St. Andrews Church, Little Cressingham

St. Andrews, Little Cressingham

St. Andrews, Little Cressingham

Introduction

Originally a large, C14th church, centred to the village of Lt. Cressingham with a nave, chancel and two side aisles with a flint tower. A storm in 1781 bought down the tower, damaged half the nave but a faculty restored the nave with a brick wall separating it from the ruined tower. In 1990 the tower, still ruined was secured with help from the Norfolk Churches Trust.

 

Situation

The church is located west of the small village crossroads on the road to Great Cressingham. Close to the church, behind some fine trees, lies a regency house which was formerly The Rectory.

Access is through the newly restored oak gate, up a shingle path to the church. The Tower that served as a porch is a dramatic ruin in a south-west position with remains of holy water stoop. The south aisle walls are faced with dark knapped flint with three light C15th perpendicular windows. The two chancel windows are C14th decorated but have lost their tracery, now sadly blocked up in red brick. The east window, also C14th has also lost most of the original tracery and when restored (date unknown) it was wrongly constructed.

On the north side there is one original decorated window. The north aisle matches that of the south aisle. The clerestory windows are clear glass and the C15th perpendicular with cusped y-tracery are worthy of closer examination. Though the roof has gone to the north of the ruin, arcading has survived. The very large west window is now blocked up but a small window has been inserted. Below the west window and further to the north aisle there is chequered flash work and dark knapped flints filling the tracery to the west window.

View through the churchyard gate

View through the churchyard gate

Above the break and gable which was the church circa. 1781 there is a bell cote. The bell though unmarked, dates from 1800. Entering the church by the way of the ruin through a pointed arch door, the church is extremely light within. The nave arcade to the south and the north are C15th perpendicular with moulded arches which have moulded projections with semi-circular shafts without capitals. There is a rood loft staircase east wall of the north arcade with upper doorway and the chancel arch is C14th and decorated. There is a good C14th chancel piscine with foliated cusps to the arch. The font of caen stone is a replacement after the storm of 1871.

On the floor lie richly carved Welsh slate memorials; one to William Farrer d.1809 founder of the village school (which was later the village hall and demolished in 2002) and his virtuous sister Jane Russell d.1829. Also the Cooper crest of a tortoise displayed or erect, a falcon wings overture. M S Cooper d. 14th November 1763 aged 64. He possessed Hopkin House Manor.

The plain slate monument to Sir F Goodrick bart. 1847 was moved from the ruins and placed across the church rather than from east to west. The arms in the east window of the south aisle are those of Sir Holyoake Goodrick bart. From Ribston Hall Yorkshire. An extinct title. In the C18th, the east window contains the arms of Beauchamp, Earl of Warwick. The fine marble wall tablet on the south wall is to Viscount Fortescue, Earl of Clermont with the moto (forte scutum saylus ducum) a strong shield is the salvation of leaders. The inscription reads in this place lyeth the body of William Henry Fortescue, Earl of Clermont, who departed this life on the 29th day of September 1806 in 75th year of his life. The monument is erected in obedience to his will by his executor William Charles Fortescue, now Viscount Clermont who was in Ireland at the time of his deceased. The Earl is buried at Little Cressingham, 1806, surprisingly close by to Jane Lumley as an infant 1806. William Charles Fortescue, his nephew, turned out to be a bad lot. He was tried at Thetford assises on 30th March 1811 for assaulting Sarah Lumley, a widow from Saham Toney. He was found quilty and fined 50 marks to the king. It was instantly paid.

St. Andrews has other fixtures. The 1914-18 war memorial lists 35 who served and 8 of them gave their lives. Then in 1939-45 war many airmen based locally at Watton and Bodney airfields also lost their lives. They had been welcome visitors to the community.

A box pew has been incorporated into vestry doors a large commandment board with creed hangs over the west door. There are brass sconces to the pulpit, the parish clerks reading desk is on the front pew c.1820. A pair of gothic oak sanctuary chairs by the chancel. The communion rail is of tubular brass over an iron base. An usual motif c.1870.

The Chancel in the foreground

The Chancel in the foreground

In the return and decayed churches in the arch deanery of Norfolk dated 1603, the parish church of Cressingham parva (that’s our St. Andrews) noted the glass windows, tiling’s and pavements of the chancel are very ruinously decayed by the default of Mr. Richard Goodman, parson there 1603-27. For the past three or four years, the church yard walls are much decayed and the bells taken out of the steeple. The roof to the north side lies wide open. The steeple is decayed and the pavement sunk down with broken windows. Originally, the nave lay at 51ft long including the aisles at 40ft wide. The chancel was 32ft by 14ft.

The Rectors

There are listed 53 rectors serving the parish of St. Andrews from 1262 to 2003. Some served barely a year or two. Starting with Roger Brown dated 1300 and leading to William Hanslap 1349, those 49 years produced 11 priests whereas John Brandish, resident 1747 continued to 1786, 39 years as rector or Thomas Baker, 40 years from 1801. The longest serving rector was John Wygotte also rector of Feltwell who resigned in 1486 having taken over from William Wright who died in 1435. 51 years earlier, the average stay of an incumbent was 14 years over the period of 741 years.

In 1961 Little Cressingham along with 9 other parishes pioneered the method of group ministry and formed The Hilborough Group. In 1995 the then priest Reverend K. Chalcraft was sacked by Bishop Peter Knott contrary to written agreement. The ten parishes divided and five formed the Oxborough Circuit which included Little Cressingham and continued to worship under Kit Chalcraft. In 2002 Bishop Graham James of Norwich ordained Alan Walker, priest in charge but reinstated Kit Chalcraft to continue in his ministry to the five parishes.

List of Rectors to follow Thomas Fielding Baker

1847 S B Warner
1860 S F Bolling
1872 J W Bonesh
1912 George Todd
1935 John L Davies
1957 K J Makin
1970 Roger Smith
1978 Philip Saywell
1982 David Abraham
1986 Kit Chalcraft
2002 Alan Walker

Forthcoming Events
at St. Andrews
 

Holy Communion Service
Sunday August 30th at 9:30am
St. Andrew's Church, Little Cressingham

Holy Communion Service
Sunday September 27th at 9:30am
St Andrew's Church, Little Cressingham

Harvet Festival
Sunday October 11th at 9:30am
St Andrew's Church, Little Cressingham

Autumn / Christmas Fayre
Saturday 31st October from 2pm to 5pm
St Andrew's Church, Little Cressingham

Holy Communion Service
14th February 2016
St Andrew's Church, Little Cressingham

Morning Prayer Service
13th March 2016
St Andrew's Church, little Cressingham

Morning Prayer Service
03/07/2016
St Andrew's Church, Little Cressingham
Contact: Charles Sherlock

Holy Communion Service
31/07/2016
St Andrew's Church
Contact: Charles Sherlock

Family Service
07/08/2016
All Saint's Church, Threxton

Morning Prayer Service
28th August 0930
St Andrew's Church, Little Cressingham
Contact: George Lynne

Holy communion Service
04/08/2016
All Saint's Church

Coffee Morning
24/09/2016
All Saint's Church, Threxton

Holy Communion Service
25th September 0930
St Andrew's Church, Little Cressingham
Contact: Charles Sherlock

Morning Prayer Service
19th February 2017
St Andrew's Church, Little Cressingham
Contact: Charles Sherlock

Holy communion Service
19th March 2017
St Andrew's Church, Little Cressingham

See all forthcoming events

Forthcoming Events
at All Saints
 

Family Service
Sunday September 6th at 11am
All Saint's Church, Threxton

Family Service
Sunday 7th February, 11am
All Saints Church, Threxton

Easter Day Holy communion
Sunday 27th March, 11am
All Saints Church, Threxton

Family Service
01/05/2016
All Saints Church, Threxton

Family Service
05/06/2016
All Saints Church, Threxton

Family Service
03/07/2016
All Saints Church, Threxton

Harvest Thanksgiving
02/10/2016
All Saint's Church

Rememberance Service
13/11/16
All Saint's Church

Christmas Carols
18/12/16
All Saint's Church

Family Service
Sunday 5th February 10.30am
All Saint's Church, Threxton

Family Service
Sunday 5th March at 10.30am
All Saint's Church, Threxton

Holy Communion
Sunday 9th April at 10.30am
All Saint's Church, Threxton

Family Service
Sunday 7th May at 10.30am
All Saint's Church, Threxton

Family Service
Sunday 4th June at 10.30am
All Saint's Church, Threxton


Sunday 2nd July at 10.30am
All Saint's Church, Threxton


Sunday 6th August at 10.30am
All Saint's Church, Threxton

Afternoon Teas
Saturday 13th August 2pm-4pm
All Saint's Church, Threxton

Family Service
Sunday 3rd September at 10.30am
All Saint's Church, Threxton

Coffee Morning
Saturday 16th September 10am to 1pm
All Saint's Church, Threxton

Harvest Thanksgiving
Sunday 1st October at 3pm
All Saint's Church, Threxton

Remembrance
Sunday 12th November at 10.30am
All Saint's Church, Threxton

Christmas Carols
Sunday 17th December at 3pm
All Saint's Church, Threxton

See all forthcoming events