We are part of the larger parish of Ingham, Ampton and Great and Little Livermere and we all worship together around the three churches. St Peter's's is a beautiful 13th century, grade 1 listed, thatched church which is open every day. The roof was rethatched in the 1980’s and the ridge was redone in 2018. Inside the church are wall paintings, a three decker pulpit and one of the finest organs in the area.
Great Livermere has two famous sons: William Sakings, Falconer to Charles I, Charles II, and James II, who is commemorated in the village sign and buried in the churchyard and Montague Rhodes James, son of a 19th century incumbent who went on to become the provost of Eton College and later King’s College Cambridge. He was an historian, antiquarian writer and biblical scholar, as well as the originator of the English ghost story and many of his stories were set in the village. There is a commemorative plaque to him inside the church.
There is a leaflet about the building available in the church as well as postcards and notelets available for sale.
The church is open daily in daylight hours.
The parish of Ingham with Ampton and Great and Little Livermere is a united parish covering four villages with three parish churches, two of which are in regular use.
Ingham is the largest village with a population of approx. 400. The A134 Bury St Edmunds to Thetford road divides the village, with the pub, shop and church on one side and the majority of the (mostly post war) housing on the other. There has been a recent new development adding 25 houses, mostly rental properties. In a recent survey we discovered that there are 42 businesses registered in the village, these include a large farm and haulage business, a small business park and a number of self-employed people working from home.
Great Livermere has about 190 people in a mixture of estate, council and private housing, with a large farm and a game shooting business in the village. It also has a recently refurbished village hall which is well used and is a focus for village social activities.
Ampton has a population of about 70 and is an estate village with the owners living at Ampton Hall.
Little Livermere is also part of the Ampton Estate and is a very disparate village with about 30 people in estate and council houses. Little Livermere church is now in ruins.
In the whole parish, those who are employed mostly work outside the villages in Bury St Edmunds, Thetford or further afield. Many of our residents, particularly in Ampton and the Livermeres, are retired or unwaged.
Ingham church building is used both as place of worship and as a community space, the only one the village has and, in addition to some of the Church run activities outlined below, it also hosts a successful monthly community café, serving a hot three-course lunch to over 30 people, and a weekly “Cuppa ‘n Chat” to reach out to people feeling isolated.
On three Sundays in each month, services alternate between Ingham and Great Livermere churches with about half the congregation moving between the churches. Ampton is only used occasionally for Sunday services.
Common Worship Morning Prayer is said on a Friday morning in each of the churches by rotation and the one in Ampton is particularly well attended.
There is a monthly Sm@11 (Sunday morning at 11) service at Ingham, an all age service which has a gifted and inventive lay led planning team and which attracts people who do not come to other services. Attendance is usually over 30.
Messy Church is held four times a year in Ingham Church, attracting about 10 children and 16 adults. With no schools in the parish we find it a challenge to build relationships with children and families.
Special occasions such as Remembrance Sunday, Mothering Sunday and Harvest are used as opportunities to attract people who do not come regularly and we continue to grow the fringe of Church life in various ways – through pastoral contact, due to funerals or baptisms, through personal friendships and social gatherings, using every opportunity we can to provide opportunities for relationships to develop in a relaxed environment.
The Ingham coffee mornings, held in the church, are very successful and much appreciated.