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Churchwardens' Newsletter 18th February 2024

Newsletter 41 - St Martins Church

Sunday 18th February 2024

Dear Parishioner

Well here we are, our first newsletter of 2024 and no better time than the beginning of Lent to help us focus our minds on what lies ahead.

Today we celebrate the 1st Sunday of Lent and our readings are as follows:

1st reading from the book of Genesis Chapter 9 verses: 8-17

2nd reading from the first letter of Peter Chapter 3 verses: 18-22.

The Holy Gospel according to Mark Chapter 1 verses: 9-15

We know that it is a while since Christmas, but for those unable to attend the Nine Lessons and Carols service, we thought that you would like to see how wonderful the Church looked with its festive lighting.

Dates for your diary:

Concerts in St Martins:

Saturday 16th March – Stamford Choral Society are performing Solemn Vespers KV 339 by Mozart & Mass in G by Schubert.

Freyer Goldmark’s Stamford International Music Festival are performing two concerts, the first Friday 17th May late evening and one Saturday morning 18th May at 11am.

Saturday 15th June, Bob Chilcott the eminent composer and musician, along with The Stamford Singers are holding a Come and Sing event to raise funds for The Evergreen Care Trust. This will be an afternoon event with actual timings to follow.


The second anniversary remembrance of the Ukraine / Russia war is on

Saturday 24th February at 5: 00 pm at Browne’s Hospital Broad Street.

A short service with readings, music and prayer led by Rev Peter Stevenson and Rev Fr Neil Shaw.

Lent & Easter:

Lent Lunches in support of the world’s poor Every Friday in Lent, 12-30 pm

at the URC Hall, Broad Street. Soup, bread and cheese, and a donation to Christian Aid arranged by Churches Together in Stamford.

Revd Mark is holding a Lent Study Course every Thursday during Lent commencing 22nd February at 7.15pm, in the Parish Office – leaflet on the next page for more information. We hope that you will support this as you journey through Lent.

March 28th Maundy Thursday:  10 am Eucharist

March 29th Good Friday:              2pm Solemn Mass

March 30th Holy Saturday church cleaning in readiness for Easter Day from 8-30 onwards. We are normally complete by 11-30 if you are able to give a little time it would be very much appreciated, you know the saying many hands make light work, teas, coffee, biscuits, cake are provided.

March 31st Easter Day:           9-30 Sung Eucharist

So what has been happening:

You will have no doubt noticed as you passed church that the North elevation has had a large scaffold present for quite some time. This had been erected to undertake the works to repair and replace a number of perished stones to the North Aisle high level and a substantial amount of pointing to the lower level.

For those people who pass the church regularly, you may have wondered why it has taken so long. The reason being is that once we were able to inspect closely at high level, it was found that from the time of tendering over twelve months ago, the masonry had deteriorated much more than was anticipated. In actual fact over 40 new stones have had to be carved, hopefully weather permitting the masons anticipate completion around the end of the month, then once the scaffold is down we will be able to appreciate what has been done.

In the last newsletter, we reported that we were confident that we would be in a position to start the re-ordering works in the early part of 2024. We are pleased to say that phase one of those works, which include the toilet, servery, and the formation of new flooring with limestone paving will hopefully start mid-March/ early April, and will take around sixteen weeks.

The first part of these works will to take down both vestry screens and lift both areas of timber block flooring ready for excavation and new sub base to receive the limestone paving. This will not cause any disturbance to the main body of the Church as all the works will be concealed behind screens and the choir will relocate for robing to the Burghley Chapel. The bell ringers, will of course, still have access to the tower during this time.

Phase two, which still requires some further funding, will be to form the new steps and ramp down the South side into what was the clergy vestry. To give you some idea of funding that has been required for the whole project, the ramp alone is in the region of £25,000, the toilets and servery are in the region of £125,000. We are saving around £25,000 by taking down the vestry screens, lifting the block floor, constructing the new clergy vestry ourselves and removing the Bust of Christ and the plinth. A lot of this work will be undertaken by your Church Wardens and a volunteer carpenter friend of Alan’s, but worth the cost savings to get this project finally underway and we all look forward to its completion with celebrations!

Revd Mark and our Tower Captain, Nick Faux have been working on a new website for St Martins, which you may like to take a look at – It is a work in progress but is already looking very inviting and if there are any suggestions for items to appear on it please let us know.

We would like to take this opportunity to wish everyone a prayerful Lent and a very Blessed Easter.

With very best wishes.

Alan & Julie

Church wardens

22 High St, St Martins Stamford 07860 658748 / 01780 762405

Safeguarding Officer

Ms Jo Keogh

07918 983146

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