Benedictine and Diocesan Structure


Our parish falls within the Diocese of East Anglia and extends from Haddiscoe in the north to Brampton in the south, and from Barnby in the east to Kirby Cane in the west.

Links to Downside Abbey

Other pages in this section give a brief  history of our parish and it is clear we had significant responsibilities to the Benedictines of Downside – as the Order owned the grounds on which the church, school and presbytery were built.

In 2021, faced with a fall in vocations, the Downside community decided they could no longer maintain the supply of priests to their two Suffolk parishes.  They therefore agreed to transfer all their property and responsibilities to the Diocese of East Anglia.  At the time of writing, (2021/2022) we are awaiting the completion of the legal affairs relating to the properties and the various Trust Deeds that are in existence.

Our Priest (Fr Martin Gowman)is a member of the Downside community and he will remain with us, at least until the transfer is completed.

For those interested in the history of the Benedictine Order, the Benedictine web site is at

Diocesan Authority

Our Bishop, Right Reverend Alan Hopes, BD, AKC, lives at The White House, Poringland, where the Diocesan offices are also located.  Our cathedral is St John the Baptist on Norwich.

The Diocesan web site is at

Church law gives the Bishop authority over the pastoral activities we undertake, as well as responsibility for the additional services provided on a Diocesan level – education being the most important.

As a parish, we rely on the Diocese to supply our Priest and Deacon(s) .

Financial Implications

Our principal financial responsibility to the Diocese, is to maintain the buildings and grounds to an appropriate standard.  We are also required to seek approval for any alterations or additions we may wish to make to the properties.

We are also subject to various Diocesan levies for education and central activities and charitable works.  In addition, our rota of Second Collections is laid down by the Bishop.  The past, current and potential need for Diocesan clergy, also makes us liable for certain levies relating to their formation and care in retirement.

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