St Nicholas' Church in Ulceby could be facing closure
A VILLAGE has sent out an SOS to save its ancient church from closure.
St Nicholas' Church, in Ulceby, is facing an uncertain future due to falling attendance and a lack of support.
The church – which is mentioned in the Domesday book – has been without a vicar for two years after the previous leader was repositioned by the Diocese of Lincoln.
And its two former wardens, who have maintained the building, are calling on new people to get involved if the church is to survive.
Margaret Thompson was a warden there for 26 years before she retired and has been a village resident since 1965.
She said: "If the church was to go, we would be left with no place of worship and would lose the use of an ancient building.
"I just hope new people want to get involved. The congregation is not very well attended anymore.
"We need some new ideas. I have been here 26 years and clearly we need something new.
"When we have had a vicar, the church has been the focal point of the village. The last vicar was great, but she had to leave.
"Since then we have had various travelling vicars, but they are not here long enough. It would be great to have someone living back in the vicarage, we really need a resident vicar.
"No one has yet come forward wanting to be a church warden. We could join with other parishes and share the wardens with other local churches if we really need to.
"The church and the village needs more activity, more people. We really want the young and new residents from the village to get involved."
The church recently underwent its five-year building inspection by the Diocese, which revealed there are £200,000 worth of maintenance and repairs required.
This follows the cost of replacing stolen lead from the church roof, as reported, a few months ago.
Val Mumby, a resident in the village, whose family has lived there for more than 100 years, said: "There are a group of about 15 people keeping the church going, but they need more support.
"We need to have two church wardens by April otherwise we cannot get any grants from the Diocese to help with the costs."
St Nicholas still holds a service every week, with readings from members of the congregation.
A recent public meeting brought together many members of the village. As yet, no one has come forward to take on the role of church warden.
The Archdeacon of Stow and Lindsey, the Venerable Jane Sinclair, oversees CofE practices, including St Nicholas Church.
"We really hope it will stay open and hope we can turn it around," she said.
"It will need a lot of support from the community to make it happen.
"The works needed on the church are those expected on a medieval building. Grants can be applied for to help pay for the work.
"However, for grants to be given, the church must have a church council and church wardens.
"If the church were to close, however, we would ensure the residents could attend another in a local parish."