It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas

Written by Graham Prior on .

Director and Producer Paul Blake and the cast of 'Ensemble' performed 'It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas' to three packed audiences in St Mary's Church November 28th, 29th and 30th. 

Silent Night

Click on pic for more - photos by Richard Ball

A huge thank you to everyone involved the show: Paul Blake for producing and directing, the 'tech team' for lights, sound,and putting the staging up, the wardrobe ladies for making sure the costume changes went seamlessly, and May for front of house duties. We like to think of St Mary's church as the spiritual home of Ensemble, and we hope they will be back for more shows. Finally, thank you to the audience, and a happy Christmas to all.

St Mary's Tower - work suspended over winter

Written by Graham Prior on .

Fractured quoin stone

During the summer the porch and tower of St Mary's Church have been restored and stabilised using traditional materials and methods - hot lime for the mortar and lead for the tower roof. The only variation has been the use of stainless steel for the porch roof, done for security reasons.

On 30th October, also in line with traditional medieval practice, work was officially suspended for the winter months - lime mortar, for instance, takes a good number of days to set hard and would be damaged if frost occurred during that process.

Photographs by Gethin Harvey (at that time of Nicholas Warns Architects)
(click pic for slide show)

The History of Forncett – A new website

Written by Mike Merrick – Secretary, Forncett History Group on .

Untitled 1Forncett has an amazingly rich history that has been documented in detail over the years by the Forncett History Group and especially by its Chairman, John Webster. However much of this history is not widely known and in recent discussions the History Group decided that a dedicated web site would help to address this. Our new website is now live at and we hope that lots of people, both within the village and much further afield, will take the time to visit it. The site can be viewed on desktop computers, laptops, tablets or phones.

This is a project that is very much “in progress” so please revisit the site from time to time to see what’s new. We are also very keen to have input and feedback. If you find any errors, or if there are topics or stories that you think we could include please let us know. We are also always very interested in historical photos of Forncett – both of places and people. You can get in touch through the “Contact Us” section of the web site or by emailing me () or John Webster ( ). We look forward to hearing from you.

Help us save Forncett St Peter’s Church

Written by Administrator on .

The Problems
This beautiful Grade 1 listed building has been central to life in the Forncetts since Saxon times. Now it is in desperate need of major repairs and renovations. Most important is the need to make the building watertight – extensive areas need re-roofing, failing lead work needs replacing and faulty gutters, down-pipes and surface drains need repair / replacement. Structural deterioration and cracking of external stone and flint-work has meant that areas of the churchyard have had to be cordoned off incase of falling masonry. Windows, cracked internal masonry, collapsing floor surfaces and areas of death-watch beetle all pose major challenges. The wonderful 15th century Drakes Tomb is suffering from cracking and discolouration. Once the structural work has been completed redecoration will be essential and the remarkable set of carved pew ends can be repaired.

Toilet and kitchen facilities are non-existent and the very limited heating means the church is too cold for services or community use during the winter. This is the ideal opportunity to provide these basic requirements, which will bring the church back into the centre of our life and improve it’s accessibility to visitors. We will be at pains to make changes sensitive to the historic importance of the building and its wonderful spirit of calm and peace.

The Plan
£450,000 is estimated as the combined cost of repairs and improvements. This is an eye-watering amount for a small village to raise.
The Friends of St Peter’s have been set up to spearhead the work, both of fund-raising and involving the local community.
We will be making grant applications including a major National Lottery Heritage Fund Grant (NLHF), as well as raising funds through Events, Donations and developing collaborations with other interest groups, such as Round Tower Churches Society.
A Just Giving campaign will also be started to appeal to potential supporters world-wide.


By mid 2020   NLHF Grant Expression of Interest to be submitted
    Enabling Works identified
    Community Audit to highlight how local people would like the building to be used in preparation
February 2020   Interviews for Project Architect
January 2020   Diocesan Advisory Committee team visit St Peter’s to discuss proposed works and contractor access
December 2019   Essential work to make the building watertight is underway.
Work underway to appoint an Architect to lead the technical aspects of the project.
November 2019   Norfolk Churches Trust awards grant of £1,000 for urgent repairs
 October 2019   Friends of St Peter’s Church is inaugurated [Link to article].
£1,125 raised as a result of the first meeting