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The parish gives its name to the Deanery to which it belongs, but formerly Feltwell was in the Deanery of Cranwich which contained 47 parishes and took in all the Churches in the Hundreds of Grimshoe and South Greenhoe with the exception of Santon.

The Office of Rural Dean is ancient. At one time Deaneries had large powers such as probate of Wills; also matrimonial cases, divorces, and cases of incontinency came before them. Each Deanery had its seal and histories of Norfolk speak of a Will proved A.D. 1413 by the Rural Dean of Fincharn, Norfolk, to which the seal of the Deanery was affixed. At the Reformation Deaneries were shorn of their powers. The Rural Dean was sometimes known as the Archpriest.

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