Every year on our pilgrimage we visit different churches in the countryside around Walsingham.
Today, after concentrated map reading arguing with satnav, and following diversions we arrived at the wonderful medieval church of Salle.
Salle is a magnificent church in a remote rural setting. It contains what John Betjeman describes as the best of everything the 15th century produced – feathered angel censers above the door (in slightly menacing pose), beautiful bosses, wonderful fifteenth century misericords, medieval stained glass, a splendid seven sacrament font. There is even a three decker pulpit.
Everywhere one looked there were outstanding features, although we didn’t see the ghost in the parvise (now there is a new word for many of us!)
Salle is an amazing church, understandably some consider it to be Norfolk’s rural Cathedral.
From Salle to North Elmham, named as a site of a Saxon Cathedral. So indeed it was – a site, but on the site a twelfth century bishop had built a chapel, now in ruins. North Elmham was the site of Norfolk’s first Cathedral before the bishop moved to Thetford and shortly after that to Norwich.
It would be interesting to see an artist’s impression of the Saxon cathedral, for it must have been very small and compact.
In the evening we joined together with all the pilgrims for the Wednesday evening procession around the shrine grounds.
Brother Pascal spoke on stepping out in faith and then we set off.
One of our group described it as ‘pantomimic’ but that didn’t stop us heartily joining in, and Dominic, our youngest pilgrim, at 4yrs old, clearly found it lovely, enjoying carrying a candle and singing out ‘Ave, Ave, Ave Maria,’ and asking where the sound of the organ was coming from in the grounds.