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   

St Thomas the Apostle 03/07/2022

Gospel: John 20: 24-29

Other Readings:    Habakkuk 2: 1-4; Psalm 31: 1-6; Ephesians 2: 19-end

Our Prayer Book friends may not be celebrating today as the Feast of Saint Thomas the Apostle preferring to stick with the traditional date of 21st December

But today along with the Roman Catholic Church and the Syrian Church we keep 3rd July as the Feast of St Thomas

Thomas is mentioned as one of the Twelve apostles in all four gospels; and in St John’s gospel he appears in three episodes, namely offering to die with Jesus on his way to Bethany at chapter 11:16;

Interrupting the last discourse with his question, We know not wither thou goest so how can we know the way at chapter 14: 5; and lastly and perhaps most famously, doubting the resurrection unless he were to touch the wounds of the risen Lord at chapter 25:8

One week later, when the apostles were once again assembled for their Sunday eucharist, the risen Lord appeared and Thomas confessed his faith in the words ‘My Lord and my God’ so becoming the first to acknowledge the divinity of Christ

According to an early tradition it is believed he evangelised in Syria before taking the gospel to India where he was martyred, his body being buried at Mylapore near Madras which is where the Portuguese found his tomb when they landed in 1522

The Syrian churches and the Christians in Malabar observe 3rd July as the date of his death in the year 72; the Greek church keeps St Thomas on 6th October while 21st December was believed to be the date of his death but was also the date when his relics were translated so you may pay your money and choose the date you like best!

Because of his initial spiritual blindness Thomas is invoked by those who suffer physical blindness and sometimes in art he is represented with a builder’s T square because in the apocryphal Acts of Thomas he is said to have built a palace for an Indian king

The Syrian Christians are also known as the Saint Thomas Christians: they are a community of Christians from Kerala in India and trace their origin back to St Thomas and his evangelistic mission and claim to be one of the oldest Christian communities in the world albeit splitting since the 17th century into several denominations and traditions – which sounds strangely familiar!

We can all too easily label Thomas ‘Doubting Thomas’ but his story shows how we must resist such labelling and categorizing of people. One week later Thomas encountered the risen Lord and became ‘Believing Thomas’ and remained Believing Thomas for the rest of his life until he was martyred for his beliefs. We do this with our friends as well as with celebrities and politicians: because of one incident – one mistake – one failing – we label them and though they change and move on we still label them with that original label

The story of Thomas reminds us that we have to allow people to change and accept that people can and do change. Amen..

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

Anglican Church of the Tanzania/Those ordained last Sunday as deacon and priest/Belton

Collect for the day:

Almighty and eternal God,
who, for the firmer foundation of our faith,
allowed your holy apostle Thomas
   to doubt the resurrection of your Son
till word and sight convinced him:
grant to us, who have not seen, that we also may believe
and so confess Christ as our Lord and our God;
who is alive and reigns with you,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever.

 A 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 June 2022

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. t 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: TBA - awaiting the rebuilding of the wall by the National Trust between Belton House grounds and the church

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 June Rota download here For the July Rota download here 

Wednesday 6th July

10.00 Holy Communion at Caythorpe

Sunday 10th July Trinity 4

09.00 Holy Communion at Hough on the Hill

10.30 Holy Communion at Barkston

Sunday 3rd July [St Thomas Apostle]

09.00 Holy Communion at Marston

10.00 Morning Prayer at Brandon

10.30 Holy Communion at Belton for the Feast of Title, Ss Peter and Paul

17.00 Evening Prayer at Hougham

Authorised Lay Ministry (ALM) service.  On Sunday 3 July at 6pm, there will be an outdoor Eucharist, in the garden at Grantham House (Castlegate, Grantham NG31 6SS), during which lay ministers from the Loveden and Grantham Deaneries will be authorised. Please keep the local ALM candidates in your prayers: Steve Bacon and Julian Knight (All Saints, Hough on the Hill) and John Padley and Hilary Sykes (St Peter's, Claypole). All are welcome to the service. Please take your own folding chair to sit on. Tea/coffee will be available afterwards. 

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