this is the only Georgian Methodist chapel still in use in the UK.Services: Sunday at 7pm.
The Church of the Annunciation (RC Parish church), Friday Market
The Russian Orthodox Church of the Transfiguration, Great Walsingham
Originally a Victorian Methodist Chapel, which in 1988 was converted into a Russian Orthodox Church. Services: Saturday evening; Liturgy: Sundays at 10.30am.
The Anglican Shrine to Our Lady of Walsingham, Little Walsingham
Open throughout the year, services according to pilgrim groups. Sprinkling with holy water every afternoon at 2.30pm.
The Roman Catholic Slipper Chapel to Our Lady of Walsingham and Chapel of Reconciliation, Houghton St. Giles
The Slipper Chapel, originally a 14th century wayside chapel, was re-consecrated in 1894 and established as the RC shrine in 1934. The Chapel of Reconciliation was built in 1982. There are regular daily services at 12 noon. Other services are held depending on pilgrim groups.
Walsingham Abbey Grounds
The grounds contain the ruins of the original Priory founded c.1153 by Augustinian Canons. Click here to visit the website.
NB: The Reverend Canon William Sayer (retired) has kindly offered to be of assistance should any visitors have more specific requests concerning local churches. Telephone: 01328 711224.