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 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.


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 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.

Worship in the
Waterside Group Benefice

sunday service

Churches in the Waterside Group are open for worship as follows:


Sunday 9 January
Benefice Holy Communion at St Catherine's, Ludham, led by tbc at 10am also on Zoom.

Sunday 16 January
St Catherine's, Ludham, led by Christine Wall at 10am also on Zoom.
All Saints', Catfield, Holy Communion led by Revd Linda Shuker at 10am, joint service with St Nicholas', Potter Heigham,

Sunday 23 January
St Catherine's, Ludham, led by Stephen Pitkethly at 10am also on Zoom.
St Nicholas', Potter Heigham, Holy Communion led by Revd Linda Shuker at 10am, joint service with All Saints', Catfield

Sunday 30 January
St Catherine's, Ludham, joint service with Ludham Methodist Church led by tbc at 10am also on Zoom.
All Saints', Catfield led by Judith Gardiner at 10am, joint service with St Nicholas', Potter Heigham,

Sunday 6 February
Benefice Holy Communion at All Saints', Catfield, led by Revd Linda Shuker at 10am.

Sunday 13 February
St Catherine's, Ludham, Holy Communion led by Revd Sally Theakston at 10am also on Zoom.
St Nicholas', Potter Heigham, led by Judith Gardiner at 10am, joint service with All Saints', Catfield

Sunday 20 February
St Catherine's, Ludham, Evensong led by tbc at 3:30pm also on Zoom.
All Saints', Catfield, Holy Communion led by Revd Linda Shuker at 10am, joint service with St Nicholas', Potter Heigham,

Sunday 27 February
St Catherine's, Ludham, led by Linda Savage at 10am also on Zoom.
St Nicholas', Potter Heigham, Holy Communion led by 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 thewalls@broadland.net


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.


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

The Prodigal Son, c. 1720–30 Pier Leone Ghezzi

Dear Friends

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.

In prayer,


Our New Vicar

The Waterside Group of Churches has been without a Vicar for well over two years. This is a lamentable state of affairs and the background to it is as follows:

When our last clergy retired in late 2019, the Diocese advertised the post, but without success. This situation was allowed to continue without any resolution by our Diocese, which placed us under the care of our Rural Dean as Priest in Charge.

We subsequently discovered that the Church Commissioners had re-allocated the funds which had in the past supported ministry in rural parishes, in favour of urban ones. This has resulted in a major financial shortfall in rural areas like ours, which has led to our Diocese deciding to reduce its stipendiary (salaried) clergy by 10%. Clergy stipends being the main item of Diocesan expenditure.

Because of this, the Diocese wished to unite the Waterside group with the Horning group of churches, with a single stipendiary clergy. The Waterside Church Wardens were not in favour of such a move and it was agreed that a part time priest could be appointed for Ludham, Catfield and Potter Heigham.

The appointed priest would work for a limited number of days each week in return for the use of the vicarage. This is called a 'House for Duty' appointment and clearly cannot provide the same level of pastoral care in our villages that we have enjoyed in the past.

The Waterside Wardens have accepted this as the best solution available and were pleased to offer the post to the Rev Gary Noyes, who will be licensed on 16th February (amended) now Sunday 6 March at 4pm in Ludham church. The Wardens believe that the Rev Noyes, who is a very experienced clergyman (and a Norfolk man) will be an admirable new Vicar, despite the limited number of his working days.

It should be noted that the redistribution of the Church Commissioners' funds has caused similar upset all over the rural parts of England and has resulted in the formation of a new movement called 'Save the Parish'.

At the recent elections to the National Synod (The Church of England's parliament) a large number of candidates were elected under this banner, determined to fight off what is a very serious threat to the parishes. Ludham Parochial Church Council has unanimously supported this movement and hopes that it will bring some changes.

Ken Grapes and Rita Gibson
Ludham Church Wardens
January 2022


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.

Local Church Service Live Streams

Many churches are live streaming services, hosting virtual groups, and sharing content digitally.

The Diocese of Norwich provides a full list and links to churches across Norfolk and Waveney on their website at the following link.


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.


Julian Prayer Meeting every third Tuesday in the month - Presently 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: zlkndy@gmail.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.


Waterside Message


One night in December, 1939 young Norfolk Police Officer Larry Lamb was on guard duty at Sandringham House.

During the daytime the Police Officers were not allowed to pass in front of the windows of Sandringham House as King George VI, Queen Elizabeth and the Royal Family were in residence, but at night time it was different.

At this time King George VI had been King of only two years, having had to take on a job he was totally unprepared for on the abdication of his brother. Then just two years into his reign war had been declared and he then had the enormous responsibility of leading this country, as well as the Commonwealth and Empire through a terrible conflict.

As PC Lamb patrolled that night he heard the King practicing his New Year speech by an open window ” give me a light that I may tread safely into the darkness”.

This was part of a poem which Princess Elizabeth had brought to her father’s attention and was written by British poet Minnie Louise Haskins and published in 1908.

As we enter a New Year, we are also in uncertain times with the pandemic still with us, the threat of the consequences of Global Warming and conflict and famine in many areas of the world. We can do no better that remind ourselves of the message of assurance which King George VI gave to a nation at war.

“And I said to the man who stood at the gate of the year:

“Give me a light that I may tread safely into the darkness”

And he replied:

“Go out into the darkness and put your hand in the Hand of God. That shall be to you better than light and safer than a known way”.

So I went forth, and finding the Hand of God, trod gladly into the night. And he led me towards the hills and the breaking of the day in the lone East”.

Wishing you all a happy, healthy and peaceful New Year.

Christine Wall
Authorised Worship Assistant
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.

You can also speak to the ChildLine helpline - call free on 0800 1111

or click on the link below to find out how they can help.


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.


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.


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.

Ministry Team

Vicar - Vacant

John Savage (Authorised Worship Assistant, 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)

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