Category Archives: News

Christmas, Carols & Children!

We are not able to sing in church because of COVID and our village school children have been unable to do their normal school Christmas performances in St. Mary’s.

Those performances all took place in school and parents can see the result through the school website. We are grateful to Headteacher, Tim Williams, for allowing us to share some of the sound recordings made during the performances.

Click here to enjoy a Cameo of Christmas Carols and Songs performed by the Children in their classroom bubbles.

A Letter from Archbishop Stephen – Advent 2020

Light in the darkness

You have to get out into the more remote parts of the diocese to experience real darkness. 

Even in some of our more rural communities, street lighting softens the darkness. In urban communities, light pollution means that some of us rarely encounter complete darkness at all. But there is something sobering and spectacular about the dark, not least the darkness of the night sky, because actually the more you look at it the more you see. The darkness is not dark at all. Millions and millions of stars are shining, though we know that even the light is the afterburn of that star’s demise.

in the Bible, the really important things always happen in the darkness. The resurrection happens in the night-time. When Jesus died on the cross we are told that darkness covered the land. And of course we celebrate Christmas, the birth of Christ, in the middle of the night.

This Christmas and this year we find ourselves encountering darkness in other ways. COVID-19 seems to have spread a blanket of darkness across our whole world. We have had to learn how to live differently. We have paid a heavy price in human suffering. As I write, a few weeks away from Christmas, we don’t know how we will be able to celebrate or with whom we will be able to meet.

But the promise of Christmas, and with it the promise of the Christian faith, remain the same: “The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; Those who lived in a land of darkness, on them has light shined.” (Isaiah 9.2)

As Christians celebrating the birth of Christ, we are the ones who look for this light, the light of Christ dawning on the world. We are also the ones through whom this light must shine for others. For a present this Christmas, let us give to others our prayer and service. 

“The light shines in the darkness and the darkness cannot overcome it.” (John 1.5)

Yours in the service of the Gospel

+ Stephen

A message from Rev. Anna Burr

Dear Friends

As we enter another period of lockdown, I thought I would just update you on what is happening in our benefice. We are not currently allowed to worship in church buildings, but that doesn’t stop us worshipping God, who longs to welcome us into his presence anytime and anywhere, to find grace and strength to help us in our times of need.

It’s not easy for any of us, just at the moment. I guess we were all missing spending time with our friends and family before the new restrictions came in, and now it is all so much harder. But this virus is merciless, and we must do all we can to keep ourselves and everyone else safe.

It’s also a time of immense instability in the world, especially difficult as we come to this season of Remembrance for those who have died in the service of our nation. As I write there is no definitive outcome of the US election and the news coming from there is not good, with threats of legal proceedings if the election result is disputed. Please join me in praying for a peaceful outcome that will be for the benefit, not just of the whole population of the USA,  but also for the rest of the world. And please do pray for our Government and their advisors; this is a very strange and difficult time, and the well-being of the whole nation must be a heavy burden to bear.

During the next few weeks, we hope to post online services on the St Mary’s website. There is one for this Sunday, an Act of Remembrance based on the service we would have had in Church. Next Sunday there will be a Family Service produced by Janys Cliff.

Also on the website, you will find an outline for Daily Prayer for the season between All Saints and the start of Advent. If you would like to try a daily act of worship then this might help! There is also a selection of prayers published by the Church of England to help us all pray for our nation and each other, during this difficult period. I hope they are helpful. If you can think of anyone else who would value a copy of either of these, please do print one off and pass it on.

No-one knows just at the moment how Churches will be able to celebrate Christmas, but if you have any positive suggestions, please do pass them on! Pandemic or not, we must still celebrate the amazing truth that God sent his only Son into the world to be with us, to show us the true self-giving nature of God, and to save us from ourselves and all the messes we get ourselves into! That is worth celebrating!

Hope you are well,

Wishing you God’s richest blessing and encouragement,


[Please click on the links highlighted in RED to access the material referred to]

Hambleton C of E Primary School Collective Worship

An open letter to all parents and carers of pupils at Hambleton Primary School from Janys Cliff our Lay Reader.


“You will know that, as Lay Reader for Saint Mary’s Church Hambleton, I usually attend Hambleton Church of England school, once a week, to lead Collective Worship. However, due to the Covid 19 regulations I can no longer do this for the time being.

Consequently I am sending a short, recorded, Harvest Service to the school, which will be shared by each class in their bubble.                                                                              

If you are interested in watching this service it is available here

Blessings to everyone

Janys Cliff



In the recording you will see scarecrows from last year’s competition. You might see the same ones this year, wearing a Covid 19 mask, stood 2 metres apart in the church grounds!

Please note that it is now possible to access Collective Worship Services both from the Home Page Menu and from this Page   [Post updated 21st October 2020]

Opening for Public Worship

We are pleased to announce that from July 19th, St Mary’s Church will be open for Public Worship when we plan to have a short service of quiet prayer at 3.30pm. This feels like a very big step, especially after so many weeks of lockdown. Going into lockdown felt strange, but I think many of us eventually got used to it. Human beings are very adaptable – that’s one of the main reasons there are so many of us! However, coming out of lockdown is so much more complicated!

We have had to make some changes to the way we run St Mary’s so we can do our best to keep people safe. To comply with social distancing guidelines we will be able to welcome 23 people to services at a time. Please do feel welcome, but if more people arrive we will ask you to return on a different Sunday. There will be a one way system in place in church, and there will be help on hand if you find it confusing. We’ve tried our best to make it straightforward. There will be hand sanitiser, which we will ask you to use on your way in and out. Sadly we aren’t allowed to sing in church yet. There will be new service leaflets which we will ask you to keep and bring with you when you come again.

St Mary’s has been deep cleaned in preparation for re-opening and we are really looking forward to starting up again.

We plan to have services of Holy Communion at 9.15 on July 26th, August 1st and August 8th.

We will continue to make recorded services available for those unable to come to church. We plan to record the services as they happen in church and then make them available after the event.

We plan to also be ready to offer the church for funeral services, though numbers will be limited to 30, 30 is better than the 10 currently allowed at crematoria. We will not be able to sing, but we will be able to remember loved ones together and commend them to God.

Baptisms and weddings will also be possible, subject to similar restrictions on numbers. So, if you would like to arrange and funeral, wedding or baptism, please do get in touch:

Rev Anna Burr 01757 270325

Dated: 8th July 2020

Please NOTE: The above may be subject to amendment if Government Advice changes.

Further information is available here