This morning whilst sipping my morning tea and flicking through a back issue of Country Life (17 October 2012) I noticed a single page in a series devoted to things to see in country churches. My eye was caught by the name Terrington Saint Clement and the amazing 17th century painted font cover. I recognised the name of this village and, checking my road atlas, found it lay very close to my route to Norwich; just in Norfolk and west of Kings Lynn. As I just happened to be driving down to Norwich this morning I decided this would be just the spot to have my picnic lunch and take a look at the church and the stunning font cover.
It was a beautiful day for the drive and after my quick picnic lunch I headed for the church door. Like many churches it’s kept locked but the notice on the door told me to call at the house next door to collect the key. So I did.
The Church Door Key
Once inside I could see what Simon Jenkins meant when he said “This church is a hymn to light”.
The font is indeed impressive. The triptych was closed but I gently lifted the latch and the whole opened up to display the 17th century paintings of Saints Matthew, Mark, Luke and John and the baptism of Christ by Saint John The Baptist. The Gothic font cover, painted blue, rises up almost to the church rafters.
The font cover
The open triptych
Interestingly, the tower is not attached to the church itself. Jenkins suggests that this was probably due to the soft soil of this marshland region.
“The tower came into its own during a flood in 1670 when the community gathered there and were fed by boat from King’s Lynn” This could easily have happened again this week since I noticed that many of the fields around Terrington and in the Fens were looking pretty wet, to say the least.