Church window repair joy for tiny parish of Brumstead near Stalham

Church warden Alan Beck with the east window at St Peter's Church, Brumstead, near Stalham, which ha

Church warden Alan Beck with the east window at St Peter's Church, Brumstead, near Stalham, which has been restored, reglazed and releaded. PHOTO BY SIMON FINLAY - Credit: Archant Norfolk

A harvest festival service at a north Norfolk church was also an opportunity to celebrate restoration of a fine Victorian stained glass window.

St Peter's, Brumstead, near Stalham, which is one of the county's smaller parishes, had to raise £12,000 for emergency repairs including preventing loss of the east window.

With a population of 84, it was a challenge but worshippers were keen to help the church's fabric.

The church, which was recorded in the Domesday Book of 1085, now holds three services a year. But it was thanks to farmer and former churchwarden Roger Beck, who lived at Brunstead Hall 50 yards away, that the church was given a new lease of life more than a quarter of a century ago. The thatched roof was so decayed that it was open to the sky and ducks had made nests.

The repairs to the window, which was given by George Durrant, of Norwich, in 1875, were carried out by Neil Forkes, of Griffin Glass, of Buxton, near Aylsham. It took three months to complete.


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'It had been my biggest commission and I'm very proud of it,' he said.

During a check of the west window of the south porch, it was found that the east window had corroded.

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Mr Beck's son, Alan, who shares the task of caring for the church with his aunt, Enid Sands, was among those who took up the challenge to raise funds. The Norfolk Churches Trust also made a £5,000 grant.

The east window, which cost £110 almost 140 years ago, is not signed but is thought to have been made in the Norwich workshop of J J King.

It features two saints, St Peter with his keys, and St John the Evangelist, who is depicted holding the chalice from which the devil has emerged.

There is a memorial tablet at the church to Elizabeth Comyn, widow of Stephen George Comyn, who was rector of Bridgham. He was also chaplain to Admiral Lord Nelson and took part in actions at the Battle of the Nile in 1798 and Copenhagen.

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