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The Friends of All Saints Church, Hemblington

Friends of HemblingtonThe little church of All Saints was packed on Saturday afternoon, 22nd April with people interested in hearing “The Churches of Broadland” illustrated talk by the Chair of the Norfolk Historic Buildings Group, Dr Ian Hinton.  The presentation preceded the Annual General Meeting of the Friends of the church, and the response to the event was quite overwhelming.

The Chair of the Friends group, Mrs Gwendoline Slater, outlined the aims of the Friends group, then formally introduced the speaker, who discussed the history of church building in the UK from early Saxon wooden churches to the stone or flint-built structures of the Normans.  Looking at the local area, Dr Hinton discussed the “when, where and how” hundreds of stone churches had been built.  He focussed on the wealth of the area in early Medieval times, but then how many churches had declined, became disused or disappeared altogether due to the reduction in population numbers through famine and plague in the subsequent centuries.  Dr Hinton confirmed that East Anglia has the densest population of churches in the country, most originally built on pre-Conquest sites.  He also pointed out the various aspects in which All Saints church had been adapted over the years, and alluded to the different types of stones used in the rubble walls.

His talk was greatly appreciated by the very large audience, and several queries and observations were made.  Mrs Catherine Howe, churchwarden and Friends committee PCC representative, then warmly thanked Dr Hinton for his detailed and very interesting talk and support for the Friends group.

Mrs Jennifer Harvey formally thanked the Friends group for all that they did to support the church team and in raising funds to help keep the fabric of the church in good repair, and towards the management of the churchyards.

Some light refreshment was then offered to attendees, but as the number of people who had attended greatly overcame the crockery available, not everyone stayed on for refreshments.  However people were very generous and £158.80 was donated towards the Friends fund.

Hemblington FriendsThe AGM of the Friends group was then held, which confirmed the funds raised to help keep the fabric of the church in good order, and the plans for several events planned for 2023.  Anyone interested in learning more about the Friends group is encouraged to contact the Secretary via e-mail: hemblington@gmail.com / tel: (01603) 715804 or review the church website: www.hemblingtonchurch.org.uk

Dr Ian Hinton receiving the vote of thanks for his talk from the churchwarden Mrs Catherine Howe.

Dates for your diary – Saturday 20th & Sunday 21st May: “Art in a Country Church” – large exhibition of oil paintings by well-respected Gorleston artist, John S. Applegate.  Free entry to this exciting exhibition in church.  Paintings will be available to buy plus refreshments.  

Blofield & District Gardening Club

The Hemblington Parochial Church Council, in collaboration with the Hemblington Parish Council, arranged for 3 small-leafed lime trees (Tilia cordata ‘Greenspire’) to be purchased, to be planted in the gaps along the churchyard’s eastern boundary.  A fourth tree, a Japanese flowering cherry (Prunus Shirofugen) was to be planted at the main entrance to the churchyard, to commemorate HM Queen Elizabeth II’s platinum jubilee.  As the trees needed to be planted on the day they were to be delivered, some preparatory work was required – clearing undergrowth, digging holes, etc., then planting and staking the new trees.

A group of 9 volunteers gamely appeared and all four trees were planted on the morning of Thursday 16th February.  The PCC is most grateful to all those involved, especially BADCOG chair Ernest Hoyos, churchwarden Simon Mutten, Friends committee members Gwendoline Slater, Peter Harvey, Steve Briggs and Sue Rowe, and Friends group members Tricia Dolamore, John Applegate and Peter Rowe.

A further working party will be planned during March, before the nesting season begins in earnest.  There are some brambles to be cleared and tops of hedges to be pruned.  Anyone interested in helping keep the churchyard well managed for wildlife will be warmly welcomed.  Please contact the Friends secretary for further details: (01603) 715804.


Final tree planted – featuring some members of the volunteer group: John Applegate, Gwendoline Slater, Simon Mutten, Ernest Hoyos and Peter Harvey.

New Village Sign

Hemblington Parish Council was delighted to Inaugurate the new Village Sign for the Broadland village of Hemblington.

The sign depicts All Saints Church, Hemblington and the village’s predominantly farming and woodland features.  The Boot on the sign represents Jeremiah Cutton, who was the local shoemaker born in October 1850 who resided in Cutton’s Corner which is adjacent to the sign’s location.

The Ceremony took place on Saturday, 25th September 2021 at 12 noon with the cutting of a ribbon by Sue Smith, local resident who won an original competition to create the initial design, which was then manufactured by local resident Caroline Ramsay.

The Ceremony was attended by Broadland District Councillors, Nigel Brennan, Hemblington Parish Councillors, honoured guests who contributed to the sign’s installation and parishioners.

Caroline Ramsay, Parish Councillor created the sign coached by Mitchell House, Sculptor based at Alby Crafts near Aylsham.  Mitchell House thereafter continued tutoring Caroline into the art of casting Bronze Sculptures which she has now successfully undertaken several commissions.

Caroline commented that “The sign was originally modelled from clay, from which a mould was created to allow the final sign to be cast from then painted”.   

The sign is erected on wrought steel manufactured locally by Mike Harvey at Woodbastwick Forge and the brick plinth base by Roger Pointer and his team from A1 Maintenance Services. Hemblington is a very small village with few amenities and had never had its own village sign, so it is a historical day in the village calendar.

Concept for new sign

Following a competition held in the village to come up with a concept for a new village sign for Hemblington, parishioner Sue Smith’s design was nominated who lives in Cutton’s Corner whose original layout is shown below.

village sign

Click here to read the full story of how the sign was created and installed.

village sign