19 April 2024

Villagers prepare to bid farewell to church

All Saints’ Church in Burstwick is preparing to hold its last service before the 800-year-old building closes for good.

Residents of the village will bid farewell to one of the oldest operational churches in the region at a service on Thursday, January 26.

The church, which will close its doors on February 1, is just one of many that have been forced to close because of maintenance costs. More than 400 Church of England churches closed between 2010 and 2019.

It was previously discovered that All Saints’ Church needed £250,000 spending on repairs, including a new roof. Various grant-making bodies provided repair funds, but the church still faced a shortfall.

The closing service, which will start at 7.30pm on January 26, will be led by the Bishop of Hull, the Right Reverend Eleanor Sanderson. Bellringers will ring a quarter peal before the service.

A spokesman from the church said: “The bells will be half-muffled, which will produce an evocative sound. When the unmuffled side of the clapper strikes the bell, it will ring out a clear note of thankfulness for all that the church has given, remembering the thousands to whom the church has given comfort in their time of need, the certainty that God cares when they are at rock bottom, joy in weddings, a warm glow at Christmas, hope at Easter.

“When the muffled side of the clapper strikes the bell, it will express our sadness for the
closure, which church leaders share with so many parishioners. But then we hear the unmuffled ring again, which points us forward in hope.

“Faith in Christ has not gone away. Most people in our area still believe in some way or another, and the Church will still be there for everyone. The Church is working towards an expected merger with the neighbouring parish of Keyingham, so St Nicholas’ Keyingham will become the new parish church for the two villages, and clergy will serve both.”

For more information, contact Philip West, assistant curate to All Saints’ Burstwick and South Holderness deanery priest, on 01964 603199.