Today I thought I was going to be on a three mile walk with my new walking group. I took the postcode as displayed on the sheet and popped it into my Satnav, having also looked on a map. I’m not sure what happened but my satnav certainly took me straight to a church carpark. I hung around, took a photo of the church, enjoyed a newish gravestone which honoured a lovely 70 year old Irishman by the name of O’Shea who always had a story to tell. I would like to have met him.
Nobody appeared. Five minutes before the walk was to begin, I asked a dog walker which church this was. Filby, he said. I wanted Runham Church, about two miles further south, so not enough time to rectify my mistake. I decided to walk anyway and set off for more of an amble rather than a run around Runham. Blue sky and birdsong lift the spirits. My half hour walk took from the church around the back of the village and eventually I discovered a commemorative sign and the ruins of a Dissenter’s Chapel. Built in 1706 it survived in one form or another until destroyed by a bomb in WW2. It got me thinking about dissenters and those who rejected the Church of England in a county which features so many large churches with imposing towers such as the one above.
I see evidence everywhere of Primitive Methodist chapels. I believe there was even one across the field in my small village a century ago. Two hundred years ago, my ancestor was converted and walked across country to Staffordshire and back again to take part in the second Primitive Methodism Conference. I think I would like to know more about the movement in Norfolk.
This afternoon, I read the draft of my piece in the parish magazine next month. I am a new contributor and the editor has very kindly given me an introduction. Although it has been difficult to meet people in the village over the last year, everyone is welcoming and we feel very much at home here. I need to consider another contribution and perhaps today’s walk has given me an idea.