Church celebrates century in town

Soiree at the home of Juliet Tait to mark the centenary of St Thomas Church, Boston.'L-R Canon John Moore, Juliet Tait, Rev Ken Almond, Rev Margaret Brewster, Rev Chris Wedge.

Soiree at the home of Juliet Tait to mark the centenary of St Thomas Church, Boston.'L-R Canon John Moore, Juliet Tait, Rev Ken Almond, Rev Margaret Brewster, Rev Chris Wedge.

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AT THE beginning of the 20th century, people living around the London Road area of Boston attended church services in a building made of corrugated iron.

The curates at the church travelled by river from Skirbeck in order to lead services, and the bodies of those who died had to be taken either over the river or via road from that part of town to St Nicholas’ Church in Skirbeck to be buried.

But in 1912, everything changed, and the St Thomas’ Church which today sits proudly on London Road opened its doors for its first service.

Years of fundraising and collecting donations and having acrimonious discussions went into building the little church – but the fact it is still going strong 100 years on show it was all worth it.

Members of the church have spent several months celebrating the building’s milestone and the contribution the church has made to the local community.

Lay preacher Sheila Preistley told The Standard: “I think this event has been very important for St Thomas’ and for the whole of the parish. It’s put some life into the church. We did have fun, but it’s really put life into us.

“It’s celebrated the century of St Thomas’ and I am sure it’s helped with the fellowship and friendship of the parish and helped us work together as one.”

The celebrations got underway in May with an exhibition of christening gowns from the last century. Many people from the area around St Thomas’ got involved by bringing their family gowns along for the display.

In June a party was held to mark both the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee and the church’s centenary. Members of the church even enjoyed their own mini-Olympics, with the Rev Chris Wedge carrying a specially-made Olympic torch around the churchyard.

A centenary soiree gave the celebrations a touch of class when it took place at Juliet Tait’s house earlier this month.

Several celebratory services have also taken place, with a final one planned for the end of September, when the Bishop of Lincoln will attend. Sheila added: “We think it’s been a tremendous success.”

St Thomas’, which is named after Sir Thomas Middlecott, whose fund helped towards the building of the church, is now part of the Parish of Boston, along with St Botolph’s Church and St Christopher’s Church, but it was not always this way. Before the church was built, residents in that part of the town travelled across the river to Skirbeck, as it was then part of the same parish.

The area got its own church in the later 1800s, but it was made of iron. It was meant to last just a few years, but it remained in use until the Rev Albert Lambordini came to the parish from London.

Alan Tosney, who has been researching the history of the church, and has prepared a DVD of the celebrations, said: “The rest, as they say, is history. It is a very interesting area.”