Stalham police station transformed into an Orthodox church


A priest who once built the smallest church in the UK is now adding an exotic spectacle to the skyline of a Broads town.

The golden dome of St Fursey’s, a church under construction on Yarmouth Road in Stalham, glowed on Thursday morning (23 September) as builders continued to work inside.

The building, which was once the town’s police station, is in the process of being converted and extended under the direction of Father Steven Weston.

Work continues at St Fursey’s, an Orthodox Christian chapel on Yarmouth Road in Stalham.
– Credit: Daniel Hickey

The 73-year-old served as an Anglican priest for 20 years, but left in 1998 after being disappointed with the ideals of the church. He then established his own parish, St Fursey, based on Orthodox Christian teachings.

As the congregation grew from three to just under 30, he built a small 18-by-13-foot chapel in his back garden in 2012.

Four years later, the fledgling parish bought the old Stalham Police Station and work began on the church in June this year.

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Father Weston said, “I can’t really get over it. That’s wonderful.

When he was little his parents were devout Anglicans and the family attended church every Sunday. “I used to imagine being an architect. I used to build model churches as a hobby, ”said Father Weston.

“I thought I was an architect when I was a teenager, but I was also thinking about ordination.”

Ultimately he served the Church of England in Essex and later in Great Yarmouth.

Father Steven Weston outside St Fursey's Church on Yarmouth Road in Stalham.

Father Steven Weston outside St Fursey’s Church on Yarmouth Road in Stalham.
– Credit: Daniel Hickey

In the early 1980s, however, the church he attended as a child was demolished.

“It was a very sad experience. At the back of my mind was the idea of ​​replacing the church that was demolished with this one.”

St Furseys Stalham Church

The interior of the dome above St Fursey Orthodox Church on Yarmouth Road in Stalham.
– Credit: Daniel Hickey

Fulfilling his childhood dream, Father Weston designed the new church with its golden dome, blue roof and white walls, based on the plan of a 4th century church excavated in Filchester.

The team that brings the church to life is made up of Tony and TJ Day, the builders of Caister, and carpenter Alan Brown.

The golden dome of St Fursey's Church in Stalham.

The golden dome of St Fursey’s Church in Stalham.
– Credit: Daniel Hickey

Tony Day said it was the first time he had built a church. “Placing the dome was a bit of a challenge,” he added.

Father Weston said he hopes to celebrate the services inside the new church by Christmas this year.

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