The Parish of Halvergate also encompasses the village of Tunstall. Both Halvergate and Tunstall have churches dedicated to St Peter and St Paul. Halvergate church was built in the 13th century with a tower of 84 feet, which houses 6 bells. It is part of a Benefice and services are on a rotational basis between the churches in the Benefice.
It is extraordinary to remind yourself that the marshes stretching eastward of Halvergate were once under water in the mouth of a great river estuary. But it is easy to imagine St Peter and St Paul as a coastal church, its great tower a beacon for shipping. In this landscape of mostly small churches, many of them Norman in character, this is a big, late medieval church. And yet, there is a homeliness to it: no aisles, no clerestory, just a long, wide nave and chancel.
As with a number of churches around here, there is a banner stave recess set into the nave wall, and the 19th century glass is interesting, depicting the Presentation in the Temple and Christ with Mary and Martha at Bethany. Although it was good to hear that the parish are planning to open the church to passing pilgrims and strangers after years of keeping it locked, I fear that the Restoration has left an interior with little of historic interest, except for one major survival. Visitors will be able to see the great treasure of the church, a 14th century image in glass of St Christopher carrying the Christ child across a river. This was in the upper light of a north nave window until the 1980s, when it was taken down and restored. It was then put in a wooden frame behind glass, above the high altar, as if it was a relic. It is almost impossible to photograph. The lady on duty on Bike Ride day said that there was some concern for its safety if the church was kept open - although, of course, if it was put back in its proper place, the problem would be solved
Halvergate is a relatively small village in the county of Norfolk, situated approximately 4 miles from Acle and 6 miles from Great Yarmouth and sits between the rivers Bure and Yare.
It comes under the jurisdiction of Norfolk County Council and Broadland District Council. In the 2001 census, it had a population of 607 in 243 households. To the East of the village are the Halvergate Marshes, covering an area of approximatley 2,642 hectares (10.20 square miles) of which 1,432.7 hectares (3,540 acres) are a biological Site of Special Scientific Interest. Originally an estuary, the area was drained in the 1600’s and converted to grazing marsh with the help of windpumps/windmills and drainage ditches to graze sheep and cattle. Halvergate Marshes is the largest area of traditionally managed grazing marsh in the Broadland area.
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There is also a Church Micro Stats & Information page that can be found at HERE
Thanks to Simon Knott, December 2007 and Halvergate Parish Council for their infomation about the Church.