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Complaints about people having sex outside church sparks extra police patrols

PUBLISHED: 06:00 01 July 2020 | UPDATED: 09:18 01 July 2020

All Saints Church, Rackheath. 
Photo: Bill Smith

All Saints Church, Rackheath. Photo: Bill Smith

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Land outside a remote Norfolk church has become a meeting point for people having sex, leading to complaints from visitors and more police patrols.

All Saints Church, Rackheath. 
Photo: Bill SmithAll Saints Church, Rackheath. Photo: Bill Smith

The land opposite All Saints Church, off Sloe Lane outside Rackheath, has been used by people meeting for sex for several years, according to some complaints left online.

One visitor to the church said she was chased by a man in March after tending to a grave.

Norfolk police said it was taking action.

The woman, who did not want to be named, said: “Just before lockdown I was visiting a grave. I noticed other cars in the car park but nobody in the graveyard.”

All Saints Church outside Rackheath. Photo: Google StreetviewAll Saints Church outside Rackheath. Photo: Google Streetview

She said when she returned to her car she saw two men performing a sex act and other men watching a couple having sex.

“I had to run to my car as a man chased me, asking me if I wanted some,” she said.

She said she reported it at the time. She also called for access to the site to be restricted.

The remote, 14th century church has not been used for services since the 1970s, but people can still visit the graves and the building, which is under the care of the Norfolk Churches Trust.

Chief inspector Kersty Brooks said police were taking action. Photo: Norfolk ConstabularyChief inspector Kersty Brooks said police were taking action. Photo: Norfolk Constabulary

Other people have also reported online being harassed at the church.

A photographer said four years ago on photo-sharing site Flickr that he was approached by a man there.

Another photographer wrote 10 months ago about their visit and said: “All I wanted to do was take shots of the beautiful scenery. So sad as this is such a beautiful church in the middle of nowhere and no I won’t be going back.”

And a third person wrote one month ago on Flickr that she and her daughter had to cycle away quickly after seeing two men.

On one Norfolk blog about the church, other visitors also reported being harassed at the site.

A review for the church on Google praises the “stunning” building but warns visitors to take care.

Chief Inspector Kersty Brooks said: “We are aware that members of the community in Rackheath and visitors to the All Saints church in the area have raised concerns regarding inappropriate behaviour.

“We are working in partnership with Broadland District Council to resolve the issue by increasing patrols, speaking with those found at the location and offering advice.”


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