Welcome Message

Prayer, Witness and Service

Welcome to the website for the Waterside Group of Churches (Benefice), we are a group of church communities committed to following Jesus and sharing his love in the heart of the Norfolk Broads.

Our four parish churches are All Saints', Catfield, St. Mary's, Hickling, St. Catherine’s, Ludham and St. Nicholas, Potter Heigham. A warm welcome can be found at all of our churches, we look forward to greeting new visitors and old friends alike.

The four churches of the Waterside Benefice are committed to providing a welcome to all members of the community and our many visitors. We do this through prayer, visible witness and practical involvement in our individual parishes and in our community.

The Waterside Group has a deep desire to show the Grace of God in its community, guided by the example of Jesus Christ.

The Churches of the Waterside Group Benefice

All Saints, Catfield

All Saints, Catfield

The church at Catfield was completely rebuilt in the 14th and 15th centuries, built in traditional Anglian flint and stone. The oldest part of the church is the 14th century west tower. In the tower is a first floor chamber used as a residence by the priest. It contains a fireplace and recessed stone cupboard, with light from four narrow lancet windows. Above the nave arcades are traces of wall paintings. One thought to have been painted around 1377 and shows Stephen kneeling in prayer, while two men throw stones. All Saints contains many more treasures click on the link below to discover more and to find out about our services.

St Mary's, Hickling

St Mary's, Hickling

St. Mary's church was built in the 13th century by the canons of Hickling Priory, founded by the Valoins family in 1185. Hickling village is situated on the edge of the Hickling Broads, a popular destination for tourists and holiday makers. St. Mary's is said to be a gem of a historic building, in a beautiful setting. The striking west tower is perhaps the best feature of the church. It stands 90 feet high, with diagonal corner buttresses rising over 3 stages high towards an embattled top. For more information about the church and services held there click on the link below.

St Catherine's, Ludham

St Catherine's, Ludham

St Catherine's church sits at the centre of the pretty village of Ludham. Its size and splendour is a reminder of Ludham's wealth in the heady days of the 14th and 15th centuries, when Norfolk thrived on the proceeds of the wool trade. The present church was begun in the 14th century, but only the striking west tower and the chancel date from this period. The nave was rebuilt in the 15th century in Perpendicular style and given a superb hammer-beam roof of oak. St. Catherine's contains many uniqe and interisting features click on the link below for more information about these and services and events held in the church.

St Nicholas, Potter Heigham

St Nicholas, Potter Heigham

Situated in a quiet spot amongst trees at the edge of the village. St Nicholas is one of Norfolks round tower churches, an early round tower rising over 10 meters has an embattled octagon belfry added around C14. Remarkable are the six tall Perpendicular clerestory windows on both north and south sides of the church topped by a neatly thatched roof. Inside can be found a striking brick font and many wall paintings the best are the Seven Works of Mercy in the south aisle. For more about these wall paintings and to find out about services click on the link below.

Church Choir

Thought for the Day
Thursday of Holy Week


Matthew 27, 11 – 14 (& Isaiah 53, 7).
This tells of the trial of Jesus when he refused to answer his accusers and references Isaiah who also 'opened not his mouth' before his enemies.


I will guard my ways that I may not sin with my tongue.
I will bridle my mouth in the presence of the wicked.
The suffering servant, Isaiah, did not open his mouth
And Jesus, before his accusers, was silent……

Goodness does not argue, It speaks for itself.

In country after country, In year after year,
revolutionaries shake their fists and shout for freedom.
Politicians pose on platforms, making points with accusing fingers.
Protesters call out and march with banners….

But the man in the tin-roofed hospital
is quiet when he tends the sick,
and the girl in the desert, where the hungry wait,
is too busy to talk.
And the nuns are praying silently,
in the presence of the dying…..

Lord, forgive me that I talk too much and do so little.
Help me to see that mercy takes no sides,
generosity needs no persuasion,
goodness no argument,
and love, no words.

I will guard my ways that I may not sin with my tongue.
I will bridle my mouth in the presence of the wicked.

The suffering servant, Isaiah, did not open his mouth
And Jesus, before his accusers, was silent……

Goodness does not argue, It speaks for itself……

John Savage
Authorised Worship Assistant


All Church Services Suspended

The following is a message to the Diocese of Norwich in the midst of COVID-19 fears from Bishops Graham, Alan and Jonathan

Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ

Further to the letter from the Archbishops, we write to assure you of our prayers and loving support.

Mother Julian of Norwich lived through anxious times with plagues and uprisings. In her anchorite self-isolation, whilst still hearing the bustle of the street outside, she had a vision of God speaking to her.

"He did not say, 'You shall never have a rough passage, you will never be over-strained, you will never feel dis-eased'; but he did say, 'You will never be overcome.'"

We live in anxious times and we are conscious that many long to hear God say in our own day, “You will never be overcome.”

As we enter these next few weeks and months, we are encouraging the whole Diocese of Norwich to do everything with these principles in mind:

To seek to be a Church of living hope.

"Hope is love stretched into the future", wrote the Croatian theologian Miroslav Volf, and during this time we need to keep our eyes on the horizon of God’s Kingdom.

To follow government and national church guidance.

"We who are many are one body in Christ and individually we are members one of another", wrote St Paul, reminding us that as a series of interlinked local communities the Church receives wisdom that has been distilled and given to us for the good of all.

To continue to pray.

We know that at the heart of our life as Christians is prayer and we hear the voice of the Psalmist afresh in our own time, "I call on you, my God, for you will answer me; turn your ear to me and hear my prayer".

To strive to keep each other safe and to practice kindness.

Through our actions and the ways we will minister, we want to do all we can to protect our clergy, lay leaders, congregations and neighbours, asking God to "keep me as the apple of your eye; hide me under the shadow of your wings".

To prioritise pastoral care.

We love and serve our neighbours, as Christ calls us, when we reach out to the vulnerable, those self-isolating, and those who are anxious; offering them our help, support and prayers, because we believe that "The church is the Church only when it exists for others" (Dietrich Bonhoeffer).

We encourage you to look at the Church of England’s website for regular updates in this fast-changing picture and resources for prayer.

God of compassion,
have mercy upon this nation and our world in this time of fear and confusion:
we bring before you those who are suffering and who tend to their needs;
may those in isolation know your comfort and company
and may neighbours show your love in works of care, kindness and prayer;
we pray for the National Health Service and all engaged in scientific research
and we pray too for those upon whose shoulders
the yoke of leadership rests,
that in their conversation and communication
your still small voice may be heard;
we ask this in the power of the Holy Spirit,
through the One who stretched out his hands to bless and to heal
even Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

We thank you for your prayers and for your care of others.

And we assure you that you are each much in our prayers at this time as we seek new ways of being Church to serve our nation.

With every blessing.

Bishop of Lynn ~ Bishop of Norwich ~ Bishop of Thetford


The Exploring Christian Faith Discussion Group
Suspended - meetings will resume as soon as it is deemed appropriate to do so

bible discussion

The Exploring Christian Faith Discussion Group holds regular meetings at The Greyhound in Hickling at 3:15pm on the second and forth Thursday in the month.

Everyone is welcome to join us.

We read a passage from the Bible and discuss issues raised – and others.

If you would like to meet us and join us there, please contact Zephney Kennedy Tel: 01692 598179 email: zlkndy@gmail.com

Teach me your way, O Lord, and lead me on a level path. Psalm 27:11

Please check the monthly Hickling Herald or Benefice calender for any changes.


Waterside Scratch Band
Suspended - meetings will resume as soon as it is deemed appropriate to do so

sratch band

We are the church band for the “Waterside” group of parishes.

We meet for practice, fellowship, fun and a tea break every Thursday evening at 7.30pm to around 9.30pm in Ludham Church Room.

Singers and players of all sorts of instruments, and all levels of ability are more than welcome to join us.

For more information contact: David Frost, Tel 07981 002144 or Helen Middleton, Tel 01692 678072 Email helenmiddleton315@btinternet.com


Would You Like To Be More Involved In Your Local Church

All are welcome. We need musicians, readers, singers for the choir/worship group, people who would like to pray, worship assistants, help with buildings and maintenance.

People to help with youth and children's work, people who would like to help with pastoral care, fundraising people.

Would you like to host a house group or fellowship group? There are many opportunities for all.

Please come along to one of our churches and speak to a Churchwarden.

Services at all Churches are presently suspended

In line with government guidance to limit the spread of coronavirus, all Church of England church buildings are closed, including for private prayer by clergy.

The following link to the Church of England website offers links to prayer resources, guidance and further information.


Join in a service of Daily Prayer

The following link to the Church of England website offers the opportunity to join in a service of Daily Prayer which is available in both contemporary and traditional forms and for all times of day.


Supporting good mental health

Given the challenging times we are living in with coronavirus, the Church of England have updated their booklet supporting good mental health with new reflections and new resources. They seek to provide hope, reassurance and comfort.

If you want to speak to someone, please visit the Mental Health Foundation website, which has lots of helpful resources and contacts. Visit the Mental Health Foundation website.


Church of England on your Smart speaker

Access the Church of England with your Smart speaker for prayers, explanations of the Christian faith, location-based information about local church events and services, and more.

To get started, just follow the instructions for your device below

"Alexa, open the Church of England"
"Hey Google, talk to the Church of England"

Church of England
Facebook page

Follow the Church of England on its Facebook page to follow live services and events, and to receive regular prayer and guidance.


Benefice Holy Communion

Holy Communion, represents the greatest expression of God's love for His people.

Today, when we partake of the bread and wine at Holy Communion, we are declaring that Jesus' divine life flows in our mortal bodies and that we are forgiven and have been made righteous.

Jesus' blood gives us right standing before God, and we can go boldly into God's presence (Hebrews 4:16).

When we pray, we can be sure that God hears us!

Join us for our benefice service of Holy Communion, all are welcome.


Morning Prayer
St Catherine's Ludham
Every Wednesday 8:30am
Suspended - meetings will resume as soon as it is deemed appropriate to do so

Join us at St Catherine’s Church during the week for a short time of prayer and scripture reading as we celebrate morning prayer.

Morning Prayer is said at St Catherine's Church, Ludham every Wednesday morning at 8:30. The office is said from Common Worship: Daily Prayer, embracing the three key elements of praise, intercession and engagement with Scripture.

All are welcome to join us for Morning Prayer.


Julian Prayer Meeting in Hickling every third Tuesday in the month
Suspended - meetings will resume as soon as it is deemed appropriate to do so

Are you drawn to Christian Contemplative Prayer and Meditation?

Julian Meetings are meetings for Christian silent, contemplative prayer.

We meet in Hickling every third Tuesday in the month at 10:00am.

People from all denominations are very welcome to join us.

In silent, contemplative prayer we seek to be aware of the presence of God and to remain in that presence, completely open to God.

Waiting, Listening, Open, here we meet with God. "All we can do in prayer is dispose ourselves.  The rest is in the power of the Spirit who leads us."
 Theresa of Avila 16th C.

For more information contact Zephney Kennedy Tel: 01692 598179 email: zlkndy@gmail.com

Please check the monthly Hickling Herald or Benefice calender for any changes.

Waterside Message

Easter Meetings

It is said that committees comprise groups of people who keep minutes but waste hours. Easter is full of meetings but very positive ones which can transform lives. Meetings between our loving, caring Father God who revealed Himself, His true nature, through the life, death, and glorious resurrection of his son Jesus Christ.

The power of Jesus was never defeated , even in death. Jesus is no figure in a book but a living presence who meets us wherever we are , whatever we are doing.

Through Jesus we meet the real God and see the friendship which should always have existed between mankind and God but was interrupted and is still interrupted by sin.

The two Marys in the Easter Gospel reading had met to render the last services to the body of Jesus. Their total amazement and fear when the huge grave stone had been removed ,when they went inside and met a messenger who gave them the unbelievable news that Jesus had risen from the dead.

The disciples had met with the attitude that everything had finished in tragedy .The best proof of the resurrection is what happened then, the very existence of the Christian Church.

We may begin by looking at the historical figure of Jesus but we must end by meeting with him Jesus is someone we must really know in our lives this Easter and always.

Perhaps we think that we may have all the information we need to know about God and the risenLord but , without meeting them in our lives, we lack essential understanding of them and we can be lost without their presence

. On behalf of the Benefice Ministry Team may I wish you all a Happy, Blessed, Easter and positive meetings with our Lord today and always.

Ian Watton
Licensed Minister, Benefice


Weddings, Baptism and Funerals

It is our privilege to be involved in many of the significant moments of people's lives. Here at The Waterside Group of Churches we will do our best to guide you through what Christians mean by baptism, marriage and funerals.

In the light of recent Government advice on non-essential contact, you should also check the Church of England's website FAQ's for up to date guidance on Weddings, Baptisms and Finerals. Click following link to view


The Friends of St Benet's Abbey

It is our privilege to be involved with The Friends of St Benet’s Abbey.

The Abbey has stood for over 1,000 years on the site near Ludham/Horning in Norfolk.

Founded in 1019 on land close to the meeting place of the rivers Bure and Ant in Norfolk, St Benet's Abbey was the only Benedictine monastery in Norfolk, founded in the Anglo-Saxon period which continued in use throughout the Middle Ages.



Throughout the year the churches of The Waterside Group Benefice organise regular events for all the family.

For more information about our upcoming events got to the calendar/events page.

Photos & Video

Take a look at some photographs and video clips from past events and services on our media page, click on the link below.

Ministry Team

Vicar - Vacant

John Savage (Authorised Worship Assistant, Churchwarden St Catherine's Ludham, Organist and Choirmaster)


01692 678654

John Savage (Authorised Worship Assistant, Organist and Choirmaster)

Lynda Savage (Authorised Worship Assistant, Verger)


01692 678654

Lynda Savage (Authorised Worship Assistant, Verger)

Christine Wall (Authorised Worship Assistant)


Christine Wall (Authorised Worship Assistant)

Stephen Pitkethly (Authorised Worship Assistant)


Stephen Pitkethly (Authorised Worship Assistant)

Judith Gardiner (Authorised Worship Assistant, Churchwarden All Saints' Catfield)


Judith Gardiner (Authorised Worship Assistant, Churchwarden All Saints Catfield)

Zephney Kennedy (Authorised Worship Assistant)


01692 598179

Zephney Kennedy (Authorised Worship Assistant)

How to reach us

For enquiries during the vacancy please contact:

The Revd Catherine Dobson
Rural Dean St Benet at Waxham & Tunstead


Dioces of NorwichThe Church of EnglandChurch Support HubChurch Support Hub Website



Safeguarding statement:

As part of The Church of England, The Waterside Benefice, its clergy and leaders are committed to safeguarding as an integral part of the life and ministry of the Church.

‘The Church of England is called to share the good news of God’s salvation through Jesus Christ. The life of our communities and institutions is integral to how we address this task. The good news speaks of welcome for all, with a particular regard for those who are most vulnerable, into a community where the value and dignity of every human being is affirmed and those in positions of responsibility and authority are truly trustworthy. Being faithful to our call to share the gospel therefore compels us to take with the utmost seriousness the challenge of preventing abuse from happening and responding well where it has’.
From ‘Promoting a Safer Church’, The Church of England’s Safeguarding Policy Statement.

We are committed to the safeguarding of children and vulnerable adults and ensuring their wellbeing.
If you have any concerns for a child or vulnerable adult then please contact Dianne Fernee tel: 0771 2727897

Below is a link to the Norwich Diocesan Safeguarding page with contact details for Diocesan Safeguarding.