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Penhill Benefice - News

Penhill Benefice

Living and Sharing the Love of Jesus Christ in the Community



Our church buildings at Aysgarth, Castle Bolton, Preston under Scar, Redmire and Wensley are open for private prayer every day during daylight hours.

From July we will be stopping the regular Zoom services and returning to our churches on a regular basis.
Phone based services will continue.

We have sought to make our church buildings as safe as possible. Please remember to wear a face covering, use the test and trace facility and use the hand sanitiser. We close the premises for two days before services, to allow time for virus degradation. Thornton Rust Mission Room is presently closed.
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.

Thy Kingdom Come
The Archbishops’ invitation to pray “Thy Kingdom Come” between Ascension and Pentecost is once again backed up with the “Thy Kingdom Come” app.

This is a wonderful discipleship tool for all ages, with content for adults, youth and children, created to spiritually nourish and encourages prayer during the eleven days of “Thy Kingdom Come”.

All of the key resources are featured on this free app and is an accessible way for individuals and families to journey through this time of prayer.

You can download the app from the google play store here and the app store here, and if you would like to share about this on social media you can find various graphics here.

For the family: We have not been able, in the past year, to have any Penhill Praise services (for all the family). But during these past ten days, when we have prayed, 'Thy Kingdom Come', I was pleased to see a 30 minute family praise service with CBeebies' Gemma Hunt and +David Williams, the Bishop of Basingstoke
The inner child in you will probably enjoy this - and if sharing with younger family members, you may like to preview it - as there are some craft activities, and this will give the chance to gather some resources!

Watch it on youtube  here

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 click here 

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.Revd 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 April to May 2021 edition of the Penhill Beacon will be delivered to residents but can also be read here
Vicar’s Letter - June and July  2021

Dear Everyone,


I hope by the time you read this, our summer will have finally materialised.

I am writing on the early May Bank Holiday weekend. Frosts and cool days have proliferated. We still have a fortnight before the next stage in the roadmap out of lock-down. Some pubs are serving out of doors, but the chill makes it all a bit of an ordeal.

If summer has arrived, it has probably done so in a rush – in the blink of an eye, the trees are in full leaf, the wildflowers in bloom and the visitors to the Dale will have arrived in numbers!

The message for this season has to be the Latin saying, ‘Carpe Diem’ – ‘seize the day’. Make the most of the long-awaited freedom, after months where we have followed the restrictions. Doubtless precautions remain and new
threats may yet present – but where there is the opportunity, ‘Carpe Diem!’

Living in the present moment is a good goal. Sometimes we live for a future as yet unrealised. Sometimes we live in the past, clinging to times that have gone.

There is a prayer in the Anglican pattern of Daily Prayer which always catches my attention. It begins: ‘As we rejoice in the gift of this new day…’

It assumes we will rejoice, always receiving the new day as a gift.

Each new morning comes pregnant with possibilities – it is indeed a gift – to be received and rejoiced in!

This is a truth found in an unlikely source in the Old Testament. Jeremiah wrote his ‘Lamentations’ after his people had been conquered and the top echelons of society had been deported to Babylon. But in Lam. 3:22-23 we read:

22The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases, his mercies never come to an end;
23 they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.
John Keble, the 19th century Oxford vicar and poet, inspired by these verses wrote the magnificent hymn ‘New every morning’. It’s not so often sung these days, but very much worthy of recovery and reflection.

I commend it this summer!

Carpe Diem,



 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)