St Peter's Church, Forncett

St Peter is the parish church. It was originally built circa 1000 AD and the round tower remains from that date, while the main building is of later, mainly 14th and 15th century date. Notable features are: the Drake tomb, fine ledger slabs in the chancel and nave, the memorial to Dorothy Wordsworth’s cousin, good examples of Victorian coloured glass windows, a unique ancient staircase in the tower and the fine ring of six bells.

More details on the history can be obtained by reading the official church guide.

Help us save Forncett St Peter’s Church

Written by Administrator on .

bench endWhen William the Conqueror defeated Harold in 1066 the village church of St Peter’s had already been central to community life in Forncett for many years. Now this extraordinary building is in desperate need of repair and refurbishment to keep it at the heart of our village. A major fund and grant-raising project is underway. If you would like to help please join the Friends of St Peter’s: contact Gilly Barnes - This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. - and support our events.

Forncett St Peter fun facts – we’ll tell you more as time goes by
Anastasia Moskvina, Historic Church Building Support Officer, Diocese of Norwich

Come and see the Pews  It is very easy to have a quick look around St Peter’s church, noticing the welcoming atmosphere and enjoying a sense of timelessness before you leave, but if you pay attention, you can spend hours just studying the pew ends! They were carved in the 15th-century and heavily restored in the 19th-century, representing Saints and Apostles (St Peter and St Paul, to whom the church is dedicated, are here), as well as the Seven Sacraments of the Church (look for Extreme Unction, which involves anointing and comforting the dying), personifications of trades and occupations (such as the huntsman with his falcon) and the Deadly Sins: can you find the greedy miser with his coin box and a surprisingly friendly-looking devil at his feet? There are puzzling figures here too: for example, can anyone guess who the lady in a little house is – is she a medieval hermit in her little cell? Some of the figures look new and shiny, and others appear to have been damaged. This means that the former are likely a result of Victorian restoration and the latter are medieval and either got damaged naturally over time or were mutilated deliberately after the Reformation, when imagery in the church was considered unacceptable.

The church is open every day if you would like to see for yourself.

Carols by Candlelight at St Peter's

Written by May Prior on .

Over 100 people enjoyed 'Carols by Candlelight' in St. Peter's church on 5th December. Traditional readings and carols were mixed with Christmas songs performed by Dolce choir, led by their musical director Philip Aldred, and included Gaudete and everyone's favourite, O Holy Night.

Thanks to everyone who donated mince pies, and to Paul Lanaway for helping serve mulled wine after the service.

Can we stop the theft of lead from Church roofs?

Written by Super User on .

There has been a call for a petition to be signed to help prevent the theft of lead from church roofs.

You don't have to be a church-goer, or even a Christian to care about these medieval buildings, and as any householder will know, the surest way to encourage deterioration within a building is to have a leaky roof.

Strenuous efforts have been made to prevent these thefts; surveillance cameras, locked gates, and even ‘smart water’ that rubs off on the culprits and remains detectable for some time have all been tried, but still the thefts continue. Ironically the cost of making good this vandalism far outweighs the profit that the thieves make on the lead. Church committees and fund raising groups work endlessly and tirelessly to raise funds to improve other aspects of these old buildings, and it is sickening to see this money being spent on the roof yet again. These thefts involve not only churches, but houses, business premises and schools.

Saint Peters Flower and Poetry Festival 23rd – 24th April 2016

Written by Gill Starkie on .

Click pic for slide show
photos: Richard Ball

Many thanks, to everyone who supported the St Peters Church Poetry and Flower Festival. What a wonderful weekend it was, full of beautiful flowers and poetry, delicious cakes and lovely friendly people. The grand sum of £1170 was donated throughout the two days which will all go toward the Saint Peters Fabric Fund. Saturday’s concert was such a lovely occasion, marking St Georges Day, Shakespeare’s Birthday and of course celebrating Her majesty The Queens 90th Birthday. The talented choirs and Forncett School Clangers performed brilliantly and the poetry readings were much appreciated by the generous audience. Sundays ‘Songs of Praise’ was a lovely way to finish off this wonderful weekend of celebrations.

May we take this opportunity to thank everyone who visited the church, took part in the concert and the service and to those who donated so generously.

Security System needed for St Peter's Church

Written by Susie Rohde , Churchwarden on .

In July this year St. Peter’s Church suffered a significant lead theft from its roof. The thieves were never apprehended.

Since then, after much investigation by the PCC and Churchwardens it was agreed that a ‘State of the art’ alarm should be installed. The system consists of sensors, alarms, recorded warnings and Strobe lighting. Should the alarms be activated the emergency security services will automatically be alerted and within minutes be at the Church.

There are lead alternatives but these do not have the longevity of lead neither are they as pleasing aesthetically.

We had hoped to update the heating in the St.Peter’s but to comply with the Church Insurer’s conditions and to protect this beautiful and ancient building for the community we have no choice but to proceed with the security arrangements. This is an expensive venture.

Contribution towards this community project will be gratefully received,

please contact Susie Rohde, Churchwarden, on 01508 489 363  or  07762 727 539 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

The Incumbents

Written by Super User on .

The advowson of Forncett [the right to present a nominee for the post of rector] was purchased in 1725 by Dr Rowland Hill, who bequeathed it to St John’s College, Cambridge, whose Fellows occupied the living subsequently. In 1845 the parish was declared to be in duality, so that Forncett St Peter Church and Forncett St Mary Church had separate rectors, until this was revoked in 1905, when the Rev J E Cooper took on both parishes and then after his retirement the Rev T J Bentley. Forncett St Peter was ministered to by Rev W Grieve Wilson from 1845 to 1895, who undertook considerable refurbishment and repair to the fabric.


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