VIDEO: Harvest celebrated in ruined Bawsey church

Open air harvest festival service at Bawsey church ruins ANL-160821-164816009

Open air harvest festival service at Bawsey church ruins ANL-160821-164816009

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Dozens of worshippers headed to the ruins of a disused village church at the weekend to celebrate the fruits of the harvest.

Almost 500 years have passed since St James Church, Bawsey, which dates back to Norman times, is thought to have become disused.

But around 40 worshippers gathered among its ruins on Sunday afternoon to enjoy an open air harvest festival and walk in the fields that surround the site.

The event was the first of its type to take place at the site for two years.

Rev Jane Holmes, rector for the Gayton, Grimston, Great Massingham and district benefice, which includes Bawsey, said: “It’s something we try to do annually, but last year it didn’t happen.”

But she added that it was the first time the service had included the chance to walk on the lands around the ruins. Cream teas were also available during the afternoon.

Although the first signs of a religious institution at the site are thought to date from late Saxon times, the church itself was built during the 12th century.

It is believed to have become disused in 1517, when land around the building was reclaimed as pasture for sheep.

The building was also the subject of an excavation by experts from Channel Four’s Time Team programme in 1999.