by Rebecca Hannant
The 800-year-old All Saints Church in Burstwick has conducted its final service.
On Thursday, January 26, residents of the village and surrounding areas attended the service, which was led by the Bishop of Hull, the Right Reverend Dr Eleanor Sanderson.
She was assisted by the Archdeacon of the East Riding, the venerable Andy Broom, area dean the Reverend Alisdair Laird, Rev Dr Susan Pulko and Rev Philip West.
The service also welcomed many people who were closely affiliated with the church including former and current vicars, church wardens, gardeners, bell ringers and choir singers. The service was also supported by the All Saints Cubs, led by Gary Hewson.
The Beverley and District Bellringers were also in attendance and were led by Helen Audley, who rang a half-muffled quarter peal.
Local faith leader Tracey Netherton said: “Our bells are some of the very best in the whole area, with such a beautiful tone, and we have had visitors from all over the world coming to ring them. The team felt very sad ringing the bells down for the final time.
“My husband Richard and I retired as church wardens at the APCM last May. At that point the closure schedule had been put in place and paperwork was making its way through the London courts.
“We just couldn’t see the process through to the end as it was just heartbreaking.”
Before its closure, the church was one of the oldest operational churches in the region. However, like many across the country funding could not be sought leaving the church with amounting repairs and operational costs. The church also faced a shortfall in congregation numbers leading to a decline in the types of funding available.
The future of faith in the village of Burstwick will now lie within the parish of Keyingham.
Villagers who previously attended the services at Burstwick All Saints have been invited to any of the other churches in the area.
Plans are under way to proceed services in the village hall now that it has been licensed for worship, but the licence does not include weddings, baptisms or funerals.
The churchyards and the cemetery will also be unaffected and will be maintained by East Yorkshire Council. Events at the village hall will also be unaffected.