Heacham church’s triple celebration time

Visitors Guide scenes of Heacham - the parish church of St Mary's. ENGANL00120130801114125
Visitors Guide scenes of Heacham - the parish church of St Mary's. ENGANL00120130801114125
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Three anniversaries are being celebrated this year at St Mary’s Church in Heacham.

It starts at 10am on Friday, June 20, when the church will be hosting a weekend of commemoration events of the 
beginning of the First World War with a Festival of 

Brian Griffin, churchwarden, said: “In addition to the floral displays, we shall be recreating a Great War trench in the front porch, while inside the church we hope to recreate the atmosphere of 1914, complete with photographs, larger tableaux, 1914 artefacts and memorabilia, contemporary refreshments, with 1914 music hall songs and even a street organ.

“Our Heacham historian, Andrew England, who is currently writing a book on the 1914 Men of Heacham, will be giving an illustrated talk on the evening of Friday 20th at 7pm, repeated on Sunday 22nd at 1.30pm. It is also hoped to include the reading of poetry through the sessions.”

The church will be open 10am to 5pm on Friday, Saturday and Sunday (normal services at 8am and 10am) and donations will go to the British Legion.

The second anniversary (as part of that weekend) sees the noted organist and choir director Trevor Hughes, who has travelled extensively in Europe and the USA, giving an organ concert entitled ‘A Festal Flourish’– a programme of organ and piano music commemorating the centenary of the outbreak of World War 1.

He will be joined by his wife, the talented clarinetist Gillian Hughes, to present music by Elgar, Parry, Stanford, Bach, Mozart, Karg-Elert, Jongen and others.

This concert is one of only three currently listed in Norfolk (the other two later this year are at Blakeney and Norwich Cathedral) as taking part in the international recital challenge, arranged by the Royal College of Organists, in celebration of the RCO’s 150th anniversary, seeing organists from across the world playing at 150 celebratory recitals. This is at Heacham Church on Saturday, June 21, at 7.30pm (tickets £7.50 including refreshments, proceeds to RCO).

Mr Griffin adds: “Thirdly, 2014 is the centenary of the commissioning of the large three-manual pipe organ – although it is believed that this was not completed until 1919 because of the Great War.

“Although initially for a church in London, it was ultimately moved to Heacham and over the last 20 years has been rebuilt with many additions. It is a fine, flexible instrument, capable of responding to changes in liturgical patterns.

“Trevor Hughes’ concert is part of several ongoing musical events throughout the year, designed not only to show the versatility of the instrument, but also to appreciate the gift of church music.”

Further events are an all-day workshop with the King’s Lynn Festival Chorus on October 18, and a concert by the West Norfolk Singers on Saturday, November 8.