The church building is still used as a place of worship on some of the more rurally traditional dates in the calendar, a place of burial for many generations of local people and as an ancient, picturesque landmark building.
Tunstall Church’s continuation after the 1980s was largely the result of the creation of the ‘Tunstall (Norfolk) Church Preservation Trust’ and its subsequent stewardship with support from successive Incumbents.
While the Trust’s principal role is to maintain and preserve the fabric of the building it exists alongside the Halvergate with Tunstall PCC, which is responsible for the graveyard and grounds, with the aim of providing continuity for this historic yet living place.
However, last year around the time the date of the lease renewal, three of the original four Trustees felt it time to step down. Both events together raising a real risk the Trust would end and the church no longer available to the community.
Happily, new Trustees came forward and the new lease with the Diocese enables use of the church for the usual services and potentially others by arrangement (such as the weddings and baptisms).
There is a strong local connection and fondness for the church and this has been vividly demonstrated by two recent events. First, at a ‘clear up’ morning on the last Saturday of February when 20 volunteers of all ages from across the ‘Acle and Bure to Yare’ benefice turned up to work in and outside the church.
Then, at this year’s Easter Eve service with its traditional fire, candles and renewal of baptism vows. A record congregation of 38 attended – despite the drizzle and threat of heavier rain!
Graham Cann, Trustee of the Tunstall Church Preservation Trust said:
“Local support at occasions such as these recent events is so valuable, participation at fund-raising events much appreciated and last but not least, attendance at services like this Easter’s most welcome.”