News and Comment


A service to celebrate the ministry of All Saints Burstwick and to mark the closure of the church building will be held in the church on Thursday 26th January at 7.30pm. It will be led by the Bishop of Hull, the Right Reverend Eleanor Sanderson. The Beverley and District Ringing Society will ring a quarter peal before the service with the bells half-muffled. The Deanery Choir and the St Mary's Thorngumbald Music Group will take part. The service will not last long and the heating will be in operation. We are all encouraged to attend, everyone will be most welcome, to support the Parish in the loss of their church building, and to pray for the future of our ministry and the Lord's work in the village.


The Bishops' Council has given the South Holderness Deanery proposal the green light. This is the plan to work over six years towards building a local Christian family that is, by and large, able to stand on its own two feet (over ten years, with tapering off support from the Diocese)*.

The plan assumes that locally funding three full-time clergy posts is possible. During the first six years, both Withernsea and Hedon will have one member of clergy each,focusing on their development as significant population centres within the deanery, but with availability to help support services across the whole deanery. Over the six years, the Withernsea post will be funded externally from national funds.

The third full-time member of clergy will work with the twenty village churches, with the assistance of two new 'house-for-duty' posts. The deanery will continue to have the ongoing help of Philip West, and other clergy who are part-time or retired.

So much for the clergy! The plan depends on collaboration amongst all the churches of the deanery. There will be additional support and training available to lay people, especially those who have responsible roles within their parishes and benefices.

We will be building on the determination and relationships that already exist to support each other, to share resources and expertise, and enable congregations of whatever size to know that they belong to a genuine family of faith, hope and love.

Will it work out? We certainly won't know if we don't try, but there are good signs that we can create a new foundation to build faith and enable good organisation.

PCCs will soon be asked to re-affirm the willingness of their congregations to support the proposal. There is a great deal to be done to flesh out the plan and make it workable, and we can only go forward with that work if we genuinely support it.

Please pray that this plan is carried forward wisely and with good will. You are welcome to contact me if you have doubts or questions.

God's peace be with you, Alisdair

*It is understood that the long-term maintenance of Grade 1 listed buildings is largely beyond the scope of the plan, and beyond the resources of many local communities, let alone congregations! The plan focuses, as it should, on supporting people and enabling us to uphold the good news of God's love, and hope through Christ.

[From The Edge  November 2022]


The Benefice Newsletter The Edge for January 2023 is available for download here. The times of all services planned so far are shown on page 2.


The Reverend Philip West is planning another weekend Deanery Pilgrimage, probably in March, and he hopes to use a route from Patrington to Roos, taking in Withernsea. Details will be available soon. In due course, he plans for a further three or four, to cover the whole of the Deanery. He sends the following message:

"On the first Pilgrimage, although only a few of us stayed away over the Saturday night, we found it a great benefit to do so and were fortunate to have a good and reasonably priced B&B to stay in, and for the one I am planning in March, we have been offered accommodation by a church member.

"So I thought it would be worth while my asking you all either whether you know of a reasonably priced B&B in your part of our Deanery (if you live here), or whether you might be willing yourself to provide a bed for a church member on a pilgrimage, and/or know of anyone who could. You need not necessarily have to provide meals, as we could arrange them in a separate location, and If you needed a little remuneration in these days when we are squeezed, I’m sure we could look into that.

"I have some of the other possible routes buzzing round in my brain, but then realised it would be best to look for accommodation before I finalise any of them, as that could help decide the direction and places visited in them.

"Please get in touch if you have any ideas or want to discuss any possibilities without at all committing yourself."

If you don't have Philip's contact details, you can send a message using the Contact Page available in the link above, and it will be passed on very quickly.