St Edmund, Forncett End

The Church of St Edmund, Forncett End

Written by Super User.

By the late nineteenth century and certainly by 1900 the increasing population of the hamlet of Forncett End with its various services - bakers, butchers, bricklayers, general stores and later a bus service to Norwich - was clearly needing both educational and spiritual support. Attempts had been made by the Parochial Church Council to set up an infant school but this fell through for lack of continuing financial donations after a few years.

from a sketch by PymerHowever, the grand project of establishing a daughter church met with the approval of the Bishop and had a determined organizer in the person of the Rev T.J. Bentley, the new rector of Forncett St Peter, who was supported by the venerable and much-loved aging rector of Forncett St Mary, the Rev. J.E. Cooper.

This little church was therefore built during 1903-04, at a cost of £600, as a mission church or daughter church to Forncett St. Peter. A tablet on the north wall records its consecration on St. Peter's Day, 29th June 1904.

It is a small building with a gable at each end and a small west porch with bell-cote. It is faced mainly with brick with some mortar rendered panels. The east wall is covered with weatherboarding cladding, since the chancel was not built due to lack of funds.

The pencil sketch (left) was drawn by Horace Pymer soon after the church was completed; the patent ventilator is in place but the bellcote has not yet been added. Other items of interest can be seen: the windmill, Austhorpe House (in the trees) and part of the Jolly Farmers PH.



St Edmund's church circa 1906 - bell-cote has been added to the entrance porch.

St Edmund in 2009
The same view today. Very little has changed.  

St Edmund - the interior - 2009
The plain and homely interior is furnished with wooden pine benches. The arch at the east end would have been a chancel arch had the building been completed as intended. The altar is raised on a dais and the font is a copy of the 14th century style, the bowl having a variety of grotesque human faces.