Please hold the line caller

Published on: 20 May 2021

Just opposite the church in Blickling, on the side of the road, is a lovely old red phone box which, a couple of years ago, was looking a bit unloved and forlorn.

The Aylsham & District Team Ministry decided to buy the phone box from BT and restore it with tender, loving care to use as a community facility but they weren’t sure what at the time. The National Trust at the Blickling Estate got involved and just as the last lick of paint and pane of glass was being applied the pandemic broke out. An immediate use for it suddenly became obvious. It became a community larder for the residents of the Blickling Estate which includes the parishes of Aylsham, Blickling, Itteringham, Oulton and Ingworth, with food available to anyone who needed it and no questions asked. As the cafés closed due to restrictions on the Blickling Estate, the fresh fruit and vegetables they could no longer use were donated to the larder.

The Revd Jack Branford, who was a curate in the team at the time and instrumental in the setting up of the larder said, “Since the pandemic we have seen a hike in use at the church food bank, so we decided to turn the phone box into a larder. It has been very well used because it’s in the middle of nowhere. It means people have more anonymity.”

Over the course of the last year the larder has been in constant use. Tesco in Aylsham have been amazing and donate items weekly to stock it and a kind volunteer goes over weekly to refill it. The feedback has been amazing and one Blickling resident said it perfectly shows Blickling, the church and the community.

This article is from...

Articles in this issue...

£15,000 raised in a day

Founded in 1993, this village organisation has truly gone from strength to strength.


Friends in a time of need

‘Do we carry out urgent repairs to the building or do we pay our parish share in full?’


Powerful friends

When the local community learnt that St Peter’s Church, Forncett, was threatened with closure, the response was immediate; their beautiful 1000-year-old Anglo Saxon church with its iconic round tower must be saved for future generations!


An amazing array of support

The rector and churchwardens are the Trustees of Reepham Church Charities which includes a plot of land, currently leased to Reepham Town Council for allotments, but also funds accumulated from rents which are to be used specifically for ‘the relief of the poor of Reepham’.


Supporting education in Brooke

Like my predecessors I am a trustee of several small village-based charities.


Heating cost support

The Sporle Relief in Need Charity (charity number 213063) owns Sporle’s Town Farm: a farm which nowadays is sadly separated from the village by the A47, with no bridge or easy means of crossing.


Curiosity into wonder

The Saxons founded Fishley in the 10th century, followed by the Normans who built the current church of St. Mary’s.


Honour where honour is due

The 2011 Census identified 177,918 young carers in England and Wales.


Angels to the rescue

It is a great shame that so many events and club meetings in Knapton have had to be cancelled for such a long period because of COVID, but the Knapton Angels have done a fantastic job of supporting our parishioners through these dark times, meeting over 400 requests for support and help.


A backward glance

What does a development worker do during lockdown?


Keep up to date

Subscribe to our eNews for a snapshot of news, events and resources, usually emailed once a fortnight

Signup to newsletter