St John, Waxham
The interior of St John’s comes as a pleasant surprise as you could be forgiven for thinking it would be to the contrary. On approach the first thing you see are the ruins of the 14th century chancel which has been all but devoured by ivy.
Thanks in part to major restorations carried out in the 19th century, the interior itself is in good order and the current caretakers have added many charming and homely touches. I absolutely love churches like this as you can tell they are very much loved and that someone takes genuine pride in its care and presentation.
The nave is the oldest part of the church, dating from 12th century. It is paved with simple Victorian checkerboard tiles of red and black, adding to the domestic feel of the building. The simple ceiling is painted a pretty cornflower blue which complements the plain cream of the walls.
In the chancel, the form of the vast arch, which once connected the nave to its predecessor, is filled with decalogue boards topped with the words “Glory to God in the highest”. This area is simple but once again it’s the little touches that give it a feeling of warmth and cosiness. In the north wall is a large 16th century memorial to Thomas Wodehouse, who built the neighbouring Waxham Barn, which is the largest of its kind in the region. Wodehouse was twice a member of parliament for Thetford between 1639 and 1640 and succeeded his father Philip as the second baronet.