THIRTY years dedicated service to the Wolds’ best known landmark church has ended.
Alan Burton and his wife Kath have looked after All Saints Church, the Ramblers’ Church, that stands high on the Wolds above Walesby for all that time, doing much of the maintenance work voluntarily and inspiring major restoration work.
At a packed carol service in the church, tributes were paid to Mr Burton’s work as Chairman of the Friends of the old Church.
All Saints stands on the Viking Way at one of the highest spots in Lincolnshire and has become a place of pilgrimage and popular for ramblers - hence the adopted name of The Ramblers Church.
All Saints was described by John Betjeman as “an exceptionally attractive church worth bicycling twelve miles against the wind to see”
Built from local stone, the earliest recorded date is 1172 and this is supported by two archways - one Norman and one Early English.
The list of rectors in the Church dates back to the fourteenth century. Alan and Kath Burton were among founding members when the Friends of The Old Walesby Church came into being in the late 1970s as a support group of volunteers.
New Chairman Peter Braithwaite, also of Walesby, said: “It would take too long to reflect on all that Alan has done over the years.
“His contribution has been considerable. He has sadly had to deal with thefts on occasions and lead restoration projects.”
The service made a fitting end to the dedicated work the couple have given.
Music at the carol service was led by the Gainsborough Citadel Salvation Army Band, Da Capo Folk Group of Market Rasen and Claxby Handbell Ringers.
Lessons were read by Churchwarden Martin Warrener, Allison Riddell and Brian Windle. The service was led by Rev John Carr Rector of the Walesby Group of Churches and Musical Director for the Band was Andrew Blyth.