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The Norfolk Churches Site: an occasional sideways glance at the churches of Norfolk

St Michael, Sutton

Sutton

Sutton tomb chest 1822

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    St Michael, Sutton

Sutton is a pleasant if fairly ordinary village off the road between Stalham and Potter Heigham, but the church is away from it along narrow lanes that will eventually take you all the way to Ingham. I suppose that in the great scheme of things it is, like its village, a relatively insignificant church, very restored and without anything particularly exciting inside. But I remembered how much I had liked it when I'd passed this way fifteen years previously, and I had been looking forward to going back.

You approach from the east, the narrow chancel folding back the south aisle like a wing behind it, the bulky south porch failing to follow and standing proud. It rises rather surreally high above the south aisle, and was built right on the very eve of the Reformation as the typical 16th Century entrance suggests. But despite this and Herbert Green's familiarly dull restoration of the 1890s, much of the construction here is of the early 14th century, before the Black Death put a crimp in so many Norfolk church buildings and our hearts were still full of joy and light. The font is contemporary with this building phase, and sits in an interior which is thoroughly clean and well-cared for. As I had remembered, it was a pleasure to sit here for a few moments. So many of the churches around here are full of wonders, all bells and whistles, but here is a simple village church, with details surviving from every century, every generation, doing what it does best - just being there.

Simon Knott, September 2019

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looking east south aisle altar
font chancel looking west double decker pulpit

   

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The Norfolk Churches Site: an occasional sideways glance at the churches of Norfolk