Wretham embraces heritage to encourage visitors

Author: Mr Robert Culyer

Published on: 23 December 2016

John Kitson, the church secretary contacted me to tell me about the exciting things that they are doing at their church to encourage more visitors.

The church, a 150 year old Victorian architectural gem is tucked away in an isolated part of the village. It is instantly recognisable because of its tiled saddle back tower. Not only do they serve teas when the national gardens scheme is on but the Wednesday before Remembrance Sunday they honour the 14 Czech and Polish aircrew who were based at Wrethan during WW2. In 2015 the church was the first of a list of UK venues for a major exhibition charting the role of Czech servicemen in the UK during WW2. As well as the war graves they have a display devoted to the old airfield.

They also make the most of the artistic talent of the rector from this period, Revd James Park Whalley, who used his talents to paint chancel wall paintings based on Renaissance sources. He also painted the casing of the Grade II Listed James Corps organ as well as the carved font cover. (Do not try this at home!) Wretham sits on the A1075 between Thetford and Watton, and is well worth a visit.

The efforts of this church to encourage visitors, have encapsulated the heritage, war time effects on their parish and the quirkiness of the rector James Whalley. Has your church got any special features like these that you can develop to encourage people to visit your church?

The author...

Mr Robert Culyer

Generous Giving Adviser Officer

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