St Peter’s Church Corpusty was the catalyst which led to the formation of Norfolk Churches Trust when Lady Harrod and Roger Last, both founder members of the Trust responded to outrage that the church had fallen into decay in the early 1970s. It was featured in poet laureate John Betjeman’s 1974 BBC documentary A Passion for Churches.
St Peter’s, leased to the Trust by the Diocese of Norwich, has been restored and is used for services a few times each year. Recently a project with the Lettering Arts Trust has seen 17 new gravestones installed: a trail leads through the churchyard, beginning with an ark carved in pale creamy stone and topped with a metal cross and winding past old lichen-laced gravestones to a grassy patch alive with stunning new stone memorials. There are lines of poetry in sparse flowing lettering, a stone with a delicately sculpted tree and bee hive, a kneeling shepherd and a memorial to a homeless man which frames the landscape beyond. These new stones do not mark graves but reveal what is possible for gravestones.
The Lettering Arts Trust was founded by Harriet Frazer of Snape, in Suffolk, after she tried to find a fitting memorial for her beloved stepdaughter Sophie Behrens who is buried in Salle churchyard near Reepham. After finding an artist to make a fitting headstone she founded the Lettering Arts Trust to help other bereaved families commission beautiful memorials and to promote the craft of letter carving.
Corpusty is now one of seven sites across Britain displaying part of the Lettering Arts Trust’s national collection of memorials – the installation made possible by a grant from the Behrens Foundation.
You can read more about the gravestones in the EDP here.
You can help Norfolk Churches Trust save and repair even more churches in Norfolk by becoming a member. It costs just £30 a year* and you’ll be helping preserve Norfolk’s unique architectural heritage for future generations.
Click here to find out about the range of membership levels we have on offer. You can also gift membership to a friend or relative.