Parish church of New Hunstanton was built in 1865-1869, with north aisle of 1879, by Frederick Preedy, architect of Worcester, for his cousin Henry Le Strange of Hunstanton Hall, at a cost of £3,700. It was built to serve the community of New Hunstanton developed by Henry Le Strange as a seaside resort, following the coming of the railway in 1862.
the church was the site of a protest by members of the Women’s Social and Political Union (WSPU), the militant suffrage organisation formed by Emmeline Pankhurst in 1903. From 1905 WSPU members, known as suffragettes, used direct action in their campaign, beginning with civil disobedience and escalating to include serious criminal damage and bombing. Non-violent direct action remained important and in 1913 the ‘prayers for prisoners’ protests were begun. These took place in churches throughout the country and involved women quietly interrupting church services chanting ‘God Save Mrs Pankhurst’ and praying for other suffragette prisoners. In March 1914 an unknown woman stood up in St Edmund’s Church after the benediction and said ‘Oh, God we beseech thee to lead thy church to a true repentance for Her toleration of the treatment of political prisoners who are fighting for justice and purity, and give Her to see Her grave responsibility in this matter, for Christ’s sake. Amen.’ The gendered language was typical of members of the Church League for Women’s Suffrage.
- Hearing loop