St Botolph’s, Stow BedonOpen daily dawn to dusk.
The church is dedicated to St Botolph and has provided a centre for the religious life of Stow Bedon and Lower Stow Bedon for centuries. It stands on high ground in an isolated location halfway between the two communities. It is a Grade II* listed building and consists of a chancel with south vestry and a nave with west porch. The chancel dates from c. 1200. The church altar is most unusual; it has the original medieval stone mensa with its five original consecration crosses. It is also unusual in having a continuous record of incumbents since the first recorded vicar, Walter de Banham, in 1303. The War Memorial stands in the churchyard opposite the west door. Funding was raised by public subscription and the memorial was unveiled in 1920. St Botolph’s was restored in the mid-nineteenth century under the auspices of Reverend Charles Darby Reade; repaired in 1949 after severe damage from a German landmine in 1940; and restored again in 2016 thanks to grants from the Heritage Lottery Fund and the Norfolk Churches Trust and others. This most recent restoration included a re-ordering of the nave, returning it to its layout prior to the Victorian restoration, to allow the church to be used by the wider community. This unassuming but much-loved church has survived the vicissitudes of the centuries and continues to fulfil an important role. It benefits from an enthusiastic PCC who organize a number of events throughout the year to contribute to church funds, such as the annual village fete, coffee mornings, flower festivals, concerts and cycle rides, aided by many volunteers from the local community.
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