Welcome to the Astwell Benefice
Welcome to the Astwell Benefice Website. The Astwell Benefice is a group of parishes with six churches situated in beautiful rural South Northamptonshire.
Our parishes are:
St Mary Magdalene, Helmdon with Stuchbury and St Lawrence, Radstone
St James the Great, Syresham with St John the Evangelist, Whitfield
St Mary and St Peter, Lois Weedon with Weston and Plumpton
St Mary the Virgin, Wappenham
We hope our website will help you find out about the services we offer, and we welcome
anyone to join us for worship at any of our churches.
Our Rector, Reverend Carole Peters-King can be contacted on
01327 860798, or firstname.lastname@example.org.
(She is usually 'off-duty' on Thursday evenings and all of Friday.)
Sarah Rudkin, Parishes Administrator, can be contacted on: email@example.com
Please click on the following links for regularly updated useful information (pdf files will open in a new window):
Sunday 17th September 2017
Fourteenth Sunday after Trinity
(Reverend Carole is on holiday this week)
Thoughts from the Astwell Benefice
Lead Roof Theft 2016-17
Most of you are aware that Syresham lost 60 sq m of lead roof on the night of July 2/3 last year. This is on top of a lead roof theft from Helmdon some years ago and from Wappenham very recently. There have also been thefts from several other Northamptonshire churches.
The PCC decided last August that we would replace the lead with Terne Coated Stainless Steel, which was exactly the same price as lead replacement, but not attractive to thieves. So we appointed Minster Lead Roofing Ltd to do the work. This company has since been taken over by Messenger Roofing Ltd. As a temporary measure, we got a local roofer to put tarpaulins on the roof, held down by battens. This was not a success as they got torn off in high winds, leading to leaks onto the nave floor and onto the benches, so we replaced these in March with nailed down roof felt, which seems to have held so far! There then began the business of getting approval from a) the Diocese – a faculty as we were not replacing like with like, b) English Heritage, c) The Local Authority as we are a listed building and finally d) the Bat Preservation Society. All these are now in place.
Mindful that there might be grant sources available to cover the £17500 (+VAT) cost, I had a meeting with Ben Smith, the Diocesan Historic Buildings Adviser, in January 2017 and he pointed me in the right direction. Happily we have already banked grants of £10,600 + Insurance (maximum) payout of £7500, making £18100, with more promised upon completion of the work. As I write, we have not received a starting date from Messenger but the church should not be closed for more than a week while the work is done.
Malcolm Orr-Ewing, Churchwarden, Syresham