Lincolnshire Wolds Places of Worship

Tealby copyright Push Creativity

Discover the wonder of the Lincolnshire Wolds' sacred heritage.  Telling the stories of past lives in the county's rural villages and market towns, churches bring to life the history of the Lincolnshire Wolds and the surrounding area in such an exciting way.  From medieval stained glass to angels in roves, memories of our fallen heroes to fragments of forgotten medieval villages, rebellious vicars in the Lincolnshire Rising to intrepid explorers of the seven seas, the oldest Methodist chapel in the county to the tallest steeple on a medieval church in the country, a celebration of faith to a shelter on a pilgrimage.

Visit Louth St James and discover how, on 1st October 1536 following vespers, Rev Thomas Kendall played a key role in The Lincolnshire Rising, a stand by the catholics against Henry VIII's dissolution of the monasteries. He was hung at Tyburn in 1537 as a result of his actions.  Today St James stands proud in the market town of Louth, its spire reaching 295 feet high, and seen for miles around.

Raithby and Sausthorpe Churches copyright Nev Gurnhill

In contrast and just a few miles aware from Louth can be found the Victorian Gothic church of All Saints Haugham. Looking almost too slender and delicate to be built of stone, its lovely spire has been built in imitation of that of St James.  Journey deep into the Lincolnshire Wolds and be delighted by the rich collection of medieval churches nestling in rural hamlets. Walk the Viking Way and stop off at Fulletby St Andrew for refreshments. Whilst there take time to discover the wonderful life of Victorian poet Henry Winn. The Wolds provided a wonderful setting for Victorian poets, nearby can be found Tennyson's "Babbling Brook" and a short journey will lead you on to Somersby, home of Lincolnshire's most famous poet. His father was rector of the parish and it is in St Margaret's church that Alfred Lord Tennyson was baptised. He lived in Somersby Rectory for the first 28 years of his life.

Benniworth St Julian copyright

Wesley's Chapel, Raithby-by-Spilsby, Lincolnshire This chapel is a gem among the heritage buildings of Methodism. It was opened by John Wesley in July 1779 and so celebrates 240 years in 2019. It was built by Wesley's friend Robert Carr Brackenbury over the stables of Raithby Hall, and to this day is approached from the grounds of Raithby Hall.

In July 1788, Wesley recorded in his journal ‘we went to Raithby: an earthly paradise! How gladly would I rest here a few days; but it is not my place! I am to be a wanderer upon earth. Only let me find rest in a better world! At six I preached in the church to such a congregation as I never saw here before; but I do not wonder if all the country should flock in thither, to a palace in the midst of paradise.'

The building is grade 1 listed and has changed little since 1779. The upstairs chapel is approached by an elegant curved twin staircase to a landing. The hat pegs for the men remain on the east wall and some of the pews are box pews. The pulpit has been altered but the octagonal sounding board above remains.

The church is managed and maintained by Mid-Lincolnshire Methodist Circuit who are very proud of this heritage building in their circuit; they organise a variety of events and services. In 2018 there were two very special occasions; the first was in April when they were delighted to hear ‘John Wesley' preach as performed by Mark Topping. Then followed a few months when the chapel was closed as it underwent a renovation scheme with grants from the Mid-Lincolnshire Circuit and Lincolnshire Methodist District. The chapel now looks beautiful with a pleasing cream and green colour scheme, new carpet and re-framed pictures.

On 9 September 2018 they were thrilled to welcome the President of Conference to preach and rededicate the chapel. She had never before been in a chapel that had the hat pegs on one side for the men's' hats, and commented that it was like going back to the time of Jane Austin, especially having the ‘big house' next door. The service was followed by tea and a celebration cake in Raithby Village Hall.

An annual Advent Service and a Wesley Day Service are always held. On 24th May 2019 the preacher at the Wesley Day Service was The Revd Dr Brian Beck, former President of Conference. This was a return visit for him because as President in 1994 he rededicated the chapel after the previous major restoration project.

Welcoming visitors to Raithby

Visitors are always welcome to Wesley's Chapel, Raithby-by-Spilsby, and visits can be arranged with the steward Mrs Bunty Martin, 01790 754755 or the Superintendent Minister Rev Sue Wilkins

Above is just a teaser of what rich secrets our churches have hidden behind their doors.  We invite you to visit and explore all of our Lincolnshire Wolds places of worship for we are sure you will not be disappointed.

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Belchford St Peter & St Paul copyright

Fulletby St Andrew copyright

Greetham All Saints copyright

Louth St James copyright Richard Croft 

Horncastle St Mary copyright 

Nettleton copyright Push Creativity 

Claxby St Mary copyright Push Creativity

 Horncastle copyright


Greetham All Saints copyright

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