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Rector’s letter November 2019
Five ways to ‘get the best out of Christmas’
BROOKENBY Our New Community Hub
All Saints Church Walesby ~ The ‘Old or Ramblers Church’
Claxby Community Choir
Advent Lunch
Quiet Christmas
Lent Course
Service of Light
Lent Lunch
Baptisms, Marriages & Funerals

Rector’s letter November 2019

Dear Friends,

I write this letter to you a few days before the start of the Advent season and a couple of days after the formal opening of our new ‘Community Hub’, as part of St Michael and All Angels Church in Brookenby. The Hub, contains ‘Thrifty’, our pre-loved goods shop – but now in a self-contained location, our ‘Community Shop’ providing basic grocery necessities, and our ‘All Angels Tea Shop’ a new facility providing pleasant surroundings to enjoy a coffee and cake with friends. Later in this issue there is much more on Brookenby and our work there.

Now you might be asking why is a church operating shops on its premises? That is not the job of the church, and at one level you may be right. However, being Christians in today’s world is not just about worship, or prayer, or singing or reading the bible, it is also about helping other people, God’s people - just as it has always been and just as Jesus himself demonstrated during his lifetime.

If we recall the ‘Summary of the Law’ that Jesus gave us, he asked us to “love the Lord your God and love your neighbour as yourself”.

Loving your neighbour as yourself is key to what it is to be a follower of Christ. This is loving service to others, treating those in difficult circumstances as we would wish to be treated by others. This should be no differently to how we treat ourselves even when it hurts us to do so sometimes. That is the sign of our generosity of spirit and our commitment to Christ. It symbolises our sacrificial lives.

The Anglican Communion accepted a number of years ago, 5 definitions of how we should be operating as a missional church in the world of today. They are known as the ‘5 Marks of Mission’.

TELL - To proclaim the Good News of the Kingdom
TEACH - To teach, baptise and nurture new believers
TEND - To respond to human need by loving service
TRANSFORM - To transform unjust structures of society, to challenge violence of every kind and pursue peace and reconciliation
TREASURE - To strive to safeguard the integrity of creation, and sustain and renew the life of the earth

It is not always possible for an individual church, as the body of Christ in a small village to be able to carry out each and every one of them with equality of impact. However, we are challenged to do what we can, where we can!

We may want to ask ourselves and also ask it of our church communities a number of questions to determine how missional we are:

  • how many people have we told recently we are Christians and what it means to us?

  • do we to teach others about our faith? Are we able to?

  • do we tend for and support those in need and poverty in our communities with time and money?

  • do we work to transform society as better for all, regardless of age, gender, race, wealth or social class or academic ability?

  • do we work to care for the environment? The treasuring of the gifts of God.

  • I think the work at Brookenby - an area with high levels of deprivation - falls into the category of Tend. Loving service given to others to support them in their lives and make their community a better place.

To develop this Missional Theme further this year’s Lent course will take the 5 key themes of Tell, Teach, Tend, Transform and Treasure and develop them each further over 5 sessions. Please find time in your diary to come along and explore the nature of ‘Mission’, and how we can demonstrate through the way we live our lives the love of God in this world, open people’s eyes and bring them to faith.

As we now start on our Advent Journey, a season which for us as Christians is a season of expectation of great joy, let us prepare to celebrate the incarnation of God as man in the Baby Jesus. We remember his birth was missional. His incarnation into the dirt, deprivation and despair of a lowly birth was as much symbolic of where the work is needed as it is that God’s Kingdom is a great leveller. We are all God’s Children whoever we are. It is in his name we and all of God’s creation deserve the same respect and consideration.

Yours in Christ

Five ways to ‘get the best out of Christmas’

That time is nearly upon us, and it’ll creep up quickly. Here are five suggestions for making the best of our celebration of the birth of Jesus.

1. Look forward

It is so easy to see the very important concerns about food, cards, presents and parties overshadow the most important event. Could you deliberately build in some time each day or each week during Advent to stop, calm yourself, and refocus? A Strange Christmas by Krish Kandiah is a great little book to help us prepare.

2. Look around

No doubt there will be some extra church activities going on over Christmas, but did you know that research has shown that 20% of people in Britain would be grateful for an opportunity to think about who Jesus is? We have so often believed the lie that no-one is interested in our faith. So, seek the seekers, and invite them to something. Who do you know who is likely to be keen to find out more?

3. Look outwards

Deuteronomy 26 contains the instructions for celebrating the Jewish Harvest Festival but built into the chapter are encouragements to remember the foreigners, widows and orphans in the land in their celebrations. Is there anyone you might include in your festivities, who might otherwise go without?

4. Look again

Part of Christmas is the repetition of readings, prayers and carols that we have been using since ‘the year dot’. Could you address the familiarisation by choosing to think more deeply about the words we’re using? Ask the Holy Spirit to give you one new insight into the Christmas story this year, or take maybe just one line from a carol and let it dwell in your thoughts and prayers.

5. Look up

When all the presents are wrapped and the sprouts peeled, take some time to reconnect with the wonder of it all, which can so easily get lost among the mundane. The God of the Universe, the King of Kings and Lord above all Lords stepped down into our world in the shape of a newborn baby so that we might know God and share the eternity of heaven, feasting at his table! Wow! What a tragedy if we miss that!

Words prepared by the diocesan Mission Team. Don’t forget to look out for #FollowTheStar, the ‘national Advent and Christmas campaign’ with accompanying resources offered by the Church of England.

BROOKENBY Our New Community Hub

On the 21st November 2019 the St Michael and All Angels Church, in Brookenby opened its new ‘Community Hub’. The opening ceremony was undertaken by Air Commodore Jake Jarron RAF (Rtd) who, along with his wife Mary, has had a long and interesting connection with the area through three operational tours at what was then RAF Binbrook.

Jake was the final Commanding officer of 11 Sqn (Lightnings) the last operational squadron to be based at Binbrook. Before unveiling a ceremonial plaque to mark the occasion, Jake gave a short and very interesting talk about his connections to the area. Just over 40 people attended the opening ceremony and we were very pleased with the support on the day we received from members of congregations of other churches within our benefice.

The new community Hub was originally envisaged some 12 months ago when, initially, discussions were had with the Parish Council in Brookenby about an extension to the lease for the space in which the church is contained. An agreement was reached to extend the lease period from 2028 to 2040 and double the size of the floor area officially covered by the lease to now include the whole of the ground floor of the West Wing of the former Sgt’s mess building.

Until recently the church had operated a pre-loved goods shop known as ‘Thrifty’ within an area of the West Wing, through an informal agreement with Neenie’s Café which had been operated as a private business. When Neenie’s café announced it was to cease trading, the decision was taken to bring forward a refurbishment plan for the whole area, even though we did not yet have in place a signed lease. A PCC meeting was held to discuss the options, and a plan put in place to re-open Thrifty alongside a new café, ‘All Angels Tea Shop’ and a ‘Community Store’, providing basic last minute grocery essentials for those unable to access facilities outside the village. The 21st November was set, a very difficult and challenging deadline!

Time was spent stripping out, painting, cleaning, new carpets, lights, upcycling a lot of the shelving and creating new clothes racks. Joyce Auty and a number of ladies from the congregation spent a day sorting through bags of goods and bric-a-brac, and rails of clothing, which Chrissie Hewitt washed and folded (16 loads, I think). Selena Duke-Terjung our Churchwarden spent many days putting all her DIY skills in to action, literally from dawn to dusk (this wouldn’t have happened without her – Thank you!) Dirk Terjung our treasurer, has taken on the management and registration of the tea shop creating policies, procedures and management guidance for volunteers to work to. Tony and Mary Price made a sterling effort in re-ordering the library and removing many of the books accumulated over the years. The library room is now a lot more spacious and we have a selection of books in the main tea shop area too. I added my own DIY skills as I decorated the main corridor leaving at 1.55am one morning after laying the corridor with carpet tiles. Stiff joints for days afterwards! Thanks are also due to Dave Clark who came along for encouragement and kept the kettle on and Peter Hope who tidied up the Garden for the opening ceremony.

The refurbishment took about 4 weeks continuous work and preparation. There is still much to do with new signage planned, painting the exterior and development of an outdoor area for summer use. Tony Price and I, are going to work on a display wall in the Tea Shop and one side of the corridor to put together an RAF heritage exhibition. We have to thank Tony for provision of a large amount of material that is worthy of display and I am sure will generate great interest.

We got there!

And as promised the new lease became effective from 15th November 2019. This means the whole of the ground floor in the West Wing building is now legally classed as church premises.

Thrifty is run on a daily basis by Dave Clark and is now situated in an adjoining room to the Tea Shop, completely self-contained and carrying more storage space than before.

The Tea Shop has a simple menu of toast, cake, crumpets, and teacakes at the moment with a selection of Cafetière Coffees, Hot Chocolate, Teas and Herbal infusions. We are not going to develop this with any great speed but need to research the demand.

The community shop has around 40 lines available at very competitive prices and we again are going to keep this provision under review.
Thank you to all those across the group who have already offered their time to volunteer in the Tea Shop, please contact Selena our churchwarden if you feel you could help too.

Currently the Community Hub is opening Thursday, Friday and Saturday 10am till 2pm, with a view to extend this when possible. When the Hub is closed it is available to be used by other groups, please contact Selena or Dirk, if you need a warm space with parking and Tea/Coffee making facilities. We would only ask a small donation towards heating and upkeep.

The 3rd Mark of Mission asks us as Christians, to TEND – That is to respond to human need by loving service. There is great need in many of our communities and Brookenby has more than its fair share. As a church we are endeavouring to work with all those who need support, be it as personal company, a place to meet, a listening ear or just the provision of a quiet space. As a volunteer you can offer yourself in God’s service to work towards this aim.

In John’s Gospel Jesus says:

“Simon son of John, do you love me?” Peter was hurt that Jesus asked the question a third time. He said, “Lord, you know everything. You know that I love you.” Jesus said, “Then feed my sheep”.

Fr Chris

All Saints Church Walesby ~ The ‘Old or Ramblers Church’.

The Old Church or Ramblers Church, as it is sometimes known, stands above the village of Walesby as it has done for around 900 years. There is strong evidence there was a Saxon church on the site that pre-dates this by hundreds of years.

It is a church that is loved by many for its historic value and location. What a fine building to greet you as you walk along the Viking Way.

Having no utilities, it is a church that is now only used on ‘High days and Holidays’. Abandoned in the latter part of the 19th century when worship moved down the hill to a temporary church and eventually to St Mary’s Church, it was left to decay for many decades. St Mary’s was completed just before the outbreak of WW1. In the 1950’s people again began to take an interest in the building and over a number of decades it was restored and made watertight by a group of local enthusiasts. That group eventually became known as the ‘Friends of the Old Church’ and today they are the major fundraiser to keep the church safe and dry. We thank them for all they do!

Much work has been done over the last few decades to reduce the water ingress and level of damp within the building. Over the last few months, with the permission of the Parochial Church Council in Walesby (which along with the Rector still have legal jurisdiction and responsibility for the church), the Friends have funded a project to repair the ‘French Drains’ that surround the church and remove a large concrete plinth that had been installed sometime in the past. The failure of the existing French Drain along with the use of concrete against stone has caused much damp to move into the lower fabric of the church building.

The project costing around £10,000 and undertaken by Paul Mendham has now been completed and it is hoped that over the next few years we may see some improvement in the level of damp in the church walls. Changes like this do take years to become evident and as it has been there 900 years a few years won’t make any difference.

During the excavations for the French drains, remains of Saxon grave markers were found indicating that burials must have been carried out on the site for over 1000 years, perhaps many of which we have no record. Walesby PCC are in the process of trying to legally close the churchyard as a burial ground as this was never done, as it should have been, at the time of the transfer to the new church. It is in reality, an archaeological site, without legal vehicle access where further burials would never be allowed to happen. There is a process to be undertaken, through the Ministry of Justice to class a churchyard as closed and this needs to be actioned as soon as possible. Walesby PCC have already consulted with the local authorities who would, if the closure is approved, take on responsibility for its upkeep on behalf of the community responsibility for its upkeep.

As a church it is legally classed as a ‘Chapel of Ease’ with the parish church in Walesby being St Mary’s. Many people in our group of parishes seem to be unaware that the burden of this ancient church falls upon the shoulders of Walesby PCC. Along with the PCC, I feel another way to manage the building needs to be found to secure its future. As we are a living church about mission in a living world, how does this building help us Tell, Teach, Tend, Transform or Treasure?

Plinths being examined by Archdeacon Mark

Plinth being removed

Damp inside the church

The high Altar

Claxby Community Choir

The newly formed Claxby Community Choir has begun rehearsals for its inaugural concert in Claxby Church at 7pm on Friday 6th December. Singers come to the weekly rehearsals from many of the surrounding villages but also from as far away as Market Rasen, Lincoln and Welton.

The twenty five singers are learning a wide variety of Christmas Songs and Carols, some in 4 part harmony or unison accompanied on piano. The sound at the first rehearsal was very encouraging and confidence is growing week by week. All are clearly enjoying the experience.

Why join a choir?

  • It has been lovely to witness new friendships being made and the obvious pleasure on faces when singing with such an enthusiastic choir. For some who perhaps do not meet many people during the week, it is rewarding to see such communication and interaction happening.

  • Many medical studies have been carried out to prove that singing helps depression and mental wellbeing.

  • Focussing on correct, deep breathing improves the function of the heart and lungs.

  • The brain works more efficiently. It helps concentration and ability to focus better.

  • People who sing, generally live longer!

Contrary to general opinion, everyone can sing. Confidence is the key and the choir is proving this to be the case. The choir is very much looking forward to it’s first performance and hope to have a large audience to support this new venture.
For more information - e mail:

Thursday 12th December from noon to 2pm at The Viking Centre Claxby Home made soup, Rolls, Savouries and puddings. Coffee/tea and mince pies.

Good company, fellowship and carols.

No charge made for the lunch but a retiring collection is taken on the door for The Nomad Trust and Mission Without Borders.

Open to everyone but please book by contacting Revd Elaine on 01673 828142 or

Christmas can be a wonderful time when family and friends gather together but it can also be a sad or difficult time if we have lost a loved one or our lives have been turned upside down for whatever reason. It can be at a time like this that although we want to participate in the celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ we would perhaps like to do so quietly and in a gentle way.

Quiet Christmas Services are being held in two of the churches of the West Wold Deanery both on Wednesday 18th December at 3.00pm at
St Thomas’ Market Rasen and at
St Mary’s Walesby

You will be made most welcome at either. The service comprises a few carols, a reading, a prayer and the lighting of candles for remembrance and hope for the future.

For further details of either service please contact:
Revd Claire Walker (Market Rasen Group) on 01673 844521 or
Revd Elaine Turner (Walesby Group) on 01673 828142

I am going to run a 5 session Lent course in 2020 on the subject of Mission and explore this through the headings of the 5 Marks of Mission.

Tell; Teach; Tend; Transform and Treasure

Each session will be run twice: on Monday evenings and repeated on Friday morning, during each week of Lent.

Monday: 7pm – 8.30pm
2nd, 9th, 16th, 23rd, 30th March

Friday: 10am – 11.30am
6th, 13th, 20th, 27th March & 3rd April

The duplicate sessions will cover the same material but may be different in style. Please save these dates in your diary. Feel free to ‘mix and match’ morning and evening sessions.

Further details will be published as soon as they are available. Fr Chris

The clergy and ministers of the Benefice of the Walesby Group of Parishes invite you to our annual Service of Light at All Saints Church, Tealby on Sunday 2nd February 2020 at 4:00pm

We are holding a Service of Light for those who are bereaved on the Feast of Candlemas, 2nd February. It will be at 4 pm at All Saints Tealby and all are welcome.

Names that were received for the service last November will be read out at the service and new names may be added to lists which will be in all of our churches from January. If you have any questions about the service please contact Revd Elaine.

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.

Revd Elaine Turner, Associate Priest
01673 828142

Refreshments served after the service.

Weddings & Funerals

Christopher Dutton & Dawn Roe Kirmond le Mire Church 12th October 2019

Gertrude Hilda Mortimer Funeral at Alford Crematorium and Thanksgiving Service, Tealby 3rd October 2019
David Robert Spiers Interment of Ashes, Tealby 15th October 2019
John Waite Sivil Funeral at Grimsby Crematorium. 8th November 2019
Ethel Joan West Burial at Newport Cemetery, Lincoln and Service of
Tealby 11th November 2019
Edgar Andrew Roach Funeral at Lincoln Crematorium. 21st November 2019