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St Clement Colegate, Norwich
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Clement Colegate, Norwich
St Clement was probably the first of the city churches on the north side of the river, and has lived through the changes that a thousand years have brought. The present church is almost entirely the work of the 15th century, although the chancel is slightly earlier.
The font is an early 16th century one, with that proto-renaissance styling that makes us wonder how artistic endeavour might have flowered if the Reformation had not intervened. There is also a 1516 figure brass to Margaret Petwood in the middle of the nave, and these two features may indicate the date at which the church was finished.Apart from that, the interior is largely Victorian in character. There are 18th and 19th century memorials around the walls to the Ives and Harvey families, who supplied a number of mayors of Norwich.
At the west end are modern devotional statues, a holy water stoup and a place to light a candle, which might lead you to think that St Clement is still a working parish church. In fact, St Clement's future was secured after redundancy in curious circumstances. The lease was taken on by a local Methodist minister on behalf of the Norwich transport workers trade union, partly with the intention of its use as a chapel.
Simon Knott, November 2005
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