Saturday, 13 August 2016

The Cycling Parson

If you watched Father Brown on TV, you'll remember the opening credits show him cycling across the screen.
Bob's been riding his bike this week, to and from Liz's cottage. 
But there was another parson [not fictional, and not Baptist] who famously cycled for over half a century in Norfolk.
We visited the Church of St Peter & St Paul in Edgefield to find out more about him. This Church was consecrated in 1885. The old church had fallen into such a state of disrepair that Canon Walter Marcon, whose father was the Rector here before him, decided to build a new church more central to both halves of the village, The Street and The Green. This was quite an undertaking! 

He enlisted John Dando Sedding, a well-respected architect, to design the building, incorporating much of the material from the old church, some of it 13th century. This rebuilding of churches was not uncommon, but history has remembered the rebuilding of Edgefield church, probably because Canon Marcon was such a character. He was the cycling parson – “I have cycled every lane, high and low, on tyres wooden, solid and pneumatic” he said. Walter was the incumbent priest for 60 years.
The church has many attractive features

The old rood screen from the original church

Wonderful painted organ pipes

A Victorian Coffin Bier
Some lovely stained glass - both old and modern

And in one of these, a tribute to Walter.
I wonder if the BBC got the idea from this window?
There cannot be many clergymen who are commemorated with a picture of them on a bicycle!

1 comment:

  1. What a fascinating story. The window is very unusual.


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