Welcome to the website of the South Cliff Villages Group

which is a new grouping of 10 Church of England parishes in the Diocese Lincoln which in the main straddle the A607 road between Grantham and Lincoln    

3rd Sunday before Lent 05/02/2023

Gospel: Matthew 5: 13-20

OT: Isaiah 58: 1-9a; Psalm 112; NT: 1 Corinthians 2: 1-12

The words from the gospel about salt and light featured prominently in the Time To Change Together presentation to Deanery Synod members held a couple of weeks back in the church at Corby Glen. They come from the Sermon on the Mount and this is what St Matthew recorded Our Lord as saying:

You are the salt of the earth; but if salt has lost its taste, how can its saltiness be restored? It is no longer good for anything, but is thrown out and trampled underfoot

You are the light of the world. A city built on a hill cannot be hidden. No one after lighting a lamp puts it under the bushel basket, but on the lampstand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father in heaven.

In the context of TTCT this was no doubt high-lighting that we do have churches among the 600 plus in the diocese which have lost their saltiness and are no good for anything but to categorise themselves as Type 5’s and seek to lock the door and hand the key to the archdeacon

It will be the same for churches which have hidden their light under a bushel or a bowl

Fortunately, we have no churches in our deanery putting themselves forward as Type 5 but it is a useful exercise to check that we, as churches, are still salt of the earth and light of the world

Usually when I sit down to prepare the Sunday homily I have one or other of my bible commentaries on the desk with me but this week instead I have a copy of Delia’s classic complete illustrated cookery course!

I settled on Delia’s chapter on bread and yeast cookery and her recipe for a plain white loaf where along with water and sugar, yeast, flour and butter we are instructed to take just one level teaspoon or less of salt and add to the mixture

We are very familiar with the message that too much salt in the diet can exacerbate high blood pressure but, that to one side, all you need in general with salt is contained within a teaspoon. For vegetables - which by the way Delia recommends we eat in their natural season and avoid their pallid cousins flown into the UK from around the world throughout the year – all that is required is a sprinkling with salt

The question to ask ourselves this week therefore is to what extent do we in our churches of the Southcliff benefice demonstrate that we are indeed salt of the earth and light of the world?

Turning then to this morning’s reading from Paul’s first Letter to the Church in Corinth you may well feel that like St Paul’s preaching, mine too lacks eloquence; what by contrast is important is that the preacher speaks of Jesus Christ and of him crucified

To present salvation as coming through a man hanged on a tree is variously a stumbling block to the Jews and folly to the Gentiles although to the mature in the faith it is in fact a message of wisdom. Amen

Prayer: Spend some time in silence, responding to what you have heard today and listening to what God might be saying to you.


Almighty God,

who alone can bring order

to the unruly wills and passions of sinful humanity:

give your people grace

so to love what you command

and to desire what you promise,

that, among the many changes of this world,

our hearts may surely there be fixed

where true joys are to be found;

through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord,

who is alive and reigns with you,

in the unity of the Holy Spirit,

one God, now and for ever. Amen


Prayer for Ukraine

God of peace and justice,
we pray for the people of Ukraine today.
We pray for peace and the laying down of weapons.
We pray for all those who fear for tomorrow,
that your Spirit of comfort would draw near to them.
We pray for those with power over war or peace,
for wisdom, discernment and compassion to guide their decisions.
Above all, we pray for all your precious children, at risk and in fear,
that you would hold and protect them.
We pray in the name of Jesus, the Prince of Peace.

Archbishop Justin Welby
Archbishop Stephen Cottrell

 Domestic Abuse in rural areas: Perhaps you or someone you know is affected by this and would welcome access to the Freephone 24 hour National Domestic Abuse Helpline on 0808 2000 247 

Download Rector's Letter February/March 

Download Morning and Night Prayers

Download A Spiritual Communion




We welcome visitors and newcomers to our services and various weekday activities as detailed on our website and if you would like one of the clergy or lay ministers to visit you then can you please let us know your name and give us your address and a contact telephone number and e mail address

A Prayer for our Churches:

God our heavenly Father, make the doors of our churches wide enough to receive all who need human love and fellowship and a father’s care, and narrow enough to shut out all envy, pride and lack of love: here may the tempted find help, the sorrowing receive comfort, the careless be awakened to repentance, and the penitent be assured of your mercy; and here may all your children renew their strength and go on their way in hope and joy; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Keeping Safe:

Most of the time at church we are like a big happy family. However even in very happy families people can have a bad day and even people we know and trust can upset us. We want to help everyone have good days all of the time. We try to make sure that people who have jobs in the church always behave well and in a way that is helpful to you. We never want anyone or anything in church to frighten you, confuse you or worry you. It is important that you tell us if something is upsetting you or if you are feeling worried about something that’s happening or something somebody is doing. We have specially trained people who you can talk to and who you can ask for help. These people are good at safeguarding. This means they look after everyone’s safety. Caring for people is a very important part of our Christian life.

The people who can help you are the parish priest or the parish safeguarding officer. You can contact the parish safeguarding officer or the parish priest. If you wish to speak to someone outside the church you can contact the diocesan safeguarding team at: https://www.lincoln.anglican.org/safeguarding-overview – all these contact details are displayed in each church on the purple A3 poster which also has information there about other places from where you can get help or advice. 


Privacy Policy:

The South Cliff Villages Group of churches [SCVG] undertakes to collect and use your personal data in compliance with the General Data Processing Regulation [GDPR]. Our legal basis for processing this data us our legitimate interest as a group of churches. We use the data for administration and for communication and this information is recorded and stored in compliance with the GDPR.Your personal data will not be passed on by us to any third party 




We now have online giving

Please donate here

Following the relaxation of Government guidelines, we are delighted to say that our churches will be resuming 'normal' opening in daylight hours as set out below. At the same time we continue to point you in the direction of on line worship at Lincoln cathedral available via their website

The following churches are now open:

St Peter and St Paul Belton: Daily - apart from Monday & Tuesday - from 10am to 4pm from March to October

St Nicholas Carlton Scroop: Daily in daylight hours

St Nicholas Normanton on Cliffe: Daily in daylight hours

St Vincent Caythorpe: Daily in daylight hours

St Nicholas Fulbeck: Daily in daylight hours

All Saints Hough on the Hill: Daily in daylight hours 

St Mary's Marston: Daily in daylight hours

Service Rota. For the February/March  Rota download here 

Sunday 5th February 3rd Sunday before Lent

09.00 Holy Communion at Marston

10.00 Morning Prayer at Brandon

10.30 Holy Communion at Belton

17.00 Evening Prayer at Hougham

Sunday 12th February 2nd Sunday before Lent

09.00 Holy Communion at Hough on the Hill

10.30 Holy Communion at Barkston

Living with Covid -19

The Government has published its plan for living with COVID-19 and has removed the remaining restrictions put in place to manage the pandemic. We will continue to make the church buildings safe and at the same time balance the provision of services with care for the vulnerable and we will point you in the direction of what is provided on the BBC as well as to on-line worship offered by the Church of England nationally and at Lincoln Cathedral offered via their respective websites 

Welcome to the website of the Southcliff Benefice churches - if there are questions for which the website does not have the answer then do please email the rector at rectorsouthcliff@outlook.com