News from St Peter and St Paul Church, Burgh Castle

31st December 2021
What a year! Another year of lockdown and then gradual re­opening; of church services being ‘live-streamed online’ more than actual live in-person services in our church buildings. Of seemingly endless risk assessments as the criteria changed from week to week. Of thinking, just how can we, as the church in Belton and Burgh Castle, show love and care for people in the community; of responding to the pastoral needs of people, whilst not being able to meet together very easily? As I write this on a dark afternoon, I remember with gratitude the warmth of the summer and autumn when we could sit outside around a table and be together, when it wasn’t so easy to do so inside
I know I have had to be careful, myself, but so have many people and that is why the church has moved forward, adapting to holding services where people can attend in the churches twice a month, and on-line-only twice a month; that way we cater for people not yet ready to attend church in person. Burgh Castle Church has Holy Communion in the church on the first and third Sundays in the month, and Morning Prayer online on the second and fourth Sunday. All Saints Belton has a Communion service in church on the second and fourth Sunday of the month, so that if anyone wants communion every week, they can. We have also reintroduced the monthly Tuesday traditional Holy Communion service, with Young at Heart back meeting each week in the church
During the year Rev Vivienne Ridpath and myself have had the privilege of leading funeral services in the churches for a number of residents. We take considerable care with funerals entrusted to us, and are always willing to spend time with those who are bereaved to help plan a funeral that honours their loved ones, and afterwards giving support whenever asked. 2021 also saw a couple of weddings taking place, which had had to be postponed in 2020. In fact, we had three weddings in Burgh Castle church and three in Belton, so for some it was still a year of celebration, and a year to remember with a smile
As a result of the pandemic we had to stop all the work we had previously done with the children in the villages, but Rock Solid resumed in September 2021 and the children who attend have had a great time. Messy Church meets Muddy Church has evolved since the summer in the Rectory Garden; making the most of the garden and the fire pit, taking care to avoid the pool. The children have really enjoyed eating hotdogs and toasting marshmallows, as well as learning about our Creator God in the midst of creation
As a church, for the whole of the pandemic, All Saints Belton has run The Pantry (foodbank) supporting people in need in our villages. We are grateful for the regular donations we receive from church members and The Labour Party locally, together with contributions from Moorlands Academy at harvest time. (This year there were over 600 tins & packets donated by the school.) Groups that meet at the JGI and the New Road Sports & Leisure Centre have also given generously, and the Pantry benefited greatly from a donation from the closed Belton Entertainments group. Thank you. The Pantry exists to supplement and support people in need in Belton, Browston and Burgh Castle, and can only continue to serve our community with your support. A huge thank you to the Pantry team who work so hard
One aspect of church life that many are unaware of, is that the churches are totally self-funding; we receive no grant from the Church of England and actually have to raise around £60-70K between the two churches each year to keep open and active, that’s before we start on the maintenance of the two medieval buildings. This year we have once again paid the requested £40,500 to the Norwich Diocese, thanks to the amazing generosity of the church members. Thank you, and well done
2021 was certainly a challenging year, but one I believe the churches stepped up for and achieved more than we thought would be possible. Thank you to all who support us in our activities and worship
Rev Rosie Bunn


image courtesy of Village Voice



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