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
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 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.
The parish of Hickling remains part of the Waterside Benefice until a planned pastoral reorganisation moves it formally to the Coastal Benefice. In the meantime, it is under the care of Canon Catherine Dobson.
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 will then be open for worship as follows:
IMPORTANT Face coverings must be worn to all services
Thursday 1 April St Catherine's, Ludham, Compline led by John Savage at 7pm
and on Zoom *St Mary's, Hickling, Holy Communion for Maundy Thursday led by The Revd Catherine Dobson at 10:30am
Friday 2 April - Good Friday – Readings and Meditation on Zoom at 11:45am led by John Savage
Sunday 4 April - Easter Sunday St Catherine's, Ludham,Holy Communion led by The Rev'd Ian Johnson 10am
also on Zoom St Nicholas', Potter Heigham, Holy Communion led by The Rev'd Margaret Whitaker at 10am, joint service with All Saints', Catfield All Saints', Catfield, Evening Prayer led by Judith Gardiner at 6pm
*St Mary's, Hickling, Easter Sunday Service led by Ian Watton at 10:30am
Sunday 11 April St Catherine's, Ludham, led by Linda Savage at 10am also on Zoom
All Saints', Catfield, Easter Garden Service led by Judith Gardiner at 10am, joint service with St Nicholas', Potter Heigham *St Mary's, Hickling, 'Welcome back' service led by The Rev'd Catherine Dobson at 3pm
Sunday 18 April St Catherine's, Ludham, led by Christine Wall at 10am also on Zoom St Nicholas', Potter Heigham, led by Judith Gardiner at 10am, joint service with All Saints', Catfield *St Mary's, Hickling, led by Ian Watton at 10:30am
Sunday 25 April St Catherine's, Ludham, led by Stephen Pitkethly at 10am also on Zoom
All Saints', Catfield, led by Ian Watton at 10am, joint service with St Nicholas', Potter Heigham *St Mary's, Hickling, led by Zephney Kennedy at 10:30am
* The parish of Hickling remains part of the Waterside Benefice until a planned pastoral reorganisation moves it formally to the Coastal Benefice. In the meantime, it is under the care of Canon Catherine Dobson.
Sunday 2 May St Catherine's, Ludham, led by John Savage at 10am also on Zoom St Nicholas', Potter Heigham, led by Christine Wall at 10am, joint service with All Saints', Catfield
Sunday 9 May St Catherine's, Ludham, Holy Communion led by The Rev'd David Smith (tbc) at 10am (tbc)also on Zoom All Saints', Catfield led by Judith Gardiner at 10am joint service with St Nicholas', Potter Heigham
Thursday 13 May - Ascension Day St Catherine's, Ludham, Evensong led by Christine Wall at 6pm also on Zoom
Sunday 16 May St Catherine's, Ludham, led by Lynda Savage at 10am also on Zoom St Nicholas', Potter Heigham, led by Judith Gardiner at 10am joint service with All Saints', Catfield
Sunday 23 May - Pentecost St Catherine's, Ludham, led by Christine Wall at 10am also on Zoom All Saints', Catfield, Holy Communion led by The Rev'd Margaret Whittaker at 10am joint service with St Nicholas', Potter Heigham
Sunday 30 May - Trinity Sunday St Catherine's, Ludham, led by Stephen Pitkethly at 10am joint service with Ludham Methodist Church also on Zoom St Nicholas', Potter Heigham, led by Judith Gardiner at 10am joint service with
All Saints', Catfield
Has the Church Died during Coronavirus?
During the past few months churches have been locked and apparently desolate. Yet Christianity is not suffering.
Amongst other things, many of us have been meeting 'virtually' for weekly Sunday worship, using our computers.
Initially, many of us disliked computers and some were a little apprehensive, But with a bit of determination and not
a little excitement we embarked on a road which has been a comfort to many and has kept the 'word of God' alive
and kicking in our villages a bit reminiscent of those first believers, meeting against all odds, at the very beginnings
of Christianity some 2000 years ago. So successful has this enterprise been that it may become a permanent
feature of Christian worship, running alongside in-church services.
Some cannot get to church through age, disability or other reasons; they may feel reluctant to take that first step;
but if you would like to join us, from your own home, at 9.30am on a Sunday morning for an informal time of worship
you will find it very easy.
Contact me at Email: firstname.lastname@example.org to receive simple advice on how to download
ZOOM and follow the links. Yes, I know it sounds daunting but it really is easy and we could even arrange a 'trial
You will find us happy, relaxed, welcoming and so very pleased to see you.
The true 'Church' is not the large building we see in our villages, it is the people who love God, want to share His
love and want to find out more about His Son, Jesus Christ! Are you one of those people?
Authorised Worship Assistant
Worship on Zoom
Benefice wide Zoom Sunday Worship joins St Catherine's for its Sunday Morning Service.
Please see the list of upcoming Benefice Services on this page for details.
To view or download a PDF copy of this week's Order of Service click the button here.
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.
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.
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 Benefice calender for any changes.
At the beginning of March last year life in our villages was jogging along in its normal fashion. We were hearing on the news and reading in the papers of a new, nasty respiratory virus which had originated in a far off part of China that we had at that time never heard of, but which was soon to become familiar, and this virus was to impact upon the lives of the whole world.
Then suddenly the pandemic was upon us and on the 23rd March 2020 the whole of our country went into lockdown with the total cessation of our normal daily activities, be it going to school, going to work, enjoying village activities and so many other things. And so we continued on through 2020 and into 2021 staggering from one lockdown to another, one tier to another, with a wonderful partial respite during the summer months.
So what are people going to remember of these times? In years to come, when the young people of today are parents and grandparents what will they reply when asked ”We are doing the 2020 pandemic in school; what do you remember of it?; what can you tell me about it?”
Will they explain about lockdowns and tiers; discuss indoor an outdoor bubbles; explain that dad was furloughed and mum worked from home, and talk about home schooling and missing friends; not seeing grand parents because they were self isolating; tell how seriously ill people were and of the wonderful NHS staff; the arrival of the vaccine and the speed with which it was delivered. Talk about the electronic devices with which we communicated: zoom, whatsapp; facetime; teams. But above all will they explain how in each village there were so many act of kindness and offers of practical help and support.
As we begin to see the light at the end of the tunnel we pray “ God of compassion, have mercy upon this our nation and our world in this time of fear and confusion. We bring before you those who continue to suffer and those who tend their needs in whatever way. Be at the side of those who are helping us through this time. May those who continue in isolation know your comfort and company. We give thanks for our villages and communities and the way in which so many have shown your love in acts of care, kindness and love Amen”.
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 Mary's, Hickling - Zephney Kennedy - tel 01692 598179
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.