Some General and Historical Items of Interest

Theberton Church has a colourful recent history, some of it connected more recently with the Doughty Family of Theberton. C.M. Doughty, the author of Arabia Deserts also wrote the fascinating "Chronicles of Theberton".  

Smuggling seems to feature although there seems to be no evidence to support the legend that during the 18th century smugglers hid their contraband behind the church high altar? And in the 1940's one wonders how the Priest-in-Charge, the Rev. Van Cooten transported a harmonium to "the Sluice" for the occasional Sunday Evening Service when people lived in that area?

Col. William Light, who fought with the Duke of Wellington in the Peninsular War, and who as Surveyor General founded and planned Adelaide, South Australia, spent part of his childhood at Theberton Hall with the Doughty family and worshipped in this Church. His house (now demolished) in Thebarton (sic) a suburb of Adelaide, was so named after this village. Since the 1970's residents of Thebarton and Adelaide, have generously contributed to repairs of the church - notably in 1979 paying for restoration of the fine door. Plaques in the church, and a display in the vestry of Co!. Light memorabilia, together with photos of visiting Adelaide dignitaries, illustrate connections between the two communities (which in 1984 became officially 'twinned': the occasion was suitably elebrated at a Harvest Supper that year in South Australian wine, also kindly donated from that State).

Gifts from parishioners, or in memory of same, in recent years have included - rear altar curtains, flower pedestals, altar rail, and carpeting in the aisles. Some items have also been made, donated or repaired by parishioners, such as hassocks and kneelers and frame for list of Rectors.

We hope that you have enjoyed the beauty of this ancient House of God, parts of which have stood for 800 years. Please pray for the priest and people here, and help them maintain it for the use and enjoyment of future generations by giving a contribution (however small) towards its upkeep.

The Registers of the church date back to the year 1548.

Following formation of St. Edmundsbury and Ipswich Diocese in 1914, prior to which Theberton was within Norwich Diocese, records of clergy covering an interregnum include:-

1947 H.C. Van Cooten, M.A. curate-in-charge (attached to Leiston).
1950 D.W. Mowbray, curate-in-charge (attached to Leiston)

1985 Union of Benefices and New Rector

In February 1985, the Benefice of 'Kelsale-cum-Carlton, Middleton-cum-Fordley, and Theberton with Eastbridge' was formed, and the Rev. P.I. Burgoyne, OBE, QHC, BSc, RN, appointed as Rector.


The living of Theberton was originally vested in the Crown, apart from a brief period when it was linked with the Abbey of Leiston. But as from 1985, patronage for the new benefice is to alternate between the Diocese, the Crown, and the Church Patronage Trust.


The existing Old Rectory (probably not the first) became a private residence when the 'new' Rectory was built in the early 1920's. In 1985 the 'new' Rectory and garden were sold by the Diocese for private development.