Heritage Project Update & Open Evening Invite

Everyone is very warmly invited to our Heritage Open Evening on Monday 3rd July at 7.00pm.

This will be an opportunity for anyone who hasn’t done so to see the completed works inside and out, ask questions and hear about what was involved and learn about what is still to be achieved.

As you will be aware from previous updates the major works to repair and improve the church were finally completed at the beginning of March this year. All this was made possible by a Heritage Lottery grant of £124,000 and five smaller grants amounting to £13,000.

Completion was just in time for our hugely successful ‘Service of Thanksgiving for the Life and Legacy of Ethel Gordon Fenwick‘ on 12th March. (On which note an enormous thank you again to everyone who helped clean and decorate the church with the beautiful flowers and provide the much talked about refreshments!).

However the project is far from over. Under the conditions of our Heritage Lottery Funding the next stage is due to start involving the use of the church as a ‘heritage resource’. The Open Evening will be a chance to hear more about this and if you wish to, how to get involved, especially those of you who were kind enough to respond to the survey we put round some months ago.

Getting involved though is not compulsory! Please feel free to come just for a look round and hear the progress on what is happening. We are always tremendously grateful of the village support we receive from people who are not regular church goers but non the less see St. Helena’s as an important part of village life and wish to see the future of the church safeguarded for many years to come. So please do join us if you can.

If anyone can’t make the evening but would like to know more please contact Nick Finlay 850912 (Church Warden) or Rob Knight 851264.

We look forward to seeing you on 3rd July.

Campaigning Nurse Honoured with Service

A celebration of the life and work of the first ever State Registered Nurse was attended by the Dean of Southwell, a former nurse and midwife, and senior nursing professionals from around the UK.

Ethel Bedford Fenwick (1857-1947) spent her formative years at Thoroton Hall in Nottinghamshire and is buried at St Helena’s church, where the service was held on Sunday afternoon. Her great granddaughter, Harriette travelled to the church especially for the occasion.

ethelEthel campaigned for over 30 years for the establishment of a register for nurses. She was a committed suffragist and agent for change, including the system of three years training for registered nurses and good working conditions.

The Rev’d Bryony Wood said: “We saw a real miracle of transformation this week in Thoroton church when a small army of people worked so hard to restore the church to its original beauty. Last week it was still a full of building rubble after months of significant structural work and on Sunday 12th March it was restored to its full glory, filled with beautiful flowers, a superb afternoon tea and lots of people! The sun shone in through the stained glass windows including the one installed by Ethel and her family in memory of their parents. We laid a fresh bouquet of purple white and green on her grave in her memory and filled the church with those, her favourite colours. We were thrilled that Ethel’s great granddaughter travelled to join us and so many senior figures from the nursing world who took the time and trouble to come to the service. They travelled from across the country and together we celebrated the life and legacy of Ethel Gordon Fenwick and the care and compassion of nurses everywhere today.”
The Dean, the Very Revd Nicola Sullivan, commented: “As a Bart’s trained nurse, I felt so proud to be part of Sunday’s special service. In Ethel Bedford Fenwick we have celebrated an inspirational nurse who was doggedly determined to effect change for the better. Although it is nearly 25 years since I left nursing and midwifery to begin ordination training, I have always been thankful for my professional background, and those amazing pioneer women who fought for proper training, regulation and the highest of care standards.” EBF-2-2-Desktop-Resolution.jpg

Press release and photos from the Diocese of Southwell & Nottingham