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The Flying Scotsman steams through the Wiske Benefice

Benefice of the Wiske



Diocese of Leeds

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Welcome to The Benefice of The Wiske

     A Happy New Year to Everyone.

Praying together this year.

Our theme for the coming year is from Romans 15:13

“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him,

so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit”

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A Message to a Troubled Nation - a thought for the new year.

In December 1939, Great Britain was at war. The Third Reich of Nazi Germany had ruled in Germany since Hitler took over in 1933. Germany had become a fascist totalitarian state and the Hitler regime had spread terror across Europe. In September 1939, Great Britain had entered the Second World War. And in three months, the nation was gripped in the clutches of fear. With every air-raid siren that pierced the ears of the English people, anxiety increased and fear overwhelmed them. Uncertainty for the New Year reigned in the hearts and minds of Great Britain’s citizens.

In December 1939, King George VI was England’s reigning monarch. As was the custom, the king addressed the nation on a BBC radio broadcast on Christmas Day, and, in the uncertain last days of 1939, the king spoke words of peace to calm his nation. He reminded them of the only true King, the One who can provide true peace and real rest in such troubled times. As King George concluded his message of encouragement, he read the preamble of a poem that had been brought to his attention by his young daughter, Princess Elizabeth.

Princess Elizabeth was only thirteen years old in 1939. The poem that she brought to her father’s attention was written by British poet Minnie Louise Haskins (1875-1957). Published in 1908 and titled God Knows, the poem was part of a collection of poems in a book titled The Desert. Years later, this poem gained popularity with a new title, The Gate of the Year, taken from the poem’s first line.

Words of Truth and Hope

King George read the poem’s preamble to reassure the people of England that their future was secure….in the hands of God.

The poem’s wisdom was true for the English people on that Christmas Day in 1939 and it is true for us today.

As the new year dawns, let us remember that God is our only safe harbour. He is our only true hope. He will lead and direct our lives when we put our trust in Him. He will light our path and direct our steps as we enter into the new year.

        Letter from our Clergy

June 2023

“What you feed, grows!” What you care for, flourishes!

It struck me that this doesn’t just apply to my growing waistline but it’s true in many other ways. Some good and others not so healthy.

If someone upsets me or lets me down and I dwell on it, going over it again and again in my mind, resentment and bitterness grows! If I forgive them, let it go, then I can move on.

If you want to learn a new skill, the more you practice the easier it becomes. It builds up muscle memory and you improve your technique and the time it takes.

If you want to build a relationship, to let it grow and deepen, you need to pay attention to it, to feed it, taking time to talk and listen, to do things together. When people get married, they say, “I will” and the marriage grows each time they say, “I will” again, often in spite of the circumstances.

In the same way our spiritual lives need to be attended to, if neglected they can become overgrown, difficult to find and eventually lost! How do you feed things spiritually. The daily practise of prayer, often fed with reading from the Bible is a good way to start. Prayer is like talking to someone you love you talk about what you were thinking feeling and going through and you listen to them as they talk back to you.


I’m also convinced that the spiritual life was never intended to be a solitary pursuit. It grows and flourishes best, when it’s a shared journey, In church, in small groups, with friends. It’s a bit like putting canes beside the plant and then watching of the beans grow up and wind around them providing support for each other.

Worship is also best done together, and it is a wonderful way of helping faith grow. In worship we are reminded of what God is like, of all that he has done for us in Jesus.  It also helps to remember that we are beloved, accepted, forgiven, and welcomed as children of God.  It also helps sometimes to put into perspective the circumstances we face, and the nature and character of the God loves us and promises to be with us always.

I wonder what you are feeding in your life at the moment?


Every Blessing


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St Peter - Birkby

Priest in Charge: Revd. David Bartlett
Church warden: Jonathan McCloy
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 -9.30am
4th Sunday - Morning Prayer - 9.30am
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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