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Beguines to Butterflies; capturing community spirit

September 16, 2023 @ 11:00 am - 2:00 pm


Discover how the Beguines of Norwich helped the sick, the poor and the dying during the 15th Century. Join us for storytelling, interactive activities and meet the Beguine’s modern counterparts, including our Butterfly volunteers.

Beguine communities were popular across Europe, but much less so in England. Norwich is home to the only Beguine community in England for which we have clear evidence, where they were based on Elm Hill. Join us to find out how this movement of women found creative ways to dedicate their time to God and charity whilst remaining in their communities rather than nunneries.

Actors and activities for adults and children alike will bring Beguine stories to life, shed light on activities they undertook and the medical conditions they would have been familiar with. Over 500 years later, local people continue to give their time to support others in their community when they are unwell. Learn how modern health and care volunteers evoke the spirit of the Beguines in Norwich and Norfolk in a variety of innovative and interesting roles.

This event is organised by the NHS Norfolk and Waveney Integrated Care Board, kindly hosted by St George, Tombland. This session is facilitated with the support of Luke Daly, MA Medieval History, commencing a PhD at the UEA autumn 2023.