Scarning Church

St Peter and St Paul Parish Church

The parish church of St Peter and St Paul has occupied its prominent position in the village of Scarning since the 12th century and there have been Rectors of Scarning since 1299. The whole building, which is mainly in the perpendicular style, was extensively restored in 1869, when the gable of the chancel roof was raised to its original pitch for £1000. In 1894 the tower was restored, the nave buttresses were entirely rebuilt and new churchyard gates were fitted - all at the expense of Dr Jessopp.
The single gate was replaced in the 1950s by the Scarning Mothers' Union and was refurbished in 2007 in memory of Fred and Lilian Hoskins. The churchyard was levelled and re-seeded in 1970 and Scarning Parish Council contributes to its upkeep.The church and vestry were re-roofed in 1979.The double gates were replaced by the PCC in the 1980s. You will find a lot more information about the church and its history here.

As is customary the Flower Festival is held in the Church every second year. Pictures of the exhibits from 2010 can be seen here. The work of caring for the building continues.  Recent improvements include a PA system with loop induction and a ramp to help with access. Switchgear and heating was replaced in 2007 with the help of a grant from 'Awards for All'.

 In 2006 the Dereham and District Team Ministry was created to serve the parishes Dereham, Scarning, Swanton Morley, Hoe, East Bilney and Beetley. The benefice is serviced by a team of clergy and lay readers led by the Rector and Vicar.

The Parish Office, Church House, Church Street, Dereham NR19 1DN
open 9am-12noon, Tuesday-Friday
telephone 01362 693143

If you would like to know more about the Dereham and District Team Ministry click this link: or if you would like to know more about the church click this link: history and architecture of the church

Team Rector

Sally Theakston 


day off: Thursday

Assistant Clergy:

The Revd Jane Nursey


day off: Wednesday

The Revd Kenneth Pilgrim


The Revd Jenny Taylor


Team Vicar

Rev’d Adrian Aubrey-Jones

Team Curate


Alan Glister


Ron Steward


PCC Secretary

Sue Rockley


Parish Office


Parochial Church Council

Alan Glister and Ron Steward are our Churchwardens – with Alf Webdale and Charles Steward as deputy Churchwardens.  Mike Quinnell is the treasurer and Sue Rockley is the secretary to the church council.  Other members of the PCC are:Beryl Steward, Corinne Steward, Stephen Archer, Yvonne Long, Charles Pope, Alan Nurse.


A warm welcome is assured to everyone who would like to join us for a service at 11.15am each Sunday.

1st Sunday Morning Prayer – Common Worship
2nd Sunday Parish Communion – Common Worship
3rd Sunday Parish Communion – sometimes with Baptism
4th Sunday Parish Communion (1662)
5th Sunday Songs of Praise– Lay led

April 2014

6th Fifth of Lent  Morning Prayer-Alan Barrett
13th  Palm Sunday Parish Communion -Adrian Aubrey-Jones
20th  Easter Parish Communion-Sally Theakston
27th Easter 2Parish Communion-Adrian Aubrey-Jones

The latest Dereham Benefice newsletter which has details of Church Services is available on the Benefice website and can be downloaded directly by clicking on the following link:
The newsletter for each week is usually uploaded on the preceding Thursday.

Coffee Mornings

The first monthly coffee morning of 2014 will be on  Saturday 11th January from 1Oam to 1 pm in Scarning Village Hall. Contributions of cakes etc to sell and to serve with the coffee will be most welcome. Proceeds will go to Scarning Church.

The idea is for people to come along for a coffee and a chat. They are also invited to bring along any surplus produce, preserves etc that they would like to sell - so that others can enjoy the fruits of their labour! Dates for the year are:
11th January 2014                            12th July 2014
 8th February 2014                           9th August, 2014
 8th March 2014                               13th September 2014
 12th April 2014                               11th October 2014
 10th May 2014                                8th November 2014
 14th June 2014                               There will not be one in December

If you would like to help with this new venture for the village, please contact Tricia Foreman on 01362 687082.

Would you like to ring those bells?

Scarning's new bellringers are making excellent progress after deciding to learn the skill and they want more people to join them. Frank and Tricia Foreman and Josh and Trish Harlow signed up as new recruits following a plea to get the six bells at St Peter and St Paul Church chiming regularly again and they have recently been joined by Janice Harris.

Under the tuition of Johnathon White and Paul Edwards, and support from the bellringers at St Nicholas' Church in Dereham, the group now holds practice sessions each week on a Wednesday. They also attend evenings in Dereham and Gressenhall for some extra experience. This year, they have also started ringing for special occasions such as the services for Easter, Mothering Sunday; and Fathers' Day.

Anyone who wants to get involved should telephone Tricia Foreman, tower secretary on 01362 687082.


Bell ringing team

Scarning Church Restoration Appeal

The PCC and Incy Wincy Spider would like to thank everyone for their generous support in 2013.
The good news - We are delighted with the response to the appeal and have raised the £25,000 required in match funding for the initial grant offered by English Heritage. This has been achieved through many fund raising events, donations and offers of grants from other charities
The not so good news - When the works went to tender the lowest bid was a daunting £52,000 more than the original estimate of £109,000 for the building work. Ourarchitectisnowindiscussion with English Heritage to see if they will increasetheirgrant. Incymighthaveto wait longer for his new down pipes!
In the meantime we will continue fund raising to ensure that we can do as much of the urgent work as possible. Events in the pipeline are:

Regular coffee mornings
These are now a fixture in the calendar on every second Saturday from 1000 to 1200 in the Village Hall. Come along for a coffee, cake and a mardle!
Jackets and pancakes super supper -
Friday28 February-see the whatson page to read about it.
Flower festival - 15 to 18 May. Please contact Corinne on 693286 if you would like to help in any way with the Festival.
Waste paper collection - Charles Hewson has kindly offered to run a waste paper collection
Frank Foreman's book of songs -
Village resident Frank Foreman suffers from Parkinsons Disease, a progressive neurological condition. Recent research has established that music therapy can help to improve the quality of life for people with this condition. Since moving to Scarning in 2008, Frank has written a number of songs about life in the village, and the lyrics are now available in a book. A separate CD will be produced shortly. The book is on sale for £5 at the Village Hall Coffee Mornings and other functions, at the church on Sundays or direct from Frank. All profits will go to the Church Restoration Fund, with a donation to Parkinsons UK. For more information please contact Frank on 687082, or

Scarning Church

This picture shows the church as it is today.

Scarning Church

This reproduction of an old postcard showing the church as it was prior to the first World War. The building on the extreme right of this picture was the old Post Office on the other side of Chapel lane.

Report to Scarning Annual Parish Meeting – April 2013

The church continues to provide a weekly service and it is pleasing to report a growth in the numbers attending on a regular basis. We also have a settled team of clergy and readers.

Festivals provided the highlights during 2012. In May we hosted our Flower Festival – the World of Fantasy with some truly spectacular displays master-minded by Corinne Steward. On the Saturday evening, Caroline Aston, a broadcaster and royal correspondent, gave a tantalising glance into the world of Edwardian high society. The Festival was linked to the Diamond Appeal to raise money towards the reglazing of the windows in the south wall of the nave and the porch. These works were completed in the autumn at a cost of over £20,000.

The second festival was the inaugural Christmas Tree Festival which was a successful collaborative effort. Again, the Church looked beautiful and this was a highly enjoyable event for the village. We were also very pleased to have a Christmas tree in the churchyard.

This time last year we were awaiting our architect’s quinquennial inspection report on the state of the building. The bad news is that we were correct in anticipating a challenging report. The good news is that English Heritage has recognised that the building needs urgent high level work and a new rainwater and drainage system – with costs totalling over £160,000. The Heritage Lottery Fund has made an offer of £17,000 towards the costs of stage one which total £23,226. Stage one covers the professional fees involved in preparing the specifications for the works, ground works investigations etc. There is then an in principle offer of £101,000 towards the building works. After reclaiming the VAT, there will be a shortfall of £24,526. The PCC can contribute £7000 from its fabric fund and hopes that local fund raising will generate at least a further £2000 – leaving a gap of just over £15,000. We are applying to other grant making bodies and have to show that this funding is in place by November so that English Heritage will authorise the works to go ahead.

Clearly this is challenging, but the offer from English Heritage is unlikely to be repeated and the works are crucial to securing the future of the building.

Fund raising events will include a gardens open day and barbecue on 9 June, plant sales and an Incy Wincy Spider campaign inviting people to help pay for the rainwater goods. sponsor the down pipes.

The Scarning bell ringers go from strength to strength and achieved first place in the NDA Western Branch Striking Competition at East Rudham in June 2012.

We are very grateful to the Parish Council for taking care of the grass in the churchyard and maintaining the clock. We recently used a grant of £400 from the Council for maintenance of the paths around the churchyard.

The choir in the time of Rev.Bignold about 80 or 90 years ago.

scarning hall

Scarning Hall which is adjacent to the church was once the rectory but now a private house.


A record is kept in the church and anyone wishing to consult the register should contact Alf Webdale on 01362 687558 or Alan Glister on 01362 696674 who will ensure that the enquirer has access to the register.

Scarning Glebe Copse

The small belt of trees between Chapel Lane and the burial ground to St Peter and St Pauls Church Scarning forms part of the Glebe land of the Parish of Scarning. Following concerns raised by neighbours opposite. The copse was inspected by the Glebe Surveyor for the Diocese. Neighbours were concerned that due to the height and density of the trees they may blow down across the road and bring down the telephone cables that run through them and in addition the trees blocked out the light from their gardens.

The woodland is made up predominately of Sycamore natural regeneration both from seed and coppice regrowth that is between 20 and 30 years old with a line of more mature sycamore on the Churchyard side and a Horse Chestnut and a yew, there is also an under storey of holly and laurel. The sycamore are vigorous and healthy but due to the density, they have grown tall and thin and whilst safe at present, the taller they grow the greater the risk of windthrow. It has therefore been recommended that the best thing to do would be to coppice the sycamore natural regeneration this winter, leaving the more mature specimen trees and the under storey of holly and laurel standing. The stumps left will soon send out coppice regrowth that will grow into trees again. In the interim, the trees left standing will maintain the wood as a landscape feature but light will be able to get through to the neighbouring properties.

The work requires a felling licence from the Forestry Commission and this has been granted. The Forestry Commission have imposed a number of conditions to the licence to ensure that the woodland is managed in the future. It is proposed that the work will be carried out overwinter and care will be taken to avoid damage or disruption.

If anyone wishes to raise any concerns or has any questions regarding the proposed works they may contact the Glebe Surveyor at Diocesan House 109 Dereham Road Easton Norwich NR9 5ES.