Our Services

We offer a range of services across the Benefice to appeal to a wide variety of worshippers. We want people of all ages and traditions to be able to find services that are meaningful and helpful for them.

Each Sunday, in at least one of the churches in the Benefice, we hold a Eucharistic service.

On the first three Sundays of the month there is an evening service and on the first Sunday in the month there is an 8 a.m. Holy Communion. Services are also held during the week on Monday and Thursday mornings.

Thornton Watlass holds a service every Sunday, Leeming on two Sundays a month and Burrill on the fourth Sunday of the month. Whenever there is a fifth Sunday in the month, there is a United Benefice Service held in one of the churches when we endeavour to bring all of the congregations together.


Baptism for babies and children takes place in a service often called a Christening. In this service parents thank God for his gift of life, make a decision to start their child on a journey of faith, and godparents promise help and support. The church also promises to welcome the child and to pray for the family.

For your child, being baptised marks the start of a lifelong journey of faith as part of the local and worldwide Christian family. 

Baptism services take place in all of our churches. At St John’s Leeming, St Mary’s Thornton Watlass and Burrill Mission Church the baptism is conducted as part of the regular communion service. At St Gregory’s in Bedale each Baptism takes place either in a regular communion service or separately at 12.30pm.

Hear interviews with vicars, godparents and families about baptisms by follow these links:

Church of England Christenings

Adult Baptisms

Thanksgiving Services

Some parents might want to celebrate the gift of a child in a different way without the commitment that baptism involves. During the Thanksgiving Service parents and families give thanks for the birth or adoption of a child and everyone prays for family life. It can take place in church with the congregation, or with just family and friends gathered, or elsewhere such as home, or even in hospital.

A Thanksgiving Service is not a Baptism. There are no promises to make about the Christian faith. The child will be blessed and prayed for and supporting friends will promise to support the parents in bringing up their baby.

You may be wondering how to choose god parents, or have been asked to be a God parent and wonder what it’s all about. 

To find out more about a Baptism or Thanksgiving Service, please contact the Rector.


Weddings are very personal and meaningful and holding your ceremony in such an historic and beautiful setting as one of our churches.

We make sure this is a really special day for you and your guests and this is made even more memorable if we’ve had a chance to get to know you as you have worshipped with us before the big day.

The question I get asked most often is “Can we get married in your church?”  If you live or have lived in the parish the answer is an immediate yes, otherwise you need to have some connection with the church. So if you give the Rector a call he’ll be very happy to work through with you how we can determine the connection that allows you to marry with us.

There are a number of reception venues nearby, so there is plenty of choice as you plan and personalise the service and prepare for your big day together with our Rector.

Please follow this link for more information:

Church of England Weddings


Funerals are used to mark the end of a person’s life here on earth.  As family and friends come together to express grief, give thanks for the life, comfort one another and commend the person to God’s keeping, our Rector can, working with your chosen Funeral Director, help you to plan and prepare for the service. These can be a small, quiet ceremony or a large occasion in a packed church.

Everyone is entitled to a service, whether they attended church or not, and may be buried or have their ashes buried in the churchyard.  Our Rector will be available to meet with you and to discuss further information in preparation for the day.  He will also help you to choose suitable readings, hymns and music and will spend time with you building a picture of your loved one’s life, making the service suited to them.

Funerals are difficult times for families and we are privileged to be invited to share with you at a time of great sadness and grief.

Please follow this link for more information:

Church of England Funerals

The Electoral Roll

Each year an opportunity is provided for members of the community to join the Electoral Roll of the church.  People on the Electoral Roll are entitled to take part in elections for the PCC and church officers, making this a key element of the governance of your church.  The Electoral Roll is open to all those over the age of 16 living in the parish or attending the church, who have been baptised and subscribe to the doctrines of the Church of England

If you worship regularly at one of our churches and would welcome a greater input into the life of the church, then why not join the Electoral Roll. PLease contact the Parish Office for further information.