I GREW up in a part of the country where churches were the central point of the villages they served. Norfolk, I soon discovered, does things rather differently.
In the Yare Valley at least, they seem to compete as to which can be the furthest away. Both Surlingham churches lie off the beaten track; Reedham is distant, Claxton sits on up on the hill, Carleton St Peter lies in a field all on its own. But while this presumably makes things awkward for both priest and parishioners, it does make for great walks. I discovered Langley's church entirely by accident while on the Wherryman's Way circular walk number 6. You can't see St Michael's from the road at all; you have to take a footpath off The Avenues and get beyond a protective ring of trees. Half of Langley's residents have probably never been there. I mention it here because it has become the latest church to be written up by Simon Knott of norfolkchurches. Take a look at his excellent website - surely the best in the county.