The Old Church, Walesby2

Photo by Brian Windle

The Old Church, Walesby



10th December 2016:  

On behalf of the Friends of the Old Church I would like to say a big “Thank you” to all the people who helped in so many different ways with last Saturday’s Carol Service - putting out the floodlights and providing the electricity, setting up the church, acting as stewards or marshalls on the night, preparing and serving the mince pies, coffee and mulled wine and (last but not least) clearing up and cleaning the church afterwards. Despite the weather the service was very well attended and I’m sure enjoyed by everyone. It was a memorable occasion for John’s last carol service at the Old Church.

You will also be pleased to know that the collection raised the magnificent sum of over £800, with gift aid of approximately £110 to be claimed on top of that!

However we do not want to rest on our laurels so if anyone has suggestions of any ways in which the service might be improved in the future, do please tell us. We will be having a committee meeting early in the New Year.

Thank you once again.

Peter Braithwaite   (01673 838352)
1st July 2015

At the recent AGM of the Friends Colin Lesser resigned as Treasurer. He has done an excellent job as Treasure for many years and has made a great contribution to the work of the Friends. We thank him very much for all his work and are sorry to lose him but we now need to find a new Treasurer.

The Old church dates back to Norman times and is a grade 1 listed building which is unusual for a parish church – such status usually being reserved for buildings such as Cathedrals etc.  Quite apart from this, it is a building which is much loved and much visited by very many people of all faiths, with over 500 entries in the Visitors Book in the last 12 months. The repair and upkeep of the church is therefore vital and the role of the Friends, which is a registered charity, is to assist the PCC in this.

If there is anyone who would be interested in becoming our Treasurer we would be most pleased to hear from you. Clearly we are very happy to explain more about the Friends and the job of Treasurer before anyone commits themself.

Please contact either me (838352) or our Secretary, Fay Thurman, (838428).

Peter Braithwaite - Chairman

The Friends were formed on the 16th December 1976 and in 1982 it was registered  as  a charity with the charity commissioners and numbered 512140.

The Friends came into being for the purpose of weatherproofing and restoring the Old Church. We work in cooperation with the Parochial Church Council and with the support of the Earl of Yarborough, who agreed to become President.

By 1976 the church was in a very poor state.... rain came through in many places in the roof. The interior walls and pillars were covered with a damp fungus mould, and pigeons and rooks had made their home in the tower.

It was then that the Friends started their work on raising funds, and they have been very successful in completing many projects one of them being the huge work of stopping the rain getting into the building, this is still an ongoing concern of ours.

Chairman:-  Peter Braithwaite.  Treasurer :- Colin Lesser.     Secretary :-  Fay Thurman

Contact email :-  

A few examples of the work carried out so far  :-

1981 – 1982
An underground drainage system was laid all around the church to take the water seepage away from the foundations and the old rainwater channels round the walls were restored.

All external stonework was checked, grouted and re-pointed. This entailed the expensive hire of scaffolding

The Chancel roof was stripped of slates, and all decayed timbers replaced and all accessible woodwork treated. A waterproof membrane was laid before the slates were replaced. All damaged slates were renewed. The plaster was removed from the East Wall of the chancel and re-rendered. All exposed timbers including the Tower and wooden furniture were treated with water based preservative and insecticide.

Major repairs were carried out to the tower. Structural timbers were repaired so that the bells could once again be rung. The tower was re-roofed using stainless steel. The four pinnacles which are heavily eroded have been pinned and secured from falling outwards. The lightning conductor was installed.

Now we await advice from the architect who is due to carry out a Quinquennial inspection and we will carry out maintenance and repairs as funds allow.

People from all walks of life have become Friends either by making regular donations, or by donating time to the Old Church. Any-one can easily become a friend by contacting Colin Lesser at the above email address or any of the other committee members.

We hold 2 regular services a year at the Old Church – The Ramblers Service that is held on Trinity Sunday, and our very popular Carols by Candlelight Service which is always the second Saturday in December. Everyone is very welcome to attend these services.

Dear Friends


Most of you will be aware that Alan and Kath Burton retired from the committee two years ago, after many years of dedication to the Old Church. They both worked very hard and were responsible for the fundraising that was needed to carry out the many repairs that needed attention.

For those of you who don’t already know our committee now consists of Peter Braithwaite – chairman, Colin Lesser – treasurer, Fay Thurman secretary and also David Thurman is a committee member. We also have volunteers when needed, but we always need helpers, so if there are any out there please contact one of us. The challenge of maintaining the fabric of the Old Church continues and our commitment will be as great as that of Alan and Kath.


This is always a very important part of our work, and as you all know the Carol Service is very popular as well as being our main event of the year. You might have noticed that we have made a few changes. Last year David Thurman approached Duckworths -  they were only too pleased to help us with the transport, and they now look forward to the event each year. Also Colin hit upon the idea of altering the lighting by making new candle holders from long lengths of wood suspended from pillar to pillar. This worked extremely well, giving more light as well as being much safer.  Well done Colin!

We also intend to improve the publicity for the Ramblers Service which is held on Trinity Sunday June 15th at 3pm and to invite more Ramblers Clubs and of course you the Friends. Watch this space!

Last year we had our first coffee morning which was a great success, and we will be holding one again this year on Saturday 28th June so please keep the morning free. It will be held at Fay’s home again at The Old Joiners Workshop, Walesby.

Cleaning Day:

In August of last year we held our first “clean the church day”, and those of you who visit the Old Church will have seen the results of all the hard work that was achieved with the help of volunteers - it looked great. We shall be repeating the clean up again in August of this year so please look out for posters for details.

Quinquennial Inspection:

All churches are supposed to have an inspection by a qualified architect or surveyor every five years. We had this done in October last year and the report came out just before Christmas. Although, due to the work carried out in the past, the report was better than we expected there is still work to be done – some urgent , some within a year and some within five years. Urgent items, involving the removal of loose masonry and replacement of missing or broken tiles, have either been done or are in hand at a relatively modest cost but the estimated cost of other work which mainly relates to drainage/damp issues and the repair/replacement of the parapets, is just under £20,000. This is work which needs to be done to preserve the building and we are obtaining detailed quotations and looking into possible grant assistance. When the outcome of this is known, we will have a better idea of the funding which will be needed, and will be in a position to discuss the situation with the PCC (which is responsible for sanctioning all work on the church) and to report  further  to members.

In the meantime if you have any questions or would like further information, please feel free to contact either Fay (01673 838428) or Peter (01673 838352).

Finally a  huge  thank you for all your help and support, without you we would not be able to continue with our work to preserve the Old Church for future generations.

With  best wishes to you all.