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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 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.

Rev Tom Ringland

Prince Philip 


God of our lives,
we give thanks for the life of Prince Philip,
for his love of our country,
and for his devotion to duty.
We entrust him now to your love and mercy,
through our Redeemer Jesus Christ. Amen.

We were very moved to learn of the death of HRH Prince Philip 9th April. This has been marked in our churches, where we have placed the following photograph and prayer. We joined in the chiming of bells at 12:00 the next day, alongside the 41 gun salutes around the nation,and we prayed for Her Majesty and the royal family in our services on Sunday 11th April.We shall continue to do so.


It is its own tribute to the Duke, that so many of us have at some time seen him ourselves or in some cases have had the chance to meet him and it's lovely to see the warmth of the memories being expressed.

Common themes reoccur, and they are often deeply human - his ability to put people at ease, his real interest their roles and activities and his wide-ranging concerns of global importance reflected in his involvement with the WWF, cooperation between faiths, the development of young people and more.

We give thanks for him even as we pray for our Queen.

Rev Tom Ringland

Pattern of Services in April and May

On Sundays: 1st & 3rd: Redmire 9:30am & Aysgarth 11am; 2nd & 4th: Preston-u-Scar 9:30am
& West Witton 11am

13th May Zoom 7pm Ascension Day

30th May 10:30am Holy Communion Holy Trinity Wensley

Phone (9:30am) and Zoom (10:30am) each Sunday in addition to physical services.

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:

Hear To Help
Part of North Yorkshire Hospice Care community response to Covid-19.
Just B is offering emotional wellbeing support to people in the Harrogate District, Hambleton and Richmondshire, with its new Hear to Help phoneline, available to anyone who may be dealing with anxiety at this time. The line is manned by trained staff and volunteers and is available seven days a week, 8am-8pm. For more information see Hear to Help.

Our church buildings are usually open on the following days - but will be closed for two days before a service

Preston under Scar and Wensley -  Daily
Aysgarth -  daily 
Castle Bolton -  daily
Redmire - Daily
West Witton - daily 

sanitiser is available at the entrances, plus forms for test and trace.. 
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.

Rev Tom Ringland

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 


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


 The February to March 2021 edition of the Penhill Beacon will be delivered to residents but can also be read here

Vicar’s Letter - Easter  2021

Dear Everyone,
Easter this year is coinciding with the Government’s roadmap out of lockdown. I write this on the day schools are re-opened to all pupils, and the headaches of home-learning move to those of home Covid-testing!

If all goes to plan, we will be able to meet out of doors in groups of up to six by March 29th, so there may be some small ‘Witness of the Cross’ moments on April 2nd – Good Friday – (along with services in church at West Witton and Aysgarth).

Then from April 12th, we may well be welcoming visitors to holiday lets again, and we’ll be able to order a beer outside – with or without ‘a substantial meal’!

Along the way the impressive vaccination programme continues – I’ve now had my first, and numbers are being called back for their second shot in the arm … There will be growing evidence available about how effective the vaccines are. Initial information indicates they are highly efficacious in preventing infection and in reducing serious effects in those who do become infected. We wait to learn more about the new variants being reported.

Although these are early days, hopefully lockdown will give way to new freedoms as the summer arrives.

Easter can be said to speak of its own lockdown, as Jesus, crucified on the Friday, is buried in a tomb by sundown - before the beginning of the Sabbath. As Christians, we believe and trust that this death, (amazingly), is offered ‘for the sins of the world’.

Would the ‘virus’ of human wrong-doing be dealt with effectively by this sacrifice?

Well, the jury was out during the long hours of the Saturday, but as Sunday morning dawned, first the women, then the apostles (minus Thomas), and later on the road to Emmaus, two more - were to encounter the living Jesus. In the weeks that followed there were other experiences too. In this way, the resurrection of Jesus bore witness to the efficacy of Good Friday. Death was defeated and life restored!

‘Sin’ is still endemic in our world, but Christians believe it has been dealt with in the events of Good Friday and Easter – and so we can be forgiven (healed/restored). The old hymn has it, ‘He died that we might be forgiven, he died to make us good – that we might go at last to heaven, saved by his precious blood’.

So, come and celebrate with us! Services are listed elsewhere in this issue – and on the website (see page 2) – and whilst we are still distanced, it will be good to be gathered together to celebrate our Easter hope!

As the Easter season leads on to Pentecost and so to summer, I expect we will be organising some further celebration events, to rejoice in one another’s company again. It may seem very strange at first to be mingling and catching up. In some ways we have grown so used to isolating, we may genuinely feel we’ve forgotten how to hold a conversation! However, I’m sure that will prove short-lived. While we will still be alert to risks, watch out for events listed on the website and other usual places as we take the opportunity to be together.

Meanwhile, may God grant us all a very HAPPY EASTER!


 April 5 2020

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 21:2020

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.