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All Saints, Postwick
In practice, only a very small number of Norfolk churches are locked during the day, and a fraction of those are locked without a keyholder. The statistics are skewed by this group north of the Yare, south of the railway line. But at least Postwick has a keyholder notice, and in fact the church is now open every Friday.
The great yew tree to the south of the chancel had been felled since my last visit, and part of it lies still in the churchyard, surreal, like a giant's pencil. Beyond it, a church that was substantially entirely rebuilt over the course of about fifty years from the late 13th to the early 14th Centuries, and then substantially restored in the late 19th Century, giving it something of an overly crisp appearance.
You step into an interior which is tall, narrow, and almost entirely refurbished by the Victorians. There's not much that's old here - a piscina and sedilia, a late Medieval font looking entirely recut. Like most narrow churches, there is a feeling of clutter. Perhaps the best and most interesting feature of all is a stone relief of St Francis of 1968 by John Skelton, looking very much in the style of his uncle and tutor Eric Gill. The stained glass is decent, a collection by different workshops dating from the 1860s up to one of the turn of the 20th Century which looks as if it might be the work of FC Eden.
Not much excitement then, but there is that atmosphere of a country church which has stayed pretty much the same for over a hundred years, and is worth seeing for that if nothing else. Of course, if that's not enough for you, you might be tempted by a sight of the pulpit, which is set with stones that Mortlock tells us were pilfered from the Holy Land by a 19th century rector. Just make sure you come on a Friday.
Simon Knott, October 2016
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