All Saints Church Swanton Morley
What is All Saints Used For?
Worship at All Saints
First and foremost All Saintsí Church is a place of worship for the people of Swanton Morley and the surrounding area. The church is one of the six churches in the Dereham and District Team Ministry. Swanton Morley has a regular Sunday morning service starting at 11:15a.m. taken by one of the clergy from the Team Ministry. There is always a large congregation for major festivals like Easter and Christmas, and it has been standing room only at the recent services for Remembrance Day. The village primary school occasionally comes down to the church to hold their own services. A list of services at All Saints can be found on the church notice board or online at the Dereham Benefice Website under This Week in our Churches.
All Saints has also been an important place for many people in Swanton Morley over the years. It has been the venue for many couples to join together in marriage in front of a congregation of family and friends. The congregation has also witnessed many children brought to the church to be christened by proud parents. It has also been filled with mourners saying good-bye to a departed loved one.
Music at All Saints
We are fortunate to have an excellent organ, an 1887 Norman & Beard two manual pipe organ, which was acquired from the church of St Michael at Plea, Norwich in 1970. Dougal Smith, our organist, recently master minded the complete restoration of this organ at a cost of over £22,000. Sadly, earlier this year, the organ suffered some water damage, so more repairs will have to be carried out.
Our church has magnificent acoustics, which makes it an ideal location for musical events of any kind, and we hope that the church will become a regular venue for such events. So far in 2010 we have hosted two very successful concerts by the Iceni Choir (May) and the Rietman Singers (June).
We have also had two splendid organ recitals in the church: the first by Paul Hale, one of the finest contemporary British performers and organist at Southwell Cathedral, in July, and another by Richard Hills, a rising star of the organ playing world, in August. Both recitals were played on the Rodgers/MPOS organ, which combines the traditional pipe organ with digital tone production, and the range of sounds produced was truly impressive. An added bonus, kindly organised by Richard Bower, was having a video camera, projector and screen, so that we were all able to have a close-up view of the two organistsí amazing agility on the keyboard and on the pedals. The PCC would like to thank Mark Booth of MPOS, our village organ builder, for his sponsorship of these recitals.
We are hoping that the choir of Gonville & Caius College, our patrons, will be paying us another visit in 2011.
Bell Ringing at All Saints
The mighty tower of All Saints is the home of the All Saints Swanton Morley Bell Ringers, who were formed in early 1999 to ring on the newly restored bells. The band now is growing in numbers and they endeavour to make sure that there is ringing before every service, as well as before other events in the church. The bell ringers also use the church for many of their fundraising events. For more information on the bell ringers visit their website by clicking here
In the summer of 2009 an exhibition was held in the church marking the bicentenary of the birth of Abraham Lincoln and the connections of his family with the village. The exhibition was organised and researched by David Stone. A scaled down version of the exhibition is now on display at the church and is well worth a visit.
Talks are given in the church from time to time, the most recent being one on the American Air Force Connection with Swanton Morley which formed part of the Lincoln Festival.
Page Updated: 15/10/10
All Saints' Church