Improved Lighting & Electrical Facilities Project – March 2020

The residents of Ulceby will benefit following the completion of the project to create modern and improved lighting for people of all ages using the church premises for various community-based functions and services.
The project has been funded by a £43,434 grant from FCC Communities Foundation which will now provide much needed improved lighting and electrical facilities.

Liz Brown of ‘The Friends of St Nicholas Church’ is excited that the project is now complete. She says: “This vital facility is going to make a real difference to all those who use it within the wider Ulceby community. We are extremely grateful to FCC Communities Foundation for providing funding as we would not have been able to go ahead without its support.”

Penny Horne, spokesperson for FCC Communities Foundation, says: “It’s wonderful to see something we have funded finally open and ready to make such a difference to community groups within Ulceby and the surrounding villages. WREN is always happy to consider grant applications for projects that benefit local communities, and this is a great example of what can be achieved.”

The long-term goal of the ‘Friends’ has always been to get the community working to make the building fit for purpose, not just for worship but for people to use it regularly in a comfortable, safe and welcoming environment.

The village primary school children will be able to use the space to learn about the local heritage and the new mood lighting means there can be various events and services that all can access. There will be a celebration event arranged later in the year, to which the whole community will be invited.

FCC Communities Foundation is a not-for-profit business that awards grants for community projects through the Landfill Communities Fund.

Renovation Project – Update, February 2020

The grant from the Lottery Heritage Fund which has allowed the Friends Association to organise the restoration of St Nicholas Church, concluded at the end of January 2020! The last item chargeable to the HLF was the installation of the display cabinets along the North Aisle.

Work has now begun on installing new electrics and lighting, courtesy of a grant from Wren (Communities Foundation) and work on new flooring is being added to replace that beneath the removed pews in the North and South aisles, courtesy of a Community Grant from North Lincs Council. This latter project was also subsidised by the Friends from funding raised through your local support of us. We must also not forget our local Ulceby Co-Op from whom the Friends charity, in November, received the amazing sum of £1692.12, again through your support of our cause.

The Friends of St Nicholas Church came into being in September 2012 as a result of a public meeting to try to stop the closure of our beautiful Grade I listed village church. It has been a long and hard struggle, (not without its’ many heartaches and disappointments) to ensure that all the things we set out to achieve that autumn were realised. By this Spring our church will be water-tight, have hot and cold running water in the new servery area, the facility of a disabled toilet, and gas central heating installed throughout. It will be enhanced by new electric wiring and atmospheric lighting, and the old and rotten pews will have been removed and replaced with new flooring. New, upmarket chairs and tables have been purchased so that the church’s ‘newly-released’ community space area is available for events. Of course, there are other, smaller projects we wish to complete over time so our fund raising will continue with various events we shall stage, but the really hard work, thanks to the Heritage Lottery Grant and our wonderful supporters, is behind us.

There are so many people to thank, both individual and in groups that it is too difficult to know where we should begin. Suffice it to say that we realise that without your support, we could never have achieved what seemed, in 2012, the impossible. This is a time to celebrate now and we hope, before the end of this New Year of 2020, to hold a ‘thank you’ event in church, to which you will all be invited (details to follow later). In the meantime, why don’t you attend one of our Sunday Services to see for yourself what determination and commitment from a village can achieve !!

Funding approved November 2019

Funding approved for improved lighting and electrical facilities in St. Nicholas Church, Ulceby.

Villagers of all ages accessing the church in Ulceby are set to obtain modern lighting thanks to a £43,434 grant from FCC Communities Foundation.

The money will be used to improve the internal electrical facilities throughout the building so that more people can access and use St. Nicholas’ in Church Lane for various community-based projects.

Liz Brown of ‘The Friends of St Nicholas Church’ believes the facility will make a huge difference to the lives of people living in the area. She says: “This project is part of the on-going restoration of our beautiful 800-year-old Grade 1 Listed building at the heart of our community and will provide a real boost to the people of Ulceby. It’s fantastic that FCC Communities Foundation has awarded us this money and we’re really looking forward to our new enhanced lighting taking shape over the next few months.”

FCC Communities Foundation is a not-for-profit business that awards grants for community projects through the Landfill Communities Fund.

Penny Horne FCC Communities Foundation spokesperson says: “We’re delighted to be supporting the Ulceby, St Nicholas Church, Improved Lighting project and pleased our funding will make such a difference to so many groups of people within Ulceby and the surrounding villages. FCC Communities Foundation is always happy to consider grant applications for projects that benefit local communities and we’re looking forward to this one having a positive impact very soon.”

Liz Brown hopes the new lighting will be ready to use early in 2020.

“The long-term goal of the ‘Friends’ has always been to get our community working to make the building fit for purpose in the 21st century. It’s not just for worship on a Sunday, we want people to use it regularly in a comfortable, safe and welcoming environment; we have so many exciting ideas of what can be done once the restoration work is complete.

Although various community events have already commenced and been well received during the summertime months, effective lighting will mean that the church can be used as a venue during the evenings and the winter months too.”

Renovation Project – Update, April 2019

Following the completion of the roof works, we are delighted to report that the installation of the heating began on 8 April and the laying of the gas line from Church Lane coincided with this. As previously advised to you, this has necessitated the removal of the small side pews on each aisle in order to establish the radiators and the sale of these lovely old items is detailed on another page in the Link, which also fully covers our intended fundraising events and dates. The contract for the heating should complete at the end of April and we are now working furiously to fundraise to improve the lighting and electrics and the making-good of the floor beneath the removed pews.

We are applying to various companies and charities to establish funds for the remaining work and our first village event to get this off the ground, will take place on Saturday 18th May from 2.00 – 4.30 pm when we are holding a Table Top/Indoor Boot Sale in Church. If you would like to hire a table, these are available at £5 each and you should apply to to reserve one. This event will be quickly followed by our Open Day in June when we shall host all the traditional stalls and refreshments.

Thanks to your support of the Co-op’s Local Community Cause and the Tesco Bags of Help, we have now purchased six quality tables and 21 red chairs (complete with padded seats for comfort) for use in our Community Space when created at the end of our project. We are investigating the purchase (as required by the Heritage Lottery fund) of an interactive table which, when installed, will detail the history of our village and church and this should be available by the Autumn.

In the Autumn, when the major projects are complete, we shall be holding a Service of Thanks giving and Celebration to which everyone will be welcome. Please watch the August edition of the Link for details.

Support from Ulceby

We still have quite some way to go but we now have a toilet, a servery, a dry roof, heating (almost) and soon, hopefully, new lighting etc., so our church will become a centre for learning, enhanced companionship, entertainment, and community support besides a traditional place of worship, and we know that none of these achievements would have been realised without your unstinting support and encouragement. Thank you and we hope that you will be able to continue this support through to completion.

Latest News Dates and Events

Some Thank You’s


We have been so fortunate to receive the support of the Ulceby Co-op, its’ staff and the community of Ulceby who chose our charity to donate to through their purchases made there.

For the year November 2017 to November 2018 we have received a total of £2389.97 and this sum will be used towards the purchase of comfortable furniture for older members of our community to use later in the year when the heating has been renewed. We hope to offer them an opportunity to meet, chat and possibly join in various activities of interest.

Thank you so much to everyone who has nominated our charity. Please keep supporting us – we need you !!!


We must also thank Mark and Theresa Berney for their amazing support in allowing their premises to be used, free of charge, each Sunday since May for the weekly St Nicholas Church Service. Without their generosity it is doubtful that a weekly Service would occur and their kindness has enabled this vital function to the continued spiritual and overall well-being of our community to take place. Words cannot adequately express our thanks to them but we hope that an acknowledgement here may go some way towards that.

Thank you Mark and Theresa.

Renovation Project – Update, January 2019

We are delighted to report that the roof works are now complete and all scaffolding was removed in mid-December, allowing the Church to be reopened for the important Christmas Services.  The next phase covers the installation of a new heating system and whilst the Heritage Lottery Fund have allowed money in our grant to cover this, we wish to remove the two side aisles of the small pews in order to install radiators there and funds for this removal and floor reinstatement are being sought.  We also wish to upgrade the lighting and electrical installations in the Church but, again, funding will have to be sought.  In our usual manner, we have all sorts of fund-raising events planned over the next few months and we would be so grateful for the continuance of the support which you have shown us over the last 6 and a half years when these events are staged.  Besides the roofing work we have a new toilet and kitchen facilities with hot and cold water – none of this would have been achieved without you.  Thank you and please keep supporting us.

Co-op Local Community Cause
Because of your support for this fundraising project through our village Co-op, we have received a total of £2389.97 for the year ended November 2018.  This is an amazing result and we would ask that you continue to support us by becoming a Co-op member and choosing us as your charity.  When our renovation is complete, we intend to purchase quality tables and chairs for the new Community Space which we intend to create for village use.  We will keep you updated on progress!

Renovation Project – Update, October 2018

The vast majority of the roof renovation work has now been completed with a slight delay encountered after the discovery of some roosting bats in one of the roof voids. An Ecologist attended site and confirmed the correct action had been taken to protect the bats and a certificate to allow work to continue was received from Natural England.

The internal scaffolding is currently being removed and in the next few weeks the external scaffolding will be removed. A burglar alarm has been fitted to the roof and the inside of the building will require a team of volunteers to clean it, following all of the building works. Quotes are being obtained for the update of the heating and lighting and further fundraising is ongoing for this part of the project. It is anticipated that the church will reopen again for use by the end of this year (if it hasn’t already been opened before you receive this newsletter).

Renovation Project – Update, June 2018


We are delighted to report that thanks to the support of the Heritage Lottery Fund, work to replace the roof began in earnest yesterday, Wednesday 20 June 2018.

From these pictures you can see that the scaffolding and protective working area are in place and underneath, the Contractors are busy repairing all the roof works.

It seems to have been a long time coming but now it’s all systems go!!

Renovation Project – Update, April 2018

Thanks to your fantastic support the installation of an internal toilet and servery is now complete. The craftsmanship of the woodwork is a joy to behold. As well as your contributions, the work has been supported through a grant from the Allchurches Trust Ltd., and from North Lincs Council. Thanks must go also to Mr P Clark, our former Mayor and present Ward Councillor, who supported our application to NLC for financial assistance. Because of the almost imminent start of the main remedial work to the roof, which limits our ability to offer an opportunity to celebrate the installations, we have decided to wait until the roof works, heating and lighting are completed (towards the year end) before we stage a Celebration of Completion of the whole Project.

In addition to our Project Completion Celebration, we have a really full programme of events and planned usage of the church next year so that the whole community can benefit from its’ restoration. Please watch for announcements and information in the forthcoming months, via The Parish Link Magazine. The tower of pennies towards the restoration of the Tower at a later stage, is still very much ‘alive’ and the total collected to date is £241 which, you will recall, is just over half of one of the three exposed tower sides (each equals £407.94) with a total of £1223.82 needed to achieve the total aim. Mrs Smith at the new Co-Op Post Office is able to hand out and take in any filled jars.

Finally, please accept our grateful thanks for all that you have done and continue to do to support our efforts. It is almost 6 years since our Church was under threat of closure and, together, not only have we avoided that tragedy, but at the end of the renovation works, we will have a beautifully restored, warm, well-lit and friendly 11th century building to offer to you and to forthcoming generations.

Thank you
The Friends of St Nicholas Church

Renovation Project – Update, October 2017

Because of all the encouragement and support of the residents of Ulceby and all our other contributors, at last things are beginning to move along with the renovation project. As you know, the restoration and renovation work at the Church is mostly being funded by The Heritage Lottery Fund which is part of the National Lottery but we have also had additional funding from the National Churches Trust and North Lincolnshire Council.

After five long years of fundraising we are able to bring you the news of the start of the work. In December 2017, preparatory work will begin and then at the start of the New Year in January 2018 the work proper will begin in earnest. This is a very exciting time for us because it means that, at last, we shall be able to see some reward for all your help and contributions and the many hours of various fundraising which you have so generously supported over the previous 5 years.

As the work progresses, it is hoped that we will be able to arrange a ‘hard hat’ day when residents will be invited to book a visit to the top of the Church to view the work as it is progressing and to see the surrounding area of the village. If you would like to be amongst those people using this opportunity, please speak to a member of the Friends Association to give your name or email us at or contact us via this, our website.

Our heritage project will continue with research being undertaken into the history of the marvellous Rood Screen in front of the Vestry which is rumoured to have originated from Thornton Abbey. Alongside this work, we will be running an art project, inviting members of our community and other interested parties, to draw, paint, model, stitch, photograph etc. our church or parts of it, to become part of an exhibition to be staged next Autumn 2018. Please let us know if you are interested in either of these projects on our email address above.

We will be looking for volunteers to act as guides to the church once it has been restored. Is this something of interest to you? Let us know.

Following the success of the Mile of Pennies Fundraiser which you supported, we have started a new coin collection entitled ‘Tower of Change’. This is the beginning of fundraising towards the cost of the necessary repairs to the tower – the cost of which is not covered by recent awards and for which a new application will have to be made to the Heritage Lottery Fund. There are three exposed sides to the tower which is approximately 130ft 9in high. Each filled jar of 2p’s will cover an approximate height of 5 yards and net about £3.50. The total for the three exposed sides will amount to £1223.82 – each side netting £407.94. Empty and filled jars can be collected and returned to the Post Office.

You can also support us by entering the Lincs Lotto, a weekly draw that costs £1 per ticket. You could win up to £25,000 and if you nominate us as your charity, we receive half of your weekly stake.

This is an exciting time for the Friends but we realise that it could not have been achieved without all the support and encouragement which we have received from our supporters so please accept a very big thank you and a request that you keep supporting us whenever you can.

Thank you
The Friends of St Nicholas Church

Renovation Project – Update, July 2017

Whilst there is no visible work going on in and around the Church it has been a very busy period with structural surveys of the tower and roof being carried out and reports written with regard to the condition of the church.

All work on the church has to have the approval of the Lincoln Diocese and Historic England and we are pleased to say that the roof repair modifications have been agreed by the Diocese but we are waiting for the approval of Historic England. Once these approvals are to hand, tendering for the work can begin. We hope to see work physically start to repair the roof in early 2018.

There was a £15,000 shortfall in the grant offered by the Heritage Lottery Fund for the roof repairs which we needed to make up from other sources. We were fortunate to be granted £8,000 from the National Churches Trust to help fill this gap. Further grants are currently being applied for to fill the remainder of the shortfall.

In addition to the Roof Repairs, the renovation project also includes installing a toilet and kitchen area and creating a useable community space. This will cost in excess of £38,000 which again is hoped to be funded largely with grants, but our recent fundraising will further support the shortfall. We then will have to repeat the roof repair project with a project to make urgent repairs to the tower. Thank you for your on-going support.

Photos courtesy of Mrs Barbara Drury

Renovation Project – Update, May 2017

To try to keep you up to date with what is happening with the Restoration Project which you have so generously supported over the last 4 ½ years, we offer the following up to date news. A meeting was held in Church in March, attended by the PCC,(St Nicholas Church management group), the Friends of St Nicholas Church and the Project Manager/Surveyor, Chris Mackintosh-Smith to discuss design and arrangements planned for the installation of a toilet and a servery and Mr Mackintosh-Smith assured us that all other necessary reports – as detailed in the last edition of the Link, were now prepared and ready for submission in May to the Lincoln Diocese DAC for their approval. Once agreement on all the repairs and alterations are agreed, Contractors will be invited to tender for the necessary restoration works which, it is hoped, will begin early next year.

As previously explained, it is necessary for us to continue fund raising to meet a shortfall in the Heritage Lottery Fund Award between the cost of extra heating and the domestic facilities mentioned above. April saw our first event of the year – ‘Weddings through the Decades’ when 29 wedding dresses kindly loaned by Ulceby “brides”, dating between 1959 and 2016 were modelled by some lovely young ladies and which was thoroughly enjoyed by an appreciative audience. Thanks to your support a further £460.00 was added to the funds.

Renovation Project – Update, January 2017

Over the last three months a large amount of investigative work has taken place as part of the Development Year specified by the Lottery Heritage Fund when they awarded our grant last September.  Villagers passing the Church would have been unaware of the activities taking place so we are briefly outlining the projects undertaken to date.

Firstly, there was a Survey to determine the extent of the bat colony and the species inhabiting the roof space.  These were determined as being Brown Long Eared Bats and Pipistrelles.  It also showed that although bats visited the tower in the summer months to feed on insects, they had not colonised this area because of prevailing breezes and a lack of darkness.  This extra information will prove useful in the second stage of our Funding application when we apply to the Lottery for help in renovating the tower, since this important survey will already have been completed.

There have been inspections of the roof (the felting, tiles and timbers), and of the condition of the gutters and drains, with photographic evidence being taken.  Additionally, an in-depth survey to establish the most suitable positioning of both a toilet and a servery section has taken place. The Bat Survey has been received, however, reports on these last three areas are still awaited.

A visit has been made to the Church by the eminent Churches Historian, Dr Glyn Coppack BA PhD FSA – University of Nottingham, to try to determine whether there is a connection between St Nicholas Church and nearby Thornton Abbey and arrangements are in hand to use the Church as a possible basis for theses by third year archaeology students at Sheffield and York Universities.

You will remember that we are still fundraising to meet the extra £15,000. needed for the heating which is not covered by the Award, plus the costs for the toilet and servery installation which have yet to be established.

We would ask you to continue to support our efforts in the magnificent way in which you have already done so and to let you know that we are continuing with our Mile of Pennies project.  As we go to press, the amount raised so far is £800.00 which equates to 1142 yards – (1760 yards make a mile!)  We have further events planned for 2017 and these are detailed separately.  With your continued support, we are confident of a final successful outcome.

Thank you so very much.

The Friends of St Nicholas Church

Renovation Project – Overview

We are thrilled to have had the backing of the Heritage Lottery Fund in respect of our restoration project.

There are 2 aspects to the project:-

1. Capital Work

The capital work is to address the urgent repair needs of the Church, including roof coverings, gutters, rainwater goods and replace heating system.

Between October 2016 and September 2017, surveys will be carried out of the building and tendors for contractors sought. Initial financial support from the Heritage Lottery Fund has been received to support this work. Money raised from local fundraising has further supported the initial stage.

From September 2017, subject to Heritage Lottery Fund approval, the building work to the roof and upgrade of the heating system can commence.

2. Heritage Project

The heritage project seeks to bring the history of the church alive and stimulate community involvement by identifying and drawing together links between St Nicholas Church and Thornton Abbey, Nuncotham Abbey and Newsam Priory.

Medieval stone expert, Dr Glyn Coppack will be supporting with the project and working with the Ulceby History Group to provide the community and wider public with an opportunity to learn about the church, including identifying links with the church and above Abbey’s.

We will be looking to work with local school children, colleges and universities in the heritage project.

3. Project Costs

The full cost of the Renovation and Heritage Project is £320.857
The Heritage Lottery Fund will grant £245,700 of that cost, if all development work in the first year has been completed satisfactorily.
The local community has raised £29,000, of which £13,210 is to be used for the roof renovation, £12,000 reserved for the tower project (next major project) and the remainder to be saved towards the cost of toilet and server installation.

The shortfall of costs for the roof renovation will be provided via reclaim of VAT and a further request for grant funding to the amount of £15,000

What difference will people see?

A restored 800 year old church, with modern facilities whilst retaining and preserving its significant features of interest.

A permanent visual display and touchscreen console will be created in the church of the findings, and the church will be included in literature promoting it as a rural tourism destination, with the church being opened to visitors on specific days throughout the year.

The Church will have Wi-Fi access and a community space which will provide the village with an additional resource to meet the needs of different groups, as an exhibition space and a venue for live music.

The Church will become a place of interest for visitors with an interest in medieval buildings and be linked through the local tourist sites.