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The Father, the Son and the woolly spirit - South Norfolk church knits 50 bible stories

PUBLISHED: 11:24 23 October 2017 | UPDATED: 09:44 24 October 2017

The knitted nativity returns to North Lopham's St Nicholas Church. Jennifer Vere sets up with the help of husband Richard and Irene Bowden.
: Sonya Duncan
Copyright: Archant 2017

The knitted nativity returns to North Lopham's St Nicholas Church. Jennifer Vere sets up with the help of husband Richard and Irene Bowden. : Sonya Duncan Copyright: Archant 2017

ARCHANT EASTERN DAILY PRESS (01603) 772434

When visiting a church, it is common to see some of the bible’s stories told in a range of art forms - from stained glass windows to statues carved from stone.

The knitted nativity returns to North Lopham's St Nicholas Church. Jennifer Vere sets up with the help of husband Richard and Irene Bowden.
: Sonya Duncan
Copyright: Archant 2017The knitted nativity returns to North Lopham's St Nicholas Church. Jennifer Vere sets up with the help of husband Richard and Irene Bowden. : Sonya Duncan Copyright: Archant 2017

But one church in South Norfolk has made biblical stories just that bit softer by creating them out of wool.

St Nicholas Church in North Lopham is hosting its second Knitted Bible Festival with 50 scenes from the bible on display, such as Noah and the Ark and David and Goliath - all of which have been hand knitted throughout the year.

Worship leader Jennie Vere said: “The figures have all been knitted along with the props. We even have turning water into wine with knitted jars and wood inside to stand them up. Lots of people have been involved, not just with knitting but props to go alongside.”

The festival comes a year after the church was targeted by lead thieves, causing around £20,000 worth of damage and possibly ending the chance of the first Bible Knitting Festival that was due to be hosted there that week.

The knitted nativity returns to North Lopham's St Nicholas Church. Jennifer Vere sets up with the help of husband Richard and Irene Bowden.
: Sonya Duncan
Copyright: Archant 2017The knitted nativity returns to North Lopham's St Nicholas Church. Jennifer Vere sets up with the help of husband Richard and Irene Bowden. : Sonya Duncan Copyright: Archant 2017

Members of the St Nicholas Church did not let that stop them, as they made the roof watertight and continued as planned.

Mrs Vere said the festival always intended to return as there were many more scenes to create from the bible.

She said: “The festival is to show how much the bible has to offer with drama, intrigue and love stories - and to show that it isn’t just a dusty old book but it is worth opening.

“It is a real coming together of the village. People who may not feel they would like to come to a church service will come along and learn about the building.”

The knitted nativity returns to North Lopham's St Nicholas Church. Jennifer Vere sets up with the help of husband Richard and Irene Bowden.
: Sonya Duncan
Copyright: Archant 2017The knitted nativity returns to North Lopham's St Nicholas Church. Jennifer Vere sets up with the help of husband Richard and Irene Bowden. : Sonya Duncan Copyright: Archant 2017

Amongst the hard work done by the knitters, the church has been working with insurers, builders and the Diocese of Norwich to repair the damage done by the lead thieves, as well as becoming one of the first in the county to join the Roof Alarm Scheme.

Last year, more than 500 people from across the country attended the free Knitted Bible Festival, with the church expecting many more this year.

The Knitted Bible Festival will run from Wednesday, October 25 October to Monday, October 30 at St Nicholas Church in North Lopham, from 11am to 5pm - except Sunday, when it will open from 12.30pm. Admission is free.


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