All Saints Church, Hopton
All Saints’ Church Hopton is a building of great architectural significance, in particular the early Tudor red brick clerestory and the late Medieval hammer beam roof which have been used by the Historic Churches Trust as examples of fine church architecture.
The regular stream of visitors is highly appreciative of these architectural gems. The Church is at the geographical centre of the village and is an integral part of Hopton’s identity: the clock, the bells and the churchyard are in their different ways all deeply embedded in daily village life. The tower houses six bells which are rung for service by the local band although, due to the poor condition of the frame and fittings, practices are held at nearby Hinderclay. The back five bells, which date from the early 17th century, are the only remaining example of a ring by John Draper’s Thetford foundry and the treble, cast in Downham Market, was added in 1807.
The Church is open every day of the year for people to visit and to pray. The building is also used in the summer for afternoon teas every Friday and welcomes a wide range of local people as well as holidaymakers and tourists.
There are a variety of regular services throughout the month and these attract a good number of worshippers. Most popular is the informal monthly all-age service, which has flourished for the last 20 years. It regularly has a congregation of 30-40, with an age range from babes in arms through to the over 90s. Recently they have begun a quarterly all-age communion service. This service is in addition to the long established monthly Holy Communion which is at the heart of All Saints’ pattern of worship.
The Church is developing an active link with a sister church in southern Kenya. St James’ Mbauro is in a similar rural setting and in June 2006 we welcomed Christine Mlemwa, head teacher of the local secondary school. Fundraising in Hopton has already enabled poor families to continue their children’s education at secondary level; and we are planning to support the establishment of a training centre attached to St James’.
You can follow what is happening on the church by visiting;
Rob Waugh 01953 688386
All Saints Church,
Suffolk, IP22 2QX