Parish church to mark 800 years of history

St Botolph's Church, Quarrington. EMN-180503-145247001
St Botolph's Church, Quarrington. EMN-180503-145247001

Members of a parish church are preparing to commemorate the 800th anniversary of its founding with a week of activities this summer.

Celebrations are set to take place at St Botolph’s Church, in Quarrington from June 9 to 17, explains parishioner Charles Coulson, who is tasked with co-ordinating the events.

He said: “There will be various activities going on. On June 9 and 10 we are hosting medieval re-eactors, the Knights of Skirbeck, who will camp at the church and perform events, sword fighting demonstrations and food.

“There will be children’s competitions, a hog roast, beer tent and exhibitions in the church during the week.”

There will also be a children’s colouring competition based on a picture of knights, castles, royalty and mythical creatures using crayon, paint, felt-tip, pencil, pen and ink.

Children will get to design a shield and make a gargoyle, and meet the knights to see how people would have lived 800 years ago.

Mr Coulson added that there will be an open air service on Sunday June 10 at 10.30am and a teddy bear’s picnic and teddy bear blessing service at 2pm on June 16.

Things will be rounded off on June 17 with a service led by the Bishop of Lincoln, Rt Rev Christopher Lowson.

Mr Coulson added: “The church is linked with St Botolph’s Primary School and they will be doing various activities linked to the anniversary too, and will be displaying their work in the church.”

He said various members of the church are tasked with researching the origins of the building, and a booklet on the church has been created containing details of its history.

Sleaford Museum has put together an exhibition on the history of events in Quarrington over the last 800 years.

Mr Coulson commented: “The church was founded when Henry III came to the throne as a boy. The barons were revolting, and the 800th anniversary of the Charter of the Forest is being commemorated in Lincoln this year too. It was quite a significant time in history in which the church began. There is also evidence of a Saxon church quite near the present site which pre-dates it - so its history goes back even further than 1218.

“It was a stone structure back then, but has been altered and changed. It would not have had a tower or spire and would have looked more like a large barn. The stained glass windows came later too.”

Despite the fantastic growth of Quarrington in the last three decades, the church’s regular congregation is still quite low and Mr Coulson hopes the increased visitors during the celebrations might encourage a few new people to join services.