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News from St. Peter’s Church

July was indeed a very busy month with preparations for our NHLF Open Day on Saturday 15th July.


This proved to be a somewhat unseasonal day for weather with sharp rain showers and gusty winds all day. However, we welcomed a steady flow of visitors for ploughman’s lunches, followed by cream teas and delicious homemade cakes with tea, coffee and fruit juices to tempt everyone. The overall consensus was that the cakes, in particular, were ‘the best ever’! Without doubt there are many excellent cooks in Merton!


On display were Brian Hines models of by-gone Merton farm machinery and buildings; Heathers collection of old pictures of Merton, Watton and other Norfolk towns; historical information about Merton village and estate; and the video of Merton church,with music and fascinating narrationall of which drew constant groups of people to look, listen and ask questions.


This was the last of several events which have been supported by the National Heritage Lottery Fund as part of the project which has enabled us to repair the church roof after the theft of the lead, andalso install the new kitchenette facilities – for which we are very grateful to NHLF and Lottery players. To celebrate the completion of the project, a display of ‘Before and After’ photographs illustrated what has been done to the roof, and how the kitchenette has transformed an awkward corner of the church. The heavy rain was certainly a reminder of how significant the roof repairs have been. A few years ago, there would have been buckets at strategic places in the nave in a desperate attempt to catch the water pouring through the tattered tarpaulin covering. Now, an event such as the Open Day can be held with no problem whatever the weather, though it was of course a shame that visitors were unable to sit outside and enjoy the lovely view.


The wonderful team of volunteers who ensured the whole event ran so successfully were key to the success of the day, and a huge ‘thank you to you all.


Already, there have been many folk asking when the next similar event might be held, because they enjoyed it so much. With this encouragement, the organisers behind the scenes  will no doubt soon be gathering thoughts and  putting plans into place for future events – and perhaps next time we might be blessed with more sunshine .So, do watch this space everyone!!


With the arrival of August now we will soon be seeing the annual cut of the longer grass areas in the churchyard which is all part of our conservation scheme in the Churchyard. Earlier this summer the Meadow Saxifrage flowers gave us a wonderful display on thegrass beside the approach to the church. There are many compliments made in our visitors book about how well cared for the churchyard always looks, due to those several persons who one way and another so expertly attend to the grass cutting and various other tasks. This is done mostly, once again, by the kindness of volunteers. What would we do without you?


Enormous thanks are due to you all.


Carole Haggett