The project is now at a crucial and exciting stage and the AMPG is looking to expand and recruit new members from a range of professional backgrounds to supplement and support the current skills base within the group.
This is an opportunity to be involved in a major conservation project that will have a national profile. It will also be a flagship initiative within the East Midlands, delivered in partnership with the University of Lincoln, Lincoln Castle Heritage Skills Centre, the Diocese of Lincoln and Heritage Lincolnshire. Trustees will play a central role in its further development and delivery and will become instrumental to its success.
If you would be interested in sharing your skills, and can devote a few hours per month for meetings, and some additional time to contribute your expertise and knowledge to the management and development of the project, we would love to hear from you.
Further informaiton about the role can be downloaded here.
October really stands out for all those who have served our church and our community! Our Harvest Lunch was a great success – a big thank-you to everyone who made it possible; the “Memory books” we made at Crafty Coffee turned out beautifully – thanks Dee; we have heard that planning permission has been granted for our restoration project, which means the toilets and kitchen are one step closer to becoming a reality: again our thanks to the AMPG team for all their hard work. Outside, the weather was kind to us, so the Community Payback team have been able to continue their great work in “God’s Acre”. I am sure all who see the churchyard at Algarkirk will be amazed at the transformation!
Our thanks to the team at Kirton too for hosting the joint parishes’ communion. You need the reassurance of community togetherness as you approach the long cold nights of winter. It was a lovely service (and all the better for having had the extra hour in the morning to linger over breakfast).
Looking ahead, the energy and commitment continues. We will be getting festive at Crafty Coffee as we start to make Christmas decorations this month. Do come and join us. We have a lovely group – male and female – and thoroughly enjoy our fortnightly get-togethers.
Our Friday evening Remembrance service will be very special this year too, falling on 11th November as it does. It will also mark the inauguration of the memorial tree. If you have connections with the village and would like to commemorate the life of anyone who served – in whatever capacity (eg combatant, support staff, land girl or factory worker) – please feel free to come and add a poppy, in their name, to the tree. Our thanks too to all those who made the poppies, and made them so special.
Finally, don’t forget that we shall be starting the Advent season with a St Nicholas Service on the 4th. Bring the children or grandchildren along; the Rev. Paul will be helping to ensure there is lots of interest for them, and joy for us all. It will be followed by a festive fair and Christmas market, with seasonal food, mulled wine and special gift ideas to help with your Christmas lists. You will all be very welcome!
As we approach harvest time, it is time to start reaping the benefits of all the work that has already been put in. As everyone who is involved with the church knows, nothing demonstrates that more than the big festival events that we put on through the year to help boost awareness of our churches among the community, and to raise money to help with running costs. Heritage Open Day is one of those times. The nice part is the fun – both in preparing and on the day itself. At our Crafty Coffee Club, we have been busy with “medieval magic” making corn dollies and country favours, traditionally given to bring good fortune to those you love. Our stained glass club have been very productive too. They will be there on the day with samples of their beautiful craftwork and a chance for visitors to have a go themselves.
It wouldn’t be a festival without great food, would it! The refreshment stall will feature delicious home-made cakes and beverages, which, while I am not sure they can be classed as medicine, will certainly make you feel better! There will also be a display of herbs and other medieval “cures” in the church, along with dressing up clothes. A gargoyle trail and other activities for the children and – because you can’t have a party without dancing – the Grantham Danserye will be performing every hour in the church. And there will be organ music too. Something for everyone to enjoy.
We shall also be celebrating the removal of the scaffolding that has been up in the chancel, which means our worship can return to the altar, and the church may be left open again for people to access it for prayer and the book swap. Blessings indeed!
It hasn’t been much of a summer so far, has it? The mixture of sun rain has played havoc with the churchyard, spurring on the weeds and making the grass grow like crazy. Grass cutting is one of our biggest expenses at the church, and during the summer months we have it cut once every month. Of course, that is not enough to keep it as we would like, but it is all that we can afford. We are still trying to get the money together to replace the lead that was stolen from the roof!
And grass cutting does not take care of the weeds that grow within the graves themselves. In the old days when families remained in the vicinity of the village for all or most of their lives, it was not an issue as there were always willing hands to tend the family graves. But now, with people moving away for work, or family lines dying out, volunteers are needed to help keep the churchyard in order so that it remains a delight and an asset for the whole village. Again, we do what we can, but as everyone who has been battling against weeds in their own garden knows, the weather this summer has not helped! If you can offer some assistance, please let us know either via the church website or by calling one of the churchwardens (Cheryllyn 460142, or Clive 460796).
The excessive rain has also caused problems inside the church with leakages and damp feeding a patch of dry rot, which is now sprouting some huge mushrooms. The problem is being looked at and we hope to have it sorted quite soon, but of course, it is all more expense. We also have scaffolding up in the chancel so that companies who want to tender for the conservation work to the beautiful painted ceiling can get access.
That is why the church has had to be closed in the day time: the scaffolding would be a dangerous temptation for local children, but we are getting all these last quotes in now in preparation for the final submission to the Heritage Lottery fund in November, so the church doors will be open again in time for our Medieval Mirth, Medicine and Magic festival on 11th September.
That should be a great afternoon out for everyone. There will be special attractions and activities for young and older folk alike. You can try your hand at stained glass making, or pick up a traditional charm to bring future prosperity, or just enjoy the music and refreshments. And, best of all, the long-range weather forecast says all of the rain will have gone away!
See you there!
Saturday, September 9th, 2017 – 10:00am to 5:00pm
Sunday, September 10th, 2017 – 11:00am to 16:30pm
Algarkirk’s mediaeval “mini cathedral of the fens” is renowned for its beautiful archtitecture, exquisite stained glass and fine painted schemes. A Simon Jenkins 3* church.
Open Saturday for quiet reflection. Guided tours and church registers available.
Open Sunday from 11.00. Organ music 11.00 – 12.00; all day tours; stained glass demonstration; hands-on craft activities for all ages; dressing-up and traditional fun and games, as well as delicious traditional baking with recipes from across the centuries. The organ may be played.
Sausage rolls, sausage baps, bacon baps and home-made cakes available on Sunday.
After all the activity of May, it will be something of a relief to have a quieter month at the church! Not that we didn’t thoroughly enjoy and appreciate all the activity of May! Quite apart from the honour, and blessing of having Bishop Nicholas, it was wonderful to see the pews filled with worshippers, and the choir stalls full of the collected voices of singers from different churches around the diocese (including our friends from Kirton, for which, many thanks!) Unfortunately, it takes such a special event to really fill our churches these days – especially they are as big as St Peter and St Paul – and that applies to both of our parishes. Something else that was very memorable for me, was taking my place along with my fellow churchwardens from the benefice, as we walked, united, to lead the Bishop: it was a real feeling of Christian fellowship.
Fellowship is key to the success of our Crafty Coffee & Cake Club too. New members are joining us every month, and staying because it is such lovely group and the activities are fun too. This month we shall be painting flower pots and glass jars to make attractive holders for the wonderful summer blooms that June brings. Next month – July – we shall be focusing on straw craft: learning how to make corn dollies and altar dressings, hoping to be expert in time for the Harvest festivals and celebrations in September.
The Stained Glass club is thriving too. They are making some beautiful things. As ever, the doors are always open to new members, so if you want to give it a try, just wander along.
Finally, we are now approaching the deadlines for having everything completed for our Heritage Lottery Fund application. Fingers crossed pleased…