The Wilbrahams’ Churches
Two churches serve The Wilbrahams’ communities – St Nicholas’ Great Wilbraham and St John’s, Little Wilbraham, regular services are shared between them as are special events and celebrations.
Regular Services at St Nicholas’ & St John’s
St Nicholas’ Great Wilbraham
09:30 Every Wednesday: Morning Prayers – a short service from the Iona Wild Goose service book.
15:15 Wednesday Church: a service for young children and their carers, we hope will be restarting in the Autumn school term. Watch out for posters, website and Facebook information.
09:30 First Sunday in the Month: Come and Join family service overseen by our Lay Preacher, Steve Mashford.
09:30 Third Sunday in the Month: Holy Communion.
St John’s Little Wilbraham
09:30 Second Sunday in the Month: Holy Communion.
09:30 Fourth Sunday in the Month: Matins.
Social chat and refreshments follow most of our services in both churches.
Note: The Wilbrahams’ Churches of St Nicholas’ and St John’s are part of the Benefice of St Vigor’s, Fulbourn, which also includes St George’s, Six Mile Bottom. News of the whole Benefice can be found by clicking here.
Forthcoming Wilbrahams’ Churches Services & Events
Autumn and winter church events.
Harvest Songs of Praise this year was at at St John’s Little Wilbraham on Sunday 1st October at 15:30.
Harvest Festivals at both St Nicholas’ and St John’s – dates to be confirmed.
All Souls evening service, to remember loved ones who have died. Thursday 2nd November at 20:00, St Nicholas’ Church, Great Wilbraham. Names to be mentioned in the prayers will be collected at the door and candles lit during the service. Everyone welcome.
Bonfire Night, organised by Little Wilbraham Parish Council, will be held on the evening of Sunday November 5th. St John’s will be providing refreshments.
Christmas Carols at St John’s Little Wilbraham Sunday afternoon 17th December.
Christmas Carols at St Nicholas’ Great Wilbraham on Sunday afternoon 24th December.
Midnight Mass St John’s Little Wilbraham 24th December to be confirmed.
Christmas Day St Nicholas’ Great Wilbraham 09:30.
St Nicholas’ Great Wilbraham
There has been a Church in Great Wilbraham since Anglo Saxon times and the present building dates mainly from the 13th Century when the Knights Templars undertook substantial rebuilding. It is built of fieldstones originally dressed with clunch, but later replaced with limestone. There is a very informative leaflet in the church for anyone interested in its deeper history.
St Nicholas’ Trust
Maintaining such an historic monument is a massive responsibility for our small Parochial Church Council (PCC) and we are very fortunate to have the valuable support of the St Nicholas Trust, which has been set up to raise finance for the maintenance and repair of the fabric of our Grade 2* listed building.
Few could deny that the view of the Church across the recreation ground is the crowning glory of our village, which deserves to be preserved for the enjoyment of future generations. As you might imagine, the sums involved in tackling this work are enormous.
All churches in the Diocese of Ely, of which we are members, are professionally surveyed every five years and reports submitted to the various PCCs. It is only thanks to the St Nicholas Trust that we can even attempt to tackle much of the major work identified.
Over the years generous donations have been received from village people in the form of legacies and regular donations. The latest financial report indicates that our investments are performing in line with general share market performance. The following was recently published in The Warbler:
“The balance of St Nicholas Trust’s Legacy Capital Fund at the end of July was £227,441 (compared to £233,637 as at end of. April); so a slight reduction of 2.56%, which was in line with general market sentiment (the FTSE All Share went down by 1.94% over the same
period). Meanwhile, the trustees continue to carefully invest in stocks & shares to build up dividend income at a rate now targeted to exceed £10,000 pa.”
That said, even this money is not sufficient to do all the work required, but it does help hugely when applying for charitable and Government grants which generally have to be match funded.
Contact point for the Trust is Graham Clarke. Trustee of the St Nicholas Great Wilbraham Trust.
Clare House, 1 High Street, Great Wilbraham, CB21 5JD
Tel: 01223 882882. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
St Nicholas’ Churchyard Volunteers
We are lucky to have such a big and beautiful churchyard: a recent survey revealed that it contains 39 different plant species and some rare mosses and lichens, some of which are to be found on stonework and on old wooden crosses. So when our church warden, Lorna Carr, made us aware of the award scheme developed by the Wildlife Trust for Cambridgeshire, the PCC agreed to go for a Bronze Award, which we achieved in 2021.
The award scheme is intended to raise awareness of the importance of graveyards as havens for wildlife: many birds nest and feed in them, different wild flowers flourish in them and their trees are often an important village feature. We have over forty trees to care for in our church yard.
Money from the St Nicholas’ Trust cannot be used to care for the churchyard and we are hugely indebted to the valiant volunteers who work so hard to keep the grass cut around the graves and maintain our daunting number of trees.
More volunteers to help with all this work are very much needed to keep public paths through the churchyard clear of overgrowing trees and plant growth.
The Wildlife Trust scheme requires us to maintain a compost heap to attract small mammals and reptiles, boxes for birds and bats to nest in, and areas of grass which are only mown at certain times of the year so that wildflowers can thrive and set seed. We hope that we will eventually have a flowery meadow.
Paul Lambton has helped us to install a small pond hidden behind a flower bed on the right hand side of the Church entrance. It is already attracting frogs and Judy Harmer has planted a small herb garden to attract butterflies and bees by the opposite side of the Church door. She has planted wild pansies, several kinds of thyme, fennel, sage, marjoram, lovage and borage. Other herbs will follow when the ground is more suitable for planting.
Volunteers from Wilbrahams’ Environment Group did an amazing job cutting and clearing the long grass for us in September.
We are very grateful.
We are very appreciative of the work done by Nick Toovey, The Wilbrahams’ Environment Group (WEG), who has erected eight new swift boxes on the North side of the church. Set up a little late in 2023 to attract breeding pairs, WEG is hopeful that we shall have some in 2024. Recorded swift calls have been broadcast from tiny speakers by the boxes in the hope of attracting the attention of next year’s breeding pairs.
St Nicholas’ has excellent kitchen and lavatory facilities and good, if expensive, heating. We make as much use of this for village events as we can. Our coffee mornings are always a great success and proceeds are shared with charities such as Jimmy’s, The Children’s Society and others. Thank you to everyone who supports them, especially the people who so generously donate delicious cakes, savouries and other treats for us all to enjoy.
Lorna Carr, Churchwarden: Tel: 01223 882107 or 07502 081528
The Rev’d Alice Goodman, Rector: Tel: 01223 880337