St John the Baptist, Holywell

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St John the Baptist is the parish church of the villages of Needingworth and Holywell; there has been a church on this site since 990 AD. The present church dates from the 13th century (the tower was added in the 16th century, reputedly acquired from Ramsey Abbey). In the churchyard stands the Holy Well, the spring which gives the surrounding village its name, venerated for its healing properties since pre-Christian times. Every year on the weekend before 24th June (Feast of St John the Baptist) the centrepiece of our Patronal Festival is the Well-dressing, one of the very few examples of this art form to be found south of Derbyshire.

In the last three years we have completed major restoration projects on the church roof and heating system,ensuring that our Grade I listed mediaeval building will be around for worshippers for a long time to come. We still need to install modern facilities and we have an active programme of local fund-raising.

Our Rector is Revd Sheila Anthony. With her encouragement we have launched new children's worship initiatives and are increasingly working with our sister churches at Colne and Bluntisham in fulfilling God's plan for this part of the world.

Ours is a very friendly church and the regular congregation is increased in the summer by visitors to this picturesque village, many of them arriving by boat along the nearby river Great Ouse. We can assure you of a very warm and friendly reception at our services.

Parish boundary view Bird's eye view

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Revd Sheila Anthony
The Rectory
Rectory Road
PE28 3LN
(01487) 740456 (Rector)

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  • Regular Services
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Holy Communion (BCP)
A said Holy Communion using the 1662 Prayer Book.
Every first Sunday at 8:00 AM for 1 hour
Book of Common Prayer
Café Sunday
Informal worship with breakfast, for all ages. At Needinworth Village Hall.
Every first Sunday at 9:30 AM for ¾ hour
Sung Eucharist
Every second Sunday at 9:30 AM for 1 hour
Refreshments Common Worship
All-Age Service
A service for all ages, with hymns and worship songs accompanied by our church orchestra and a talk with activities.
Every third Sunday at 9:30 AM for ¾ hour
Family Friendly Creche Refreshments
Morning Worship
Every fourth Sunday at 9:30 AM for ¾ hour
Benefice Service
The parishes of Holywell-cum-Needingworth, Colne and Bluntisham-cum-Earith have recently been united in one benefice and four times a year we get together at one of those churches to celebrate Communion together, followed by a bring-and-share meal.
In every five-Sunday month.
Every fifth Sunday at 11:00 AM for 1 hour
Family Friendly Refreshments Common Worship


Evening Prayer
A friendly, informal service using Common Worship Evening Prayer.
Every Wednesday at 7:00 PM for ½ hour
Common Worship


The Friends Study Group
Small, friendly house group discussing questions of faith. Newcomers will find a warm welcome. Meets at 1 Holywell House, Holywell (opposite the church)
Every second and fourth Thursday at 7:30 PM for 2 hours


(Hymn Books / Orders of Service etc.)
Stained Glass


Church Open Key available from churchwardens at any time (addresses in church porch, or phone 01480 494056 in advance of visit).
Other information
A Church Near You ID (venue number): 13910
Built: 12-16th century
Style of worship: Central
Archdeaconry: Huntingdon & Wisbech (144)
Deanery: St. IVES (14402)
Parish Legal Name: Holywell cum Needingworth (140196 )
CofE Church Info: (614196 14/196)
Short URL:
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The current editor is: Stephen York

This page was last updated on Saturday 22nd October 2016
St John the Baptist : Holywell Front, Holywell, Cambridgeshire, PE27 4TG

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