The Parish of St Mary’s Whaplode
The parish of Whaplode consists of the village of Whaplode and the hamlets of Whaplode St Catherine and Saracens Head.
Even in an area nationally famous for its fine churches, St. Mary's at Whaplode is outstanding. First constructed around 1130, its impressive array of late Norman and Early English architecture is almost without rival in Lincolnshire. What makes St. Mary's especially fascinating, however, is the way it grew and changed in subsequent centuries: every stage in its nearly 900 years of complex and often turbulent development has left its mark on the fabric, making it a stone text-book of local history.
There are many areas of interest inside the church, which is open daily from 9am until dusk. Most notably are the Irby Tomb and the consecrated altar stone (Mensa Tablet).
The bell tower has a peal of 6 bells, which are rung regularly by local ringers. The clock is within this tower and the church has recently raised money to reinstate the hourly chimes (between 8am and 9pm), and to power the clock so that it no longer needs to be hand wound. An internal meeting room, the Heraldic Suite was added in 2005 and has independent heating, a toilet and kitchen facilities. It is widely used for community events and church meetings.
There is a regular congregation of 32 adults and between 3 and 7 children. Whaplode Sunday Group for children meets in church most Sundays either at the children’s table or in the heraldic suite if they need to do more noisy activities. This small group make provision for the children and younger members to come along and express their understanding of the gospel stories through art during the Sunday morning service. We are always happy to welcome new members to the Sunday Group and it is possible for children to come to this group without parents/guardians depending on numbers. Currently we have a Family Service on the first Sunday of every month at 10.30am. For further details please contact Rev. Barbara Hutchinson 01406 422354 or Clare Christie on 07949 244817.
The congregation of St Mary's hold some successful social and fundraising activities which are well supported by the local community and bring in much needed funds. These include Snow Drop Walks in February, an August bank holiday Flower Festival with a hog roast to close and a race night in November and a couple of well supported concerts each year. We also produce monthly magazine.