The Church In Denton
It is the Church Council's aim that the Church in Denton reflects the friendly and sociable character of the village. More than 25 years ago it was decided to amalgamate the Anglican and United Reformed denominations into one ecunemical church - still a rare situation in Britain.
The Church in Denton is a Local Ecumenical Partnership (LEP). The LEP is run by a single Joint Church Council (JCC), which comprises members of both constituent churches. The JCC reports to The Earsham Benefice, which covers six parishes including Alburgh, and to the Waveney Valley Ecumenical Partnership. Members of both churches worship together in church and chapel and similarly Rector and Minister conduct services in both locations.
Services are normally held in the Parish Church of St Mary the Virgin on the first and third Sundays of the month and in the Chapel on the second and fourth Sundays. Everybody, of whatever religious persuasion, is most welcome. Following a long tradition, services in Denton, Alburgh and sometimes elsewhere in the Benefice, are listed below. Further information is provided in the Benefice Newsletter.
- 7th April - 9.30 am - Denton, St Mary's, Time to Share Family Service
- 7th April - 9.30 am - Alburgh, All Saints', Morning Service
- 14th April - 9.30 am - Denton, The Chapel, Holy Communion
- 14th April - 8.00 am - Alburgh, All Saints', Holy Communion (BCP)
- 18th April - 7.00 pm - Earsham, All Saints', Maundy Thursday Service
- 21st April - 5.45 am - Ditchingham, Tower, Sunrise Service
- 21st April - 9.30 am - Denton, St Mary's, Holy Communion
- 21st April - 9.30 am - Alburgh, All Saints', Holy Communion
- 28th April - 9.30 am - Denton, The Chapel, Service
- 28th April - 9.30 am - Alburgh, All Saints', Holy Communion
Flower and Cleaning Rotas
The flower and cleaning rotas for both the Church and Chapel appear on a Separate Page.
The Parish Church probably owes its isolated position off Danacre Road to its being built near one of the chief residences of the village in Saxon times. The western Norman tower which is clearly visible from the Alburgh Road, has been strangely restored with brick partly replacing the flint masonry, after the original round tower collapsed in the early 1500's. Its height was increased by 10 ft in 1843.
St Mary’s Denton is a flint round tower church with a square red brick tower due to a partial collapse of the round tower in the 16th or 17th century and as part of the 2018 celebrations there will be a pageant called “A Square Tower in a Round Hole”.
St Mary’s is also famous for it’s most historic East window which contains glass some 700 years old. The first known Rector of St Mary’s church was in 1307 in the reign of Edward First. It is believed there was an earlier Chancel.
The Knave is 14th century and the North porch 15th century.
Further details of the building can be found in the Buildings Section.
The tower contains a fine peal of bells and an ancient clock. The latter is driven in the traditional way by descending weights. These need to be wound up on a weekly basis. The task is performed by a small team of noble volunteers. Offers of help are always welcome.
The Winding Rota appears on a Separate Page.
The PCC announced in 2016 that St Mary’s had been awarded a first round pass for a grant of £249,400 for urgent repairs by the Heritage Lottery Fund. This represented 82.6% of the estimated total project cost of £301,905.
2016 saw project development work with assessments, surveys and costs. In 2017 work commenced on Monday 6th March and the building became a construction site. The urgent extensive repairs to the church were all completed early in 2018.
The success of the project were celebrated by an exhibition in the church and a performance of "A Square Tower in a Round Hole" by the Rising Stars and the Dentones on 24th October.
Further information about the project is available in the History Section.
More information about the church including a list of rectors is provided in the Church History Section.
Another page provides details of the Building itself.
The Chapel occupies a central point in the village, at the junction of Trunch Hill, Norwich Road and Chapel Hill, and has justifiable claims to be one of the oldest non-conformist chapels in Norfolk. The current building, which replaced an earlier structure, was built in 1821. Further information is provided in the History Section.
Both Parish Church and Chapel provide venues for other activities such as concerts and exhibitions and each Thursday morning the Chapel vestry becomes the Village Post Office, thus allowing villagers to draw their pensions and carry out any other postal business without having to travel further afield.
Refreshments are served during the morning by volunteers who encourage people to make their visit a social occasion.
If you wish for further details the church secretary and churchwardens will be delighted to help. The Rector, who covers a Benefice of six parishes, is based in Earsham. The Minister, who is based at Emmanuel Church, Bungay, organises the services at the Chapel.
- Rector: Revd. Chris Hutton - 01986 895423
- Church Secretary: Mrs Jean Whipps - 01986 788360
- Church Wardens:
Revd. Jaqueline Evans
– 01986 896501.
- Revd. Ruth Browning – 01379 854343.
Further information about both the Benefice and the Partnership is available from their websites referenced at the top of this page.
Records are available of all the graves in the Churchyard and around the Chapel.
Please contact the Churchwardens, see above, for the former and Mrs Hilda Thomas, 01986 788249, for the latter.
Roman Catholic Church
The nearest Roman Catholic Church to Denton is St Edmunds in St Mary's Street, Bungay.
Contact: Rt. Rev. Abbot Charles Fitzgerald-Lombard OSB, MPhil. Tel: 01986 893355
There is a branch of the British Humanist Association in Norwich.
Their Website provides details of humanist ceremonies etc.