Bishop of Norwich marks Sandridge 900+ celebrations

The Bishop of Norwich, the Rt Revd Graham James, flanked by Rev Em Coley, Vicar of Sandridge, and Re

The Bishop of Norwich, the Rt Revd Graham James, flanked by Rev Em Coley, Vicar of Sandridge, and Rev Peter Crumpler, Curate - Credit: Archant

History was made on Mothering Sunday as the Bishop of Norwich returned to a village church 900 years after one of his predecessors consecrated it.

The present-day Bishop, the Rt Rev Graham James, who has strong links with the local area, was welcomed back to St Leonard’s Church, Sandridge, which was consecrated by Herbert de Losinga before 1119.

Community leaders, representatives of local organisations and many other parishioners went to the church on Sunday morning to greet the bishop at a Mothering Sunday service to launch the major Sandridge 900+ community project.

Bishop Graham told the congregation that it was “good to be back” and explained how Herbert de Losinga, the first Bishop of Norwich, had consecrated many churches as penance for having paid to become a bishop.

The Rev Peter Crumpler, curate at St Leonard’s, said: “It was very special to welcome the bishop back to Sandridge, and for him to see that a church consecrated around 900 years ago continues today as a place of worship, prayer and community.

“Sunday’s service was a really happy occasion and a great launch for Sandridge 900+ and all the events that will take place across the area in coming months.”

St Leonard’s Church will be playing a full role in the Sandridge 900+ celebrations with its own programme of events during 2014. These include an evening of curry and karaoke on Saturday, April 26, a family fun afternoon on Sunday, June 8, and opening the church with refreshments on Sunday afternoons in May and the last Sunday in June, July and August.

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More information on the wider Sandridge 900+ project is available at

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