Step back in time and celebrate at Wolds’ church centenary event

St. Mary's Church Walesby,celebrating its centenary in 2014.
St. Mary's Church Walesby,celebrating its centenary in 2014.

Visitors to the Wolds village of Walesby will be very familiar with All Saints Church, the well known Viking Way landmark high above the village.

Many will, however, be less familiar with St Mary’s Church in the centre of the village.

But the two are inextricably linked and this year, starting in February, St Mary’s celebrates its 100th Anniversary.

In 1879, the Rev Perceval Laurence came to the village as rector and shortly after his arrival the inconveniently situated Old Church, now lovingly known as The Ramblers Church, was abandoned.

An iron building in the village was used as a ‘temporary’ parish church - for 30 years.

By 1910, sufficient funds had been raised for a new permanent church.

Work began on St Mary’s on June 6 1913, the very day the 84-year-old Rev Laurence died.

His efforts had not been in vain however and in 1914 the new church was opened.

The font by the door was originally from the old church, one of several examples of links between the two.

Last year, the church celebrated the centenary of the new church build starting, when many descendents of the Rev Laurence from across the world gathered in Walesby.

And leading the celebrations was Vice Admiral Sir Tim Laurence, husband of the Princess Royal and great-grandson of Perceval.

The day was also used as a book launch for Walesby: A Lincolnshire Village History, written by local historian Peter Starling.

At the event, Sir Tim said: ”The book has been beautifully written and gives a good history of the village and it is a great tribute to him.”

Now the celebrations begin for the completion of the new village church, starting with a 1914 -themed night in Walesby Village Hall with music, entertainment and good food.

Period dress is an optional extra.

Organisers hope many villagers, past and present who have links with the church join in the celebration.

Tickets cost £10 and are available from Jackie Freeman on 01673 838444.