Welcome to St Mary's Church, Walesby
Walesby, interestingly has two Churches. St Mary's in the village and All Saints, the original parish Church, set up high on Walesby Hill overlooking the village.
Walesby has a population of around 200 and the parish covers some 3600 acres which includes the hamlets of Otby and Risby. The village is surrounded by beautiful rolling wolds some of which is arable farmland and some for livestock.
St. Mary's is an active Church within the Walesby group and is part of the Church Tourism Cascade system. The Church is visited by many people who, according to the visitors' book, enjoy the tranquil atmosphere here.
A local custom here is that the church gates are closed and tied with twine whilst a couple are being married in the Church and untied after the groom has lifted his bride over the gates; this symbolising the beginning of a happy life together.
St. Mary's is situated in the village and is about 2.5m NE of Market Rasen and about 20m NW of Lincoln. The main entrance is on Rasen Road and the Church also can be accessed by a footpath from Moor Rd. The church path is studded with the symbols of the cross interleaved with a complete circle, representing the wholeness of God.
St Mary's is an ‘arts and crafts' Church designed by the Irish architect, Temple Moore and came about through the efforts of the Rev. Perceval Laurence, Rector of Walesby 1879-1913. Shortly after the rector came to the parish, the inconveniently sited Old Church was virtually abandoned and for over 30 years the people of Walesby worshipped in a ‘temporary' iron building in the village. By 1910 sufficient funds had been raised to build a new Church. Work began on 6th June 1913 and on that very day, the 84 yr old, Rev Laurence died.
Originally the tower was crowned by a small ‘candle-snuffer' spire, but this became unsafe and was removed before the Second World War.
The Church within has many interesting features including the Roll of Honour which was designed by Rev. J W. Davis, the vicar at the time, listing the names of the Walesby men who served in 1914-1918 war. Above it is a tableau in remembrance of the men who lost their lives in that war.
The windows in the church are of old Lincoln plain glass with the exception of the Memorial window. This window commemorates the safe return of the men who fought in the 1939-1945 war and also Henry Jolland who lost his life in service.
In the chancel south and vestry east there are genuine pointed medieval windows within the rectangular windows like an inner screen. Where these windows came from is unknown; they are of 15th century perpendicular type often found in Lincolnshire & Yorkshire.
The pillars, in the central arcade, divide the nave in two lengthways. They reach up into the ridge of the steeply pitched roof and are an unusual arts and crafts feature. St Mary's is well worth a visit.