Church to celebrate 150th anniversary

Christ Church Eaton will be celebrating its 150th Anniversary over the weekend of November 25 and 26. 
It is one of the many churches built in response to the huge increase in population during Queen Victoria’s reign.

SPECIAL OCCASION: Christ Church Eaton is getting ready to celebrate its 150th anniversary.  Picture: STUART BEARD PHOTOGRAPHY

In Norwich, the population rose from 37,256 in 1811 to 80,368 in 1871. In response, a huge number of places of worship were built on previously agricultural land where there had been a great influx of people.
Work was began in faith and progressed rapidly; although the monies needed were great – many churches were built and opened before all the monies needed had been secured – including Eaton.
There will be a thanksgiving service at 10am on Sunday, November 26, to which all are welcome. 
The Bishop of Norwich, The Lord Mayor, The Lady Mayoress, and the Sheriff will be in attendance and the service will be followed by sparkling refreshments and nibbles.
A new anthem, Behold! How Good and Joyful it is, by Simon Lole, has been specially commissioned and will be featured. 
A Fantastic Fish Exhibition will be held in the church from November 24-27. Everyone was invited to take part and a huge range of entries have been received from young and old, individuals and groups. Entry to the exhibition is free.

Club to host international football festival

An international festival of youth football, celebrating Norwich’s twin partnerships with Rouen and Koblenz, will be hosted by a Cringleford club next summer.
Cringleford Junior Football Club is organising the event for August 3 and 4 and hundreds of young players will descend on Easton College to take part.
The five-a-side ‘Cringleford Cup’ will draw teams from across the local area, England and Norwich’s twin cities of Rouen in France and Koblenz in Germany. Teams from other countries may also appear.

ON THE BALL: Players from Cringleford Junior Football Club will take taking part in next summer’s tournament.

In total, 768 players from 96 teams, spanning six age groups (under-8 to under-13), are set participate – cheered on by big crowds.

Organisers say the tournament promises and inclusive approach, with boys’, girls’ and mixed teams taking part.

The tournament will start on the Saturday with two groups of eight in each age section. Every team will play a final at the end of the day against the team which finished in the same position in the other group.
Sunday will feature a knockout tournament based on the results from the previous day.

Chris Good, Cringleford Junior Football Club Coach & Tournament Lead, said: “We’re honoured to facilitate bringing together our twin cities through the enjoyment of youth football.
“This is an inclusive tournament for boys, girls, mixed teams, abilities levels and nationalities. The unique format of the tournament provides all players with the opportunity to experience the highs (and sometimes lows) of playing in a final, with the Sunday split into two separate tournaments per age group based on ability, ensuring games are evenly matched to encourage development and enjoyment. It’s set to be a fantastic festival of football.”
The tournament is oversubscribed in all age group except the under-13s.
Organisers would welcome interest from more Norfolk teams, in case of cancellations, and are also looking for additional sponsors for the event.
Cringleford Junior FC chairman Mick Sanders added: “We’re delighted to be hosting this event, and the approach is fully consistent with the Cringleford Junior Football Club philosophy of ‘football for fun’.”
The event, which will run from 9am to 6.30pm on both days, will give young players the opportunity to experience new playing styles and will enhance the ‘twin’ partnerships between Norwich, Rouen and Koblenz.
Bert Bremner, of the Norwich City Twinning Group (Rouen Lead), said: “As the Norwich Rouen Twinning group, we fully support the work of the Cringleford Football Club to have an international football weekend, and welcome youngsters from Rouen.
“In May 2029, Rouen and Norwich will celebrate their 70th anniversary as twinned cities, and we are hoping that Rouen will be the 2028 European Capital of Culture. We feel it is still important to keep and expand the links between our two cities, to encourage links, as individuals, groups, and businesses.
“Over the years links have included archaeologists, architects, artists, choirs, dancers, The Garage, lawyers, medical staff, Morris Dancers, musicians, firefighters, ramblers, rowers, schools, plus a whole variety of sports clubs. And we want the connections between Norwich and Rouen to involve everyone in and around Norwich.
For more information about the event, including sponsorship opportunities, please contact Chris Good at or call 07736 285161. You can also visit the Cringleford JFC Facebook page.

Six hundred reasons to celebrate for Norwich parkrun

Norwich parkrun marked its 600th event in Eaton Park with more than 600 people taking part.

The event has been taking place in Eaton Park every Saturday morning, apart from the Covid lockdown periods, since 2010.

It’s not just aimed at faster runners. Last year parkrun UK launched the ‘parkwalk’ initiative to encourage people to come along and walk the 5k course.
They are encouraged by volunteers and spectators, and they had a very special guest for their landmark event. James Wright, the Lord Mayor of Norwich and Eaton city councillor, had the honour of starting the run.

Event directors Steve Cook and Peter Scott said parkrun was beneficial to people both physically and mentally.

They said: “A number of people find that running or volunteering really helps with mental health and anxiety issues, and other people use parkrun to help with their physical health.”

Peter added: “When you stand at the finish line you can see the triumph on everyone’s face whether they’ve finished in 15 minutes or an hour and 15. It’s a run, not a race and the only person you’re competing against is yourself.”

Norwich parkrun will be joining other parkrun events across the UK to celebrate the 75th anniversary of the NHS on July 8.

They hope to field a team of volunteers made up entirely of current and retired NHS employees, helped in no small way by a large contingent of volunteers from their partner GP practice at Bacon Road.

Norwich parkrun takes place at 9am every Saturday morning.  For further information, visit

Soprano takes centre stage

A Wroxham-based soprano will be taking centre stage at a special concert in Norwich at the weekend.

Katalin Prentice will be the soloist with the Pakefield singers when they present Glory and Grandeur, a concert for organs and choir, and featuring anthems including Mendelssohn’s Hear My Prayer and Buxtehude’s Toccata in F as well as works by Mozart and Mascagni.

“I feel honoured to be invited to sing the soprano solos with the Pakefield Singers under the direction of conductor Vetta Wise and to be a part of this truly magnificent musical project,” said Katalin, who is Hungarian and has lived in the UK for 11 years and in Wroxham since 2015.

A dentist by profession, she stopped working when pregnant with her first daughter – she now has two – and said classical music and singing has always been her passion.

“Shortly after I moved to the United Kingdom I started vocal training with Nan Christie in London, and soon after relocating to Norfolk I met my lovely singing teacher, Vetta Wise, who has been guiding me on my musical journey ever since,” she said. “With her help and support in 2017 I completed the one-year opera course at the Associated Studios Performing Arts Academy in London, gaining a diploma in opera singing. In 2019 I finished my Trinity College ATCL Performers diploma with distinction.”

Complications with both her pregnancies took their toll and she said it has taken her a while to retrain her voice, but she has now been chosen for this important role at St Peter Mancroft on Saturday night.

She also recently took part in two international competitions, winning an honourable mention at Odin International Music Competition and the Grand Prix at the Alpin Triglav 2021 International Music, Dance and Fine Art Competition.

“As a result of winning the competition in July 2022 I performed at the prize winners’ gala concert in one of Europe’s most prestigious concert halls, the Crystal Hall in Rogaška Slatina (Slovenia) representing the United Kingdom,” said Katalin.

The concert is at 7pm and tickets are £12.50, under-16s free. Tickets can be bought on the door or from

Marathon man goes the extra miles for charity

Looking for a challenge to celebrate his 50th birthday, Cringleford man Chris Carter decided to run the London Marathon – and raise vital funds for Age UK Norwich.

Chris Carter with his medal for finishing the London Marathon

After months of hard work, training, and dedication, Chris took on the marathon challenge, completing the course in three hours 42 minutes and raising an amazing £1,400 against a target of £1,000.
Chris, who is co-owner of local home care company Home Instead Norwich, said: “In celebration of my 50th birthday I wanted to challenge myself, and what better way than running my first marathon! “It was a little eventful as I took a tumble 15km in and ended up with cuts and bruises. Fortunately, I’m still young enough to bounce back and got straight back up and carried on.”
Over the last 13 years at Home Instead, Chris said he had the pleasure of working alongside Age UK Norwich, witnessing first-hand the work they do for the local area, and the positive impact they are making.
He added: “It’s an honour to have raised money for such a worthy cause, Age UK Norwich. I’m overwhelmed by all the donations I have received – a big thank you to everyone for the support!”
Age UK Norwich is dedicated to making Norwich an age-friendly City, something Chris was keen to support because his clients benefit from this.
Starting his career as a community pharmacist, Chris has always been an active member of the community. In 2010 he entered the rewarding world of care, opening Home Instead’s Norwich office with his wife Akie.
For more information on the services Home Instead Norwich offer, call 01603 537563 or visit

Lord Mayor James delighted to take on top civic role

James Wright attended his first Lord Mayor’s procession as a toddler sat on the shoulders of his mum.
Now the Eaton councillor has assumed the top civic role himself – with his mum and fellow councillor Caroline Ackroyd appointed as his deputy.
James is leader of the Liberal Democrat group at Norwich City Council and Caroline also represents the party in Eaton. James’s wife Kate will be Lady Mayoress.

CIVIC PRIDE: Lord Mayor James Wright after he became Lord Mayor of Norwich. PHOTO: NORWICH CITY COUNCIL

Speaking at the mayor-making ceremony on May 23, James started by thanking the outgoing Lord Mayor and Sheriff for their hard work and thanked fellow councillors for putting their trust in him.
“Being Lord Mayor is perhaps the greatest honour someone born and bred in our fine city can have bestowed on them and I will do my absolute best to repay that trust,” said James.
He added: “What I have become increasingly aware of as I have grown older is the importance than many people in both Norwich and the immediate suburbs place on the role of our Lord Mayor.
“We only have to step out of this chamber and gaze out of the windows in the Mancroft Room to understand why people are drawn to our fine city; the magnificent Norman Castle – soon to be reborn – standing watch over one of the oldest markets in the country whilst close by we have our cathedrals, our universities, our churches and pubs…and, of course our football stadium…
“But it is, of course, the people that make our city.
“The Lord Mayor should strive to highlight the absolute best in our community, showcasing those organisations and individuals who are working hard to make our city what it is.
“Over the course of the next 12 months I am looking forward, along with the Sheriff, to meeting with the hundreds of thousands of individuals associated with the charity and community groups who enrich the lives of those in our city and make it the truly the special place it is; and in so doing open my eyes to some of the aspects of the city that may well have been hidden from me up until now.”
James also thanked the late Roy Blower, who was one of his predecessors as Lord Mayor.
“A true Norwich boy, Roy exemplified what it was to be Lord Mayor and, as a new councillor back in 2010, Roy was so kind and helpful to me,” said James. “During my various stints as Lord Mayor, he always offered a supportive word and would, I know, be so pleased to see me sat here today.”
Deputy Mayor and proud mum Caroline Ackroyd said: “It’s such a wonderful thing to see your son become Lord Mayor and amazing to be his deputy. It will be my fifth year in this role, but this will definitely be the most special!”
James replaces Dr Kevin Maguire as Lord Mayor and Dr Jan Sheldon replaces Caroline Jarrold as the Sheriff of Norwich.
This year’s Civic Charity appeal is the Norfolk Community Foundation, which is committed to supporting local people, communities and voluntary organisations.
For more information and to donate, visit

Enjoy a dog day afternoon

May 1 will be a BARK holiday this year as pooches will be going on parade at the Overstrand Fun Dog Show.

It’s time to dust off your best collar and put your best paw forward for the highlight of the north Norfolk canine calendar.

Each year more people and their dogs arrive at the Sea Marge Hotel for 12 classes including waggiest tail, look-alike, best rescue, and scruffiest/fluffiest. The Best Village Dog wins the Mickey Sewell Perpetual Cup, named after the show’s original organiser.

Contestants from last year’s show.

There’s also an agility course, stalls, a raffle and cakes and the hotel bar and restaurant will be open.

Dog show regular and helper Paul Cullen said: “It’s a fabulous day out for both dogs and their owners. It’s not Crufts but the competition is fierce. Last year, there were more than 170 dogs and the event raised £1,100 for the village.

“Everyone is welcome to attend: mutts, mongrels, pups, hounds, and pedigrees. You can also bring your dog.”

Classes include a lookalike competition.

The show was started in 2015 by villager Mickey Sewell in collaboration with Overstrand Together, which helps organise events and activities in the village.

Registration starts at 1pm, with the first class at 2pm. General admission is free and each class costs £1 to enter.

Event organiser Bruce Stratton said: “This is great day out for all the family and lots of fun for everyone. All money raised goes back into the Overstrand Together village fund. We hope to see lots of wonderful dogs and their owners here for the Bank Holiday.”

Church gets ready to celebrate the Coronation

An Eaton church is holding a series of events and services to celebration the Coronation of King Charles III.

St Andrew’s Church (pictured) is preparing the mark the historic occasion and is inviting local people to join in with the festivities.
On Coronation Day, Saturday, May 6, some church members are inviting others to their homes to make the special day a social occasion. Anyone who would like to take part in this should get in touch with Margaret Smith (contact details below).
On Sunday, May 7, at 10am, St Andrew’s will hold at Coronation Service followed by a street party.
Music Director Margaret Smith said: “There will be a lively music and a celebratory theme to the service. Afterwards we will enjoy a Coronation celebration cake and coffee in the hall. 
“After that many people may be joining with neighbours for street parties around Eaton, but if your street is not taking part, then please come to our Church Street Party when we are offering a free buffet lunch to church members and folk from the parish at 12.30pm.”
In the evening, at 6.30pm, the church will hold an informal evening worship with the theme of ‘Hope in an Anxious World – Strength: when feeling weary’.
Margaret added: “Monday, May 8 is a Bank Holiday when King Charles has asked us to join The Big Help Out, where we are encouraged to lend a hand at various neighbourhood projects.”
For more information about the Coronation celebrations being held by St Andrew’s, please contact Margaret on 01603 453010 or email