THE BENEFICE

The Benefice consists of six separate Parishes with six churches working together under the leadership of the Rector and the Ministry Team. The team comprises two OLM Priests, two Retired Priest,  four Readers, a Schools Worker, an Administrator as well as several Authorised Lay Assistants. All our churches all Grade 1 listed (top grading) and are all beautiful and special. They are well maintained and looked after and services are held regularly in all the churches.

THE CHURCHES - for more info click on the links on the right

ALL SAINT'S ALBURGH: The church is built mainly in the Perpendicular style but the Chancel is 13th century with Early English windows while the East window is 19th century. The south porch was added in 1463. The tower has a stepped parapet and four pinnacles each braced with two flying buttresses. Here is to be found one of the oldest "rings of eight" bells in Norfolk.

The church is found on Church Road, which runs parallel to the main road through the village and within walking distance of the village school. There is a small car park at the church as well as lots of places to park on the verge. For Sat Nav's the postcode is IP20 0DB.

ST MICHAEL'S BROOME: St. Michael's is an interesting church built in the 13th Century that has (in common with several other Norfolk churches) a very isolated situation, out of the village, amongst byways and about a quarter of a mile along a field track. The church, however, stands well, facing open country and can be seen for some distance and is in a beautiful setting. It has no running water or electricity but brilliant heating.

The church is found in a field off Rectory Road, north of the village. There is a car park at the church. If the gates to the farmer's track are closed then park your car on the side of the road and walk up. For Sat Nav's the postcode is NR35 2HU. The church has no toilet but a toilet can be hired and placed in the carpark.

ST MARY'S DENTON: Denton's church includes the remains of a Norman round tower (one of 185 round tower churches in England) so was certainly there in the 12th century but probably has older, Saxon, origins. Most of the building is later, 14th century, and the current mainly brick-built tower replaced most of its round predecessor following a collapse in the 16th century. The church is flint built with stone dressings and slate roofs. The chancel is late 13th century with a 5-light east window with intersecting tracery. The north and south chancel windows have Y-tracery. The north and south aisles are Perpendicular in style with Decorated east and west windows.

The church is on the outskirts of the village to the south on Danacre Road (Google maps has it as Denton Road). There is a large car park and the church has toilets. To find the car park you need to drive up the driveway of the Old Rectory and the church will being front of you. For Sat Nav's the postcode is IP20 0AD

ST MARY'S DITCHINGHAM: Ditchingham parish church is a magnificent and impressive13th Century building set in a picturesque situation outside of the main village, set in open countryside among the Norfolk lanes. The crowning glory is its lofty tower, visible in all directions for miles, reaching almost 100 feet in height. The foundation stone of the tower was laid in 1479. The church has a full ring of 6 bells and is the largest in the Benefice.

The church is found on where Belsey Bridge Rd meets Church Rd and is signposted from the main Bungay to Norwich road and is just along from Convent, Emmaus community and Belsey Bridge Conference Centre. For Sat Nav's the postcode is NR35 2JS

ALL SAINTS EARSHAM: All Saint's Church has stood since Norman times when, in 1086, the Doomsday Book recorded the water mill nextdoor (now New Atlantic). Before that, the knoll on which the church stands suggests that it was originally the site of a "preaching cross" where Christian people from a wider area would gather. During the medieval period, in successive alterations the nave was lengthened, the tower and chancel were added, and finally the windows were greatly enlarged. Internally, the church is notable for the rare 16th century "twelve apostles" font (defaced in Cromwell's purge) and a west gallery. A shingle spire was added to the 14th-century tower around the 1700. There is a very good extension (built in the 1990's) with kitchen facilities and toilet.

The church can be seen when entering the main part of the village, both from the bypass and from Bungay. It is on the junction where School Rd joins Church Rd, next to the Atlantic Country Stores. There is plenty of on-road parking and a car park. For Sat Nav's the postcode is NR35 2TQ.

ST PETER'S HEDENHAM: St Peter's church has stood on its commanding position above the stream, overlooking this very beautiful corner of south Norfolk, from at least the 13th Century. It is a small but beautifully decorated church with a lot of character. Recently a kitchen and toilet was installed.

The church is found on Church Road, which runs off the main Norwich Rd. The junction is opposite the Mermaid Pub and there is parking on the grass verges outside church. For Sat Nav's the postcode is NR35 2LF.

SCHOOL LINKS - There are three church school - Ditchingham Academy Primary School, Earsham VA Primary School and Alburgh with Denton VC Primary School.  The Benefice School's work is co-ordinated by the Schools's Minister, who organises the School Assemblies and annual Holiday Club. Many of our church members currently serve as Governors at our schools including two who are chair of Governors.

THE PATTERN OF SERVICES - We endeavour to ensure continuity of worship in each parish every Sunday, mostly at a regular time for each parish. Our services range from informal to traditional. We are first and foremost, however, village churches with 'fuzzy edges' seeking to be welcoming to all and our pattern of worship reflects this. On each Sunday we provide a service especially designed for families which moves around 4 of our churches. For more information please click the families link.

HOME GROUPS - We have three, independently run groups at present, each with their own distinctive character and are all looking to expand.

OUR CHURCHES

Denton Chapel

All Saints church, EarshamSt. Peter's church, Hedenham

Click on the links below to view information about our churches, when they are open and how to find them.

Alburgh

Broome

Denton

Ditchingham

Earsham

Hedenham