Snetterton today is associated with the roar of the race track, but after meandering around smaller and smaller roads, we find yet another church which is distant from its village and sits in the green fields belonging to the World Horse Welfare. Its nearest building is the WHW office. Like at Rackheath, there is a feeling of isolation but at least the WHW keeps a watching eye on the church. After it was declared redundant, the church went into decline and suffered vandalism and decay until The Norfolk Churches Trust took it on in 1978
The church itself is large and light. It dates from the 14th Century with the north aisle being added a century later. The chancel and inner doorways are from an even earlier church and there is a particularly good double piscina dated about 1280. There is also a very attractive screen which was broken with a sledge hammer to remove the organ when the church was made redundant. There is some discussion as to the date of the screen. The top part is 1852, but the dado could be much older.
The Development Stage of the HLF funded repair project for All Saints Snetterton has been completed and the application for funding for the Delivery Stage was submitted in December 2017. During the Development Stage further investigations were made on the condition of the church as well as reports on its historical development, archaeology and a bat survey. The resulting reports enabled the architect and structural surveyor to develop a plan for the repairs, as well as for us to learn more about the history of the church and its surroundings. We have a thriving population of bats living in All Saints who will determine the schedule for the repairs. We are going to arrange a Bat Discovery event when we can learn more about their life cycle – look out for publicity later in the year. As long as we are successful with the current application, we plan to start the repairs on the Tower in late spring as the bats do not appear to occupy this area of the church – the nave and chancel repairs will have to wait until Autumn/Winter 2018. As part of the project we will be producing a church guidebook and a booklet on the local history of the church. If anyone would like to be involved with the project, please email: firstname.lastname@example.org
The church is currently closed to visitors, pending major structural repairs for which an HLF Grant for Places of Worship has been awarded. The keyholder is Geraint Ellis 07867 512084. The church will be re-opened once the building and cleaning has finished.
In March 2019, while the scaffolding is still in place, a group of Trust members were able to see the work progressing and learn more about the process of repairs to a medieval church. The photograph below shows the view they had of the surrounding countryside!Photograph by Tom Evans