Candlelit carols help preserve Walesby historic church

All Saints Churh on the hill overlooking Walesby. Photo by Angela Mayne
All Saints Churh on the hill overlooking Walesby. Photo by Angela Mayne

Sitting on a hill above Walesby, All Saints Church watches over the village and visitors walking the Viking Way.

This weekend will see the church brought to life once more for the annual Candlelit Carol Service - and it will bring a welcome boost to church funds.

Unusually, the church is a grade one listed building.

Such a listing, in ecclesiastical buildings, is normally reserved for cathedrals and minsters, so it reflects the historical and architectural importance.

The church dates from Norman times so, not surprisingly, there are always repairs and maintenance which need to be done.

In particular it has no damp proof course like modern buildings, so rising damp is always going to be a problem

Legal responsibility for the church rests with the PCC, but they are also responsible for St Mary’s, the more modern church actually in the village, and like a lot of rural parishes their resources are stretched.

Much of the finance for work to the Old Church comes from the Friends, a registered charity, and the grants they are able to obtain.

Friends chairman, Peter Braithwaite knows only too well the work that goes into preserving the church for generations to come.

He said: “When you are in the church you can see immediately that the walls and columns are affected by rising damp.

“Our next project is therefore to instal french drains with related soakaways right round the church.

“This is similar to the system which farmers use for draining heavy land.

“Whilst it won’t be as effective as a modern damp course, it should considerably reduce the level of moisture in the soil and so help to combat the rising damp in the building.”

Work on the church over the past 12 months has cost in the region of £10,000.

The parapets on both sides have been overhauled, which involved replacing some of them and also the base stones on which they are seated.

During this work it became apparent water was seeping in from the gully above the north aisle and this was also cured.

Mr Braithwaite said: “The annual carol service always attracts a capacity crowd and this year will be the first for our new rector Chris Hewitt.

“Proceeds from the service will go to the continuing preservation work on the church, through the Friends of Walesby Old Church.”

• Access to the church is up a track, so sturdy shoes and a torch are recommended.

The annual Candlelit Carol Service will be held this Saturday, December 8, starting at 7pm.

The Gainsborough Salvaion Army Band will be back playing at the service and also performing will be Da Capo folk group and singer Felicity Turner.

Coffee, mulled wine and mince pies will be served in the church at the end of the service.

All proceeds will go to the restoration of the Old Church.