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Who Are We?

Our church in Wilsford, St Mary’s (or to give it its full and unusual title: The Church of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary) is part of the East Loveden Group of six churches, the others being St Martin’s in Ancaster, St Peter’s in Rauceby, St Andrew’s in Kelby, St Michael in Heydour and St Bartholomew’s in Welby.

The Rector of the Group is the Reverend Georgie Machell (MEd).

01400 230722

St Mary's Church: About
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The History

A full guide to St Mary’s, written and illustrated by Dick Fairhead, is available from the church and is the source of much of what follows. 

Our church is a Grade I-listed building. There are traces of Anglo Saxon stonework in the church so there must have been a building on the present site since at least the first half of the 11th Century. Since then additions have been made in styles that include Early English (13th Century); Decorated (14th Century); and Perpendicular (15th Century). Then in the mid-19th Century the Victorians carried out a major rebuild of the church that is evident from an inspection of the interior.

For anyone with even a passing interest in church architecture there are dozens of features of interest inside: a 15th Century font, some beautiful medieval carved pew ends, Norman arches of exquisite simplicity and some wonderful carved stone heads. But for a combination of style and impact nothing surpasses the stained glass window behind the altar at the east end of the church. This is our memorial, unveiled in 1920, to the 22 men of the village who fell in the First World War. The names of those men and their regimental cap badges are on the window along with images of St George and other saints. There is a permanent exhibition in the Bell Tower at the west end of the church that explains the window in greater detail and carries information about the fallen men.

The church is there for everybody whether they wish to attend formal worship,

visit the church for private prayer or merely admire an historic building. But in a broader sense the church is the village centre and has been for a thousand years. We hope that everybody seeing it will feel a sense of strength and continuity and a pride in our small community.

St Mary's Church: About
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The Present

Sadly, the church is not immune from the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic and broadly speaking our church like the places of worship is under lockdown. There are exceptions, however, and we are opening for private prayer each Wednesday morning from 09.30 to 10.30. A member of the Church Council will be on hand to assist with necessary preventative measures like social distancing and sanitising. Additionally, each Sunday one church in the East Loveden Group will be holding a service of Holy Communion at 10.00. It will be St Mary’s turn on Sunday 16 August. Anybody thinking of baptisms and weddings or is faced with a funeral or interment of ashes should contact Rev’d Georgie

St Mary's Church: About
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A lot of people not directly involved with the church imagine that churches are maintained by some national body and that any fund raising we do is just to cover desirable add-ons. Nothing could be further from the truth. We, the village and the Church Council have to maintain the church, insure it, pay for regular inspections, cleaning and utilities and buy the items necessary for the daily running of the church. AND, far from receiving financial support from the centre, we have to pay each year to the Diocese of Lincoln a sum around £7000 to cover the costs of clergy, accommodation and pensions. We are lucky in that, in addition to the money we take through collections, a number of people in the village make regular donations to us through Bankers Orders and so on and we are able to claim Gift Aid refunds on that.
And as if that was not enough two thefts, the most recent in 2018, stripped all the lead from the roof of the church. We are also responsible for paying to replace it, fortunately not with more lead but with terne-coated stainless steel. But even that will cost around £57,000. We would hope to raise part of the sum from the major grant-funders but they are currently concentrating on Covid 19-related causes so it will be a while before we can make an application. In the meantime our roof fund stands at £… so there’s a long way to go.

St Mary's Church: About
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