Flying Scotsman steaming through the ben

The Flying Scotsman steams through the Wiske Benefice

Benefice of the Wiske



Diocese of Leeds

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Picture shows gateway into St Eloy's church

Great Smeaton and Hornby Open Gardens 

open on Saturday & Sunday  2nd & 3rd of July, 12noon till 5pm.

Plant stall and teas. - £5 entry

Maps bought at Great Smeaton Village Hall.

New gardens in both villages to visit.

Proceeds in aid of St. Eloy's Church


A fun time was had on the morning of Good Friday making Easter Gardens. Refreshments of homemade Hot Cross Buns and drinks were served.

The results of the workshop certainly look amazing!!


News and Updates

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Praying for our communities this year

You are invited to pray on a regular basis for the life of our villages and their churches. The following prayer is available on a card at the back of each Church, and I will use it daily as part of my own rhythm of prayer.

Loving Lord

Bless this place (name your village/community in this prayer)

Let your love be here

Fill it with your peace

Let your joy be here

Fill it with your grace

Let your light be here

Fill it with your power

Let your hope be here

Fill it with your living water

In the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.  Amen

Praying for each of the villages in turn around the benefice

This week

Monday            Appleton Wiske

Tuesday            Birkby

Wednesday       Danby Wiske & Hutton Bonville

Thursday           East Cowton

Friday                Great Smeaton & Hornby

Saturday            North Cowton

Sunday              for the whole benefice.


        Letter from our Clergy

June 2022



We have just completed our annual meetings across the benefice, reviewing the past year and looking forward to what might be. I commented on the unusual nature of the past year and its challenges, and in doing so it is worth saying again a big thank you to all who worked so hard and responded in good humour and with flexibility through it all.


My greatest sadness is that I have been unable to get to know people well, yet! The church is so much more than a service on Sunday, we are called to be a community, the people of God and I’m looking forward to doing those simple things that help us be together, sharing food and drink, having fun, common tasks, praying with and caring for one another. The Jubilee celebrations across the benefice are a good place to start rebuilding community and friendships.


The last two years has left the local churches (alongside many other groups and even our own families) facing many challenges. Our finances locally as well as nationally have been hit drastically and is a challenge for the coming years. We think nothing of paying for a gym or golf club fees, watching football or going out for a meal, yet we somehow find it difficult to support our local churches in the way they need as community buildings and part of the fabric of village life.


But the church is not really the building, that is one of the spaces alongside our homes and across our villages where we meet. Church is who we are, not what we do! I have come across many homeless Christians who still love and follow Jesus but haven’t found a home in a local church, sometimes by choice and sometimes they haven’t found those they connect with. These and many more, count themselves as spiritual, but aren’t sure of the church, they have questions and thoughts about God, Jesus, and Love. We need to explore how they might find a welcome amongst us.

We also face the question of what sort of Benefice we should be into the future, asking what we do best together and what do we best locally in our villages, how do we organise ourselves in communicating together and with our surrounding communities, how do we play our part in making our villages good places to live.


And in case that sounds like too big a task we remember who we are as the ‘People of God.’ The Queen openly acknowledges her own faith and dependence on God in all she does and on the Jubilee weekend we also celebrate Pentecost, recalling how God equipped his people with the Holy Spirit; to reassure them of his love, their identity as his People and empower them for the tasks which lay ahead of them. God is still doing the same thing today!

Every Blessing David

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St Peter - Birkby

Priest in Charge: Revd. David Bartlett
Church warden: Jonathan McCloy
Secretary: Margaret Owens
The Church is open several times a week.

Services are usually held twice a month,
on 2nd and 4th Sundays in the month.
2nd Sunday - Holy Communion -9.00am
4th Sunday - Morning Prayer - 9.00am
We usually follow the Book of Common Prayer 

Church Information

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.


Contact Us

Revd. David Bartlett

Benefice of the Wiske

01609 765323

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