Rector’s letter October 2019
Our new additional services how are they working?
Growing as Disciples in our Study Groups
Diddy Disciples
Christening Policy Change
Claxby – Our Last ‘Tuesday’ Supper
Tealby ~ Servery & WC project
Service of Light
Remembrance Day Services
Sunflower Competition
Baptisms, Marriages & Funerals

Rector’s letter October 2019

Dear Friends,

As we draw to the end of another church year on the 30th November, I think it is only appropriate to look back at the path followed during that year, as we worked together towards the growth of God’s kingdom across our parishes and we can glimpse the challenges that face us in the coming years.

Much has evolved with new service patterns, new services, study groups and a number of individuals undertaking academic theological study. On the buildings front, architects have been engaged to discuss Servery and WC installations, as well as undertaking major repairs making our buildings more usable, accessible and community friendly. All of these are, I believe, positive and affirming changes.
There is an idea in the business world that suggests change is inevitable. To survive a business must grow or it must shrink, there is only one result of staying the same and that is failure. Now I do not in any way whatsoever regard the Church as a business, but I think the sentiment holds true. We must be a growing Church, or we must be a Church evaluating how we operate in a difficult era. Doing the same as we have always done and expecting the outcome to different is to bury our heads in the sand and is folly.

These sentiments hold true at two levels at least:

Firstly at the local level: All we do must have an objective, and that must be to grow the kingdom of God where we can and promote it to new generations. We must also be financially viable, able to support ourselves, and that includes paying fully for the service provided for us by the diocese. If we cannot grow and cannot pay, then we need to consider the future of our parishes and churches.

Secondly at the Diocesan level: you will all be aware that there is a huge black hole in the diocesan budget, to the tune of £3 Million annually. This gap needs to be filled if parish priests are not to be severely reduced in number. If the revenue received from parishes does not increase, then the diocese will have no choice but to reduce the deployable resources it has.

If growth happens in terms of discipleship, numbers attending church and in the generosity of giving then the outcome will be good for all at both levels, if not then without doubt difficult decisions lie ahead in the near future.

The evolutionary changes, the new steps that we have undertaken over the last few months are as I said proving to be positive. We have demonstrated that the idea that growth is possible, certainly in respect of spirituality and discipleship. So while we must keep an eye on the big picture at the diocesan level, let us focus and support each other across our churches, let us grow spiritually as disciples of Christ, let us grow theologically in understanding our traditions and scriptures, let us grow as generous Christians, financially supporting properly that which is given to us and shared with us by others.

This issue of the Wold’s Witness will look at some of the changes over the last year and reflect on them. As we do that, I would ask each of you, to consider the support you give and whether you are able to offer more to keep God’s kingdom growing and going forward in these beautiful villages

Yours in Christ

Our new additional services how are they working?

You may remember in May we started the new service pattern with an increased offer of Sunday worship provision across the benefice. Three of our churches now offer ‘Same Time - Same Place - Every Week’ services. Time will tell if this is positive, but initial indications suggest that numbers have increased though we need to run a 1 or 2-year cycle to really evaluate it.

Another key change was the introduction of the two mid-week communion services. A Wednesday, 10am, 1662 Book of Common Prayer Eucharist at Tealby and a Thursday, 10am, Common Worship Eucharist at Brookenby. These services have already become part of the fabric of my week and I am pleased to say that is the same feeling I receive from the 8-12 people attending Tealby and 2-4 attending Brookenby. Both services end with coffee and biscuits and like many things they are allowing us to get to know each other more.

Changes to the late Sunday evening offering have also happened with the introduction of a regular evening service every week at the same time rotating around 5 churches. Again, this has been generally positive with a number of people attending morning and evening worship on a Sunday. The only issue here is the 3rd Sunday 1662 BCP evening Eucharist, alternating between Croxby and Stainton le Vale. I am sorry to say this has been a spectacular failure. Therefore, with immediate effect all evening services will be 1662 BCP Evening Prayer and the evening Eucharist option removed. Hence there will be BCP Evening Prayer every Sunday somewhere in the group.

On a personal note, I really enjoy the evening service on a Sunday as I know do many of you do to. Over the next few weeks I will update the ‘A Church Near You’ website advertising our Book of Common Prayer offerings and see if we can start to attract people from afar.

Fr Chris

Growing as Disciples in our Study Groups

During this year, two bible study courses have run for those eager to stretch their biblical understanding. First, we studied the ‘Book of Daniel’ over 6 consecutive Friday mornings at the Rectory. Daniel is a story of hope and trust in God, even in the most difficult and adverse situations. We related the ancient message to the world we live in today …. surprisingly over 2500 year’s basic human instinct has not changed. The drivers of the ancient world are still those forces that power us today! We end with a soup and roll lunch. We also felt a growing and trusting fellowship was developing from people from across of benefice.

I am currently leading a second course, exploring the history and theology of the ‘Letter to the Hebrews’. This is another amazing text written to support the very early Jewish Christians. These people struggled with their new beliefs in a world trying to undermine them whichever way they turned. This time the course is being run on a Monday evening at Brookenby, allowing those that work to attend. This group is now 10 strong and it is rewarding to see the enthusiasm develop over discussion of what is a difficult and, in some ways, challenging text with many complex ideas.

To grow in discipleship, studying to understand scripture and our churches traditions is a must. It is only when we are confident disciples in our own right, and by that I mean sure in our faith and beliefs, then we are able to articulate to others our understanding with confidence.

Next year, I will be running a Lent course, if you have suggestions for a theme or a particular text please let me know and I will see if it could work as a course. The dates for your diary will be Friday 28th February 2020 until Friday 3rd April 2020 10.30am to midday.

May I also remind you that Leslie Giller runs a fortnightly Monday afternoon study group at Brookenby. This group meets at 2pm and works through bible texts of the groups’ choice. Please contact Leslie if you wish to know more about this group.

Study is great fun, but it is also an amazing opportunity for like-minded Christians to meet and develop a trusting fellowship across parish boundaries. Please join in.

Fr Chris

Diddy Disciples

On the 10th of September we launched our ‘Diddy Disciples’ pre-school group at St Michael and All Angels Church in Brookenby. The concept came about after looking at a number of pre-school groups operating very successfully in other churches.

‘Mini Messy’ a variant of the Messy Church franchise runs successfully out of the church hall in Market Rasen and is very well subscribed. Fr Richard Crossland runs a ‘Ducklings’ club at All Saints Church in Nettleham near Lincoln again very successfully. Ducklings now operates on two days a week owing to high demand. Both these offerings are free play and social time for children and their parents or carers and then to end a short section consisting of Story, Song and Prayer on a faith-based theme. After reviewing all the material commercially available we opted for the ‘Diddy Disciples’ materials. At present there is nothing operating in Brookenby that caters for young pre-school families and we believe the Diddy Disciple’s material and the group can fill that need.

Fr Chris and Rev Sarah Parkin from the Methodist circuit have agreed to work together in leading the group for the first 12 months, with the help and support of Carolyn Winter from Thoresway and myself.

Once we had determined what we were trying to achieve we put a bid into the Diocesan Transformation Fund to support the setup of the group and we were, fairly quickly, granted £500. This money purchased advertising banners, toys, tables and chairs and the material from Diddy Disciples for Sarah and Chris to work from.

Reaching out to families is hard, as we all know, but after three sessions we have two new families who enjoy the session and they have recommended it to others via word of mouth and social media.

This term we are working through a module called ‘God the Maker’ a module designed to deliver harvest themed materials to children. I think we had all forgotten what it was like to be curled up in ball on the floor like a sleeping seed, then bursting into life and reaching high up to the sky. We loved it and the children loved it ... I think our bones creaked a little more than theirs!
If you are interested in helping or supporting the club, please let us know and we can invite you along. Obviously, there are safeguarding requirements and to operate this club all Brookenby PCC have had to undergo DBS checking. I thank them all for supporting this venture.

Selena Duke-Terjung (Churchwarden)

Christening Policy Change

Christenings are I find one of the most enjoyable of the pastoral Offices that priests have the privilege to undertake. It is wonderful that so many people, even in this difficult and secular world, still feel that Christening (or Baptism) is the right thing to do. That sacred moment or sacrament when babies, children and adults are cleansed and anointed for God and his purpose here on earth.

Parents now have a choice when they want their child baptised, whether it is in a main church service or as a standalone service. Both are right and proper options and depend very much on the circumstances of the family involved. For each family the service must fit their wishes and also their church understanding. A baptism service needs to be sacred without any reduction in the seriousness of the sacramental nature of what is happening. However, it must also be inclusive. Most of the people attending baptisms may not have been in church in years, and they need to enjoy the experience. Also, it might be possible to sow some seeds that they might make them think and make them feel like saying ‘actually I quite enjoyed that service - church is not as bad as I thought!’

After a recent baptism, Chrissie and I were having a meal out in Market Rasen, when a couple came over to us and said thanks for a recent Christening that had happened in our group. Not the sort of conversation normally had at 10.30 in the evening! They thanked us for the inclusive nature of the service, but the key thing they said was about the children they had heard questioning their parents as to ‘why they hadn’t been christened’. Children are key to all we do and anything that enthuses them and makes them want to be with us more has surely got be a good thing.

Through Christening, Wedding and Funeral services we touch many people who we would not normally get to meet. We must serve them as we serve ourselves, welcome them as we welcome ouselves and let them know the church is there for all, not just a select few. Fr Chris

Claxby – Our Last ‘Tuesday’ Supper

After discussions with members of some congregations it was decided that there was probably a need for a service that did not have the formal structure of some of the Eucharistic services we offer. A service that had all the ingredients of a service of Holy Communion but one which also allowed more time for thought, reflection, silence and meditation.

From this the concept, an informal Eucharist in a setting of Taizé chants was put together. The venue was determined to be Claxby, the time. the Last Tuesday of each month and as the Eucharist is the re-telling of the Last Supper the title of Last ‘Tuesday’ Supper seemed appropriate.

Initially it was planned to have the service in St Mary’s Church in Claxby, but for the first service the weather was too cold, so we decamped to the Viking centre with Trevor Lyle bringing back all the comfy furniture he had graciously moved to the church for us. For this we owe him a debt of gratitude, for without it we would not have realised how the nature of the Viking Centre added so much to our worship and the inner peace we could achieve in the service.

Since that first cold January night we have met monthly at the Viking Centre with between 8-15 people coming together in this quiet meditative celebration of our Lord’s Supper.

If you have not experienced a Eucharist in such a setting you are all very welcome to come and join in. Afterwards hot drinks and biscuits keep us chatting till late.

Fr Chris

Tealby ~ Servery & WC project

The PCC of All Saints, Tealby is now working hard to get a servery and WC installation completed for the summer of 2021. Tealby is now used 8 times a month for worship. Also, there are a significant number of Pastoral offices, especially weddings and funerals, along with up to 6 concerts a year and school services. We are anticipating that the addition of these facilities will enable us to grow and work more with, and for the community. Additionally, the church will then will then be available as a community space for other groups to use.

We have employed Chris Mackintosh-Smith of GMS architecture, as the architect to develop the plans for the project. The Diocesan Advisory Committee (DAC) have given us tentative approval to our informally submitted plans, which have been developed by the PCC in consultation with the community. A community ‘Cheese and Wine’ open evening was held on 26th September to which villagers were invited to talk with the architect and view the plans. It was a very successful night. Before we submit final plans for faculty approval, we have to undergo what is known as ‘percolation testing’ in the churchyard to assess the ability of the churchyard to cope with a ‘Trench Arch’ drainage system (similar to a low use composting toilet). The Environment Agency need to approve this system before we go ahead. In addition to this installation it is also intended that we will repair the damaged plasterwork on the wall above and around the remembrance corner, below the window to the ringing chamber. This is damage from historic water ingress that has now been resolved.

The total cost of our project is estimated at £40,000 of which we currently have £11,600. After plans are approved, faculty granted and tenders received, we can then approach grant awarding bodies to support the works along with fundraising during 2020. Please pray for us as we help make All Saints fit for a broader community purpose and financially sustainable for the future.

Michelle Baker (Churchwarden)

Service of Light

This annual service gives us all an opportunity to give thanks for, and to remember, loved ones who have died.

During the service names of loved ones are read out and there is also a time when you can light a candle in their memory if you wish. Also, there are hymns and prayers and time for reflection. It is a very gentle service and every year many who are bereaved take comfort from it and in being able to share an understanding of loss with others.

I do hope that you can join us and if you are aware of others who may benefit from attending please could you let them know.

There will be sheets for names of loved ones in the back of each church from early October. Should you have any questions about this please do not hesitate to contact me.

Revd Elaine Turner, Associate Priest
01673 828142

Remembrance Sunday

Service of Remembrance at All Saints Church, Tealby on Sunday 10th November 2018 at 10:45am. All are welcome to join us as we remember the fallen

There will be a Family Remembrance service at Walesby and the services at:
Stainton le Vale

and Brookenby will have an Act of Remembrance incorporated into their worship

Sunflower Competition

Wendy Roe of Claxby won this year’s sunflower competition with her entry at 10’ 9”

2nd was Maureen Appleyard of North Willingham at 9’ 1”

3rd Patti Windle of Walesby at 8’

All the other entries were around the 6’ to 7’ height range.

Wendy was presented with her trophy during Claxby’s Harvest Festival.

Pumpkin results in about a month from now. Revd Elaine

Baptisms & Marriages

Daniel Green & Emily Wilson Thoresway Church 10th August 2019
Michael Starling & Emily Lomas Tealby Church 16th August 2019
Justin Bennett & Caroline Allwood Tealby Church 17th August 2019
Oliver Penn & Charlotte Horner Tealby Church 7th September 2019

Connie Whitaker Normanby le Wold Church 25th August 2019
Martha Grace Bramble Stainton le Vale Church 14th September 2019
Wilfred James Bramble Stainton le Vale Church 14th September 2019
Finley Charles Roberts Stainton le Vale Church 28th September 2019