Welcome to St. Peter & St. Paul Church, Tetney.
The first time visitor to Tetney Church is frequently surprised by the size of the building for such a small village. Although Tetney is now some 2 miles from the sea it was, at one time, a thriving market town and port for the export of salt from the local salt workings (by 1620 there were no salt workings left in Tetney) and later involved in the wool trade.
There has been a settlement in Tetney from as early as 805BC.
A Brief History of the Church - please see Church History for further information about the Church
Christians were living in this area as early as 740AD. It is thought that St.Hereford, Bishop of Lindisfarne, had a monastery at Louth (10 miles away) and it is possible that the Saxons of Tetney were converted to Christianity in the 8th Century. The first church on today's site was well established before the Danish invasions of 870AD. In 900AD the invading Vikings destroyed the Church and slaughtered the inhabitants of Tetney. (Excavations carried out in the 19c unearthed a Danish knife of the period, amongst a large number of human bones, buried in the Market Place.)
The Doomsday Book reveals that Tetney was divided into two wealthy Manors controlled by a Saxon named Ivo Tallboys. Lady Lucia, wife of Ivo, and granddaughter of Lady Godiva, was responsible for the construction of a small church on the site of today's Lady Chapel around 1080 - 90 and parts of this building may well be incorporated in the south aisle walls.
When asked for the date of construction of the present building it is easy to say that the church was built in 1363. This is because of an inscription on the arches of the nave stating in Latin this work was completed 1363 Robert Day then Vicar. However this only refers to the completion of the arches as even the nave walls predate this period. Considerable parts of the present building date from the 13th, 12th and 11th Centuries.
So what can the present day visitor to the Church of St Peter and St Paul, in Tetney look forward to?
The 1363 inscription referred to above is not the earliest inscription in the church. There are two other inscriptions which are the subject of frequent scholarly visits. They commemorate two couples, Robert and Christiana, and their son William with his wife Alice. The inscriptions are less than 10 years apart but completely different in style. The earliest is in lombardic script, which had gone out of use by 1330. The later inscription is in a style known as black-letter, a very modern form of lettering for its time.
The tower of the present church is known as "Queen of the Marshes" and is higher than any other in the area. This was used as a landmark when Tetney was a Port. It is built of Lincolnshire oolitic limestone which is quite unique.
In the vestry are two monumental stones carved with the figures of a man and a woman and, by the design of their clothing, dating to around 1280.
On one of the nave pillars is medieval graffiti scratched after 1363, probably by an idle member of the congregation.
Inside the church and in the churchyard are stone coffins from the 13th century, the coffin lid of one shows the head of a lady in prayer. These memorials show that there were at least eight individuals in 13c Tetney who could afford stone coffins.
Also in the Churchyard there is an Ancient Monument - the base of a very old stone cross - certainly pre-dating the present church
The Most Revd William Proctor-Swaby, Bishop of Barbados and the Windward Islands, a later the 1st Archbishop of the West Indies, was born and brought up in Tetney. He made frequent visits home, preaching in this church. His gifts to this church are three stained glass windows and the brass lecturn. His memorial is a simple plaque in the chancel.
Revd T.S. Matthews, Rector of North Coates (2 miles away) was a composer of hymn tunes including "North cotes" to the words "O my saviour lifted from the earth for me" and the tune "Margaret" (his wife's name) to the words "Thou dids't leave thy throne and thy kingly crown". "Marsh chapel" (a village some 4 miles away) is another tune composed by him. On his retirement he came to live in Tetney, where his son Richard was the vicar, and he is buried in the churchyard.
How do we encourage Visitors to St Peter and St. Paul?
We hold various events throughout the year, including Wine and Cheese evenings, Concerts, a Flower Festival with Paper Sculptures, Illustrated Talks and Coffee Mornings.
A Parish Supper for up to 100 guests, as a thank you for their help and support to our village church during the year.
Regular Services are held every Sunday at 9.45am, and Wednesdays at 9.30am, to which all are welcome.
For the future
We plan to make the church multifunctional.
Toilets have been installed, removable comfortable seats have replaced fixed wooden pews, flooring has been renovated, screens added and the heating system updated.
Work has been done to improve lighting, provide a welcome area and install a modern kitchen.
This will enable us to open the Church for other activities and groups within the village, with the aim of making the church, not just the religious centre but also a cultural and meeting centre for the village and villagers.
We also aim, in view of its ancient history, to have the church included on the Church Tourism trail
Attractions and points of interest within a 10 mile radius of Tetney
Tetney - The Blow Wells - Natural Lakes where the water filters through the Wolds Limestone and emerges in Coastal Clay. The site was used for the farming of watercress and is now a site of special scientific interest.
RSPB Reserve - on Tetney Marshes
Tetney is the site of the first radio transmission, by Marconi, to Australia
Cleethorpes - This is a typical seaside resort with all its trappings including a theme park (Pleasure Island), a working Steam Railway (one of only a handful of such seaside railways left in UK) and a Pier.
Grimsby - The National Fishing Heritage Centre (experience life on a Trawler in mid winter off the coast of Iceland etc.). The Fish Docks and New Marina and a "Time Warp" experience in the Town Hall.
Louth - a Market town which has escaped the encroachment of Supermarket buildings etc. The church of St. James has the 2nd highest spire in the country, after Salisbury Cathedral on which it is modelled.
Lincolnshire Wolds - Designated an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and home to Alfred Tennyson.