Welcome to the parish church of St Nicholas, Wells-next-the-Sea

(Please bear with us as this website is currently under construction and some of the pages are not yet complete!)

Our parish is part of a benefice of four with Holkham, Warham & Wighton in the Diocese of Norwich and we are proud to be a partner in Churches Together in Wells and District. The church is on the southern edge of the town and is part of the vibrant community which is Wells-next-the-Sea.

You are welcome to join us for worship. We usually have worship in the Benefice on Sundays at 9.30am & 11.00am and on Wednesdays we worship alongside our Methodist brothers and sisters. Please check below for the venue and service type. Please note, the restoration of St Nicholas Wells continues. The Chancel of the church is open daily and for Sunday worship! Please follow the signage for access. 

Summer concerts in Wells

The St Nicholas Wells summer concert series is now under way and the next two events are Sunday July 21st ‘Midsummer Music Mix’ and Tuesday July 23rd ‘Duos with a Difference’, both 3.00pm at the Methodist Church, Theatre Road.

NNEP Art Exhibition at All Saints Wighton, July 4th – August 4th

The NNEP art exhibition runs from Thursday July 4th open daily 10.00-5.00 until August 4th. Admission free. For details of daytime workshops go to: https://nnepcontemporaryart.com/workshops/ and for evening events:  https://nnepcontemporaryart.com/events/

The next event is Sunday 14th 5.30pm an evening service of hymns and readings surrounded by art. Then on Monday 15th 10.30-1.30 is a workshop with Ros Copping and on Tuesday 16th 11.00-2.00 a workshop with Ulrike Behrendt and at 6.00pm Andy Hutcheson talking about Warham Iron Age Fort.


Sunday 14th July 

9.30am Holy Communion Wighton All Saints

11.00am Holy Communion Wells St Nicholas

5.30pm Deanery Evening Prayer All Saints Wighton

Wednesday 17th July

10.30am Prayer and Praise at Wells Methodist Church, Theatre Road

Sunday 21st July

9.30am Sung Matins Holkham St Withburga

11.00am Holy Communion Wells St Nicholas

6.30pm Songs of Praise Warham St Mary Magdalene

Monday 22nd July

2.00pm Memorial Service for Gron Davies at Wells Methodist Church, Theatre Road

Tuesday 23rd July

12.00 noon Funeral of Frances Wood at Burnham Norton St Margaret

Wednesday 24th July

10.30am Prayer and Praise at Wells Methodist Church, Theatre Road


Our church buildings are open for private prayer at the following times:

  • St Nicholas, Wells-next-the-Sea 10.00-6.00pm daily
  • Warham All Saints & St Mary Magdalene 10.00-6.00pm daily
  • Holkham St Withburga 10.00am – 6.00m daily
  • Wighton All Saints 10.00am – 5.00pm daily for the duration of the NNEP exhibition 

From the beginning of 2024 Revd Brenda will only upload occasional special services on Sundays. However, four years-worth of live-streams and recordings of previous services are still available and can be watched by clicking here: Youtube Channel, St Nicholas Wells

News Box:

October 2023

We had a blast on our community heritage skills day, funded by Egmere Energy which followed on from two great days with Wells Primary and Alderman Peel High School students funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund. Minibug hunting with Norfolk Wildlife Trust, being an architect with our architect Ruth Blackman, learning how to be a stone mason and build a flint wall with our stonemason and specialist builder. A whole new perspective on our chuch building and its churchyard.

July 2023

Wells and Wighton Churches gear up in July

On July 3rd the 13 month delayed restoration project at St Nicholas Wells commenced. Some areas of the churchyard are cordoned off but there will be access to the Chancel daily for quiet prayer and Sunday worship will continue as normal in the Chancel.

At Wighton All Saints the North Norfolk Exhibition Project’s summer show is under way. The NNEP Wighton Cycle 23 is open July 6th – August 6th 10.00am-5.00pm daily, admission free, with 40 artists’ work on display in the church and churchyard. There are additional evening events. You can also visit the Old School House Gallery just up the road and on Tuesday, Friday and Saturday (11.00-3.00) the East Anglian Methodist Heritage Centre at the bottom of the hill.

March 2023

The Well,Well,Wells! St Nicholas Church Restoration……
…..Lottery funded project is continuing to move forward. In 2022 we ran very successful Wellbeing and Churchyard Conservation courses with 3 of our project partners, Norfolk Wildlife Trust, Wells Schools and Wells Community Hospital Trust (now the Old Cottage Hospital) and churchyard maintenance sessions for Alderman Peel High School students. Thanks to the continuing support from the National Lottery Heritage Fund, our new main contractor will start on 3rd July, finishing March 2024.

Easter 2022 roundup

It was wonderful to be ‘back to normal’ this year after two rather different Easters (2020 online and 2021 without any of our usual visitors). It was a real pleasure to welcome Pilgrim Cross (formerly Student Cross) Wells leg back. They collected their cross from Wells and visited around the parishes. Meanwhile we had services across the parishes beginning with palm cross processions at Wighton and Wells and continuing with the retelling of the Easter narrative with a Maundy Thursday service with foot washing at Wells, Stations of the cross at Wighton and meditations at Wells on Good Friday and Easter Day celebrations at Holkham and Wells.

Christmas 2021 round-up

It was wonderful to have a full programme of services across the Benefice this year with our churches beautifully decorated for the season. We were able to sing in church so we had carol services in all of our churches and Wells had a Christingle service on Christmas Eve. Warham was decorated with Christmas Trees and the Messy Church tree was on display decorated with hand-made robins.

The Warham nativity figures went on tour to Wells and Burnham Market schools and at Wells the Christingle and nativity service was relayed to the classes from the head-teacher’s office.

We also had Mary and Joseph travelling from house to house in Wells during December. Known as Posada, the figures spend a night in each home and are delivered by their host to the next destination, finally ending up back in church on Christmas Eve. At Wighton we had candle-lit carols and readings and then Holy Communion on Christmas Eve.

At Holkham the church was beautifully decorated for the carol service at which there was some great singing. But it is always lovely to move into Holkham Hall  on Christmas Day with the chapel adorned by the lovely half life-size nativity. But by far the most unusual event of the season was the Canine Carol Service which I conducted from the steps of Holkham Hall with a ‘congregation’ of fifty-plus dogs and their humans. What fun!

Messy Church is back

November 13th 2021

Messy church has resumed on the 2nd Saturday of each month 10.30am – 12.30pm and had its first session on November 13th with a theme of remembering. Both children and grown-ups enjoyed craft activities relating to Remembrance Day and other things we remember. The Messy Church remembrance wreath is now on display in the St Nicholas remembrance corner.




All Souls service at St Nicholas

November 2nd 2021

It was lovely to be able to join together with representatives of the our Churches Together community – Fr Keith Tulloch from our Lady Star of the Sea Roman Catholic church, Revd Cliff Shanganya from the Methodist church and David Saunders from the Quaker meeting –  to remember those who have died, particularly in this last year but also in years past. Our churches Together choir sang as people lit candles in memory of loved ones. If you would like to watch the service you can find it on our YouTube Channel: St Nicholas Church Wells.

Photo credit: Jenny Savoury


October 13th, 2021 We’ve done it…

St Nicholas Church in Wells-next-the-Sea secures National Lottery support
Wells Parochial Church Council has been awarded a National Lottery Heritage Fund Grant of £286,100 for restoration work and to deliver a range of new activities at St Nicholas Church, Wells-next-the-Sea.

The project will safeguard the building, which is on Historic England’s ‘Heritage At Risk Register’, and will deliver innovative activities, including a new interpretive scheme exploring the heritage of the building and its churchyards, enabling the church to forge stronger links with the wider community.

The church is a Grade II* building situated in the central Conservation Area of the town of Wells-next-the-Sea. Originally built in the13th century, with a large scale restoration taking place around 1460, it was destroyed by a devastating fire in 1879. The medieval tower, most of the external walls and the south porch survived the fire and the church was re-built in 1883.

Working with key partners to establish St Nicholas as a heritage and well-being hub for the town, the funding will deliver new activities such as a Heritage Detective Trail and a new well-being conservation area within the churchyard in partnership with the Norfolk Wildlife Trust. The scheme will also link to and support the popular Heritage Centre at Wells Maltings and will deliver public events such as heritage well-being days in partnership with Wells Community Hospital Trust, and Conservation Skills Days where people will be able to meet the project team to learn about the conservation skills used to restore both the building and churchyard.

The project will also reduce the building’s carbon footprint by installing secondary glazing to some windows and introducing a cycle stand in the churchyard to encourage visitors to cycle (or walk!) to the church.

Commenting on the award, Revd. Brenda Stewart said “We’re delighted that we’ve received this support and would like to say a huge thanks to National Lottery players. St Nicholas Church has always been such an important building in Wells-next-the-Sea and it’s great to know that we will now be preserving it for future generations of local people and visitors to our town. We’re also very excited about the project’s activities and interpretation, including the habitat conservation and well-being activities planned in the churchyard. We are very grateful that this has been made possible by money raised by National Lottery players.”

Liz Bates, Head of Investment, Midlands & East said: “We are delighted that our funding award will support St Nicholas Church to remain an important heritage building and continue as a vital and vibrant community hub. A huge thanks to National Lottery players for their support of this restoration project and the new activities, that will impact positively on the health and well-being of the people who live in Wells-next-the-Sea and beyond.”

September 2021 Crossfire is a triumph!

After much stopping and starting because of covid restrictions ‘Crossfire’ our community play about the history of Wells took place in the church of St Nicholas on Thursday to Sunday, 2nd-5th September 2021. It has been wonderful to see the church buzzing with activity once the staging was in and we were thrilled that we could finally go ahead. The weather was kind and all of the performances began outside the church and then went inside to hear episodes from the history of the town centring on its parish church of St Nicholas. And quite a lot of folk stayed on afterwards for a drink and burger. This was a wonderful community effort which was much appreciated by capacity audiences.





May 2021 A little bit of normality…

As restrictions lift we’re delighted that Little Fishes has resumed twice a month. We’ve changed days and meet on the 1st and 3rd Thursdays 1.45 – 3.30. So if your child attends pre-school at Wells Primary you can still pop in for chat and a drink and a bun. We’ve also resumed refreshments after worship at Wells on Sunday and Wednesday so if you feel safe doing so do take a seat and you will be served tea or coffee and a biscuit.

Fire Fighters in WellsSeptember 2020 Celebration of Wells Fire and Rescue Service:

In September 2020 we held a very successful Wells Fire and Rescue Service in St. Nicholas churchyard, which was attended by many local people including the Wells fire fighters with their Fire Engine, on what turned out to be a lovely evening. This was the first annual follow up to the launch of our Restoration Project. After the service, thanks to the generosity of Frenchs Fish Shop, who provided delicious fish and chips to the Wells PCC, many of those attending enjoyed a delicious supper and the amazing amount raised, of £458, was donated to the Fire Fighters Charity.


Autumn 2020 National Lottery Heritage Fund Development Phase progressNLHF Banner

In October 2020, as part of the Wells PCC’s Development Phase of our National Lottery Heritage Fund grant we had two days of investigation work carried out on the south aisle roof and medieval tower to establish exactly what restoration work is required when we apply for a Delivery Phase Grant. As you will see, we had to have a high level cherry picker on site for the consultants to access the tower. This enabled detailed inspection of the stonework and four of our bell ringers were on hand so that movement in the structure could be monitored. On the aisle roof three scoffolding towers enabled us to examine the state of the woodwork under the roofing surface.


November 2020 All Souls Service:

Churches Together in Wells and District were glad to be able to go ahead with our annual All Souls service this year, a chance for family and friends of those who have died to remember their loved ones. It should have been at Our Lady Star of the Sea Roman Catholic Church this year but St Nicholas is the biggest space making social distancing easier. The service was led by Fr Tom Goohan and representatives of the different denominations took part in the service and sang in our little choir. The church was floodlit for the occasion and we’re grateful to Vicky Yaxley for this lovely photo.

St Nicholas Wells-next-the-Sea

Our book exchange and children’s area are now open once more for you to enjoy and please take the opportunity to explore the building or relax both inside and out in our pleasant churchyard, a quiet green space away from the busyness of the Quay. Parts of the churchyard are Norfolk Wildlife Trust designated areas.

Our parent and toddler group ‘Little Fishes’ meets twice a month on the 1st & 3rd Thursdays 1.45-3.30pm and Messy Church is on the 2nd Saturday 10.30am-12.3opm.

Do take a look around St Nicholas by using the virtual tour below, and we look forward to seeing you in person. When you visit you will notice a few changes since this was done. Enjoy!

Thunderbolts & Fire

140 years ago, on the night of August 3rd 1879, lightning struck the tower and the entire church burned down, with only the shell of the tower surviving! To celebrate this and also to launch our major restoration appeal we held an exhibition from July 27th to August 11th, 2019 and more events, including a community play Crossfire, are planned. Full details can be found here.

The parish of Wells-next-the-Sea: St Nicholas is committed to the safeguarding of children, young people and adults. We follow the House of Bishops guidance and policies and have our own Parish Safeguarding Officer(s), PSOs. The Diocese of Norwich’s safeguarding pages contain vital links and information including contacts for the Diocesan Safeguarding Advisor (DSA) who advise our PSOs. If you are concerned that a child or adult has been harmed or may be at risk of harm please contact the DSA. If you have immediate concerns about the safety of someone, please contact the police and your local authority Children or Adults Services.

Whilst this site is being completed you can find more details about church services and other events here.