Norfolk Saints’ Way By Boat


Jonah from the 13thC Carrow Psalter. Copyright Walters Art Museum

In a reversal of the Story of Jonah,  7th Century missionary/monks answered God’s call!  instead of sailing away in the opposite direction, they crossed the seas to bring Christian good news to East Anglia.  From bases around the estuary where the Broads rivers flowed into the sea, they pushed up-stream to preach the gospel. The results of their labours can be seen in heritage churches that line the river banks.

600 years later, the sisters of Carrow Abbey, down river from Norwich,  where the rivers  Yare and Wensum divide,  created the Carrow Psalter (which you can browse on line) .  Mother Julian of Norwich, whose anchorite’s cell was just up-stream, had connections to Carrow Abbey

Today’s pilgrim can follow in their wake (and their footsteps) through the Broads National Park; from (what today is)  Bredon Water and its’ surrounding  green wilderness of mud banks and marshes;  to the bustling City  of Norwich with its own Anglican and Roman Catholic  cathedrals that are the centre of the Church’s Mission today.

Boats are best hired from yards on the River Yare (Brundall, Reedham, Loddon, Thorpe St. Andrew) and not the Northern Broads.


Unless otherwise stated, all moorings mentioned here are public, Broads Authority Moorings.
Burgh Castle – Regrettably, their are no longer any public moorings at Burgh Castle. A sail past may be the best option.
Great Yarmouth Yacht Station
The Berney Arms (the pub is now sadly closed) with fine views of  Burgh Castle’s  Roman remains and in the midst of the nature reserve.
Reedham – For a visit to Reedham Church, St. Felix’s base.  There are Broads Authority moorings,  but they tend to be very busy.  It is sometimes hard to get a berth!  As an alternative, moor at The Reedham Ferry (where moorings can be reserved)
Loddon has good moorings.  The church here was founded here by St. Felix and has been rebuilt on several occasions.  The present church has a painting of William of Norwich  and a vandalised seven sacrament font.  A longer walk will take you to Heckingham, St Gregory
Hardley Cross – allows a short walk to Hardley Church
Langley – Close to the site of Langley Abbey . This is in Mark Cocker’s “Crow Country”
Rockland – opens a possibility of a circular walk in Mark Cocker’s Crow Country  and  a visit to Wheatfen Nature Reserve
Brundall – Close by St. Laurence’s Church  and Brundal Church Fen Nature Reserve
Postwick – The home parish of St. Bathild ?
SurlinghamSurlingham Ferry House pub has moorings, good food, a welcoming landlady and a  great team backing her up. Overnight camping can be arranged if you phone in advance. You can also phone to reserve a mooring.  Pilgrims can walk the circular route to Surlingham Church  and Church Marsh Nature Reserve from here.
Commissioners Cut (Thorpe St. Andrew) for Thorpe Mashes Nature Reserve
Norwich Yacht Station

A possible itinerary – Richard and Margaret Woodham’s voyage in June 2019