Seventy Churches across the Districts of Bassetlaw, Newark and Sherwood opened their doors over the weekend of 3rd and 4th July 2010 for the launch of Diocese of Southwell and Nottingham Open Churches Project. This initiative has been set up as part of the Church History Project to provide detailed historical and archaeological information about every church within the Diocese. Many of the churches offered refreshments and some staged activities and events over the weekend.
All Saints Church in Beckingham was open all day Saturday and (due to a morning service) Sunday afternoon. The Church was decorated with some beautiful floral arrangements and visitors received a warm welcome. The local History Group put on a photographic historical display with images from different years along with newspaper cuttings and prints of All St. Church plus Saundby church and the Methodist Chapel both now closed.
There were school group photos from as early as 1898. Information was also on display on Beckingham and Saundby memorials with lists of men who died during WW1. A microfiche reader was available for the viewing of Parish Registers along with a rolling slide show on a laptop. There were various files for people to browse through as well as early newsletters and parish magazines. These are always popular bringing back memories for many often resulting in the collation of more information.
The church wardens supplied visitors with a simple and fun quiz suitable for all ages of thirty questions on various aspects and features of the church. A display showed the various colourful vestments worn by the clergy with an explanation of which ones were worn for different occasions. Delicious homemade refreshments were served throughout the weekend in the church. The weekend ended with a special "Songs of Praise" at 4.15pm in the church on Sunday.
Fourteen much loved hymns were sung all chosen by members of the community. The weekend also included Beckingham Open Gardens which took place on Sunday from 2 to 5pm when six gardens around the village welcomed visitors. These included gardens in Old Trent Road, Timpson Court, Church View, Bar Rd North and Low Street. Combined admission was £3 with children going free with the proceeds going to Testicular Cancer. There was also a plant stall on the village green. This special weekend enabled villagers and visitors alike to view some of the wonderful gardens in the village as well as our beautiful church. Many thanks go to all those involved who worked so hard to make the weekend such a great success. £174.50 was raised in donations for the Church and the Open Gardens raised £250 for Testicular Cancer.
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