Bishop’s helter-skelter sermon

A celebration of major repair projects at a Norfolk parish church included a surprise announcement by the Bishop of Lynn.

The Rt Rev Jonathan Meyrick told the 70-strong congregation at St Agnes, Cawston, that he would be preaching from the top of Norwich Cathedral’s helter skelter.

He would deliver his sermon on Sunday, August 18 at 18.30 from the top of the 55-ft high viewing platform at the cathedral.

Bishop Jonathan, who had been invited to preach by the Dean of Norwich, the Very Rev Jane Hedges, insisted on preaching from the helter-skelter instead of the pulpit for his address.

“In fact, I insisted on her agreeing that I could preach from the helter-skelter,” he added.

Speaking at a service of re-dedication of the repaired and re-leaded clerestory windows at Cawston’s Sunday service, he praised all those who had worked on the seven-month long project.

The Norfolk Churches Trust had also contributed towards the total cost.

A Heritage Lottery Fund grant of £221,800 had made it possible to tackle the urgently-needed repairs to the 14th century church, which has internationally-important angel carvings among many other features.

Bishop Jonathan led the celebrations with team vicar, the Rev Andrew Whitehead. There are plans to create a multi-use space in the chancel, which could be used for wider community groups.

At the end of the service, the bishop led the congregation through the main west door to bless the new rainwater drainage system by sprinkling water on a new soakaway. “As Jesus calmed the waters of Galilee, we pray that this system will control the rainwater . . . ensuring that this church and its treasures remain for generations to come,” he added.