St John the Baptist Church, South Witham
Welcome to St John the Baptist, our beautiful, ancient church situated in the heart of South Witham.
We live and worship within our village community, partnering with churches at North Witham, Castle Bytham, Little Bytham, Careby and Creeton, the other churches looked after by our priest Reverend Graham Buckle.
Our core congregation is on the smaller side – we prefer the term intimate! - but we are warm, welcoming and open our doors to anyone who would like to join us no matter their own personal situation, status or beliefs. If you are calling in for the first time or just passing through then please introduce yourself to our church warden and vergers, and you will be assured of a warm welcome.
We are part of a wider community and are involved with various aspects of village life. We have close connections with the local primary school and take part in village events. We also hold concerts throughout the year to raise much needed funds for maintaining our buildings and open our doors for fundraising activities such as coffee mornings.
We consider our community to be wider than that on our doorstep. We have links with Farm Africa, to which the proceeds from our Harvest Auction have been sent for some years, and more recently with the local Food Bank in Grantham – this year the monetary collection at the Harvest Festival was sent to Farm Africa, and the non-perishable offerings were given to the Food Bank.
SERVICES, WORSHIP, FAMILY EVENTS AND SUPPORT
We are an Anglican church, part of the Church of England, though we welcome people of all denominations to worship with us. Several other Christian denominations are represented among our regular communicants.
Services are held every Sunday. Throughout the month we offer services of Holy Communion at 11.00am on the first and third Sunday and on the fourth Sunday we offer a less formal service of either Morning Praise or a Family Service. On the second Sunday of each month we hold a service of Evening Prayer at 6pm. Each service lasts for about an hour. A collection is made from the congregation during these services but please do not feel obliged to make an offering, the only thing we ask you to bring with you is an open mind and a willingness to join in. Details of times of services can be found on the notice board outside the church, in the Witham Word, or by phoning Christal Medcalf or Hannah Godbert on the numbers below.
Throughout the year we celebrate the times that mark the changing calendar – Easter, Harvest, Remembrance Sunday and Christmas are all times that can draw people to church who might not attend on a regular basis throughout the rest of the year.
From November to Candlemas, we also have a Tree of Light erected within the church, providing a place where you can leave a tribute to those family members who are no longer with us.
Refreshments are available after each service and we hope that you will be able to stay for a while for a coffee and a chat, we are a warm and welcoming group and always have biscuits on hand, for adults as well as children – squash is available for them, too!
Family life and its milestones is one of the cornerstones and great pleasures of church life. We welcome those that wish to celebrate baptisms and weddings with us and are happy to advise you on the arrangements that need to be made.
Pastoral support is there for anyone who needs it. We will help in any way that we can, even if that is to just provide a friendly and supportive shoulder for you to lean on.
We are accessible for those with disability issues, though please be aware that we do not have toilet facilities on site at the moment.
Sadly, like many churches in these times, we are no longer able to have a literal open-door policy. However if you wish to access the church outside of service times, whether that is for a period of quiet contemplation, or if you would like to explore our beautiful building and its history then please contact us and we will be more than happy to come and unlock the door for you. You are also welcome to consult the Parish Registers if you are researching your family history.
Though we consider all members of the congregation to make up the church it is useful to know a little about the people who have specific roles.
We are very fortunate to have a Lay Minister, Chris Medcalf.
Our church wardens are Christal and Hannah they will be one of the people who will greet you at the door and show you around. They take the time to prepare the church for worship each week and also ring the bells when none of the other bellringers are available.
Our beautiful organ is played each week by either Cintra or Isobel to accompany our hymns. Both have an established background in music.
Members of the congregation take on the roles of vergers, readers, flower arrangers, and the all-important tea and coffee preparation for each service, following a rota system. If you would like to get involved then please let our church warden know and she will be happy to arrange that for you.
Minister-in-Charge: Reverend Graham Buckle - 01572 767236
Churchwarden: Chris Medcalf - 01572 767664
Churchwarden: Hannah Godbert - 01572 767951
November 4th saw our second Messy Church in South Witham. The children made Ascension cups, coloured special knot patterns and made painted footprints along a pathway! (By covering the soles of their feet with blue, red and green paint!) That is just a flavour of what we did.
Messy Church is church for all the family to be part of, young and old, 0 – 100! The adults enjoy tea/coffee and cake and chatting to each other! The morning ends with singing and a look at the theme for the morning on which the activities were based. Our next session will be on December 2nd, from 9.30 until 11.30 a.m. The crafts will be Christmas themed, and there will be refreshments available throughout the morning. So even if you want to come and chat while the activities are taking place or just have refreshments that’s fine too. Adults are allowed to do the crafts as well! So bring your creative self along and have a go!
We look forward to welcoming you to Messy Church in December!