Parish Newsletter

Happy Crossed Fingers!

What’s On at St Peter and St Paul’s:


  • Weds 4th : Crafty Coffee and Cake Club 10-12, Village Hall
  • Weds 11th: Crafty Coffee and Cake Club 10-12
  • Sun 15th : Messy Church Christmas – 2-4 Village Hall
  • Weds, 18th : Art Club, 10-12, Village Hall


  • Weds 88h : Crafty Coffee and Cake Club 10-12, Village Hall
  • Weds, 15th : Art Club, 10-12, Village Hall
  • Weds 22nd: Crafty Coffee and Cake Club 10-12 Village Hall
  • Sun 26th   : Messy Church, 1.30 – 3.00 Village Hall

It has been a tough year at the church: the work on dry rot has meant it has been closed for much of the time; we are once more without a parish priest, and the restoration and re-ordering project to save the church from permanent closure seemed at times to be heading for failure. However, as the year draws to a close, we are starting with a very different perspective.

As you know, we were awarded a £1.8 million grant from the National Lottery for the church. However, this means we have to raise over £300,000 in match funding before the project can go ahead. By anyone’s reckoning, that is a huge mountain to climb. In June of this year, the Heritage Lottery issued a very stern warning, that the cash was not coming in fast enough, and if we couldn’t reach our target very soon, we would have to forfeit the grant. As you can imagine, this was devastating news.  We had been so proud of the village collection – which raised over £400, and our crowdfunding campaign. But it was time to get out the big guns!

Since then we have relaunched our appeals to major charities and grant funders, and the results have been very cheering. To date, in total we have raised over £140,000 and there are a lot of applications still out there, waiting for answers. In fact, the results have been so promising, and the actions of the Algarkirk Major Project Group and our volunteer supporters have so impressed the Lottery Fund Committee, they have agreed to an extension of our original start date to give us until April to complete the fundraising. So from doom and gloom, we now have real hope. This doesn’t mean the hard work is over – not by a long way. And we still need your help.

Our next event will be the Messy Church Christmas on December 15th at the village Hall.  Join us, and bring the kids or grandkids for some seasonal singing and stories, Santa, craft fun (make a Christmas decoration) and yummy Christmas treats!

And, to all of you, young and old, on behalf of the PCC may we take this opportunity to wish you a joyful Christmas, and the happiest and healthiest of New Years.

“God Bless us, everyone!”

Parish Newsletter


  • Weds 5th  : Crafty Coffee and Cake Club 10-12, Village Hall
  • Weds 12th : Crafty Coffee and Cake Club 10-12, Village Hall
  • Sun 16th :  Family Eucharist 09.30, refreshments. Village Hall
  • Weds 19th: Art Club,10-12, Village Hall
  • Sun 23rd  :  Children’s Messy Church 13.30-15.00 Village Hall
  • Weds 26th: Crafty Coffee and Cake Club 10-12, Village Hall


  • Weds 3rd : Crafty Coffee and Cake Club 10-12, Village Hall
  • Weds 10th : Crafty Coffee and Cake Club 10-12, Village Hall
  • Weds, 17th : Art Club, 10-12, Village Hall
  • Weds 24th : Crafty Coffee and Cake Club 10-12 Village Hall
  • Sun 26th :  Family Eucharist 09.30, refreshments. Village Hall
  • Sun 26th   : Messy Church, 1.30 – 3.00
  • NOTE: While Algarkirk’s church is closed for health and safety reasons, villagers are invited to join worshippers at our sister churches in Kirton and Fosdyke. Kirton’s services are at 11.00 each week, and Fosdyke’s at 09.30 on the second and fourth Sundays of the month.   

Thanks for the support!

We launched a “Save our Church” appeal, in the village with a house to house collection. Although we were not able to pick all the envelopes up (no-one home, etc) I want to say a huge thank you for the support of the village. Whether it was pennies or pounds – and some were very generous – we have raised over £400 towards the church match funding. Our online Crowdfunding campaign is currently just over £1000. There is still a very long way to go, but we are all working hard at it. If anyone didn’t get their envelope, please collected call Cheryllyn on 07796010319 to arrange a pick-up, or go to  to make a donation.


We are also saying thanks to our Paybackers. Not only have they continued their sterling work around the churchyard, Village Hall and Playing Field, they have also been working on a special project to make the graveyard more environmentally sustainable and to attract wildlife. As part of this they were entered into 2019 Lincolnshire Environmental Awards competition, and their collection of wildlife boxes, compost programmes and special planting has been awarded a “Highly Commended” by the judges. Considering they have only just started this project, this is very pleasing. Don’t forget that cuttings, bulbs and other plants will all be very welcome as donations. The Payback team are at the church on a Tuesday and Sunday, between 09.30 and 3.00 and will be delighted to receive your plants.

On a less positive note, the Paybackers have done a lot of work by the bridge between the churchyard and Sutterton. Unfortunately, on a regular basis someone is breaking down the post and rail barriers, and kicking over the insect boxes. When something nice is happening in the village, it is up to all of us to help keep it that way. Please keep an eye out, and remind children how important it is that we all work towards making the village a good place to be.

The church is still closed because there is scaffolding up inside, and we wouldn’t want children to have access to the risk. I know it is difficult for those who would like to go inside for quiet reflection, or to worship, but we are holding services in the Village Hall which have proved very popular and friendly. You can keep up with all the news on our website, ( and through notices on the board outside the church. Messy church will continue to meet on every fourth Sunday, and the craft and art clubs are going strong. If you would like to come along, you are very welcome. They are friendly groups, and we all have a lot of fun. If you need a lift, call Cheryllyn on 07796010319 or email at .

The View from the Vicarage

This month in two of our three Churches we celebrate our Patronal Festival June 30th – the holy apostles Peter and Paul, the dedication of Kirton and Algarkirk Churches .

There are many myths surrounding these two major figure of the Church. For example concerning the apostle Peter, it is said that he founded the Church of Rome. This is untrue. In fact he founded the Church of Antioch, where the disciples were first called ‘Christians’, as is related to us in the Acts of the Apostles. The Church of Rome was founded by the apostle Paul. That is why he wrote an epistle to the Romans. The apostle Peter did not write an epistle to the Romans. Indeed, it is believed that he was illiterate and dictated his memories and thoughts to St Mark, who wrote them down in a Gospel and later also wrote down from dictation the epistles of Peter.

It is also claimed that not only did the apostle Peter found the Church of Rome, but that somehow this gives the Church of Rome some special supremacy and superiority over all the other Churches. This is clearly not true, for the Church of Antioch, which was founded by St Peter, has never claimed any superiority. In reality, when our Lord says in the Gospel: ‘Thou art a rock and on this rock I will build my Church’, it refers not to some special authority given to Peter, it concerns all who confess Christ as the Son of the Living God. All who make this confession have authority, all who confess Christ truly are rocks and are granted the keys to the kingdom. 

Another foolish theory is somehow that these  apostles represent different groups of Christian. Thus, St Peter represents Roman Catholics, St Paul the Protestants and some have said St John represents the Orthodox. But how can the apostles Peter and Paul represent groups which broke away from the Church in the eleventh and sixteenth centuries, when they themselves lived and were martyred in the first century? 

 Having spoken of these myths, what then can we say of the apostles Peter and Paul?

First of all, we can say that they were very different.

Peter was one of the twelve disciples. Paul was converted after the Resurrection and Ascension of Christ. Peter was a fisherman, probably illiterate. Paul was a highly-educated rabbi. Peter was a provincial from the back of beyond Galilee. Paul was a Roman citizen who was able to speak in public in sophisticated Athens.

Peter’s real name was Simon, meaning ‘he who obeys’ and his nickname was ‘Cephas’ in Aramaic or Petros in Greek, meaning ‘the rock’, because his confession of faith in Christ the Son of God was rock solid. Paul’s real name was Saul, meaning ‘the destroyer’, which was changed to Paul, meaning in Latin ‘short in height’ or ‘small’, no doubt because he was short and small.

Peter renounced Jesus three times before His Crucifixion, which is why he had to repent three times after the Resurrection, answering Christ’s threefold question ‘Do you love me?’, as is related to us at the end of St John’s Gospel. Paul persecuted the Church and probably took part in the stoning of the First Martyr,  Stephen. Peter worked to convert the Jews, travelling to Egypt. Paul travelled everywhere he could and is known as ‘the apostle of the Gentiles’, the Non-Jews.

Despite all these differences, the two apostles had one vital thing in common.

This is that they both lived the miracle of repentance. The disciple Simon showed obedience and faith, was called Peter – a rock – and so was given keys to the kingdom, as all who confess the faith. And the persecutor Saul was converted on the road to Damascus, as is recounted in Acts Chapter 9, and so Saul became Paul. Thus both apostles Peter and Paul entered Rome and their repentance was crowned with martyrdom.

As we look at the personalities of Peter and Paul, we see that God called them to use their very different personalities to spread the Gospel. It is a reminder to us that our talents and our weaknesses too can become God’s means of helping others, if we allow. We don’t have to be perfect for God to work through us, God can work through us, faults and all, as he did with Peter and Paul. 

Newsletter Oct – Nov 2018

What’s On at St Peter and St Paul’s


  • Weds 3rd : Crafty Coffee and Cake Club 10-12noon in the Village Hall
  • Sun 7th: Holy Communion 9.30;
  • Sunday 10th: Crafty Coffee and Cake Club 10-12noon in the Village Hall
  • Sun 14th : Special Service (see above) 3.00pm
  • Weds 17th : Art Club, 10.00 Village Hall
  • Weds 24th : Crafty Coffee and Cake Club 10-12noon in the Village Hall;
  • Sunday 27th : Messy Church in the Village Hall


  • Weds 7th : Crafty Coffee and Cake Club 10-12 noon in the Village Hall
  • Friday 9th: Remembrance Service, in the church 7pm
  • Weds 14th : Crafty Coffee and Cake Club 10-12 noon in the Village Hall;
  • Weds 21st : Art Club, 10.00 Village Hall
  • Sun 25th: Messy Church 1.30 – 3.00pm, Village Hall
  • Weds 28th : Crafty Coffee and Cake Club 10-12 noon in the Village Hall

Work on the church is due to start very soon now, beginning with the treatment of the dry rot in the Lady Chapel. So, even though the official lottery conservation doesn’t begin until January, you may see the church doors closed unexpectedly for reasons of health and safety.  Throughout the process, which will take a couple of years, whenever the contractors deem it safe, the doors will be opened as usual for people to visit, and enjoy our lovely church. The building may have to be closed, but the church remains at the heart and the use of the village.

We shall be removing the books from the book swap shelves, temporarily, during the messy parts of the work, so please, if you are a reader, get to the church for a good rummage and stock up on your reading material for the winter. When all the work is finished, having a book swap area in the café will be one of our aims.
We shall also be continuing with the clubs in the Village Hall: the Crafty Coffee and Cake Club, the Art Club and the Messy Church. Everyone is welcome. Please keep an eye on our lovely new notice board for updates on special services and other activities. This is the start of an exciting period: all the work that has gone on to get the grant and start the regeneration of the church in its physical and spiritual and community forms has now reached its goal. When the construction work is completed, the church will be ready for many more years of service to the village.

Wish us luck!


As many of you will know Algarkirk Church, often referred to as the ” Mini Cathedral of the Fens” has been awarded an amazing £1.7 million towards its major restoration from the Heritage Lottery Fund. Emergency work will begin very soon on removing a fruiting fungus and a considerable amount of infected timbers and flooring, then will follow chemical spraying all before major structural works commence in early 2019.
To facilitate this work safely and in accordance with Health and Safety requirements SS Peter & Paul Church Algarkirk will temporarily close on Sunday October 14th just before British Summertime ends.
There will be a special liturgy on that day at 3:00pm to remove the sacred vessels and vestments etc in preparation for major building works early in the New Year and to give thanks for the many blessings countless generations have received within these sacred walls. The temporary closure could be until early 2020 when the major structural work is complete, and then we enter the final phase of the restoration project in terms of formulating our new worship patterns and business plan for the building to move into its new future.
The timing of this closure alleviates the dark and cold days of winter in a building without adequate heating.
The Church will continue to be prayed in by your priests once a week on Wednesdays at 12-15pm even in some cases with hard hats. This will allow us to hold on to the fact that this a God given treasure in our midst, and daily speaks and points us Godward!
There will be an encouragement for our present regular congregation to actively and enthusiastically engage with the three neighbouring parish churches of St Mary in Sutterton, All Saints in Fosdyke and SS Peter & Paul in Kirton.
There will be regular reviews of our progress via PCC meetings and AMPG meetings.
As a congregation dispersed over the next two years we will need to meet regularly as a PCC and as a congregation socially and for business matters. It is my hope that as a congregation we can study a book entitled “Houses of Prayer” by Ray Simpson.
As your priest it is my pledge to you all that I will continue to invest quality time in the pastoral care of the parish during this work, and to strengthen ministries such as Messy Church and other ministries that are currently supported by the Church.
We will need to keep our eye on Stewardship matters and the healthy growth of church finances in order to be in a stronger position when the church re-opens.
Please contact Fr Paul Blanch on 01205 624128 for further details regarding baptism, weddings and funerals.

The View from the Vicarage

The month of October often feels very like much like the Autumn season has begun in earnest, and this year, after such an amazing summer it will feel and be a contrast indeed.  As we watch leaves fluttering to the ground, we are reminded that nature’s cycles are mirrored in our lives. Autumn is a time for letting go and releasing things that have been a burden. All the major religious traditions pay tribute to such acts of relinquishment. Autumn or the Fall as our American cousins call it, is the right time to practice getting out of the way and letting the Holy Spirit take charge of our lives.

Autumn reminds us of the impermanence of everything. We have experienced the budding of life in spring and the flowerings and profusions of summer. Now the leaves fall and bare branches remind us of the fleeting nature of all things. Jewish rabbi and writer Harold Kushner in his well known book The Lord Is My Shepherd suggests that when we contemplate Autumn’s changes, we grow more appreciative of all the beauties that surround us.

In the Christian Church, the autumnal season sees us move into two major festivals that come right at the beginning of November – All Saints Day and All Souls Day. These festivals fall on November 1st and 2nd respectively. 
Many people of course love to celebrate Halloween – October 31st, in fact it is one of those very American customs to really take off in the UK over recent years. Halloween is not just about spooky things. The day after Halloween is known by many different names… All Saints’ Day, All Hallows’ Day, Hallowmass. Whatever you call it, November 1st every year is a day for remembering Christian saints and martyrs and celebrating them with festivals and church services held in their honour.

All Souls’ Day meanwhile is a date to remember those who are now deceased. Offering prayers for those who have died is ancient in origin. In the Old Testament’s Second Book of Maccabees, written around 100 B.C. Judas Maccabeus orders his army to pray and offer sacrifices on behalf of their fallen comrades. Tombs found in the Roman catacombs are inscribed with prayer requests for the deceased.  
In our Churches today we still recall our departed loved ones, and we invite all the families and friends of those who have died during the past year to join us for a special act of remembering in SS Peter & Paul Church in Kirton at 7:00pm on Friday November 2nd. At that service we read aloud the names of the departed and families are gently encouraged to come forward and light a candle as a reminder of their loved ones.

The fear of letting go of our notion of a limited self is very real. We are all afraid of death. Any death. All death. Letting go of this earthly life is frightening. Letting go of any prejudice, any preconceived notion, any notion of identity is a form of death. As many wise sages have told us, we come into this world covered in faeces, urine, and blood; we leave it naked covered in a cloth. The mere reflection on our own mortality frightens us. Most of us spend our life in denial, pretending that we are eternally immortal.  But just stop and think – What beauty there is in letting go and accepting.  What wonder there is in embracing the colours inside ourselves. What loveliness there is in the death of one colour, and the shining through of all the divine colours.  How lovely is this human creature when the divine colours of compassion, kindness, mercy, justice, and forgiveness shine on through. I believe it was for this we were born!

Fr Paul

Parish Newsletter

Services Return to the Church!

What’s On at St Peter and St Paul’s:


  • Weds 7th : Crafty Coffee and Cake Club 10-12, Village Hall
  • Weds 14th: Crafty Coffee and Cake Club 10-12
  • Sun 18th : Family Service, 9.30 in the church
  • Weds, 21st : Art Club, 10-12, Village Hall
  • Sun 25th  : Messy Church Picnic, The Grange, Washdyke Rd, 1.30-3.00
  • Weds 28th : Crafty Coffee and Cake Club 10-12 Village Hall;


  • Sun 1st : Family Service, 11.00 in the church
  • Weds 4th : Crafty Coffee and Cake Club 10-12, Village Hall;
  • Weds11th : Crafty Coffee and Cake Club 10-12, Village Hall
  • Sun 15th : Communion 09.30 in the church
  • Weds, 18th : Art Club, 10-12, Village Hall
  • Sun 22nd  : Messy Church, 1.30 – 3.00
  • Weds 25th : Crafty Coffee and Cake Club 10-12 Village Hall

Good news! The work on the dry rot has come to a temporary halt which means services can return to the church once more. I am afraid we still are not able to leave the church open for people to wander in and out as they wish because, for health and safety reasons, some areas of the church could be deemed unsafe for children or those who are a little unsteady on their feet. However, if you wish to access the church for any reason – a visit, private contemplation or worship, let Clive (07856303799) or Cheryllyn (07796010319) know and we will make sure the building is opened up for you. Clive is stepping down as churchwarden, temporarily, while he has treatment for some health issues, and I would like to take this opportunity to say thank-you for all he has done for the church and the village over the past three years. He will be back, so there is an extra reason for us all to wish him a speedy recovery!

We have to say goodbye too to Fr Paul, who is heading for the coast. He will be taking over a single-church parish in Ramsgate, and swapping views of the Fens, for the distant sight of France. His farewell service will be held at Kirton Church on Sunday 8th September. Anyone who wishes to join him to wish him well in his new post, and to wave a final goodbye, will be very welcome. This does mean that we shall be once more without a Parish Priest, but as with the departure of Fr Gary, the diocese made sure we were well supported by visiting priests.

A date for the diary… Sunday 6th October. A Harvest Festival Service will be held in the church at 11.00, followed by our traditional lunch (Hunter’s pie with Lincolnshire vegetables, a choice of luscious desserts from the sweet trolley, and tea or coffee, plus, of course, wine and soft drinks available from the bar).  An auction, raffle and perhaps a surprise or two will follow making an afternoon of the whole thing. At £6, it is a snip. Book your tickets from Cheryllyn, or Di Read (460638). See you there!            CH.