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.

The Parish Office, Church House, Church Street, Dereham NR19 1DN
open  10 - 12 noon Tuesday - Thursday and 9 - 12 noon - 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
Rev. Canon Paul Cubitt 694107
Team Vicar
Revd James Rosie 637311 (Day off Wednesday)
Church wardens 
Sue Rockley    694886
Tim Farnham  687493
PCC Secretary   
Sue Rockley    694886
Parish Office 693143

Parochial Church Council Tim Farnham and Sue Rockley are our churchwardens. Mike Quinnell is the treasurer and Sue Rockley is the secretary. Other members of the PCC are Corinne Steward, Tricia Foreman, Stephen Archer, Alan Glister, Charles Steward, Ron Steward.  


The church is open daily for private prayer from 10 am to 3 pm. Please observe social distancing guidelines and do not enter if you have Covid 19 symptoms.

A warm welcome is assured to everyone who would like to join us for a service at 11.15am each Sunday. Normally the services are as follows:

1st Sunday Morning Prayer – Common Worship
2nd Sunday Parish Communion
3rd Sunday Family Service, sometimes with baptism
4th Sunday Parish Communion - BCP
5th Sunday Songs of Praise– Lay led

Provisional arrangements for celebrating Christmas

We have made arrangements for celebrating Christmas with safety in mind. We will observe social distancing rules and adults are asked to wear face masks.  These plans may change depending on Government guidance.   Please refer to the Scarning Village Website, posters, etc to see any changes.  There will also be a benefice Carol Service on the St Nicholas YouTube channel.

Dereham Benefice newsletter

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 2020 (currently cancelled)

Our coffee mornings are held on the first Saturday of each month in the Village Hall from 10 am.  The coffee mornings were the brainchild of Tricia Foreman in 2013 and since then they have raised over £20,000 for church funds which has been spent on repairs to windows, a new heating system etc.  The PCC is very grateful to everyone who supports the coffee mornings and the helpers who make sure that the bacon butties are ready each month. For those who have not yet been able to join us for a Coffee Morning, do come along and meet some of your fellow villagers.  You will be most welcome.  If you would like to help in any way, please contact Tricia Foreman on 01362 687082.

Scarning PCC report to Scarning Annual Parish Meeting - April 2019

2018 saw some important developments for Scarning Church.  The PCC decided that it would adopt the recommendations from the Diocese that churches should be open and accessible whenever possible.  The church is now open daily for visitors.  Although this might be risky in terms of potential damage, it is important to be confident and welcoming - so that is what we are doing.

We are pleased to have paid our full parish share to the Diocese.  Unfortunately we are not in a position at present to complete the refurbishment of the windows but hope to do so in the next year or two.  There will be a programme of minor repairs in the next few months.

You may have noticed that there is a new notice board in the approved Diocesan livery.  We hope that it will be straightened at some point but it is set in concrete.  It is unfortunate that the notice board has a slight upward slant and the wall a slight downward slant which exaggerates the issue.

Inside the church we have installed a much improved heating system in the nave and chancel.

The PCC is very grateful to the Parish Council for maintaining the church clock and funding the grass cutting in the churchyard.  This is not made any easier by the activities of moles but last season the contractor did his best to counteract their efforts.

At Christmas the centre of the village looks very special with the lights on the Village Hall and the Christmas Tree in the churchyard.  Again, thanks to the Council for funding the tree.

Our band of bellringers continues to thrive and the bells are rung regularly.  The team also carries out regular maintenance on the bells.  Last July there was a very popular tower open day where visitors had the chance to climb to the bell chamber and have a taster ringing session.

We are delighted to have visits from Scarning School twice a year - with the younger children coming for a special service at Christmas and the older ones at Easter.

Our curate, Dominique Turnham has just completed her curacy and has begun her second maternity leave.  We are sorry that we will be losing Canon Sally Theakston, our Team Rector, in the summer.  Sally has been here for ten years and the process to find a successor is already under way.  Sally and her husband, Michael, have played a huge part in the life of the parish and we wish them well for the future.

The monthly coffee mornings held in the Village Hall on the second Saturday go from strength to strength.   The bacon butties are renowned.  We are very grateful to everyone who helps and attends - the coffee mornings have become part of the fabric of village life as well as raising funds for the church.

Talking of the fabric of life, 2018 marked the centenary of the end of the First World War which tore apart so many families.  There were several elements to the church's commemoration of the centenary:

The Village War Memorial is now a listed monument.
We have arranged for a plaque to be fitted to the church wall showing that the churchyard has two Commonwealth War Graves.

The PCC led the campaign to install a new flagpole as part of the village's tribute.  Grants were received toward the flagpole from Breckland Council, the Village Hall Committee and Dereham Round Table.

Breckland grant aided a display in the church, and there was a special concert on 10 November with proceeds split between the Royal British Legion and the church.

In 2014, Dereham Rotary Club presented local churches with mats seeded with poppies from France.  The poppies are an impressive strain and have self-seeded.  They will provide a fitting reminder for many years to come of the sacrifice of so many lives.

Sue Rockley

For Scarning PCC - 11 April 2019

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.

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

scarning hall

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

Would you like to ring those bells?

Scarning's  bellringers are making excellent progress after deciding to learn the skill and they want more people to join them. Anyone who wants to get involved should telephone Tricia Foreman, tower secretary on 01362 687082.

They now have their own website which has all the up to date information about the group and their activities.


A record is kept in the church and anyone wishing to consult the register should contact Alf Webdale on 01362 587558 or Sue Rockley on 01362 694886 who will ensure that the enquirer has access to the register.  There is an Alphabetical list of inscriptions which updates the survey carried out by Scarning WI in 1980.  Click on the blue link above to access the list and view plans of the  churchyard and  garden of remembrance with numbered gravestones. 

The original record made by Scarning WI as part of the Norfolk Federation of Women’s Institute’s project to record Norfolk’s churchyards is available online. Click on the picture to search records up to 1981.


That's all folks

'That's all folks' is the sixth book of poems from Scarning Village resident Frank Foreman. The poems have been written to raise money for Scarning church and Parkinsons' charities. Previous books are :

'The Seasons in Scarning'
'Will There be Chocolate in Heaven'

The sale of some 1050 books and CDs have so far raised some £8,500. Frank thanks you all for your support.

Further copies of the the books and CDs at £5 each can be obtained from Frank Foreman - telephone 01362 687082

Copies also available at Scarning Village Hall coffee mornings on the first Saturday of each month.


It's Springtime in Scarning , the flowers re-appear, Lambs find their voices it's lovely to hear. Clocks all spring forward as daylight extends. It's getting warmer too. Chorus These are the seasons they come round so fast, A new one beginning, another just past. The weather is varied with wind rain and sun. Snow in the winter too. Summer in Scarning the weather is hot. There's fruit in the hedgerows, a bountiful crop. The fields are all golden, the skies are all blue. There's passing showers too. Chorus Autumn in Scarning, the trees lose their leaves. Winter draws closer theres a Chill breeze. Clocks all go backwards as daylight recedes.  It's getting colder too. Chorus Winter in Scarning, there's snow on the ground, The birds are all hungry they forage around. The East wind is freezing, Jack Frost's in the air. There's rain in abundance too. Chorus Repeat Chorus © Copyright 2012 FF