Walsingham railway chapel needs volunteers
An Orthodox chapel created from a disused railway station at Walsingham in North Norfolk is seeking volunteers to encourage visitors to explore this unique location. Tony Rothe reports.
Walsingham was a railway station on the Wells and Fakenham Railway, later part of the Great Eastern Railway. It opened on 1 December 1857, and served the villages of Great Walsingham and Little Walsingham. It closed on 5 October 1964.
The station buildings were purchased in 1967 and a small Orthodox chapel was constructed in the former Gentleman’s Waiting Room. Many of the original features were retained, including the 70 metre platform. St Seraphim’s Orthodox church had come into being.
The Quiet Garden was developed by the Community Payback and opened in 2015, and the complex was awarded Museum Accreditation status in 2016.
An icon gallery containing contextualising material opened in 2019, and in February 2021 the Garden Room was added, funded by a North Norfolk District Council Sustainable Communities grant, for local groups to hold meetings and other activities.
St Seraphim’s is now looking for additional volunteers, as Welcomers in the Icon heritage Gallery and Quiet Garden, as well as in Collections Management of the Icon, Pilgrimage and Railway archives. A new railway display using the railway collection is also planned and volunteers are needed to create this.
To attract prospective volunteers, the museum is holding Autumn Open Afternoons from 2pm until 4pm on Wednesdays September 29 and October 27. Current volunteers will be giving guided tours at 2pm and 3pm. Refreshments will be provided and there is disabled access to the garden.
Volunteer led Guided Tours of the chapel continue through September and October on Wednesdays and Saturdays at 2pm and 3pm; lasting approximately 40 mins and are currently limited to 6 people, so visitors are encouraged to book early.
Museum Manager Sylvia said “St Seraphim’s relies on volunteers and our volunteers are valued and appreciated – do come along and see for yourself what our volunteers do when they are here!”
For further information or to book for a guided tour, please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
Or phone 01328 820610
St Seraphim’s is located at Station Road, Walsingham Norfolk. NR22 6EB. There is limited parking at the front of the building, but the village car park is nearby.
Visit St Seraphim’s web page.
The photos above are courtesy of St Seraphims. The lower one shows the station in around 1961.
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