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.
In the current situation most of our activities are suspended but the building is now open daily 10.00-4.00 and we have resumed one Sunday service at 9.30am rotating around the group and a weekly 10.00am Wednesday service at Wells. Recordings of services or live-streams will continue to be uploaded onto our YouTube Channel. Please see the side bar for more details and for information about the other ways in which we are continuing to be active in prayer and worship.
Under normal circumstances there would be self-service refreshments, a book exchange and children’s area. These are currently not available. But you can still 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.
Other activities, including a summer concert season, guided history walks and activities during Carnival Week including an ‘Open Tower’, a chance to have a go at bell-ringing, our parent and toddler group ‘Little Fishes’ meeting twice a month and Messy Church on the 2nd Saturday of each month will hopefully resume in due course.
For now you can 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!
Restoration Appeal Update: Good news! Press release 20/3/20
Well, Well, Wells! The Restoration of St. Nicholas Church, Wells-next-the-Sea secures National Lottery support
Wells Parochial Church Council has received initial support from the National Lottery Heritage Fund for Well, Well, Wells! The Restoration of St. Nicholas Church, Wells-next-the-Sea. This has been made possible by National Lottery players. The project aims to restore the building, which is on the Heritage England At Risk Register, and will also deliver innovative new activities and interpretation of the heritage of the building, churchyards, enabling us to forge stronger links with the wider community.
Development funding of £39,200 has been awarded by The National Lottery Heritage Fund to help Wells Parochial Church Council progress their plans to apply for a full National Lottery grant at a later date.
In addition to restoring St. Nicholas Church we plan to establish it as a heritage learning hub in partnership with other providers across the town. The project will also deliver a new interpretative scheme linked to the successfully established scheme at Wells Maltings and the “Wonderful Wells” Town Trail, which uses the church as its hub but is also available at multiple outlets – including Wells Harbour. As part of the project, a new wellbeing conservation area will be created within the churchyard, ‘hard hat’ days will be held, and training programmes for teachers, church volunteers and town guides will be delivered. People of all ages will be involved in the creation and delivery of activities, ensuring that heritage is better explained and interpreted and that new skills and learning have been achieved.
St. Nicholas Church is a focal point for the local community, used for church services, as well as many community, school, and concert groups. The church is a Grade II* building situated in the central Conservation Area of the town of Wells-next-the-Sea. Originally built in the 13th century, with a large scale restoration taking place around 1460, it was destroyed by a devastating fire in 1879. The only part to survive was the medieval tower and the main body of the church was re-built in 1883.
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 are a step closer to preserving it for future generations of local people and visitors to our town. We’re also very excited about the community projects that are being planned and developing our churchyard as a green lung for all.”
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.