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Penhill Benefice - News/Events

Penhill Benefice

Living and Sharing the Love of Jesus Christ in the Community


 Our churches can only be opened for private prayer under strict conditions in accordance with guidance from the government and the Diocese of Leeds.

 Face coverings must be worn in church, along with social distancing and the use of sanitiser. Sanitiser is available immediately inside the churches as well as the means to provide details confidentially for test and trace. 

For details of phone and Zoom services on Sundays see Services


Rev Tom Ringland

:We begin a short Advent course onThursday  November 26  from 7.30pm using Zoom.
Under the title 'Light in the Darkness', on Thursday each week we'll look at a passage from the Bible, and reflect on one of four topical words from the year of the pandemic...
Distance, Safe, Trust - and Normal !
click here for the PDF file of material for any of you who plan to join us.

The ZOOM link for Thursday is here:-

Meeting ID: 869 3799 7055
Passcode: 980085

It's a chance to think in a Christian way about receiving and sharing the Light so we stay hopeful even in dark days.

Our church buildings are presently open on the following days*:-

Preston under Scar and Wensley -  Daily
Aysgarth - Daily 
Castle Bolton - closed until December 7 as filming taking place in the village.
Redmire - Daily
West Witton - Sunday and Thursday

* the buildings will close for the three days before a service to allow time for virus degradation.

Aysgarth church - As, due to Covid-19 restrictions, there are no printed guides available in the church at present and it is difficult to access the war memorial plaque the following are now available online -

Aysgarth church - a guide

War Memorials and Graves at Aysgarth church 

The responsibility for keeping buildings clean and the public safe  rests with the members of each church council along with myself as Vicar. We show our care for the community by only opening after we have studied the guidance and made a careful risk assessment.

The church (as the family of God), of course, has remained active and alive throughout the health crisis. Don’t hesitate to get in touch with us if we can be of help.

The Rev Tom Ringland

Scroll down to message of March 21 for tdetails about baptisms, funerals and weddings. 


 The October-November 2020  edition of the Penhill Beacon will be delivered to residents but can also be read here.

Vicar’s Letter - October 2020

Dear Everyone,

The vocabulary of the English language is remarkably rich and diverse and it’s satisfying at times to tease out the nuances of the various words.

Sometimes it’s hard to find a distinction and I’d be glad to hear from anyone who can distinguish between valiant and valorous for example.

Valour itself is a lovely word falling somewhat out of fashion when there are other words like courage, bravery and fortitude around. As we approach the season of Remembrance, we think of it first in the sense of outstanding courage and selflessness in the face of battle. I’m reminded of the words on the Victoria Cross, the highest decoration to be awarded to the armed forces.

Valour is a quality we most look for in times of danger and duress. It means more than raw courage. The nuance for this word comes with the sense of value, or worth – particularly moral worth – that imbues the courageous action. There is a quality to the courage which inspires.

Read the story online of Joshua Leakey, the most recent recipient of the VC over 5 years ago. I’m struck that his father is a past Director of the Armed Forces Christian Union. I would imagine that the young Joshua was brought up with the values and the faith that would shape his later action.

Our Remembrance services will this year necessarily be impacted by the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. With this health crisis extending through so many months and as we head into winter it will be a challenge to stay robust and cheerful. People have done well to get through the first phase, but as it continues and once again increases in prevalence, we can find our shoulders slumping. So, is ‘valour’ a quality we can look for in our own lives?

Maybe we look to the nuances of some other words related to courage. Fortitude carries with it the sense of patience and perseverance. It speaks of courageous endurance.

Faith has a key part to play here. Faith is more than a penchant for hymns and Bible stories. It draws deep on the trust that God is with us – a God who brings life and love. Lived faith brings the courage we need.
Christine Perkin, until recently on the staff team at St Marks’ Battersea Rise, tells of three Old Testament heroes who faced singular challenges in their time. Moses, Joshua and Solomon were all given identical words to inspire them to have courage in their crises … ‘Be strong and courageous, do not be afraid or discouraged, for the Lord your God goes with you – he will not fail you nor forsake you”.

Christine points out that the two enemies faced were fear and discouragement. And that God’s promise was (and is) that he would not let them down and he would not leave them.

At the going down of the sun and in the morning, we pledge to remember the valour and sacrifice of others. At the going down of the sun and in the morning maybe too we can make it our discipline to take the promises of God and say with the little blue book of prayers* sent around 6 months ago, “The Lord is good, a strong refuge when trouble comes. God is close to those who trust in Him.” (Nahum 1:7).

So may we continue to stand tall in a time of trial – and be a strength to others also.

May we know God’s blessing –


* I still have 8-9 copies of this, should anyone like one …

Daily Hope offers music, prayers and reflections as well as full worship services from the Church of England at the end of a telephone line.
The line is available 24 hours a day on 0800 804 8044. Callers will hear a special greeting from the Archbishop before being able to choose from a range of options, including hymns, prayers, reflections and advice on COVID-19. Please let your family and friends, who are not on internet, know about this. More information at:


 April 5

It’s so good to hear numbers of people are sharing in reading and praying together on Sundays – and for some of you in weekdays too!
In addition, many have been creative in searching the internet for streamed services of worship, either in places you know from the past, or those advertised on the diocesan or national church websites.

Paul encourages us to “rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances”
and continues, “for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18).

Three things (rejoice, pray, thank) - clear positive attributes - which are to characterise our day to day living, whatever betide.
If we can develop these in this time of isolation, we will be strengthening our own mental health, and will bring the grace of God to bless those for whom we pray.
There are things to lament but also things for which to give thanks.

[ I read today that this is the first time our buildings have been closed for public worship since 1208 – when the then Pope placed England under an interdict for rejecting his appointment of Simon Langton as Archbishop of Canterbury!! - from an article by Stephen Cottrell, the Archbishop designate of York. For full article click here.]

We can and should lament … and also for the sufferings of others caught up in this crisis rather more deeply than we ourselves: the sick, dying and bereaved; the NHS, those who's lifework has come to an abrupt end ... But we can also look around and notice where we are now. What is emerging for you?

... Increased support within the community, more frequent contact with family and friends ...
– but also a refocussing on what is important in life and perhaps time to stop and reflect on who we are and where we are going.

Unwelcome and challenging as these days may be, we have an opportunity, perhaps even a responsibility to accept them and use them and learn from them.
Bishop Nick in one of his excellent blogs writes: (March 28th) “When you are in the desert, don’t look for the flowers that grow in the fertile areas; look for the flowers that grow only in the desert”. (see for more)

Why not begin a record – a journal of your own experiences, thoughts and feelings through this time.

 March 21:

We will continue to adapt, learn and grow - I pray we'll find a deepened connection with God, and that as a society we may learn again to be more generous and compassionate. I gather Andrew Marr began his show recently saying 'maybe selfishness will fall out of fashion'!

We'll also find new ways of communicating and sharing news and encouragement. For a  Sunday service see Services.

We remain a people of hope - an Easter people ... and so lets pray for chances to infect others with that positive outlook. Where are the opportunities in this new regimen?

Simple good humour will go a long way to maintaining our spiritual health, so attached is a picture with some good advice...’

FB IMG 1585037755341Please note the following: 

 Emergency baptisms can take place in hospital or at home, though subject to strict hygienic precautions and physical distancing as far as possible. ​

 ​Funerals with a small number of people present can be held at the graveside or crematorium and are now permissable again in church. Please contact the Revd Tom Ringland for details.

Weddings can now be held with a limited number of people. 

 ​ Live streaming of services is more important than ever and is still permissible from homes. We encourage us all to consider how we can be as creative as possible with streaming services and other resources. There are many, many fantastic examples of churches and clergy using technology to reach and engage communities. Read more guidance here: . ​


 See also - 

• scroll down for 13 daily reflections, the #LiveLent materials and worship and prayer resources
• click on 'Together Apart' for a range of resources for rural churches
• click on Covid-19 (the starry screen) for resources including services streamed from local churches

 ​6. The Church Pantries at Redmire and Castle Bolton churches are now available in Redmire village hall. These provide free food and hygiene products to those in need. You can consider making a financial contribution to these or your nearest foodbank. 

Benefice Administrator Christine has relocated from the benefice office to her home and can be contacted at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. (Tel: 01969 624542)


The Rev Ringland was licensed as Vicar of Penhill Benefice in November 2019 - scroll down to the bottom of the Benefice Information page for the report. 

 Click on Aysgarth Church Harvest Flower Festival 2019 to see photos of that event. 

See Festival of Remembrance for a report and photos about the flower festival and Remembrance event from November 9 to 12 2018.