The visit began with an engaging discussion between the Deanery Chapter and Bishop Graham in St Peter’s Church, Sheringham, looing at what had been done over lockdown and many of the good things to have come out of the period.
There were conversations about people who had joined the church online during lockdown now joining the church in person since buildings started to reopen and the joy that had brought the clergy and congregations.
There were also examples of churches doing services as a benefice – travelling around each church in the benefice over a course of Sundays – with members of the congregation interested to see how this kind of worship could be incorporated into their normal routine going forward.
Following this, just as the weather threatened to turn, Bishop Graham and some members of the clergy walked over Beeston Bump; the 207ft high hill just outside Sheringham. A rainbow arced through the sky and the rain receded – allowing the group to enjoy some ice-creams!
The walk ended at Beeston Parish Church, from where Bishop Graham travelled to Gresham Parish Church, which is currently undergoing some vital restoration work to save its wonderful round tower.
Member of the Friends of Gresham Church group met Bishop Graham in the Parish Hall to tell him about their project and what they are hoping will come out of it.
Through a £140,900 grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund, the Friends have instigated plans to renovate, repair, and revive their church. As well as the restorative impact to the building, the project seeks to digitise the church records in the hope that that will encourage those searching ancestry and historical records. There is also a plan for a digital tour of the building online; also links to local walks and cycle routes on the Friends website to attract more to visit this lovely building.
Other items on the plans include historical and cultural lectures happening in the building as well as art workshops and the usage of the building as a music venue. This is all part of the desire to make the church building a thriving community hub.
The day concluded with Holy Communion at Cromer Parish Church, followed by a short time for everyone to ask the Bishop some questions.