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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


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


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


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.

Rev Jo's letter for November 2015

November is a month of remembering. On 1st we observe All Saints and All Souls, remembering those who have gone before us into God's Kingdom; not just the haloed ones who adorn our stained glass windows, but the 'ordinary' people whom we knew and loved (and who most certainly were not ordinary), all united in that great cloud of witnesses as the writer to the Hebrews puts it.

It is our custom at Great Casterton to observe this as the Commemoration of the Faithful Departed, with a service during which we can light candles in memory of our own departed ones and hear them remembered by name before God. A list of names is available in the church and you are welcome to add any to that list. A warm welcome is extended to anyone who would like to come and remember a friend or family member in this way, and if worshippers from the other churches would like their departed remembered by name, please let me know this in good time.

After the service we shall inter the ashes of the late Michael Ward in the churchyard. I hope all those who would like to do so will come and join us as we say a final farewell to a man who loved and served Great Casterton church for so many years. We shall have good reason to remember him, because in his will Michael left us a sum of money which will be used (in accordance with his family's wishes) to renew the lighting in the church. Michael, by his own admission, did not like change of any sort, but he was very enthusiastic about the project to install better lighting for those reading small print, and at the same time lighting our lovely roof and stonework. It will be a fitting way to remember him. I have discussed this idea with his family, who are equally enthusiastic.

The following Sunday is Remembrance, when we give thanks for those who laid down their lives in two world wars and many subsequent conflicts, but when, above all, we pray for peace. Never since the end of WW2, I think, has there been a greater need for peace and reconciliation in the world, where daily acts of atrocity continue to take place.

The Church celebrates Christ the King on the last Sunday before Advent, which this year is November 22nd. I was somewhat surprised when someone queried the validity of this celebration, telling me it was 'Catholic'. Indeed it is, in origin, and it is catholic in the sense that the Anglican, Lutheran and Methodist churches all celebrate it and have their own liturgies for it. The feast of Christ the King Sunday celebrates the ultimate authority of Christ over his Kingdom – on earth and in heaven as King of kings and Lord of lords as we read in Revelation 19. That, surely, is every reason to celebrate it, since we pray daily thy kingdom come. If we profess the Kingdom we must profess the Kingship of Jesus.

And finally, on Sunday 29th, Advent Sunday and a fifth Sunday, we have a Benefice service at Little Casterton. Recently our benefice services have been very well attended by our five churches. Advent is a period of spiritual preparation in which Christians prepare for the coming of Jesus Christ as a baby at Christmas, but also for his final coming at the end of time. It's a season of prayer, fasting and repentance, followed by anticipation, hope and joy. It would be a good start to the season of Advent, and a witness to our existence as a benefice rather than five individual churches if they were all to be represented this time, especially on such an important day in the church calendar.

Our food bank collection at Great Casterton has been huge recently – in the last four weeks I have taken a total of 27 large bags of food and toiletries to the foodbank. Thank you for your great generosity – and do keep sending items (there is a box in the church and one at the school.) They are currently in particular need of toilet rolls, plastic razors, hand wash, shower gel and disposable nappies at present, and would welcome Christmas treats too.

Elsewhere in this edition you will see an article about a scheme by which certain solicitors will draw up a Will for you, giving their time free in return for a donation to charity. So often I encounter situations where people have not left a will, and this can cause rifts within the family because the deceased person's wishes are not made clear. I can understand that it makes death seem very real if you do draw up a will, but it is only sensible and thoughtful to do it, so please think about this offer. It is a great help to me when people include instructions for their funeral, and it relieves their family of a difficult task.

At Great Casterton there has been much discussion by the PCC of the children's corner. At present this is located on the north side, where parents have to negotiate the font, the choir and the music stand to reach it. Then if the child (as children do) decides he or she needs a toilet visit, they have to re-negotiate these obstacles. For occasional or first-time churchgoers this can be very daunting and intimidating, so we have sought permission from the diocese to relocate the area to the south side, and to restore pews in the existing children's corner. The Diocese was enthusiastic about the idea, and we have permission to make the change on a trial basis for one year, ending in November 2016. After that we will reassess the situation and if it seems to work well, we will apply for a faculty giving us permission to make it permanent.

I am aware that some of the congregation are not happy about this, which is the reason for initially seeking temporary permission. However, we must remember that the PCC is elected by the congregation to make decisions on their behalf, because discussion with an entire congregation is far too cumbersome. If you are not happy with this, the answer is to attend the APM and get yourself elected to the PCC (though I am reminded of what someone said to me just before the General Election – Don't vote, it just encourages them!)

The church hall at Gt Casterton is in need of some DIY volunteers – outside window sills need rubbing down and Sadolin applying. If anyone would like some gentle exercise of this nature, pleasant company and plentiful cups of tea, please let John Horobin know.

And finally, some words of John Calvin, the great Protestant reformer, which we would do well to remember: Wherever we see the Word of God purely preached and heard, there a church of God exists, even if it swarms with many faults.

With best wishes




(9.15 at TINWELL)



















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.