The Flying Scotsman steams through the Wiske Benefice

Benefice of the Wiske


Diocese of Leeds


News and Updates



New priest appointed for the Wiske benefice!

It is with great pleasure that we can now announce the appointment of Revd. David Bartlett to be our new priest in charge.  He is experienced in ministry in rural parishes, as he is coming to us from the United Parish of Bardney in Lincolnshire.  He also has much to offer to our work with children, young people and their families, having developed Fresh Expressions outreach in the Diocese of Lincoln. We pray that his gifts will enable us to develop mission and ministry across our five parishes and we look forward to welcoming him and his wife Judith next March.

They will live in the Rectory at Great Smeaton.                                          

He says...

We are really looking forward to moving to Great Smeaton and being with you

all in The Wiske Benefice early next year. This photo was taken on our

wedding anniversary which was a couple of days before my interview with

you good folks.

We have a son called Charlie, who lives in Leeds with Colette and Wiggle

the dog. They love to come and visit us regularly for food and walks…

lockdown permitting! Rachel, our daughter is settled in Edinburgh and we are

looking forward to her being a bit nearer.

I am looking forward to being part of the community, getting involved with the

life of the villages and schools and discovering together what God has for us

in the coming years.

Every Blessing,

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Sun 16th May 4.00pm - Prayer over Birkby

Mon 17th May 7.00pm - Prayer Walking in Great Smeaton and Hornby

Tue 18th May 7.00pm -  Prayer Walking in Appleton Wiske

Wed 19th May 7.00pm - Prayer Walking in East Cowton

Thurs 20th May 7.00pm - Prayer Walking in North Cowton

Fri 21st May 7.00pm - Prayer walking in Danby Wiske


Sunday 23rd May 11.00am

Open Air Service for Pentecost, meet outside/behind East Cowton Church


For resources and ideas look at the Wiske Benefice Website, “Wiske Churches” FaceBook page or sign up for our weekly news and resources email.

During the 11 days of Thy Kingdom Come, it is hoped that everyone who takes part will:

  • Deepen their own relationship with Jesus Christ

  • Pray for 5 friends or family to come to faith in Jesus 

  • Pray for the empowerment of the Spirit that we would be effective in our witness

Through the centuries Christians have gathered at that time to pray for the coming of the Holy Spirit. ‘Thy Kingdom Come’ picks up this tradition. Over the years more and more worshipping communities have dedicated the days between Ascension and Pentecost to pray ‘Come Holy Spirit’.

We are praying that the Spirit will inspire and equip us to share the Good News of Jesus Christ with our friends and families, our communities and networks. It has been amazing how many varied ways there have been in which people from every tradition have taken up this challenge. 

Letter from our Clergy

May 2021













Wait, Watch & ……

As I start working as the new Vicar in the Wiske Benefice, the temptation is to “hit the ground Running,” to be seen to be doing something.

It is easy to make assessments based on someone’s activities. How often is the first question we ask meeting someone new, “what do you do.” In the weeks after Easter, we hear in the Bible accounts of the disciples’ encounters with Jesus, culminating with events of Ascension Day, when they see Jesus going back to heaven. The temptation must have been to rush straight into doing the task they had been commissioned for, to make more disciples and to bring about the Kingdom of God.

But the instruction is to wait, till Father God equipped them with the Holy Spirit. It wasn’t an invitation to sit around and twiddle their thumbs but rather an instruction to watch and pray. After the very first Ascension Day the disciples gathered with Mary and the other women, constantly devoting themselves to prayer while they waited for the outpouring of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost. (Acts 1:12-14) Like them, our reliance on the gift of the Holy Spirit is total – on our own we can do nothing.

As part of our “waiting” we will be taking part in this year’s “Thy Kingdom Come” a global prayer movement that invites Christians around the world to pray from Ascension to Pentecost for more of God’s Kingdom to come, in our villages, churches, homes, and that our friends and families might discover more about God’s love for them in Jesus. As well as praying on our own at home we will also have a chance to walk around each village across the benefice praying as we do so for God’s blessing on the people, businesses, councils and activities.

When I pray for families, friends and communities it often is good for me and my walk with God. In praying for others, I find that my relationship with Jesus deepens and my faith grows, and I become more sensitive to the promptings of the Holy Spirit. Even If you are unable to join us in prayer walking, I would still encourage you to join us in the time of prayer. We will have resources available on the website and Facebook pages to help us in our praying.

I hope you find it a joy and a blessing.



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The Benefice of the Wiske is a group of 5 churches, located in the NE corner of the Diocese of Leeds. Our Benefice comprises several small villages and hamlets near the River Wiske which are largely rural in character, but are also commuter villages, as agriculture, though still important, no longer employs many people and most work in Northallerton, Darlington or Teesside. The population has a high percentage of retired people. There is a Church of England (VC) Primary School in East Cowton and primary schools in Great Smeaton, North Cowton and Appleton Wiske. A Youth Group meets every other Friday during term time at All Saints. The Benefice has a Priest in Charge, supported by retired priests and lay readers.

Church Information

St Peter - Birkby

Priest in Charge: Revd. David Bartlett

Lay Chair: 

Secretary: Margaret Owens


The Church is open several times a week.

Services twice a month. BCP

16th May

Seventh of Easter


We will be having a communion service in

Danby Wiske

Parish Church

which will also be live streamed on Zoom and available after on Facebook and YouTube. There are a limited number of spaces* for people to attend in person following the guidelines of social distancing, wearing facemask and with no singing.

*please book ahead for a seat* 

Join Zoom Meeting



23rd May



We will be having an Open air 'Songs of Praise' service at

All Saints'

East Cowton

(outside church)

Being out of doors, we can sing again but our numbers are still limited to 30, following guidelines for social distancing. So to be sure of a place, please contact        Jean Dennis                     Please bring a folding or lightweight chair.

This will also be live streamed on Zoom and available afterwards on Facebook and YouTube. 

Join Zoom Meeting



"And know that I am with you always; yes, to the end of time"

Jesus Christ


Contact Us

Revd. David Bartlett

Benefice of the Wiske

01609 765323

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