St Benedict’s Church is an attractive building set off High Street in the centre of the shopping area. It is an attractive setting with a splendid war memorial outside it with flower borders.
It has a nave and north aisle with large perpendicular windows. Below the eaves of the nave are a series of lovely carved corbels with faces. At the west end is a short stumpy tower with small double Norman windows. The simple doorway is here still with its wood beam lintel.
No longer used as a church this is now the Mothers’ Union Centre. A board outside advertises "Open for Rest and Refreshments, Tuesdays, Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays 10-2.30".
It was an excellent chance to look inside the church. I was given a warm welcome by the Mother’s Union who were serving tea and coffee for 60p with a range of packets of biscuits for 25p. This must surely be the best value refreshments in Lincoln. They were at great pains to explain they had disabled toilets – worth remembering and saves having to battle through the Waterside Centre.
There has been a church on the site since 1107, although only the chancel, north aisle and tower survive. The church was badly damaged in the Civil War and the nave was pulled down.
The tower is the oldest surviving part of the church. The north aisle was rebuilt in the 14thC and still has its original roof. This is a lovely wood beamed roof with wooden slats between the beams. Don’t miss the beautiful carved heads at the base of the beams.
There is a single pillar with acanthus leaf pillars and pointed arches separating chancel and north aisle. On the north wall of the chancel is a 15thC statue of Mary Magdalene. On the south wall is a double piscina and the remains of a sedilia.
at the east end is a table altar with bulbous legs and a carved frieze round the top. The font and pulpit are Jacobean. The stone font has a small round bowl with a wooden top. The floor standing alta has carved wood panels.
On the south wall but easily missed as it is very dark is a memorial brass to John Becke and alderman of the city of Lincoln and twice mayor. He died in 1620. He is kneeling with his seven sons. Facing them is his wife Mary who died in 1617 and their three daughters. Two of the children are holding skulls showing they died young. Above the prayer desk is the coat of arms of the Drapery Company.
In the north aisle is the royal coat of arms.
The windows contain plain glass except for the window on the south wall of the chancel which has three inset pieces of Medieval glass.
The church is worth popping into and you can be sure of a warm welcome.