Church News

A Memorial for the dead.

Many people have lost people they loved during lockdown, whether they have died from Coronavirus or other causes. When a funeral has been attended by almost no-one, there has been no wake, there may have been no last goodbye, the death seems sadder than ever to
many people.
It has been suggested that a temporary quiet space could be made in the churchyard where people could leave a message, or bring an art work or similar to remember their loved one.

What form should this take? Suggestions include a garden, ribbons on a tree, or a fountain. If you have any ideas, please send them to

Amanda Hart (  or
Nell Steele (

East Winch Church
Update - 15 May 2020

Throughout lockdown, there are no services in church, though there are a wide variety to choose from online.
In addition, there is a free Church of England telephone service, Daily Hope, which , after an introduction by the archbishop, offers a choice of a service, prayers, or
It’s available 24 hours a day. Ring 0800 804 8044 to try it out!

The bishop has recently issued new guidance allowing one nominated person to enter the church to conduct a recorded service, to ring the bell or to check the state of the building. Rev Riaz will nominate who that person will be. There is still an embargo on other people going into the church.

Like most churches, the Church of England has decided that there will be no public worship, Bible Studies, or any event which brings people together, for the foreseeable future.

The CofE has decreed that all churches must be closed even for private prayer.

Many Faiths and denominations have posted services, prayers and sermons online; we hope that these might be helpful.

If you would like prayers said for you, please contact the local members of our ministry team,

Rev’d Riaz        01553 841519
Nell Steele        01553 840814
Amanda Hart    01553 841236

Alpha Course - (is cancelled/postponed until further notice)

The benefice will be running an Alpha Course in May and June. It’s a great way for teens and
adults to learn more about Christianity, and is suitable for anyone who is interested in the faith,
whether they’re regular church attenders, people who are thinking of going, or people who’d just
like to make up their own minds. The 6 meetings are going to take place at North Runcton
Community Hall on Wednesdays at 6.30, starting on 6th May. After a meal, we watch a video
and then break into groups to discuss the topics raised by the film. The experience of most
people is that it’s relaxed, friendly and stimulating. There is no charge, though of course
donations wouldn’t be refused!
Dates are: 6th, 13th and 20th May and 3rd, 17th and 24th June.At the end of the course, there’s
a Holy Spirit day: the date is not yet fixed, but may be Saturday 4th July.
If you’re interested, but can’t make all the dates, don’t worry: just come when you can.
Please tell Revd. Riaz (841519), Revd. Heather Berry ( 764098), or Nell (840145) if you are
thinking of coming. Anyone who has registered will be contacted if plans need to be changed
because of coronavirus.

Holy Week events

Holy Week takes place before Easter Day, and is a time when Christians reflect on the great
sacrifice of Jesus, our Saviour. The events taking place are in churches, but are not standard
church services.
On Tuesday, 7th April, 6.30. at North Runcton, we’re going to read poetry bringing us closer to
Jesus and his suffering. People can write their own poems, just meditate, or use their artistic
skills. Nell will put up some visual prompts too.
On Thursday, 9th April, 6.30. at West Winch, Revd. Heather will lead a service of foot washing
and Holy Communion, commemorating the Last Supper according to St John, when Jesus
washed the feet of his disciples. Because of Coronavirus, please bring your own towel if you
would like to have your feet washed. Again as a precaution, only communion wafers will be
distributed, not wine.
On Good Friday, 2pm at North Runcton, Revd. Heather will lead ‘A day they call Good’, a
reflective service of Bible readings, meditations, hymns and silence.
Sadly, the Easter Garden service will not take place at Middleton this year, but the totally fun
Easter Egg Hunt will take place - outdoors in the churchyard if possible - at East Winch church
on Saturday, 11th April at 10.30. The church doesn’t have a toilet, and only a cold water outdoor
tap to wash hands.

March 2019

Last year, Mr. Bland planted daffodils all around the church car park. By mid February most were already in bud; astonishingly early! Thanks to him the churchyard is much more colourful in the spring.

In the autumn he also cleared masses of foliage from the old Victorian graves on the west side of the church, so now their dramatic qualities can be admired again.

As to the church itself, the tarpaulin covering which replaced the stolen lead nearly two years ago had started to let in rain, but it has now been replaced with felting, which is a much longer term, though still temporary, solution.
It should keep us dry while we fundraise for all the things which urgently need doing, including replacing the lost lead with steel, installing a toilet and
renovation of many windows. It does take a long time, and and there are many more hurdles ahead.

The new heaters have tended to fuse ever since they were installed. Thanks to a local electrician, we may have found a remedy - increasing the power supply to the church. The heaters are all working AT THE MOMENT!


August 2018.
Some work has been carried out on the church wall. Roger Bland has cut down much of the vegetation - bushes and trees, that were growing from the top of the wall between the inner and outer walls.

The Adopt a Brick fund for the wall is still ongoing.
Contributions towards the cost of restoration will be gratefully received.


The peacocks are making themselves unpopular by roosting in the church porch, and accordingly the main entrance to the church is covered in poo, though we do clear it up when we can.
So apologies for the mess, and if anyone has some bright ideas how to keep them away, please tell Nell, or Wendy Smith, or Shaun Dale.


Sound system installed in the church.

Following several funerals last summer when it was difficult to hear the speakers, members of East Winch United Charities got their heads together and decided to pay for the installation of a sound system in the church.

The system was installed and tried out at the beginning of March 2018.

Church members are absolutely delighted with the result. Thank you so much!


Church is open on Saturdays during British Summer Time, from 10am - 4pm.


MAY 2017:

Lead stolen from the Church roof.

The lead was stolen from the north and south aisle roofs during the night of 11th-12th May 2017.
The north aisle has been completely stripped and the south aisle has been stripped for about one third of its length.

A gallery of photographs of the damage may be seen here   Step through the images and click on any image to zoom in.

.It seems from the marks on the grass that the thieves came in across the fields. And the next day would be the one when it rained for the first time in weeks!

It looks as if other projects will have to be put on hold till this is sorted out."

To provide protection from the weather the aisle roofs have been temporarily covered with a waterproof membrane.

Ironically, the PCC were working with the diocese to get a comprehensive alarm system fixed when it happened.

This page will be updated with any further information that becomes available.



All Saints has received the 5-yearly architect's report.

The glass in the windows is in dreadful condition, and there are other urgent things too.

The most pressing need being the wall along the A47. Now that David and Brian have finished their great work of clearing the plant growth away, its full horror is revealed.

To go towards the thousands needed to mend it, we are running an

'Adopt a Brick' scheme.

You pay £1 and a brick is named after you! I can't promise that we'll be able to point to Fred's  brick or Myrtle's lump of carrstone, but as you drive by, you can tell yourself, "I own a bit of that wall!"

Contact Nell 840814, Janet 840510 or Wendy, 842281.

On Thursday, 30th March, Bishop Jonathan (he's the one who sings loudly and has made a CD of himself singing pop songs) is visiting this benefice.

Rev. Riaz has arranged a Community Hour at 4pm at West Winch village hall, with local people from all walks of life coming to talk about what they do. Do join them!

A similar COMMUNITY HOUR will be arranged for each of the parishes in the Benefice. East Winch will have it's turn in the autumn.

Church Opening hours

During the the winter the church is not routinely open to visitors - apart of course for services. However, it may be opened on request to those wishing to visit.
If you would like to go in, please phone Wendy (842281), Janet (840510) or Colin (841208).

If you have any views about when the church is open or not, please let Nell know. (840814).

Details of forthcoming Church services may be seen here