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South Norfolk church starts digital graves project 

An historic South Norfolk church has embarked on a project to digitize all the information from its graveyard and make it available online.

Jo Sale, a member of the 210-year-old Carleton Rode Baptist Church, has begun a project to digitise all the information from the graveyard and make it accessible on the church web site at www.carletonrodebaptistchurch.org.uk


Steven Halstead, from the church, said: “Included in the record is a downloadable plan of the graveyard, together with photos of each memorial stone, plaque etc and copy of the inscription. The database is searchable so information is easy to find.


“We hope that in this day of increased interest in our ancestry that this resource will be of benefit to those doing such research or for anybody who just wants to look up where their loved ones rest.”


The land to build the church was given by John Barnard resident of Bunwell in 1811. He was one of the original members of the church and is buried in the churchyard. The church was originally established by a group of men who attended Diss Baptist Church but wanted to ensure residents of Carleton Rode and Bunwell could worship according to Particular Baptist principles without having to travel to Diss. The church became independent in 1812.

The original church building was a timber frame construction with brick cladding.


Meanwhile the church has also converted a Christmas stable scene outside it into an Easter display of the Passion of Jesus.


Steven said: “Our Christmas Tableau wasn’t taken down after Christmas because of lockdown and bad weather. But God had another plan which we were unaware of.  One of our members Pam Halstead, had it on her heart to utilise the structure to create an Easter Tableau which is now on display outside our chapel.


“The road alongside the church, although a country lane, is well used by the local community and our hope is that the Tableau will cause people to pause from their busy lives and consider again the real meaning of Easter, and the Good News it heralds.”


Pictured above is the graveyard at Carleton Rode Baptist Church and, below the Easter Tableau.


Keith Morris, 08/04/2021

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