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Assumption, West Barsham
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It was with some surprise that I came to the Assumption, because unlike virtually every other church for miles around, it is set in a trim bowling green of a graveyard in a neat little estate village. One gets so used to the Walsingham area churches having a sense of antiquity, as if it was only the power of prayer that was keeping it up, that it felt odd to be standing beside this tiny one which could have been turned out crisp from the oven that morning.
The Assumption is, I am afraid to say, quite different from all the other churches around here for another reason - it is kept locked. I could not think of any earthly reason for this to be so. Perhaps the parish do not feel that they need the power of prayer. I have since been told that there is a key, and that it is at the estate office. Unfortunately, I did not know this at the time, because there is no notice in the porch telling you so. To all intents and purposes, this is an inaccessible building, a dead church in the land of the living.
The vast majority of the gravestones here were removed in the 1960s to make it easier to cut the grass. So, goodbye several centuries of history. The ones that were kept concern the family who live at the Hall, who presumably had the loudest voices. Ho hum.
Simon Knott, May 2005
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