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Norwich community spirit, past and present

Beguines to Butterflies, an event capturing community spirit in Norwich from the 15th Century to today, will take place at St George’s Church on Saturday, September 16. Peter Bending reports.

Discover how the Beguines, a Christian lay religious order, helped the sick, the poor, and the dying in Norwich and meet their modern counterparts volunteering in hospitals and communities today.


“We are hosting the event as part of Heritage Open days in September to highlight the wonderful work that the Beguines did in late medieval Norwich,” said Jules Alderson from Norfolk and Waveney Integrated Care Board.


The day will feature actors and interactive activities to bring stories of the Beguines of Norwich to life.


“Norwich is home to the only Beguine community in England for which we have clear evidence, where they were based on Elm Hill,” said Jules.


“Join us to find out how this movement of women found creative ways to dedicate their time to God and charity whilst remaining in their communities rather than nunneries.”


Over 500 years later, local people still dedicate their time to support those who are unwell. The event will show how modern health and care volunteers evoke the spirit of the Beguines in Norwich and Norfolk in a variety of innovative and interesting roles.


The event is organised with the support of Luke Daly, MA Medieval History, who is commencing a PhD at the UEA this autumn.

Saturday September 16

11:00am – 2:00pm

St George’s Church, Tombland, 19 Princes Street, Norwich, Norfolk, NR3 1AF


Find out more at heritageopendays.org.uk


Peter Bending, 12/08/2023

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