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Bishop Graham’s North Norfolk tour

School pupils, parishioners, young people, and a community of people with learning disabilities were all part of a full and busy day of visits in North Norfolk for the Bishop of Norwich in mid-March.

The day began with the dedication of a new classroom at St Mary’s Church of England VA Primary School in Roughton, pictured above. This was an eagerly anticipated event that had had to be rearranged three times due to the pandemic. Bishop Graham was led through to the playground to take part in an open-air service, after which he cut the ribbon on the new Elms classroom building, helped by the oldest and youngest pupils in the school, which has 96 pupils in total.
After he had drawn a chalk cross above the door, two more year 6 pupils showed the Bishop around the rest of the school and he was particularly interested to hear about some of their eco experiences and ideas. “A wonderful school with a big heart,” he declared.
Next it was on to meet with parishioners in the Langham area at Binham Priory, where had an opportunity to sample the local Binham Blue cheese! This was followed by lunch with students at Gresham’s School in Holt.
bishop at greshams 480ATThe Bishop was given a tour of the new Dyson building at Gresham's and a visit to the chapel to see the installation of over 800 paper doves suspended above the West end of the chapel, each inscribed with prayers for peace by pupils from across the school in response to the invasion of Ukraine, pictured right.
This was followed by a dedication of the new apiary for “Queens House” whose logo is a bee, and then, in the Bishop’s own words “A tough ‘grill a bishop’ session” with pupils. For some 40 minutes students were able to throw any questions at Bishop Graham, with no pre-warning, for him to respond.
The Revd Jack Brandford, chaplain of Gresham’s, accompanied the Bishop to the Holt Youth Project, which is one of Gresham’s long-term charity partners. He introduced Bishop Graham to the inspirational co-founder and manager, Julie Alford, pictured below. Bishop Graham listened to her miraculous story of following God’s call, starting from humble, but faith-fuelled beginnings in 2004 to the diverse support project that operates today. A tour of the building revealed the wide variety of support offered to young people across North Norfolk from young carers to those experiencing mental health issues, unemployment, poverty and more.
bishop at holt 750ATThen it was on to Thornage Hall, an independent charity in rural North Norfolk that provides supported living, learning and working for adults with learning disabilities. With about 27 residents there are a similar number of day visitors who all have the opportunity to do traditional arts and crafts and farming activities, including weaving, woodworking, and a biodynamic farm and market garden. Bishop Graham helped to plant a tree in the memorial garden as part of the Queen’s Green Canopy.
The visit was rounded off with tea and cake at Gregories Barn where he met other tenants and staff and was presented with a generous box of goodies that were all made on site. Bishop Graham’s very full day concluded with the Holt Deanery Synod in the evening, during which a time of prayer was held for the situation in Ukraine.
For the full story, with more pictures, visit the Diocese of Norwich website.
The pictures are courtesy of Diocese of Norwich.


TonyRothe150Do you have a news story or forthcoming event relating to Christians or a church in North Norfolk?  

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Tony Rothe, 31/03/2022

Tony Rothe
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