Update August 2016

A great deal of work has been completed since the last update. The Chancel, Vestry and North Aisle were
re roofed with lead, and repairs were carried out on the associated stonework. Rain dispersal systems were completely overhauled with the installation of new downpipes and five new soakaways and the new roof has also been protected with a roof alarm and smartwater marking. All this was made possible with a major grant from English Heritage together with supporting grants from the Woofson Trust and the Norfolk Churches Trust. This phase of the project was finally signed off in May of 2015 and was completed on budget.

In April of 2015 the Quinquennial Inspection identified a number of serious problems affecting the church building, notably the deteriorating condition of the nave roof and the hard cement render (applied during the 19th century) which was trapping moisture within the walls. Armed with this report a further grant application was made to the Heritage Lottery Fund in the Autumn of 2015 and we are pleased to report that a Development grant has been awarded to plan the re roofing of the Nave, South Aisle and Porch and the re-rendering of the walls with a lime based mortar. Other improvements being planned are an improved entrance, a heritage display and the removal of some pews to ease the circulation around the building.

Fundraising has continued unabated with regular filmshows, lotteries and other events. To date a total of £22,800 has been raised since the birth of St Andrews Restoration Appeal in May 2011.

Update September 2013

A lot of work has been going on this year at St Andrew's. Architects and specialists have been to-ing and fro-ing examining the church, the Easter sepulchre, the wall paintings and the bats in detail to provide a definitive plan for the restoration work. The revised plan for the work is now for replacement of the copper on the North Aisle, Chancel and Vestry roofs with lead, and repair associated parapets; replace downpipes and below ground drainage and remove the external cement render and re-render with lime mortar. We were disappointed that the main roof is not included in this work but understand that the grants will not be sufficient to include all the roof work. That is for the future.

£12,447 has been raised to date of which £113.70 in 20ps which represents 108.4 metres or 118.2 yards. Our Hon Treasurer has emphasised the importance of our fund raising and we hope it will continue to trickle in - a deluge of donations would be good but we are realistic.

The plans for the autumn are to hold a Film Night - film yet to be decided - and if successful, this may become a regular event. In the spring we hope to hold a Pamper evening. Watch this space.

Update January 2013

There has been a long period of silence from the St Andrew's Restoration Appeal (SARA) reporter to the website for which I can only apologise and say in all honesty that we have been very busy fundraising.

In fact, we have reached £11,468 so far in our appeal which has been achieved by donations, sales of tea towels and fridge magnets, Beetle Drives, Lucky Ball, Jumble sale, etc. The Mile of 20 pence pieces is creeping forward slowly and we are now at £831 which is almost 97.3yds or 89m. Not that much further and we will have rounded the corner into School Lane. Keep up the good work!

The Fashion Show is full steam ahead for Friday March 1st at 7pm. This will be £5 per ticket to include a glass of wine, and there will be opportunity to buy clothes, handbags and accessories. Tickets available from Christine Collins (Churchwarden).

The Restoration work is progressing satisfactorily. The organ restoration was completed in the autumn - and what a fine sound we have now. The work on the roof has yet to begin but we are hopeful that the preliminary work will start before too long.

We have many ideas for more fund raising and hopefully we can give you more details soon.

Update July 25 2012

First the good news - We are pleased to tell you that we have climbed over the £7,000 hurdle by raising £7,261 to date. The Mile of 20p now stands at £567.20 (66.17yd or 60.7m). This has been achieved most recently with a stall at the Norman School Carnival where fun and games were enjoyed and tea towels sold. Also, the ever generous villagers have given their 20p pieces towards the mile - still a long way to go so keep collecting.

The not so good news is the more recent architects report which has drawn attention to the urgent need to replace the church roof. It was last replaced in the 1950's and has undergone many repairs but some of these have failed and water is penetrating the underlying roof timbers. All other plans for restoration have had to be put on hold while we tackle this very urgent problem which has not been helped by the volume of rain which has fallen this year so far. We will need around £250,000 for a new roof. Obviously, we hope to obtain some financial assistance for this but our fund raising is essential for meeting any shortfall.

Other good news is the almost completed organ restoration. This was more extensive - and therefore more costly - than originally hoped. However the end is in sight and we hope to celebrate with a concert in the autumn. Watch this space!

Other plans for fundraising include the sale of tea towels - and what a lovely tea towel it is! An ideal gift or stocking filler maybe at only £5 so do contact us and we will happily mail one to you. On September 28th we will be holding another Beetle Drive for families and all age participants. It is good fun and ticket price includes a delicious hot dog. Next spring - March 1 - we will have a fashion show in aid of the restoration fund. With this range of fundraising activities we hope that something will appeal to you. Do come and join us.

Update May 6 2012

What a good Jumble Sale! We raised £950 from just a couple of hours of sale, most was sold in the first 45 minutes. Many thanks to all who bought, donated and helped. We are delighted.

The up to date total of funds raised is now over £6,500 excluding the lucky ball prize money, and the Mile of 20p pieces is creeping steadily onwards. We now have 39.98m (43yd 2ft 2in for those still in 'old money'!). Still a long way to go, so keep collecting.

The Jubilee Quiz is now for sale for £1 per entrant. Only 60 questions and you could win £10.

We will be at the Carnival on June 9 selling tea towels and offering some fun games for you to play. Come along and see us there.

St Andrew's Restoration Fund Appeal (SARA) - Update 7 March 2012

We are delighted to report that the amount raised from events, activities and donations has now reached £5,680.

Beetle Drive - February 3
On February 3 we held a Beetle Drive in the Village school. This was a family event and was great fun. We raised over £130 and are planning another in September.

Mile of 20 pence pieces.
Villagers of all ages are being encouraged to collect 20 pence pieces. We will need alot (about £15,000 worth) to complete a mile.

The route has now been accurately measured with a surveyor's wheel. It starts outside the church, at the Lych gate, turning left into Church Lane and continuing into School Lane; then from School Lane into Hall Lane, turning left along High Street and left again into Methwold Road. Then left once more, into School Lane and left again down Hall Lane, leading back to the High Street. where we turn right, down to the church, finishing with a final lap around the church, then into the church and up the aisle.

So far we have collected about 34.39 metres or 37.496 yards worth which means we are nearly at the corner to head up Church Lane! A long way to go, but we have every hope that we will get there.

Lucky Ball
Our Lucky Ball fundraiser continues... don't forget that although we have sold all 49 balls, this does not mean the chance had gone to join in and support the restoration work on our beautiful church - we are very happy to have a 'waiting list' and in due course, when a number falls vacant we will offer it to the person at the top of the list. If you would like to join the Lucky Ball waiting list, please call Veronica Hutchby on 01366 728555 or contact her here


Jumble Sale
Good quality jumble, 'good as new' items, bric-a-brac and garden seeds will be on sale in the village hall on Saturday March 31st at 10.30am. If you have jumble, good quality clothing and other items or bric-a-brac, please donate to this event. The co-ordinator for this is Val Elwes: 01366 728495, or you can email her

Tea towels will be on sale in the next few weeks, and we will have a fund raising stall at the Carnival on Saturday June 9. We are also producing a Jubilee themed 'Glorious 60 Years' quiz sheet.

St Andrew's Restoration Fund Appeal (SARA) - Update January 24th 2012

SARA Committee Members:
Ailene Macmullen
Christine Collins
Val Elwes
Tim Elliott
Irene Quinn
Ann Haworth
Veronica Hutchby

We are delighted to report that to date, £5,281 has been raised from events, activities and donations. We will need around £165,000 and hopefully some will come from grants but in order to qualify for them, we need to prove there is public support for the project. We have a number of fund raising activities organised to try and boost the coffers for this necessary and exciting restoration work.

Mile of 20 pence pieces.
Villagers of all ages are being encouraged to collect 20 pence pieces. We will need alot (about £15,000 worth) to complete a mile. The route is left from the Lych gate to Church Lane. Up Church Lane to School Lane. Turn right along School Lane to Methwold Road. Turn right down Methwold Road to High Street. Along High Street back to church, and finally one lap around the church. So far we have collected about 27 yards worth. Please join in - every 20p counts!

Beetle Drive - February 3
We will be holding a Beetle Drive in the Village school. This is a family event but does not preclude any person of any age from joining in. It is £3 per adult and £1.50 per child and will include a Hot Dog and drink as refreshment. A raffle will also be held.

Lucky Ball
On January 7th 2012 our Lucky Ball fundraiser started - 49 participants paid £1 per week (£50 p.a.) and the winner - using the Bonus ball number from the National Lottery Draw - wins £25. We were delighted to sell all 49 balls and many participants were very enthusiastic and keen to support our restoration work on our beautiful church. Having sold all 49 balls does not mean the chance to join in has gone - we are very happy to have a 'waiting list' and in due course, when a number falls vacant we will offer it to the waiting list people. If you would like to join the Lucky Ball waiting list contact Veronica Hutchby. Tel. 728555 or vhutchby1@sky.com.

Jumble Sale
Good quality Jumble will be sold at our sale in the village hall on Saturday March 31st at 10.30am. If you have jumble or Bric-a-brac, please donate to this event. The co-ordinator for this is Val Elwes.

Calendars with old pictures of Northwold residents was sold at Christmas for £5 each. We raised over £500 from this, and still have a few to sell - at a reduced price. If you are aware of a room without a calendar - contact us and we will provide one.

Church Renovation - May 2011

The Church has just had its five yearly assessment of work which needs to be carried out to keep the building in good condition. Major repairs and renovation will have to be carried out over the next ten to fifteen years at a total cost of £165,000 or thereabouts. We have completed renovation to the Vestry and the cloakroom as well as repairs to part of the roof where rainwater was causing a problem, the cost of this work was just over £8,000. There is still a great deal to be done and the following list is a summary of major work which will need to be funded:

1. The priority is to make sure that the Church is watertight and the drainage is operating so that the walls are free of damp and may be re-decorated. Before this can happen there has to be an inspection of the interior walls to discover if there are any further medieval wall paintings. The plaster may then be completely removed and decoration done as required.
2. Roof repairs.
3. Re-leading of windows. This is because the lead is cracking and crumbling in places.
4. Exterior walls to be assessed for removal of render and slabs. Re-pointing and re-rendering as necessary.

There are many smaller repairs which will need to be done and we felt that everyone who lives in Northwold should know of the major challenge ahead. The Church is the oldest building in the village with its origins dating back to the tenth century. It is a magnificent structure which must be retained and cared for by us so that it is here for the coming generations. We all appreciate the beauty, serenity and eternal charm of the Church and we are asking you to help us to restore it. Even if you don't attend services we hope that you will feel able to contribute to the funds required. As a first step to raising the money we are hoping to form a group of people, not necessarily church goers, to be named Friends of St Andrew's If you would like to play a part in our endeavours (or send us a donation!) please contact the Church Wardens: Chris Collins - 01366 728404 and Carol Sharp - 01366 728227.

Village History Weekend - 3-4 September 2011

The sun shone and the weather was truly barmy for most of this very successful and stimulating two day celebration of Northwold's past with displays including Church monuments, shops, buildings, local characters, school, sports teams etc.. Wedding dresses worn by villagers at their weddings in St Andrew's were displayed and enjoyed. Many visitors and villagers came to view the displays in the church, school, pub and war memorial. Some came twice or three times, complaining that there was so much informaion and too little time to take it all in.

The Church Tower was open on Sunday afternoon and some braved the steep climb to take in the scenery and have birds eye views of their homes and gardens. A Songs of Praise style service was the finale for this wonderful weekend when poetry and prose alternated with well known hymns. Tribute was paid to those who lived in Northwold and are now buried here. The service was well attended and appreciated by all.

Two day celebration of Northwold's past with displays including Church monuments, shops, buildings, local characters, school, sports teams etc.. On Sunday we will hold a family service paying tribute to those who have lived in Northwold and are now buried here. Teas and refreshments will be available during the weekend.

St Andrew's Church Ely 900 Celebrations - June 27 & 28 2009

They say the sun shines on the righteous... and what a glorious weekend we had for our celebrations! The church looked magnificent, filled with the sight and scent of nineteen impressive and imaginative flower arrangements on the theme Songs of Praise. (How we shall miss them when they are gone!) This was our 'Flower Festival', and a great credit to all the flower arrangers, who had spent longer than one would think to get everything 'just right'. The 'inner man' (and woman) was not forgotten, and luscious cream teas were available on both days, whilst on Sunday, a tasty wine and canape lunch was to be had in the garden of the Old Rectory.

The flowers provided a fitting setting for the evening concert given by pupils and staff from our own Norman School and of Thetford Grammar School. We enjoyed a whole range of talent and must congratulate all who took part in a very varied programme.

To add to the occasion, on Sunday afternoon, Charlie Askew - Tower Captain of St Andrew's Bellringers, and ringer for over 60 years, was honoured by the ringers who rang a special peal for him, and we all had a piece of celebratory cake!

This has been a weekend to be remembered, not only as a Celebration of 900 years of the Ely Diocese, but as a splendid coming-together of families, friends, neighbours and visitors! Congratulations and a big thank-you to all who contributed to making this the success it was!

Christmas Tree Festival

Once again the Christmas Tree Festival was very successful. This year we had 25 trees all decorated by local villagers. The lights from these, together with over 100 candles glowing throughout the church gave a warm and welcoming atmosphere to start our festive season at St. Andrews. The church was full for the annual carol service on the Sunday Evening. The service followed its now traditional pattern, beginning with Joseph Whiting singing Once in Royal David's City. This set the tone for a very enjoyable evening of poems, readings, soloists and the Breckland Hand bell ringers alternating with the Christmas Carols. Martin Chilvers again returned to the village to host the event and this year we were pleased to welcome John Rone, who read the Nativity Story and led the prayers for us. The congregation then enjoyed mince pies and mulled wine and a bit of a mardle before leaving our beautifully decorated church and wending their way home.

Our thanks to everyone who works so hard to make this happen each year. Once the trees have been delivered from Didlington Nurseries our local team of tree men trim, pot and set these up in the allocated places, sometimes having to move them around in different positions in the church until the 'organisers' are satisfied! This is all done with much good humour and a few aching backs. Then follows a frenzied few days whilst the decorators work their magic on the trees. It's always lovely to see who will do what with their tree and what will the children produce this year for their trees. Of course, after all the services and events over Christmas the inevitable happens and everything has to be taken down by the 6th January. Again our army of helpers clear the church with the same good humour as they showed when preparing for the start of the celebrations of Christmastide. Our grateful thanks to everyone involved.

As most of you are aware, we have a charity tree in the church which raises money for the East Anglian Children’s Hospice. This year the donations for the tree amounted to £52. This was added to the amount raised from the Chris tingle service and so a cheque for £132 will now be sent from the people of Northwold towards the deserving cause.

Thank you all again and we wish everyone a happy and healthy 2008.

Plough Monday - 7 January 2008

Plough Monday was again celebrated in the fast reviving traditional manner on 7th January. The event began with the torchlight procession from The Crown to the Church, where the plough was blessed by The Reverend Angela Nichols, and Martin Chilvers welcomed us all. This was followed by Molly dancing by The Norwich Kit Witches and The Ouse Washes Molly Dancers, who performed their traditional dances.

No sooner had this ended than The St Andrew’s Mummers appeared from the darkness to perform their play to the amusement of the gathering. Jack Tar was slain by Jack Ketch despite entreaties from his girl friend, the king of Little London’s daughter, not to hurt him, with assistance and advice from Old Bessie Tosspot.

As he lay apparently dead, a Doctor was called who on examination discovered that Jack Ketch had not killed him but that he was critically ill due to a long string of sausages stuck in his inside. These were duly removed, to amusement of the gathering. So everything turned out alright in the end.

After the play the King’s Morris men danced and then it was time to tour the village where dancing took place at other locations before finishing up in John Haylock’s yard. Here the whole performance was repeated, and mulled wine and mince pies were handed round.

Andrew and Ginny are to be congratulated for the effort and expertise that they have put into this venture. More people than ever came to watch and enjoy the occasion,which bodes well for the revival of such traditional events.

Grateful thanks are extended to everyone who helped in any way to make this event such a success.

Pet Service - Sunday, 19 August

In spite of very unsettled weather, a good number of pets and their owners took part happily (and peacefully) in the occasion to celebrate the pleasure we enjoy with our pets.

Rev. Angela Nicoll retold the colourful tale of Noah's Ark, and we all introduced our pets to each other. We made a 'friendship' paper chain bearing our names and the names of our pets, and each child took home a small model of an animal to remind them of the event. We sang with enthusiasm some appropriate songs and Janet played the organ for us.

A very happy event altogether!


Above: Saffy, often seen accompanying Church Warden Jane Luckman to the church.

The Official Guide to St Andrews, Northwold

The second edition of the Church History & Guide, by Dr J A Norris, was published in 2003 and contains the same information as the online version, except that, for reasons of cost, the photos are in black and white (apart from the front and back covers, which are in full colour).

The Guide is available in the church for £1, but if you would like us to mail you a copy, please send a cheque to the value of £1.75 (inc. P&P), made out to St Andrew's Church, addressed to:
Miss Jane Luckman, 12 West End, Northwold, Norfolk IP26 5LE.

If you are interested in obtaining copies of the images displayed on this site, or any other images of the church, whether for use in print or on the web, please contact Jane de Silva