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 three parish churches are All Saints', Catfield, 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 three 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.
VACANCY - House for Duty Priest in the Waterside Benefice
A unique opportunity to live in the centre of the beautiful Norfolk Broads, caring for three well supported churches, as House for Duty Priest in the Waterside Benefice.
Serve initially for two years and will continue if funding permits.
Lead worship and provide pastoral care in the villages.
Become a visible presence in these welcoming communities.
Lead the PCCs and collaborate with the Ministry Team and the Benefice Council. We hope for someone who has a good sense of humour, who can happily work with the ecumenical nature of the benefice and who is cheerful and kind. We also hope that the post will be filled as soon as possible.
In return, we offer:
Our friendship and a warm welcome.
A fine modern vicarage in the centre of Ludham with Council tax and maintenance provided.
We will try not to overburden any priest who is appointed.
Closing date: Tuesday 19 October 2021
For further details follow either of the following links.
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 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.
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.
Churches in the Waterside Group are open for worship as follows:
IMPORTANT Face coverings must be worn to all services
Sunday 3 October Benefice Holy Communion St Catherine's, Ludham, led by Revd Rhonwen Washford at 10am
also on Zoom.
Sunday 10 October St Catherine's, Ludham, Harvest Festival and Holy Communion led by Revd Rob Hume at 10am also on Zoom. All Saints', Catfield, Harvest Festival led by Judith Gardiner at 10am joint service with St Nicholas', Potter Heigham
Sunday 17 October St Catherine's, Ludham, led by Stephen Pitkethly at 10am also on Zoom. All Saints', Catfield, Holy Communion led by Revd Margaret Whitaker at 10am joint service with St Nicholas', Potter Heigham
Sunday 24 October St Catherine's, Ludham, led by Linda Savage at 10am also on Zoom. St Nicholas', Potter Heigham, Holy Communion led by Revd David Smith (tbc) at 10am, joint service with All Saints', Catfield
Sunday 31 October St Catherine's, Ludham, led by Ian Watton at 10am also on Zoom. All Saints', Catfield, Songs of Praise led by Judith Gardiner at 10am joint service with St Nicholas', Potter Heigham
Sunday 7 November Benefice Holy Communion
All Saints', Catfield led by Revd Keith James at 10am
Sunday 14 November Remembrance Sunday St Catherine's, Ludham, with Ludham Methodist Church, Act of Remembrance led by Christine Wall at 10:55am also on Zoom. St Nicholas', Potter Heigham, Act of Remembrance led by Revd Margaret Whitakerat 10:55am All Saints', Catfield, Act of Remembrance led by Revd Roger Billings (tbc) at 10.55am
Sunday 21 November St Catherine's, Ludham, Holy Communion led by Revd Rhonwen Washford at 10am also on Zoom. All Saints', Catfield led by Judith Gardiner at 10am, joint service with St Nicholas', Potter Heigham,
Sunday 28 November Advent Sunday St Catherine's, Ludham, led by John Savage at 10am also on Zoom. St Nicholas', Potter Heigham, Holy Communion led by Revd David Smith (tbc) at 10am, joint service with All Saints', Catfield
Worship on Zoom
Benefice wide Zoom Sunday Worship
All are welcome to join services at St Catherine's on Zoom, to do so please contact Christine to register at firstname.lastname@example.org
New Vicar Recruitment and Benefice Re-Organisation
The Waterside Group have yet to recruit a replacement vicar.
There are also changes taking place to the Benefice. Hickling has now transferred to the Coastal Benefice Group and the Waterside Benefice is joining with the Horning Benefice Group.
The Waterside Group - less Hickling, have agreed a new advertisement for a part-time House for Duty Priest which will go on the Diocesan and Church of England website. It awaits approval by the Bishop of Thetford.
We will do all we can to ensure that the Parish of Ludham has a priest and that he or she occupies the Vicarage. In the mean time, the new Vicar of Ormsby will live at Ludham Vicarage until mid October while awaiting Ormsby Vicarage to become available.
The Save the Parish Network
We are not alone amongst rural parishes in having difficulties recruiting clergy.
This stems from a nationwide reduction in stipendiary clergy and
recruitment in favour of urban parishes and Church Plants.
There has been a great deal in the media as well as discussion within
the church community as to the reasons for this, particularly its affect on
local parish churches and congregations.
A group called “Save the Parish” has recently been formed to
more effectively voice the views and concerns of rural parishes
such as ourselves in this very important debate.
Visit the “Save the Parish” website at savetheparish.com to find out more,
sign up as a supporter or add your name to
the group's Appeal to the Church Commissioners.
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.
The Prodigal Son, c. 1720–30 Pier Leone Ghezzi
On Sunday we shall celebrate Father’s Day so that led me to ‘Our Father, who art …’ and what better way to ponder how great is our God than in terms of the parable of the Prodigal, the parent?
Rather than meditate upon the passage in Luke 15, I thought we might allow our gaze to linger on this image and be led by the Holy Spirit into our silence with the Father through the Son.
Perhaps we could imagine being each of the characters in the painting, or the artist – perhaps even do our own painting of a part of the story.
Suggestion of music before the silence:
God bless you and be close to you.
Churches in the Benefice are also open for individual prayer and reflection during the week.
For more details visit the church's webpage using the tab at the top of this page.
Services at Norwich Cathedral on YouTube
Follow this link for the Norwich Cathedral Services YouTube Channel.
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.
Julian Prayer Meeting every third Tuesday in the month -
Meetings will resume as soon as it is deemed appropriate to do so.
However, contact in the group is being continued via email
or post of the reading to folk so that they may pray when we would normally meet.
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: email@example.com
Please check the monthly Hickling Herald or the Waterside Benefice website here for any changes.
St Benets Deanery on YouTube
Watch the first St Benets Deanery YouTube service that took place on Trinity Sunday 7 June 2020
Led by Revd Canon Catherine Dobson.
Rector, The Coastal Group.
Rural Dean, St Benet at Waxham & Tunstead, Diocese of Norwich.
You can find this on your YouTube app or smart tv or click play on the image below.
I heard on the radio this week a trailer for a programme about kindness. The presenter and guests were
going to discuss what kindness really means. Questions such as ‘what happens in our brains when we act
kindly?’ and ’is there a role for it in the worlds of business and politics?’ were going to be addressed.
They were also encouraging members of the public to get involved in a study to help them understand
the role kindness plays in our lives. Fascinating stuff.
Kindness in the New Testament is described as being a ‘fruit’ of the Holy Spirit along with love, joy,
peace, patience, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self control. This passage appears in a letter by
Saint Paul to the churches in Galatia - modern day Turkey. He is contrasting a religion that focuses on
‘Law’ with a new spirituality focused on faith.
Nowadays the answer some people seek to many issues concerning human behaviour is legislation.
However, how do you legislate kindness or indeed any of the traits Paul lists. Legislation imposes rules on
people from the outside. Kindness, love etc. grows out of a desire from within a person. The Christianity
that Paul was preaching was not an imposition of a set of rules or ‘Law’, it was a relationship with the
living God who helps us to grow the kinds of fruit listed above from the inside. In fact the very next line
in the letter is “against such things there is no law“.
The kindness study will seek to “explore how people's attitudes and experiences might vary across
different groups, and we also want to know how kindness might relate to health, well-being, and other
social and psychological experiences.” I’ll be interested to hear the results in early 2022.
AWA Waterside 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
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 :
All Saints, Catfield - Judith Gardiner - tel 01692 580391
St Catherine's, Ludham - Helen Middleton - tel 01692 678072
St Nicholas, Potter Heigham - Judith Gardiner - tel 01692 580391
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.
Below is a link to the Norwich Diocesan Safeguarding page with contact details for Diocesan Safeguarding.
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.