All Saints, Kirby Underdale

Kirby Underdale parish consists of the village itself as well as several hamlets and outlying farms.

Liturgically, All Saints’ Church has a strong sacramental tradition. There are two communion services each month using the Book of Common Prayer, something we would wish to preserve. However, we are also looking to extend the range of services offered to enable the congregation to grow. Before the pandemic there was a well-attended harvest evensong followed by a supper in the village hall. We should like to add to this other services on special occasions such as Candlemas, for instance, or designated days of particular relevance to rural mission.

The visit of Archbishop Stephen Cottrell to Kirby Underdale on Advent Sunday, 2022.

The Malines Conversations, commemorated by a window in the north aisle, has provided the impetus both for special services and for group visits to the church. On Advent Sunday, 2022, Archbishop Stephen Cotterell led eucharistic worship at All Saints’ Church and took as his theme the importance of church unity. More recently, parishioners from Whitkirk, Leeds, visited Kirby Underdale and, after a talk in the church, enjoyed refreshments in the village hall. Visits such as these are something we should like to continue and develop.

All Saints’ Church has a long and rich history. People are drawn to the church for many different reasons. Some come for the peace and tranquillity within the church. This, and the sense of God’s presence, is a common theme of comments in the Visitors’ Book. Others come in search of ancestral connections. Visitors can purchase A Brief History of Kirby Underdale Church which, along with its companion volume, A Brief History of Kirby Underdale Churchyard, shows and celebrates the unbroken community of faith with All Saints’ Church at its heart.

Above left: This richly illustrated book takes the reader on a historical tour around Kirby Underdale Church and introduces some of the people who have played a part in a story which spans more than a thousand years.

Above right: A churchyard is not just about the dead but is about the living too. This book explores the history of Kirby Underdale Churchyard through the lives of some of the people buried within its consecrated ground.

The churchyard at Kirby Underdale is a wildflower haven, from snowdrops in Spring to meadowsweet and meadow cranesbill later in the year. This, combined with the recent history of the churchyard, would make it ideal for the Church of England ‘Churches Count on Nature’ and ‘Love Your Burial Ground’ initiatives.

All Saints’ Church has an active PCC. The two churchwardens, like the treasurer, are new to their roles. Some members of the PCC are involved in other aspects of community life, not least of all the village hall. The church has a regular team of cleaners and flower arrangers as well as people willing to help at special events.

Congregations may be small – this is an area where growth is needed – but support for the church within the community is strong. Fundraising activities are well-supported. In recent years there have been garden parties, wine-tasting evenings as well as heritage talks and guided tours. There is ample scope for development here. Church meetings are held in the newly refurbished village hall which is also used for refreshments as well as fund-raising activities.

The churchyard is a haven for wild flowers, especially in summer.

Garden parties offer opportunities for socialising as well as fundraising.

Parishioners from Whitkirk Church, Leeds, enjoy a talk about the history of the church given by churchwarden and local historian, Dr Ruth Beckett.

This event proved so popular that it is back for the second consecutive year.

© Garrowby Churches 2024 | Privacy policy