Town's unique church heritage celebrated in supermarket mural
- Credit: Supplied by Central England Co-op
Youngsters have celebrated a quirk in their town's religious history in a piece of public art.
Reepham Primary School Year 3 and 4 pupils have created a mural for the new Co-op food store in Station Road.
Called 'The Three Churches', the artwork highlights the way Reepham was at the junction of three parishes and so once had three churches at the same place.
Although one of the churches is now a ruin, the spot thought to be one of only two places in Europe with such a history.
Karen Phelps, teacher, said: “This is quite rare and special and comes from the fact that the churchyard was the point where three different parishes met."
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Local folklore says three sisters who ran three farms were each responsible for building one of the churches in the Middle Ages. This tale is illustrated on Reepham's town sign, unveiled in 1992, which itself was designed by Reepham High School students.
Today just one of the churches, St Mary’s, is used for services and the other, St Michael’s can be hired out and is used as a community space. All Saints, the third church, burned down in a fire in 1543, but its remains can still be seen in the churchyard.
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Mrs Phelps said the story of the churches seemed like "the obvious choice" when Central England Co-op approached the school to ask for artwork.
She said: “We have close ties with the vicar who usually does a weekly assembly, and we use the church for history and RE and also a carol concert each year.
“Mr Warne leads art in our school, and he drove the project which was done by mainly Year 4 with help from Year 3. The children really enjoyed producing the artwork and are delighted to have it on the new Central England Co-op store in Reepham so they can see it every time they go past.”
Brad Tuckfield, store manager, said: "I am delighted to be able to display the fantastic piece of artwork created by children at Reepham Primary School on a landmark which has such resonance in the town, and it gives all the team a boost to see the artwork every time they come to work."
The new Co-op is part of a £10 million redevelopment of the former station yard site, which will also include a 60-bedroom care home and a mixture of assisted living homes.