Thorne-Moorends Town Council
Friends of St. Nicholas, Thorne
St. Nicholas Church, Thorne
St. Nicholas Church, Thorne, has been at the centre of the community of Thorne for nigh on 1000 years, be it for Worship,
Baptism, Weddings, Funerals, Remembrance, Thanksgiving, Reflection or Help. This beautiful building inside & out, like all of us, needs
friends to survive. It is a Grade 1 listed building, A subject to Faculty & architectural standards. The worshipping Anglican Christians
of Thorne are the custodians of St Nicholas Church, caring for it for the benefit of future generations. Their giving and fund-raising provides
for the fabric of the building, but also contributes to the costs of running the church in Thorne in other ways (costs such as heating,
lighting, insurance etc.), as well as helping to pay for the Diocesan structures which are part of the Church of England.
The Vicar, Church Wardens and PCC of St Nicholas have recently decided that it makes sense to provide for the ongoing
costs of keeping the building in good repair through a charitable trust that has been set up for that purpose, rather than through the
PCC alone. By this means the people of Thorne who are interested in the upkeep of the church building can contribute directly to the Trust,
in the confidence that their money is being used only for the purpose they intended, and not for any other church activity. So a group called
the ‘Friends of St. Nicholas, Thorne’ has been set up, to manage a charitable trust set up to care for the church.
The Friends will co-ordinate fund-raising activity for the church fabric. They will also act as a focus for those interested in the history
and upkeep of the church building and publish a regular newsletter, so that those who wish to become Friends can be kept in touch with
progress and activities of the Trust.
The first project - The Chancel Roof - will cost £15,000 if you would like to make a donation or become a member -
for more details please contact:
Download a membership form.
Friends of St. Nicholas, Hale Hill Farm, Hale Hill Lane
Doncaster, South Yorkshire. DN7 6PL
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St. Nicholas Parish Church Thorne - The Memorial Explained
1939/45 War Memorial Plaque
This section has been produced so that interested viewers of the 1939/45 Memorial can appreciate more of its full meaning.
The Sculptor Byron Howard, to whom we are all greatly indebted, put much thought into his work making the sculpture so interesting and thought provoking.
All this however is not necessarily perceived without explanation. The full and well written commentary by the Vicar, Murray Brown, allows viewers to understand and appreciate some of the innermost thoughts of the sculptor and what he has expressed in this beautiful memorial.
Dr. Kenneth Barlow
Former Chairman of the Organising Committee
A guide to the Memorial
Already this Memorial has wonderfully achieved the aim of the Sculptor and the committee who commissioned it and raised funds.
From the memorable day of the 10th of May 1992 when it was unveiled by Lord Scarbrough and dedicated by William, Bishop of Doncaster, many people have come to see the Memorial. They have found it not only personally inspiring but a link with their own experience of war, and that of their relatives and friends. We must all thank those who worked so hard to turn the idea of a memorial into the reality we see before us.
From a Remembrance Day sermon…
The theme of the sculpture is "A life lost…, a life given", the bronze forms the shape of a letter L in reverse, and the verse on the Memorial conveys this idea: "The life that I have… The love that I have… The peace… is yours and yours and yours."
The jacket is sculpted to have, as it were, life in its lapels, up at the top; but down the sculpture, life ebbs away. The sleeve hangs empty and limp, the jacket is left as if discarded against a wall. The Naval cap is sinking and the RAF cap is doing a nose dive. The side pack is empty and incomplete, its buckle is broken; it has been used and is expended.
The blanket, so often used to cover the dead, hangs limp. Life has ebbed away. Resting on the blanket there is some string, a knot unfinished and incomplete, portraying all that could have been but was left undone. The potential of lives that were cut off in their prime.
The breast pocket of the jacket, with its button undone or missing, is crumpled and distorted. But when it was worn this pocket would have been over the heart. And the pocket is very much the heart of the sculpture, with so many lines pointing towards it. Now, if you look, you can make out within the folds and creases of the pocket, the form of a cross - there at the heart.
Of course this means a great deal to us and follows very much the theme of the sculpture. The cross is a symbol of failure, of life stamped out in barbarous and agonising death. More than that, it is God in human form, tortured and seemingly defeated by the powers of evil through the actions of people like you and me.
But stand and look at the sculpture, and you will see reflections in the dark polished stone. One in particular, in daylight, is the window above the Altar which depicts the Resurrection. Jesus Christ gave his life. He allowed it to be given, yet He died not in defeat, but in victory. That was proven, by His rising again.
Jesus by His death, has won life for us. His death can remove all that separates us from God; so that we can receive new life, love, peace and wholeness into our being. But in order to receive we must be prepared to give, as Jesus gave, and to give as did those whose names are recorded on the memorial.
When you stand looking at the sculpture, you will see other reflections in the Memorial and in the plaques of names. You will see your own reflection and, maybe, those who stand with you. We do not spectate from a distance, for we are all caught up with decisions that affect our future. We all decide whether or not to allow God to guide and direct us in the way that we live.
These decisions: Are ours, and ours, and ours.
Some additional notes:
The verse on the sculpture was written by Leo Marks. It was used by Violette Szabo the British Resistance heroine as a code poem as she worked during the last war in France. She was eventually shot at Ravensbrtick Concentration Camp and her story was made famous by the film and book 'Odette'.
You may have noticed the name 'HMS Hood' on the Naval cap. While some have pointed out that ships' names would not have been on caps in the War years the Sculptor wanted to make a link with this ship which, though it was thought to be invincible, was so tragically lost at the beginning of the war. It is upside down and sinking, as if into the waves of the side pack.
For Byron Howard the pack also has the look of the Anderson shelters he saw in Sheffield as a lad, buckled by bomb blast in the Blitz.
The jacket is typical of the period and would have been worn by many service personnel, both men and women. It bears the badge of the Kings Own Yorkshire Light Infantry which was a well known local regiment, whose Battalions saw active service in many theatres of war, and served with honour.
Behind the jacket is part of the webbing from a parachute harness. Another allusion to the role of the Royal Air Force is the string resting on the blanket which is reminiscent of the shape of vapour trails from aerial dog fights during the Battle of Britain.
For other non Latin scholars, I am told the words on the edge of the blanket "audeo et gaudeo" mean 'hear and rejoice .
A final note from one trained in geology, the stone of the Memorial is not strictly granite, but a gabbroic rock, probably a norite. It consists mainly of large crystals of plagioclase feldspar, with darker minerals including garnet.
If you would like to know more about the lives of those commemorated on the Memorial I recommend the book compiled by Cyril Barton:
"Memories of Those Who Gave Their Lives"
This text is from the book, a result of his meticulous research in finding and checking names for the Memorial. It is available in Thorne at The Gates Tea Rooms, Saville Barker Newsagents and from the compiler. (Proceeds from the sale of this book are to be donated to the British Legion and St. Nicholas Church.)
Vicar of Thorne