Candlelit carols at Old Church
Known as the Ramblers Church – and sitting high above the village – this year’s service will take place on Saturday, December 9, starting at 7pm.
The Salvation Army Band from Gainsborough and local group Da Capo will be returning to provide music and this year they will be joined by Stonesthrow, a folk group who composed a song about the church entitled "The Ramblers’ Church" which they entered in the annual competition A Song for Lincolnshire. The song was placed second out of 28 entries and they have agreed to sing it during the service.
As always, coffee, mince pies and mulled wine will be served after the service.
The Candlelit Carol Service is one of the main fundraising events organised by the Friends of the Old Church and it is hoped it will be well supported again.
Twelve months ago, the immediate threat of the church being declared redundant and eventually closed had receded but there was still some doubt about its future as that depended on being able to raise the fixed costs of keeping it open as well as covering ongoing maintenance and repairs.
Thanks to the response of donations and pledges from both local residents and supporters further afield, the future is now more secure as those fixed costs are covered for the moment.
That response is perhaps a reflection of the comments about the church made in a recent architect’s report commissioned by the Parochial Church Council, which says the church is "much loved" and it is “quite possibly the second best known religious building in Lincolnshire after the Cathedral and it's importance to the Church of England as an organisation should not be understated”.
The main work completed in the last 12 months has been to the wall at the west end of the north aisle, where damp was penetrating through both cracked coping stones above the wall and defective pointing on the outside wall. As a result, the internal plaster was so wet it had all to be stripped off and replaced. Unfortunately the whole job took some time as the wall had to dry out completely before it could be re-plastered. It is now complete, but it shows that similar work may be needed to the wall at the opposite end of the aisle.
The architect's report referred to above goes on to list the work which needs to be done at the Church, which is principally to the roofing and the elimination of damp, and sets out the architects' estimate of the costs involved which are considerable.