Mautby stands in one of the more remote and open parts of Norfolk. It is a surprise that Yarmouth is less than five miles away. It has never been more than a very small agricultural village, but Margaret Mautby, who married John Paston, son and heir of the judge Sir William Paston, never forgot whence she came. She returned there after her husband’s death, and when she made her will in 1481, she asked to be buried in the south aisle of Mautby church, leaving detailed instructions about the marble stone that was to be laid upon her grave three years later.

The aisle is gone now — it was ruined by the eighteenth century — but the rest of this round-towered and thatched church is in a good state. There is a ledger slab to Edward Boys, a seventeenth-century rector who was chaplain to King Charles I, and it is salutary to recall that this little village had a rector to itself just within living memory. John Norris Dredge, the last Rector of Mautby as an individual benefice (1897-1933), had three services here every Sunday; Holy Communion at 8am, Mattins at 11am and Evensong at 7pm, as well as Holy Communion every Holy Day. He introduced Stations of the Cross, which do not survive, and a rood (1906), which does. But it is the stained glass window on the South side of the chancel, given in his memory, which testifies to this Rector’s views; there cannot be many CofE parishes with glass depicting St Thomas Aquinas elevating the Host at Mass and St Clare holding a monstrance.

As Margaret Paston would have known, St Thomas Aquinas wrote:

‘Dogma datur Christianis,
Quod in carnem transit panis,
Et vinum in sanguinem.’

Map reference: TG 479123