We are a small worshhipping community, but very friendly and very well supported by our villagers. We hold a monthly Coffee Morning at Sapiston Village Hall that is extremely well attended and greatly appreciated. Our lovely church is set in the middle of the village, just off the A1088 Ixworth to Thetford road, and next to the village school. Some of us are school Governors and we are very proud of our school and its Head Lauren Moore who will be ordained in the summer.
Mentioned in the Domesday search of 1086 it has been the focal point of spiritual life in the village for all the years since. Mostly medieval, it is a building of mixed periods and architectural styles - the result of care over the centuries. The 15th century south porch with its flushwork (panelling in stone and knapped flints), and its east and west windows, protects the Norman entrance from the English weather. The core of the nave incorporates Norman masonry too, although many changes have taken place in its lifetime. Until 1863 the church was thatched with reeds, then soon after it was tiled. Re-tiled in 1910, it was then 106 years later re-tiled again in 2016.
The tower was probably added in the 14th century and contains 3 bells - the tenor weighs about 8 cwt., the second is a pre-Reformation bell by Brasyer, and the treble was cast by John Draper in 1600. These were re-hung at the time of the Millenium and are now chimed, but not rung. Just inside the south door is a 14th century octagonal font with beautiful carving. The once medieval cover, bequeathed by a local, John Davy, in 1487 was replaced in 1889 to commemorate the Jubilee of the then rector, the Revd. William Hind.
On the north wall is a 20th century brass plaque to Robert Bloomfield, born near the church in 1766. From a very poor family, he went to London at the age of 15 to learn the trade of shoemaking. He loved poetry, and started to write his own, working on what was to become "The Farmers Boy", published in 1800. It sold 30,000 copies, a huge number in those days. He was respected by London society and by the Prince Regent. Sadly his publisher became bankrupt and Robert died in 1832 a sick and impoverished man.
The stained glass window on the north side was installed to mark the start of the third millennium and the Queen's Golden Jubilee. It was designed by Pippa Blackall AMGP of Oxborough, and subscribed by local people. It shows the Holy Spirit and creation at the top, and flows down showing local flora, fauna and aspects of life in the parish at that time. It also shows the Coat of Arms of the Duke of Grafton, our patron, and that of RAF Honington which played such a huge part during the Second World War, and is now the home of the RAF Regiment.
All Saints church has been loved and cared for by generations of Honington people, and we hope you will visit and enjoy it as we do.
The church is open every day.
The parish of Honington & Sapiston is, historically, two Suffolk "estate" villages, separated by the River Blackbourne, which retained their separate identities well into the 20th century, each with its own simple medieval church, school, pub, post office, shop and bakery. In Honington the excellent school and pub remain.
Not so many years ago, the prosperity of the two villages was integral with the Euston Estate but now, although strong links remain, very few parishioners are in estate employment. Within our community, which numbers about 450 people in 190 houses, we have professionals, artisans, agricultural workers and civil employees of the adjacent RAF Station.
After a great deal of time and effort by the village hall committee, a lovely new village hall was built in 2014. It serves the many community organisations and their events: Church soup lunches in winter, coffee mornings, the W.I., art and camera groups, the Parish Council, indoor bowls, Over 60s monthly games club and the annual village show. The recently re-opened pub "The Fox", also contributes to the varied amenities we have in our parish. Our monthly village newsletter informs everyone of the various activities.
The combined parish of Honington and Sapiston was established in 1972, when St. Andrews, Sapiston was declared redundant, its care transferred to the Redundant Churches Trust, now called the Churches Conservation Trust. Although no longer the parish church, St. Andrews continues to have its place in the community, with permission from The Trust for a few services in it during the year, mainly for the Easter, Harvest and Christmas festivals.
We hold three different services a month in Honington church and join others at Ixworth church on the second Sunday. During the year we have Harvest, Christingle and Carol services, all of which are well-supported We are fortunate in having two organists living in the village.
Villagers support church events such as soup lunches, coffee mornings, harvest lunch, the historic churches trust cycle ride (Ride and Stride), etc., and although some are seldom to be counted at services, willingly contribute to the life of the church through its events.
Particularly noteworthy among this involvement is the success of our annual country fair at Euston Park - the Rural Pastimes Event - which was formed in 1991. Started as a fund raiser for some repairs to All Saints, this event, run entirely by volunteers, attracts much support and help from the adjacent villages of Barnham, Euston, Fakenham Magna and Troston, and has become a well-known feature of the summer calendar. To date over £500,000 has been raised and shared between our local St. Nicholas Hospice and five of the parish churches involved in the event. Over the years, the contributions All Saints has received, helped us re-tile the nave and chancel roofs in 2016. It is an example of a church involved activity which would be impossible without strong local community participation. We take some pride in its success.