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St Peter, Strumpshaw
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I had been cycling around the area to the north of Acle, where virtually all the churches are open everyday. The churches were a pleasure, but the roads were not, because even in spring they were thunderous with traffic. While the smaller country roads are pleasant enough, there are so few crossing points of the various rivers that all the traffic comes together. The Acle to Stalham road is not one I would recommend to any cyclist.
In one sense, then, it was a relief to cross the Bure at Acle again and head south into the quiet, pretty rolling lanes, threading their way through fields and copses. But I knew that I was entering one of Norfolk's few areas of locked churches, which is always a bit depressing when you are hoping to visit them, and here at Strumpshaw even the keyholder notices ran out. No welcome for pilgrims and strangers here. And so this medieval building which has stood for centuries, a beating heart of its faith community and a touchstone down the long Strumpshaw generations, is no longer in use for its proper purpose.
Simon Knott, June 2011
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