Hainford – All Saints Church (the new one)

On the church spotting mission that Richard and I are undertaking, this looked confusing to me as it was clearly Victorian and almost felt like a Catholic church. It is though one of the early Victorian churches, designed by John Brown (there’s a plan from 1837 of this church here) built between 1838 and 1840. The old church is around half a mile down the road, but more on that in another post.

The intention of building this church was to have one nearer to where people actually lived in Hainford, as the older church had become a little detached from the community that it served. And, it was also falling down and that’s not ideal.

One thing that I’d like to know is what the parishioners thought at the time. I can’t engage with this building, even though it’s 180 years old and is perfectly well-built, it lacks character to me. There are no burials in the churchyard, as they’re still at the old church, so it’s more of a chapel at ease in many ways. A correspondent to the Norfolk Chronicle wrote in 1908 about some churches in the area, adding about this one:

“There is not much of interest at Hainford, the church only dating from 1840, when it was erected at a cost of £1,200 in place of an older building of which only a part now remains”.

Most of the money for the building of the new church was funded by the Incorporated Church Building Society, but other contributors included the Norwich Diocesan Church Building Association, the Rev. WAW Keppel (the rector) and the Rev. J L’Oste. Indeed, the rector donated a large sum of money, suggesting he was very much in favour of the plan.

This is from the files of the Church of England, from the 1960s, giving information about the two churches. I’m not sure that the author was that engaged with the new church either, it’s a very technical description of the church. More on what was written about the old church in another post though.

One element I find slightly strange is that I can’t find much (indeed, I can’t find anything) in the newspapers of the time that is particularly excited about the new church. There’s no mention of fund-raisers, bazaars and the like, which I’d usually expect, it’s just lists of who donated money to fund it.

Anyway, the new church is no doubt very much part of the community and much loved, but perhaps it will architecturally much more interesting to future generations…..