The Benefice of Lastingham


Lastingham has been a centre of Worship and devotion since the 7th Century. As we welcome you to this ancient and beautiful church, we hope that you will share with us the joyous sense of peace and enjoy the heritage of centuries of Christianity in this church where, in the words of the hymn: "Brothers we are treading where the saints have trod".






Annual Pilgrimage from Chimney Bank Top to St.Mary's, Lastingham

We had the Stations of the Cross walk this morning, very well organised by Alice O'Neil. Starting from Rosedale chimney bank top, walking to Ana Cross and then down to Lastingham.  Revd David Purdy led the readings at each Station as we went. It was a glorious morning and everyone enjoyed the wonderful views across the moor. A very atmospheric and moving service in the crypt completed the occasion. On our return to Barmoors Alice provided excellent soup, bread and cheese as well as cake and Chelsea buns!  Well done Alice for the logistics of cars, passengers, drivers and lunch! Thank you.

IMG_2822 IMG_2825IMG_2828_2




A Welcome from the Reverend Michael Sinclair,

Parish Priest of



Christ Church, Appleton-le Moors, St Gregory, Cropton, St Chad, Hutton-le-Hole,

St Mary, Lastingham and St Mary & St Laurence, Rosedale Abbey


Thank you for finding our website and we hope that you will be able to visit our Benefice of Lastingham, located in its beautiful setting on the southern edge of the North York Moors. 


Our Mother Church is the historically famous Church of St Mary, Lastingham, with it’s wonderful Crypt.  It was founded as a monastery in the Celtic tradition by St Cedd in 7th century, who came from Lindisfarne.  Cedd was followed as Abbot of Lastingham by his brother, St Chad, who was to go on and found Lichfield Cathedral.  St Cedd’s grave is close to the altar in the Crypt.  It is a truly spirit filled place and pilgrims from across the world come to Lastingham, to pray and reflect in the stillness of this ancient and holy site.


All five of the Churches in our tightly knit group, in their attractive villages, are well worth visiting.  A visual and verbal description of each is included on this site together with a map showing their locations.  Also included is a current list of Sunday services, and in addition, on Wednesdays at 9.30am, the eucharist is celebrated in Lastingham Crypt.



We do encourage you to take the time to come here and you will be most welcome.  I hope you will find it a stimulating, interesting and spiritually rewarding experience. 


Dear Friends,
By now you will have heard the good news of your new priest, the current Bishop of Peru, no less. The Right Revd. William (Bill) Godfrey has Yorkshire connections, though he has served with the Church in South America since 1986. He has built up the Anglican Church in Peru to the point where it is about to form three new dioceses and become a separate Province. Bodes well for Lastingham! And he's heard all the jokes about bears and marmalade!
So, the New Year will be out with the old and in with the new! Although Bishop Bill will be installed 'before Easter', I will cease to be your interim priest-in-charge at the end of the year. My final service will be the Benefice Eucharist at St Chad's, Hutton-le-Hole on Sunday 27 December at 10 am.
I will, however, continue with my role as Co-ordinator of Pilgrimages at least until the arrival of your new Vicar. The ministry of welcome and hospitality to pilgrims and visitors to the Crypt and shrine of St Cedd is, I believe, of great and increasing importance not only to Lastingham but to the wider Church, in this country and beyond. This year we have so far welcomed 12 groups of mainly pilgrims, but also scholars and students, varying in number from 6 to 30, and including visitors from York and Tokyo, London and Loughborough, Ripon and Spalding, Helmsley, Beverley and Maidenhead. The new Pilgrimage Centre, to be known as the St Cedd Centre, currently being developed as part of the diocesan-funded work on the Vicarage, will enable this crucial work to thrive and grow. It will look for the active interest and support of church members and others from the wider community, and in particular the formation of a Management Group to oversee the project.
I will leave at the end of the year with happy memories, new friendships, and a belief that the future of the Church in this benefice is both exciting and encouraging. Many challenges remain but I have no doubt that, with God's help, you, the people of this benefice, will rise to meet them.
So, I wish you a truly thankful Harvest Festival, a celebratory St Cedd’s tide, a reflective and prayerful Advent, and, when it comes, a very Happy Christmas.
DAVID PURDY (Interim Priest of the Benefice)

Northern Ryedale Deanery Action Day

Saturday 13th February at Middleton Village Hall.



The day started full of promise and just got better and better. Twenty-five of us gathered at Middleton Village Hall representing every benefice, a mix of clergy and laity. We were made welcome by the Village Hall Committee with home cake and biscuits to accompany our morning coffee.


The focus of the day was a commitment to action.  The Revd. Tim Robinson, our Rural Dean, emphasized that by the end of the day he was determined to have a range of projects identified, from the full spectrum of Deanery life, complete with outline strategies and timescales.


A short act of worship was followed by a little light-hearted ice-breaking activity, including lots laughter! Then there was a little gentle theology, supplemented by some Bible Study. The gathering was invited to consider, working in small groups, what was the most important activity for a Christian disciple: ‘being or doing’. It was refreshing to debate and reflect with Synod members who perhaps in the past you have only had the chance to nod a quick greeting.


The atmosphere was electric, the discussion lively, a real sense of the presence of the Holy Spirit, guiding and challenging us. We came to a real sense of renewal and optimism that the Deanery is a lovely place to come together, and that with the rich abundance of gifts in our midst, we can with confidence proclaim the Good News of the Gospel to our neighbours.


Following an excellent lunch  -  a delicious and creative mix of Yorkshire sandwiches and exquisite Korean cooking, everyone was invited to join a working group of their choice, including justice, media and communication, telling story, worship, and fun and fellowship. Within an hour or so each group had at least one project to offer.


Watch this space, as the A170 weaves its way through our Deanery we are all going to be on a journey of worship, fellowship and fun. There are going to be so many events to enjoy, to be involved in and to invite our parishes and communities to. The action has been set in motion; do join us.      


                                                                                                            The Rev’d Susan Binks