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UK Local Councils

Great Casterton Parish Council

Serving the people of Great Casterton

Clerk: Derek Patience
29 Priory Gardens, Stamford, PE9 2EG

Tel: 01780 753066

The Church of St Peter & St Paul

St. Peter and St. Paul, Great Casterton is one of the five churches in the group comprising Great Casterton, Little Casterton, Pickworth, Tickencote and Tinwell


PRIEST-IN-CHARGE

The Rev. Jo Saunders 01780 480479 / 07946237223 Email revjosaunders@live.co.uk

HONORARY ASSISTANT PRIEST

The Rev Bob Mackrill 01780 763788 / 0775365051 Email bobmackrill@btinternet.com

READER

Mrs Rhona Tomlyn 01780 764462 Email rhonatomlyn@gmail.com

Our Sunday Service is at 10.30, and is Holy Communion on the 1st, 3rd and 4th Sunday. We have an informal Family Service on the 2nd Sunday. Visitors are always welcome, and we have a toy corner for small children. Baptisms are held during the main Sunday service, but may also be arranged at other times by arrangement. Anyone living in, or with a connection to Great Casterton which includes Rutland Heights has the legal right to marry there. Please contact Rev Jo for further details and information.

We have a coffee morning in the hall every Wednesday in term time from 10.30 and warmly welcome visitors

Our Toddler Group meets in the hall every Friday in term time from 10.00 and we welcome all toddlers and their carers.

For details of Bible Study, House Group or Christian Faith courses please contact Rev Jo.

Gt. Casterton Church Hall is available for lettings. Contact Steve Suffling 01572 869033 mobile 0752 8359511 Email chez1521@hotmail.com

The Casterton Singers form the church choir, but also give concerts. New members are very welcome. Contact Jill Bush 01780 767270 or Marion Horobin 01780 755523

Large print copies of Service Sheets are available and we have excellent wheelchair access

Details of all services in the group can be found below.

PRAYER GUIDE FOR THE WEEK

Monday: Those who lack self-esteem and feel themselves to be a failure

Tuesday: Those who carry the burden of guilt and cannot forgive themselves.

Wednesday: Those who are unhappy at work, or whose work is unfulfilling

Thursday: Those continually under pressure and strain

Friday: Those who are enslaved, either by others or by their addiction

Saturday: Those who lack the courage to change their lives

Lord Jesus, be a light to my eyes,music to mine ears, sweetness to my taste, and full contentment to my heart.Be my sunshine in the day, my food at table, my repose in the night, my clothing in nakedness, and my succour in all necessities.Lord Jesus, I give you my body,my soul, my substance, my fame,my friends, my liberty, and my life.Dispose of me and all that is mineas it may seem best to you and to the glory of your blessed name. Amen.

John Cosin C17th Bishop of Durham

Rev Jo's letter for FEBRUARY 2016

February opens with one of my favourite days in the church calendar – Candlemas, or to give it its proper title The Feast of the Presentation of the Holy Child Jesus in the Temple. Candlemas commemorates the ritual purification of Mary, 40 days after the birth of her child. In Jewish practice the family would take their male ( female babies were not considered of value …) child to the temple where the priest would bless him.

Luke's Gospel tells how two very old and very holy people, Anna and Simeon, were there. Simeon held the baby Jesus and called him a Light to lighten the gentiles – he recognised that Jesus had come not just for Israel but for the whole world.

In church tradition the festival is called Candlemas because all the candles to be used in the church throughout the year were blessed.

Like many other Christian festivals, Candlemas has its roots in Pagan practice; the ancient Gaelic people called it Imbolc. February 2nd is half way between the winter solstice (the shortest day) and the spring equinox. To pagan people this was a festival of light, because it told them that the sun which was rarely seen during the dark days of winter was alive again, and the spirits who lived in darkness and which they feared would be put to flight.

There are other superstitions and beliefs surrounding Candlemas; many believed that Candlemas predicted the weather for the rest of the winter:

If Candlemas Day be fair and bright, Winter will have another fight.

If Candlemas Day brings cloud and rain, Winter will not come again.

Superstition held that that if a candle dripped on one side on Candlemas a family member would die during the year and that snowdrops (sometimes called Candlemas Bells) in the house on Candlemas presaged bad luck. My grandmother, an immensely superstitious person, was a firm believer in these ideas.

Candlemas marks the end of the Christmas and Epiphany season, so our crib and its figures will be returned to their box until next Christmas as we prepare to enter the season of Lent, with Ash Wednesday on February 10th. There will be a short said Communion at 10.15 in Great Casterton church (replacing Morning Prayer). It is our custom to make the sign of the cross in ash (prepared from last year's palm crosses) on the foreheads of those who wish – but if you don't like that idea it's certainly not compulsory. It would be good if people from the other churches were to join us; Lent is for all of us, after all.

And talking of the crib, our Christmas Eve Crib service at Great Casterton saw a congregation of 146, and we were painfully aware that several children were disappointed when we ran out of animals to place in the crib. Thanks to a generous donation I have purchased a full set of camels, which were the most sought after animal, and I am sourcing more animals for next year. Thanks, to John Horobin, one of the shepherds now has a head again– he met with an accident during Epiphany.

Christmas services were very well attended this year, with over 500 people attending services across the benefice, so don't believe the newspapers when they gleefully report on 'plummeting' church attendance.

Last month I issued a plea for more help in the churches. I'm delighted to say that we now have a potential PCC secretary at Gt Casterton, and I have received two offers of help at Tickencote. I am extremely grateful but please don't think this is all we need – Tickencote, in particular, still needs more support, and we urgently need help at the Friday Toddler group at Gt Casterton.

The Foodbank still needs regular donations – toiletries, cleaning materials, dried pet food as well as the usual instant potato, tinned meat, fruit and vegetables. At present they ask that no more baked beans or pasta be donated – they are overstocked with these. The need continues , especially for those on zero hours contracts, those whose work is seasonal, those experiencing delays in benefits and those unable to work though illness, incapacity, or the need to care for children or a relative. There is a box underneath the table as you enter Gt Casterton church and one at the primary school as well.

Quoting Isaiah, Jesus said The Spirit of the Lord is upon me; he has anointed me to tell the good news to the poor. He has sent me to announce release to the prisoners and recovery of sight to the blind, to set oppressed people free. In 2016, let's do all we can to follow this example.

OTHER SERVICES WITHIN THE GROUP

SUNDAY

9.00
(9.15 at TINWELL)

10.3O

OTHER

FIRST

HC TINWELL

HC LT CASTERTON

HC GT CASTERTON

SECOND

HC OR MP TICKENCOTE APRIL,MAY, JUNE JULY ONLY PLUS CAROL SERVICE
MP TINWELL

FAMILY SERVICE
GT CASTERTON

THIRD

HC LT CASTERTON

HC GT CASTERTON

EVENSONG 3.00 WINTER 4.00 SUMMER TINWELL

FOURTH

HC or MP PICKWORTH
HC TINWELL

HC GT CASTERTON

FIFTH

BENEFICE HC IN ONE OF OUR FIVE CHURCHES - SEE NOTICE BOARDS OR p-IN-C's LETTER FOR DETAILS EACH TIME

The Parish Church stands in what in Roman times was a protected zone between the ramparts and ditch on the N.and E.and the river on the S. and W. The church stands on the site of a Roman temple, on which an early Christian church was built; this was probably a wooden structure, but of it no trace remains.

The wooden structure was replaced by a Saxon church consisting of a small Chancel and an archless Nave. Saxon long and short work is still in evidence in the S.E. corner of the nave.

The Norman church consisted of a nave and two small aisles divided from the Nave by round, arched arcades resting on columns of stone with square bases. The nave was low with a flat wooden roof. The tower opened into the nave through a fine horseshoe arch. At the E. end was a wall pierced with a low round arch leading into a small oblong chancel, against the East end of which was the altar.

In the 13th Century an Early English chancel with lancet windows was built, while the round arch between the nave and chancel was raised to a point. Other changes followed: the aisles were lighted with windows with decorated tracery, and carried on their walls in rough distemper the story of the Incarnation. Above the Norman arcade was added a clerestory with decorated windows surmounted by an open roof of massive oak timbers. Across the chancel arch stretched a wooden loft carrying figures of Our Lord on the Cross with St Mary and St John on either side.

In the 15th century a clerestory was added. The font on a chamfered plinth may be late 12th/early 13th century.

The Reformation saw the destruction of many of the church's treasures.

In the 18th century the church was fitted with box pews of deal.

Considerable restoration work was carried out in the mid to late 20th century.