Babybasics – Duchess of Cambridge Volunteers at Dersingham

On Tuesday 4 of August HRH The Duchess of Cambridge launched a new initiative with Baby Basics, Little Village and Abernecessities, following on from a private volunteering visit to her local branch of the national Baby Basics charity at St Nicholas’ Church in Dersingham

In May, The Duchess of Cambridge expressed a desire to see what happened “at the sharp end” of this organisation that supports expectant or new mothers.

Maggie Anderson Co-Lead of Baby Basics West Norfolk explains: “The Duchess requested to volunteer with myself and a Health Professional to build a Moses Basket, ready to be delivered to a mum in need. During the visit, she asked lots of questions and thoroughly enjoyed herself. Whilst it was exciting, because of social distancing requirements, it took a lot of organising and numerous telephone calls to ensure this private visit could take place.”

Following on from this in June, at the Duchess’ request, HRH met with two mothers and their babies who had previously received a filled Baby Basics Moses Basket. Over an informal afternoon tea, the Duchess heard their stories and how Baby Basics had helped them when they needed it most.

The Duchess of Cambridge said: “Over recent months, I have heard from families who have been supported by baby banks through the most difficult of times and I have been deeply moved by their stories. Having somewhere to turn to for support is important for all families, and baby banks work every day, up and down the country, to provide immediate, tangible and practical help for parents and carers when they are most in need.

The Revd Mark Capron Rector of St Nicholas Church Dersingham said: “It is wonderful that HRH has chosen to support this local Christian Charity. The Duchess is aware that sadly there are many babies who arrive into the world where there is so little. The Baby Basics Moses basket offers an expression of God’s love and hope to new and precious lives as they begin their journey in this world; a journey’s beginning that to some degree echoes Jesus who was born in a humble place, being laid in a manger. The Duchess of Cambridge’s involvement is will raise the profile of the wonderful work done by Baby Basics, and in doing so will support all those who need it most.”

On hearing of the Duchess’ care and involvement with Baby Basics, The Bishop of Norwich – The Rt Revd Graham Usher said: “I am delighted that HRH The Duchess of Cambridge has supported the outreach work of St Nicholas’ Church in Dersingham by filling a Moses basket. The arrival of a new baby should be a time of joy and delight, but for some women, it can be a time of huge vulnerability. I pray that the gift of a basket of items will support them and encourage them so that they can delight in the remarkable gift of a new life.”

Baby banks aim to support and empower families by ensuring every child has the essential items they need to thrive. In the UK, they are powered primarily by volunteers and typically run on professional referral from services such as health visitors, midwives and social workers.


St Felix Festival – May 2020

image of st felix
This artwork of St Felix can be seen in Ingoldisthorpe Church

Have you heard of St Felix?

In May 2020 the parish churches of Dersingham, Anmer, Ingoldisthorpe and Shernborne will be hosting a St Felix Festival, with a variety of events to enjoy throughout the four parishes.

Why? St Felix brought the Christian faith to these very shores in about AD630 and then had seventeen years of fruitful ministry, becoming the first Bishop of East Anglia. St Felix is referred to as St Felix of Burgundy and he came to this country by boat. Due to adverse weather he was driven ashore and landed at Babingley Creek before travelling inland and coming first to Shernborne.

St Felix died on the 8th March AD647 and is buried at Dunwich. The port town of Felixstowe is named after him and there are six churches dedicated to his memory in North Yorkshire and in Norfolk. The remains of a church to his name can be seen across the fields at Babingley, although the land is privately owned.

image of the ruined church of st felix
The ruins of St Felix, Babingley. Since this photo was taken much of the ivy has been cleared from the building

The St Felix Festival will be held between the 15th and 31st May 2020 and there are a number of events planned over the two-week period. These will include a lecture on St Felix and early Saints by a university lecturer, paper raft racing for children (and big kids!) on the Babingley River and a prayer pilgrimage in the footsteps of St Felix. The new Bishop of Norwich, the Right Reverend Graham Usher will lead a special service at St Peter and St Paul’s Church in Shernborne, to celebrates Felix’s achievements for the Gospel.

A website dedicated to the St Felix Festival is under development and will be going live in the New Year. We will also post news updates about the Festival here on the St Nicholas Church website. Make a note of the Festival dates 15th – 31st May 2020. There will be plenty going on for the young and not so young!