King’s Lynn church to become Minster with special carol service

St Margaret's annual civic carol service on December 18 will see it receive Minster status.

This year's civic carol service at St Margaret's Church in King's Lynn will include the service making it a Minster Church.

St Margaret's has been at the heart of the town for 900 years and is the only other church in Norfolk aside from Great Yarmouth's St Nicholas to be receiving Minster status this year.

'We are both humbled and honoured that the Bishop of Norwich has decided to give us a new title that reflects our commitment to serve the community beyond the immediate parish boundaries and invites the wider community to see us a place for them. We hope also that having a Minster will be another signal to people well beyond our area that King's Lynn is a beautiful historic town that is well worth visiting,' said Canon Chris Ivory when the announcement was made.

'St Margaret's has served the town of King's Lynn and the wider area for over nine centuries and we still seek to be a spiritual home for all the community of west Norfolk where we can gather to celebrate the joys and mark the sorrows of the town and the borough. As well as the regular congregation, a large number of people visit the building. Sometimes they come for services; often they come to admire the architecture, or the beautiful and historic furnishings, or the long history that it represents,' he added.

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The civic service, led by the Bishop of Norwich, will be held on Sunday, December 18 at 6.30pm.

Borough Mayor Colin Sampson said: 'I was absolutely delighted when I was told that the Bishop of Norwich had plans to re-designate St Margaret's Church as a Minster. The position that the building holds within the spiritual and civic life of not just the town but also the borough indicates that the building is of great significance. As has been said elsewhere, the splendour of St Margaret's surpasses that of some cathedrals and after all, we do have our own Suffragan bishop!'

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The church once had a small priory attached to it where four monks from Norwich lived to look after the area.

Only the internal arches of the west towers and the base of the south tower remain from the original Norman period. The nave and aisles of the church had to be rebuilt completely in 1741 after a severe gale toppled the spire on the southwest tower.

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