As far back as the 925 AD there has been a church on this site at Thurlby, standing as a witness to lifes most enduring values. The local church is treasured by the community to whom it belongs – people from all walks of life, people of all needs and aspirations and beliefs.
If you are a Family Historian wanting to visit, to view the records we hold, please do make an appointment to ensure you can gain access, unfortunately St Firmins is not always open. Please contact the Churchwarden – see Who can I contact for details?
A full history is available on Thurlby Village website http://thurlbyvillage.wordpress.com/.
There is also a short history leaflet and a booklet with the full history of St Firmin’s Church available in St Firmin’s Church.
St Firmin’s Churchyard Headstones
Please could families of those buried in the churchyard, check the stability of their headstones, as some have had to be laid down, due to cracking or failure of cement or metal attachments. Families will need to take responsibility for resetting them, there are several local companies that can assist. Please contact the churchwardens or vicar to let us know the memorial for which you are taking responsibility and details of any work to be carried out. Churchyard regulations are available in the porch or on the Lincoln Diocesan WebPages.
Headstones laid down:
John Robert Jackson and Sarah Jackson
George Inkley, Susannah Inkley and their son George Inkley
Benjamin Cunnington and Elizabeth Ellen Cunnington
Norah Whitfield infant daughter of JH and MT Whitfield
Elizabeth Pratt and John William Pratt
Samuel Henry Cousins, Susan Cousins and Arthur Cousins
Joseph Fairchild, Fred Fairchild and Sarah Fairchild
2004 – Restoration
In 2004 it was found that the wooden platforms on which the victorian pews stood were badly infested with woodworm and were unsafe.The heating for the church also needed updating. A restoration Committee was set up in October 2004 to raise the £97,228.37 needed to carry out the planned work.
Janet, our Vicar, worked very hard at applying for grants, these grants along with the fundraising events – Open Gardens, Flower Festival, Dinner Parties, Coffee Mornings a 60’s night, Sunflower Competition, Community Garage sale, Auction, Farm Weekend, Pancake Tossing, Quiz Evening, Plant Stall, Slideshow and Supper , Photography and Art Competition and Exhibition and a Concert -by September of 2005 had raised £117,775.29 – an enormous amount in a relatively short time! The extra was now needed as we had the South Porch roof to repair and seating to be purchased for the Church.
Work commenced in September 2005 on the restoration and the South Porch roof, during the excavation of the floor bones were found and there was a short service of reburial. The work was completed by December 2005, just in time for us to hold our Christmas services in a lovely warm church – one drawback we had no seating ! The pews when removed were found to be in a worse condition than had been expected so new seating had to be considered.
Following a lot of consultation it was decided to purchase 100 light wooden oak chair with rush seating which we felt to be in keeping with our church – they look really good making the Church bright, welcoming and very adaptable for different events. The villagers was invited, if they so wished, to donate a chair and a plaque would be placed on the chair in their name, or in memory of a person or an event – the response was fantastic with all 100 chairs donated , we have since ordered a further twelve which have also been donated.
A Group Service was held on the 18th December 2005 when Bishop John came to rededicate St Firmin’s Church
The wooden bell frame in the bell tower was found to be rotten , and the north nave aisle roof had started leaking and was found to be in need of replacement, so raising funds again was needed. Thanks to grants, a generous one being from a local charity, and fundraising, we were in the position in December 2009 to replace the bell frame. Thanks to Terry Maddison, the tower captain, and fellow bell ringers who gave their time voluntarily, the work was completed over the Christmas 2009 / New Year 2010, despite the snow and the bitter cold. The bells have been now been re-dedicated and are again ringing out for the weekly service.
The work has now started on the north nave aisle roof, the work had to be delayed due to our resident bats. After an emergency inspection by Natural England it was found that the north side of the church was not being used by the bats so we were given permission to start the work, although timber treatment work that is in the body of the church has had to be delayed until the bats are hibernating.
The north nave aisle roof has now been completed as has treatment on the timbers of the nave and the chancel. Unfortunately during timber treatment it was found that we had badly decayed timbers in the sactuary and due to this the sanctuary has now been closed off from use until repairs are carried out, decayed timber were also found running between the Lady Chapel and the south aisle and these also will have to be repaired, althought the condition is not dangerous so that part of the church has not been shut off.
Following the water damage to the organ during the building work we will be without an organ for about a year, we are still waiting for the go ahead from the builders insurers and also the faculty before this can progress.
Progress at last with the organ. We now have a faculty and the order for the work has been sent. The organ will stay with us until the end of the month to complete its drying out naturally and will then be taken to the workshops of the restorer. It is hoped to have it back by August/ September. In the meantime we have been lent a portable electric Church organ by the restorer for which we are very grateful.
October 2011 – At last the work is nearly complete on the Chancel roof, and the South Trancept. The organ to is nearly complete and we hope to have the scaffolding down and the Church back to normal in the next couple of weeks – we hope!
After nearly a year the Santuary can at last be entered in safety, the scaffolding has been removed and the work on the defective beam finished , we are very lucky to have Eton College as our Lay Rector and they take responsibility for repairs to the Chancel. The scaffolding is down and work finished also in the South Trancept , just in time for our Remembrance Sunday Service,which as usual was very well attended. The organ is also fully restored and being played, its sounding very good. It is lovely to have the church back as it should be and looking lovely again.
Two years ago our 5 year periodic test showed that our electric wiring would not pass the next test so….. work has to start again. St Firmin’s is a beautiful Church and in rewiring it makes sense to take the opportunity to enhance that beauty in the way it is lit, also to make it more user friendly for events such as concerts and exhibitions. This project we would expect to take at least two years , a lot depending on the fund raising which will have to be done.
A very sad event – we arrived one Monday morning to find our chancel and south transept roof stripped of its lead.
It was considered urgent to reroof these areas as quickly as possible as due to the exposed nature of the chancel, and the difficulty in attaching temporary coverings to the decayed roof timber, the temporary roof coverings were in danger of being blown off in heavy winds. The temporary covering had had to be reattached twice having been moved by high winds and this made for a lot of water leaks in the chancel.
The decision was taken that the lead would be replaced by terne coated steel as we were advised that the chances of thieves returning for replaced lead was high, it was also agreed that we would carry out the work on the north transept roof, as highlighted in the quinquennial report, at the same time,as it would be more cost effective to do so. The north transept lead would be removed and recycled and would be replaced by tern coated steel. The terne coated steel is very bright to start with but quickly patinates and takes on the look of lead.
The work had to be carried out by the end April 2015 or would have to be delayed until the autumn because of our bat population. Everyone involved worked very hard to get the permissions through quickly and the only delay was due to having to have planning permission because of the change from lead to tern coated steel as the roofing material.
We are very grateful for the generous donations and for the fundraising that has allowed this work to be carried out so quickly.
Church Roof Finished! – May 2015
You may have heard – quite literally- that the security alarm system is now installed on the church roof. A very BIG THANK YOU to those generous people who have agreed to sponsor the annual costs of maintaining and monitoring the system sensors which are protecting the lead that remains on the roof. The alarm system is now fully sponsored.
The roof is all but finished, just a couple of “snags” to be dealt with, all within the tight time limit which was set by out bat population. The work has gone really well and the architect is very pleased with the quality of the work carried out in replacing the stolen lead with the steel.
We cannot say thank you enough, to you, the people of Thurlby, and also others further afield, who have given such tremendous support with both encouragement and donations to repair and protect St Firmin’s Church – your parish church.
Church Rewire – complete – Summer 2016
The church has at last had it’s rewire, this had to be deferred because of a leaking roof and then the theft of the roof lead. We are extremely grateful to the Thurlby village Causeway Trust that funded this very necessary work. The lights are now LED so will not require high ladder work to change bulbs and are cheaper to run!