East Harling, St Peter and St Paul

Welcome to this friendly and inviting church, which is steeped in history and draws visitors from around the country.

East Harling Church is a hidden treasure in the heart of Breckland. St Peter and St Paul's has stood at the centre of village life since at least the thirteenth century.
Our parish church offers celebration in times of joy, and solace in times of loss and challenge. We pray that our faith in God speaks through our worship and our lives lived in this community.

The beautiful building we see today contains many medieval treasures including the East Window described by David King as “The most important collection of 15th-century glass by Norwich glass painters outside that city.”

The church is open every day for visitors: 10am - 4pm  April - September

                                                                  10am - 3pm  October - March



History of St Peter & St Paul's

East Harling is mentioned in the Doomsday Book and there has been a Church on the site since the 11th century. The present building, which is Listed Grade I,  was largely rebuilt from around 1447-1449, funded by Anne Harling and her first two husbands Sir William Chamberlain and Sir Robert Wingfield.

The church with its distinctive spire can be seen from some distance away. The tower, dating from 1490, “looks as if it has been telescoped into its base to avoid a thunderstorm. Light a fuse under it and it would rise like a rocket” states Simon Jenkins, author of England’s Thousand Best Churches. It is capped by the distinctive openwork lantern base from which rises the tall tapering spire of oak covered in lead.

The last embellishments added to the tower were the figures and carved work around the parapet containing the Garter and Badge of Lord John Scrope, Anne Harling’s third husband.

You can see parts of the older building, which date from the early 14th-century, the main door and in the lower stages of the tower - the tower arch and belfry window. Other survivals of the earlier building include the lower part of the south wall, the Harling tomb in the Lady Chapel, the Lady Chapel screen, the narrower of the two windows, and the doorway in the south wall of the Chancel.

The font is pre-reformation and possibly survives from the earlier building. It has a 17th Century cover.


East Harling Choir

Here at East Harling, we are fortunate to have a four-part choir, who enjoy singing beautiful, sacred anthems, psalms, songs and hymns, both traditional and modern, under the expert guidance of our musical director.  We sing each Sunday, supporting the congregation.  We practice each Friday evening from 7.15 pm. Please don't worry if you cannot commit to every Sunday, as we understand that people have other commitments, family, work, hobbies etc. Just give it a try!

As well as at our own church, we also enjoy occasionally joining with other churches in our Benefice, particularly for special services.

We are always open for new voices, so please come on a Friday and be assured of a warm welcome and some vocal exercise.  There is no audition, just come along to enjoy singing with others.  It's very rewarding and you'll make new friends too.

NB. During the month of August the choir have a well deserved break.


All Age Worship

On the first Sunday of the month at 11am we have a non- Eucharistic service which is informal and aimed at embracing, as the name implies, everyone – the old, the young and those in-between, families bringing children for Baptism, those who are curious to find out more and those who may feel lonely - everyone.

The service is planned and led by a Ministry Team and often includes a drama as well as readings and a reflection. The music is provided by both the Music Group and the Organ accompanying a combination of modern and traditional hymns.


Harling Praise

Harling Praise is a joint service between the Methodist Church and the Parish Church in East Harling. It takes place on the 3rd Sunday of the month at 6.30 pm and is held alternately at the Methodist Chapel and St Peter & St Paul’s Church.

This is an informal service combining a mixture of traditional and modern songs and hymns with words and images on the screen. Music is interspersed with readings, reflections, and prayers.

These services offer an opportunity for people of varying traditions within the Christian faith to worship together and celebrate all that is good in our diversity.

Soul Cafe

Soul Café, as its name suggests, is a café style service. It takes place on the 1st Sunday of each month at 6 pm. In the winter months, it is held in the Old School Hall and in the Summer months, at St Peter & St Paul’s Church.

It is an ecumenical service planned and led by a Ministry Team of clergy and lay leaders from the Methodist and Anglican churches. There is musical accompaniment to a mix of modern and traditional songs and hymns provided by the Music Group with words and images on the screen.

At this service, which is followed by a shared Sunday Tea, we aim to feed folk ‘body & soul’.  It is popular across all age groups and has become well established over the years as a platform for teaching, prayer and praise, and great fellowship.



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