THE CHURCH OF SAINT JOHN THE EVANGELIST WESTON HILLS

Short history of the church published on the 125th ANNIVERSARY 9th NOVEMBER 2013

Until 1889 people of Weston Hills who wanted the services of the Church of England had to travel to the Parish Church of St. Mary at Weston.

On Wednesday, 30th May 1888 at 8.00 p.m. a meeting was held in Weston Hills Room to consider erecting a Mission Chapel on a site behind the School.

A piece of land was purchased, the Bishop (Edward King) visited the site on 11th June 1888 and approved the works and agreed to licence the Chapel for the Sacraments of Baptism and Holy Communion.

The consecration of the Church took place on 9th November 1888, The Lord Bishop of Lincoln took the Consecration Service and then celebrated the Holy Eucharist. He then admitted and licensed Mr. H. Stanley Maples as Lay Reader.

The opening ceremony took place on Thursday, February 1889. The first public service was Holy Communion at 8.00 a.m. followed by Morning Prayer at 11.00 a.m. when the Rural Dean (Canon E.

Moore), the Reverend Canon G. Venables, (Rector of Burgh Castle) and Reverends J. Collins. W. Hooson, J.M. Coates and E.H. Bree attended. At 5.30 p.m. a further service was held with the Church filled to overflowing and at 7.30 p.m. Evening Service began in a building intended to accommodate 140 people packed to overflowing with 250 people.

The chancel windows came from Weston St. Mary when it was restored in 1888. The reredos came from Lutton Parish Church in 1895. The pulpit and altar rails were given in memory of Mr. Cock in the 1940’s and bear the famous ‘Yorkshire Mouse’ carvings.

The Tower with its eight tubular bells was added in 1897 to celebrate Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee

The Chapel continued with Sunday Services at 2.30 p.m. and 6.30 p.m. with Holy Communion at 8.00 a.m. on the second Sunday.

In Spring 1959 the top turret of the tower became unsafe and had to be demolished and rebuilt.

In 1988 the Church had its first Quinquennial Inspection which revealed that a lot of restoration work was needed. Due to the generosity of the villagers, Broadgate Builders, the Lincolnshire Old Churches Trust, Marshall Charity and the Historic Churches Preservation the work was completed. New lighting in the Chancel was given by the then Church warden Mrs. Amy Blackburn in memory of her late husband.

On Sunday. 28th August 1994 a service was held in thanksgiving to God for the restoration. The preacher was The Lord Bishop of Lincoln, Robert Hardy. This was the first visit of a Bishop of Lincoln since Bishop King consecrated the Chapel in 1888.

Today our service at 4.00 p.m. is a Service of Thanksgiving for the 125 years the Church has been a presence in the life of the Weston Hills community. We are grateful for the presence of our preacher today, the Arch Deacon. Dr. Justine Allain Chapman.

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