Latest National Guidance on COVID 19 - click here

To download a pdf version ~ click the image


Rector’s letter March 2020
Jonathon Green
Mission - Our Lent Course
The Parish of Brookenby
Tending and Telling Our Mission in Brookenby
Our Start to Lent ~ Ash Wednesday
Holy Week & Easter
What's been going on around our parishes?
Action Aid
Lent Lunch
Springtime Soirée & Acoustic in the Nave

Rector’s letter March 2020

Dear Friends,

Over the last few months I have often contemplated the nature of the ministry, that we as church leaders, offer our congregations and wider communities.
It is very easy to say that we, as Christians and faithful believers, all worship God and we take Christ - the incarnate God in our midst - as our saviour and follow his teachings. It then makes it a simple step to offer a one size fits all solution to ministry, theological questions and to the financial problems that persistently blight our churches.

All churches are local

The problem is that while we know the ‘one size fits all’ approach doesn’t work, we still persist in applying it. All churches are fundamentally local, they exist in the community and are of the community. We have, of course, our over-arching structures to support and guide us, our deaneries and diocese. They are necessary to keep a unity of purpose for God’s people as the body of Christ in each locality. Yet how each ‘Body of Christ’ works, teaches, promotes the mission of the Church and relates to its community and towards the Church as a whole is different in each and every place.

The ‘5 Marks of Mission’ we are about to explore in our Lent course are clear that our faith can be worked out in many different ways. Are we: TELLING, TEACHING, TENDING, TRANSFORMING or TREASURING Churches? In a church with a large congregation we could be all of these things. But, as churches in smaller communities it can sometimes feel as though we are just not good enough, as we only have the ability to offer ourselves to God in one or two of the missional tasks in hand and even then, only in short bursts. It maybe we are few in number and though blessed by God with health and ability - the energy does run out!

Eleven churches with no church hall and 1 toilet cannot under any circumstance be the large ‘successful’ mega church and shouldn’t try to be.

On the other hand the large ‘successful’ church won’t be the focus of a small local community, walking hand in hand with church goers and non-church goers alike.

It is a real pleasure to look around at the churches in the Walesby group and see how against all the odds they are working successfully, each in very different and distinct ways. Churches looking outward to the communities they serve, endeavouring to grow by engagement.

Rural ministry is quiet and often understated. It works in a seasonal cycle with God’s creation. It brings communities together allowing a comfortable space for all, in their particular personal relationship with God. It gives a spiritual cohesion to the communities served. It operates in places where God’s creation is highly valued and treasured. It also tends for those in our communities in need of support, company or just that non-judgemental ear.

I would like us to think of ourselves as the seed planted in the good soil, that grows slowly, needs time to mature and fruit.

So when we look across our patchwork of rural parishes we may recognise our churches as the fields of good soil. Their nutrients and compositions may vary but it is still good soil. And it is in these fields that various seeds are sown, each growing at its own pace, and then finally maturing in different ways - and there is always good fruit to be harvested in the end.

While we are united in Christ we are all very different in the local outworking of our churches and faith, we are not a one size fits all church.

Know what we do well

To know what we do well is therefore key to our own confidence. To have an understanding that we are each local to our communities and serve them as we are needed, not just as we feel we are expected to. When we understand that then we will see in our own unique way, how relevant we are.

This issue of the Wolds Witness will look across our group of churches at some of the work we are doing to support and engage with the people we serve.

Lent course

I would also encourage you to attend the Lent course as it may just help clarify in your own mind just how you in your own context are serving God.

Yours in Christ

Jonathon Green
16 May 1962 - 25 December 2019

Jonathon Green died on Christmas Day. Suddenly and unexpectedly.

He was churchwarden at St Mary’s Thoresway and played a crucial and vital part in the life and organisation of the parish and all its activities. Ever the practical man his wisdom, quiet and thoughtful approach to life set him apart, and many will testify that he proved the proverb that a friend in need is a friend indeed.

We would ask that you keep his wife Sarah and children Daniel and Beth (as well as his extended family) in your prayers.

He will be sorely missed. Especially by me.

Mike English

Our Lent Course for 2020 - POSTPONED

Owing to concerns about COVID 19 and the PM's update the remaining two sessions are postponed.

We will hope to put these sessions on later in the year when times are better.

We are running a Lent course across the Deanery during March to explore the ‘5 Marks of Mission’. These 5 Marks were defined by the Anglican Consultative Council to give some clarity and definition to what we as Anglicans actually mean by mission. In the simplest terms we might define mission as helping to proclaim, promote and sustain the Kingdom of God.


I remarked on these in the last issue of the Wolds Witness trying to whet your appetite for the upcoming course!

The course is entitled - Mission in Today’s World

It will consist of 5 sessions, each one concentrating on one of the Marks of Mission. Each session will be led by an outside speaker, whose organisation represents, in its mission, that particular Mark very closely. The sessions will alternate between Market Rasen Church Hall and Brookenby Church.

Please note: Each session is free standing
Each session will follow the following itinerary
7pm Refreshments
7.30pm Welcome, Introduction and opening prayer
7.35pm External speaker reflects on a specific Mark (styles may vary)
8.15pm Question & Answer (20 mins or so)
8.45pm Depart

Monday 2nd March (Market Rasen, Church Hall)
Sarah Spencer, Diocesan Environmental Officer
Treasure: Treasuring and Sustaining God’s Creation

Monday 9th March (Brookenby Church, LN8 6EW)
Revd John Leach, Diocesan Discipleship Officer
Teach: Teaching and Personal Discipleship.

Monday 16th March (Market Rasen Church Hall)
Teena Twelves, Coordinator of Lincoln Street Pastors
Tend: Loving Service and the Work of the Street Pastors

Monday 23rd March (Brookenby Church, LN8 6EW)
Terry Carpenter, Market Rasen Salvation Army
Transform: Creating a Just and Fair Society

Monday 30th March (Market Rasen Church Hall)
Revd Joseph Snelling St Swithin’s Church, Lincoln
Tell: Evangelism & Proclaiming the Good News.

Please note we are unable to run a Friday Morning Course as was originally intended. I will endeavour to run another Friday morning course after Easter.

The Parish of Brookenby

It was with great delight that the congregation of Brookenby celebrated the birth of the new Parish of Brookenby on Saturday 1st February 2020.

As many of you will know Brookenby, and prior to that RAF Binbrook, officially existed within the sprawling parish of Stainton le Vale. The airfield was created on a large area of farmland during the inter-war years.

Since the closure of RAF Binbrook (in 1988) and the creation of Brookenby as village in its own right (in 1992) and the establishment of St Michael & All Angels Church in Brookenby (in 1998), the relationship between the Parish Church of St Andrew’s in Stainton le Vale and St Michael & All Angels Church in Brookenby has been very unclear.

Technically there was a single PCC and Brookenby operated with a DCC or District Church Council. The relationship between these two councils was not defined by any pastoral scheme, causing many historic anomalies and issues to arise. Additionally, because Brookenby is around 10 times the size of Stainton le Vale it seemed wrong to expect St Andrews to be the backstop for all the legal requirements set upon Brookenby.

More difficulties arose as we started to develop children’s work at Brookenby. This required all the PCC members to undertake safeguarding training and undergo a DBS check. Also, this legal requirement would have applied to all the members of the Stainton le Vale PCC.

As negotiations to double the floor area and extend the lease for the church building progressed, both Brookenby and Stainton le Vale churches felt that we needed to divest St Andrew’s of its legal oversight of Brookenby and let St Michael & All Angels take full control of its own future.

All the discussions and legal processes involved in the creation of the new parish were done within a year and the 10th parish within the Walesby Group came into legal being on 1st February 2020.

The boundary of the new parish and Stainton le Vale is the Binbrook to Thoresway road a making a very simple and obvious demarcation.

From the annual meetings this year both PCCs have a right to a full complement of Churchwardens, PCC Members and Deanery Synod representatives.

I wish Brookenby Church, its Congregation and Church Council well in all they do, and pray for their future. I also thank St Andrew’s, Stainton le Vale for the oversight, guidance and interest given by them to St Michael’s & All Angels over the past 30 years.

Fr Chris

Tending and Telling Our Mission in Brookenby

In many ways Brookenby has always been a missional church. Without the historic asset of an ancient building and a traditional Anglican heritage its connection with the community has only been made through local involvement of Church Members living out the Gospel they love and serve.

Many of you are aware of the missional work and community support offered over many years by the church and its congregation. These are now offered as part of the Community Hub Project. This side of St Michael & All Angels work is going from strength to strength and we give thanks for all those who volunteer their time in The Tea Shop and Thrift Shop.

Our other major missional initiative started last September, when we set up Diddy Disciples our pre-school group for little ones (our Diddy Disciples) and those who care for them. This is initially an ecumenical relationship with the local Methodist circuit, and we are very grateful for all the support Rev Sarah Parkin has given to us.

The Team currently consists of Fr Chris, Rev Sarah, Selena Duke-Terjung (churchwarden at Brookenby) and Carolyn Winter (Thoresway). Selena has recently been on a church pre-school group “collaboration and getting to know you” seminar led by Ann Court, Bishops David’s wife. Ann has much experience in leading groups of this type and we appreciate her expertise and support. We operate every Tuesday morning during term time. Growth has been slow but steady and since Christmas we have had our biggest attendances and still growing. In terms of mission we are Tending to the community, but also Telling the Gospel stories as we have stepped through Creation, Remembrance, Advent, Christmas, Epiphany and Baptism in sessions of story, play, song and prayer.

It’s been great to see young children accompanied by mums, dads and grandparents, all of whom have willingly taken part in all we do. From my perspective it’s also wonderful to reflect on the day that neither Rev Sarah nor myself could be there and Selena and Carolyn felt able to lead the group by themselves.

In March we will be walking through Lent with our families helping a real understanding of the Easter story to develop. Please keep the group in your prayers.

Fr Chris

Our Start to Lent ~ Ash Wednesday

40 days before Easter we start our penitential and reflective journey towards the cross. The start of this Journey is known as Ash Wednesday. It is the day following Shrove Tuesday, another traditional day when all the good, possibly non–essential and luxurious things in our lives can be cast aside. This is the origin of the pancake smothered in honey and lemon!

To open a path into a few days of simpler living, a time of reflection, uncluttered by too many worldly thing, is surely something that we are crying out for in our world today. We don’t have to look far to see the difficulties caused by the way we currently live to realise the value in it. Ash Wednesday can be a key point in our calendar that helps us, as Christians, reflect on our actions and try to be new people bringing God’s Kingdom into being.

It was therefore a pleasure to see so many people come together in church to mark the start of this Lenten season by receiving the ‘Ash Cross’ upon their forehead. Ashes have an ancient symbolic meaning of repentance, or changing our ways. Services of Holy Communion with imposition of ashes were held at Tealby and Kirmond le Mire, where 32 people were ashed to mark the start of their Lenten journey.

Following the morning service at Tealby we welcomed Tealby School into church to mark their own start of Lent. We discussed Jesus going to test his own will power in the desert and explored things that we had done that we now regret. The Children read the story of Zacchaeus, a man who truly changed his ways. It was from that perspective that we then offered the children the opportunity to receive an ash cross to mark the start of their own journey of self-discipline. All this along with the wonderful Song ‘Sign us with Ashes’ now marks a journey we will walk together through Lent as we meet weekly for collective worship in school. Thank you to Michelle Baker and Tony & Margaret Neale for helping with the school service.

Fr Chris

Holy Week and Easter

We are trying to visit as many of the Churches in the group as possible during Holy week and the Easter weekend to allow communities to access some of the Easter preparations and celebrations in their church.

This year a group of us have been working hard under the direction of Margaret Neale, to put on a short one act play on Good Friday. The play entitled ‘No Name in the Street’ is performed from the perspective of the crowds who witness the last week of Jesus’ life, from his triumphant entrance into Jerusalem until his devastating death on the cross just 5 days later. It is to be performed twice, at 11am at Walesby ‘Old Church’ then at 1.45pm at All Saints, Tealby. Following the Tealby performance there will be a 30 minute reflection service – ‘At the Foot of the Cross’ finishing in silence at 3pm.

We Hope you can join us as we walk alongside Jesus, in the joys and desperations of His last few days.

What's been going on around our parishes?

Walesby, St Mary

A great team effort, led and planned by Martin and Margaret Warrener, was undertaken to clear away all the over grown shrubbery around the church and replace it with a gravel bed. Local handyman Phil Hildridge was contracted to remove and clear away all of the unwanted brash.

Margaret and Martin then laid the membrane over the ground. An early Saturday start saw residents of Walesby then barrow five cubic metres of gravel around the church. All it needs now are the potted plants for the summer.

North Willingham, St Thomas

The Diocesan Advisory Committee (DAC) visited on 19th February to explore the options how to bring St Thomas’ back into use. A proposal to reorder the church, as a heritage/visitors centre and community facility, alongside a living and working place of worship was discussed. The informal feedback to date from the DAC has been very favourable for a project which could be in the order of £500k. We wait for the formal DAC report before our next steps.

Thoresway, St Mary

Thoresway PCC has just appointed Debbie Rudd as Churchwarden after the sad and unexpected loss of our dear friend Jonathon Green. We are very keen to move forward with our plans to incorporate a WC and servery into the church. Chris Mackintosh-Smith of GMS architecture has given some informal guidance of what is possible. St Mary’s has some ancient grave markers embedded into the floor. David Walsh (the DAC Monuments advisor) and a resident of Thoresway, is looking at specialist grant funding to get these to be displayed on the walls. This will enable the project to move forward.

Tealby, All Saints

The Percolation testing for the Trench Arch drainage system has been successfull. Environmental Agency permissions are being applied for before we seek the faculty for the project. We are targeting Summer 2021 for the installation. Also, we have contracted out the repairs to the large areas of crumbling plaster in the nave. We are in the process of applying for “List B” permissions. We plan to have this work done in late September of this year.

Child Sponsorship ... an update

Thank you to the churches who sponsor children through Action Aid. We receive regular letters and photographs from our sponsor children which I copy and send out to you. I thought that a year on from the latest sponsorships a general update and reminder to contact the children would be timely.

Currently the parishes of Tealby, Walesby and North Willingham are sponsoring Abraham Chelangat (8) from Uganda. His latest letter says that he likes school and his mother sends her good wishes to us.
Normanby, Thoresway and Stainton sponsor Edvin Gonzalo from Guatemala. He is 10 and attends the local primary school and is in year 2, he hopes to continue his education.

Claxby, and we as a family, sponsor Beneta Faye from Senegal. Beneta is about 6 and as well as attending school loves helping her mum.

Please, can I encourage you to write to your child as they love receiving letters. We cannot send gifts but postcards and photographs to show them our farming communities are always appreciated.

If you need any contact details for any of the children please let me know, and please display the letters in your churches. Thank you.

Revd Elaine

Lent Lunch

We have taken the decision not to hold the usual Lent Lunch this year, but instead there will be a bring and share lunch at Brookenby after the Group Service on March 22nd.

The Lent and Advent lunches have been held since 2007 and I think that it is time to reflect and to seek views from you about these events. For example, should they continue? And if so, in what format? Is mid-week a good time or would a weekend be better?

The lunches have always been non-profit making and as well as sharing fellowship an important intent has been to raise money for charity. All monies raised have been sent to Mission Without Borders and in recent years shared with the Lincoln Branch of The Nomad Trust. Supporting a charity as a Benefice is a good way of sharing our Christian faith and helps us to reflect on those, both locally and overseas, who are struggling.

However, there may be other ways that we achieve this. I would, therefore, be very grateful for your thoughts and ideas on how we might move forward in the future. Please do contact me either by phone, email or come and talk over a coffee. With my thanks for all the support you have given.

Revd Elaine

Springtime Soirée & Acoustic in the Nave


Eleanor Jill Robson Funeral at Lincoln Crematorium& Thanksgiving at All Saints Tealby 18 December 2019 Interment of Ashesat All Saints, Tealby 2nd February 2020
Jonathon Derek Green Funeral at St James’ Louth and Interment at St Mary’s Thoresway 23rd January 2020
Ellaline Mary Sivil Funeral at Grimsby Crematorium 24th January 2020