Study day returns in October after four-year break

A study day will be held in October – the first for almost four years, said the chairman, Stuart Bowell.

In a brief summary to Round Tower Churches Society members at the 48th annual meeting, which was held at Seething village hall on Saturday, May 7, he said that conference would take place on Saturday, October 22.

He was putting together a full programme for the day at Rickinghall village hall with speakers including leading Norfolk church architect Ruth Blackman and historian Neil Wiffen, of Broomfield, Essex.

The day’s programme, starting at 10am, would also include a tour of Rickinghall church. Incidentally, the Society has just awarded £4,000 towards the estimated £51,000 cost of re-tiling the north side of Rickinghall’s chancel roof.

Further details will be announced on the Society’s website and in the September edition of the Round Tower.

Mr Bowell told more than 30 members that it was hard to believe that the last May annual general meeting was held three years ago. He then invited the honorary chaplain, Father Philip Gray, to say an introductory prayer.

Mr Bowell then added: “So much has changed in our lives in those years but throughout that time the Society continued to function. The loyalty and generosity of our members did much to make this possible.”

He also thanked the Society’s officers and committee for their efforts over the years and appreciated the generous financial support of so many members. The annual meeting was also an opportunity to recognise the remarkable contribution of the long-serving secretary ‘Lyn Stilgoe. He was delighted that she will continue in this key role, writing church guides and organising tours for the society and Norfolk Church Tours.

She had decided to relinquish another key role and had resigned as a trustee of the Society after some 30 years. In her place, it has been agreed to appoint two new trustees – committee member Kate Davey and vice-chairman Michael Pollitt.

Finally, Mr Bowell added: “Next year the Round Tower Churches Society will be 50 years old. Much has been achieved in that time. Long may this work continue.”

He also reminded members that Roy Tricker would be giving a talk about the history of Rickinghall church on Friday, May 13. Details are on the website.