Celebrations to honour town's ancient foundress postponed

St Withburga Festival at St Nicholas Church in Dereham - St Withburga Well. Picture: Matthew Usher.

St Withburga Festival at St Nicholas Church in Dereham - St Withburga Well. Picture: Matthew Usher. - Credit: Matthew usher

A town’s weekend of celebrations, in honour of its ancient foundress, has been postponed due to continuing coronavirus restrictions. 

Dereham and District Team Ministry had hoped to host a Withburga Weekend at the town’s iconic St Nicholas Church on July 9 and 10, but after restrictions failed to ease on June 21, all but one of the planned events have been deferred until September. 

Still to go ahead however will be a children's well dressing picture competition. 

Well dressing is an artform involving the pressing of fresh flowers into a wet clay backing to make pictures.

St Withburga

St Withburga is memorialised in Dereham as the town's foundress. - Credit: Dereham and District Team Ministry

Through the pictures, children from Dereham Church Infants and Dereham Junior Church Academy will illustrate the story of St Withburga, who founded a monastery at Dereham approximately 1300 years ago. 


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The pictures will be displayed in the church on July 9 and 10, with a winning class picture selected from each school.

There will also be a church service at 9.30am on July 11 to celebrate St Withburga.

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The ministry team hopes to host the originally envisioned craft fair, art exhibition, live entertainment and refreshments from September 3 to 5. 

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