St John the Baptist East Markham one of the churches in The Rivers Group

Welcome to the Rivers Group website. We are a group of Rural Parishes within the Retford area and all our Churches are Grade 1 listed and have stood in the centre of the villages for many centuries.

Even though our Church buildings are ancient we seek to proclaim the  Gospel in accessible ways for todays world, whilst still respecting tradition.

We hope that you will find this website useful in finding times  and dates of worship that are suitable to you. As you will see some of the Churches do not have regular services each week. You are most welcome to join any service in any of the Group.

Our last Vicar left at the end of May 2017 to take up a post as Vicar of

Knotty Ash in Liverpool near where her husband is working and close to her

daughter and grand-children.   The Parishes are working with the Arch Deacon

to work out how ministry can best be delivered in the future and we hope to

have a Vicar in place before too long.    In the meantime life goes on and

is led by the Church Wardens in each of the parishes.


Contact details are as follows:

East Markham Daphne Hardy gbhardy1@hotmail.co.uk 01777 870634

Askham John Townrow thetownrows@yahoo.co.uk  01777 838613

East Drayton and Dunham Tony Kirkham tonykirkham@hotmail.com 01777 248548

Headon and Grove Liz Bakewell rosemarybakewell546@btinternet.com 01777




The pace of life always seems to accelerate up to Christmas; Christmas cards, presents for friends and family, food and drink far beyond what we really need.  So, it is easy to forget that the festival is to celebrate the extraordinary birth 2017 years ago of a man who has made a profound difference to every generation since.   Some of his followers have attempted to take parts of his message too literally and conflict between them resulted, sometimes with bloody effect.   Many people now regard the message, the good news, the gospel, as irrelevant in the modern age of computers and immediate gratification.  But we need to be reminded, again and again, of the love of God for each one of us and the certainty that we, repentant sinners, will be forgiven.   We encourage the idolisation of a baby, but Christmas brings a much tougher message.   Life is full of challenges, even for those of us lucky enough to enjoy warm houses and full tummies, and we would all do well to remember that loving God, through Jesus, and living that love through service, prayer and worship, is usually a pretty good way to steer towards happiness and fulfilment.

Many of you will have seen the new doors in the South entrance; whilst this edition is in preparation, hopefully the North entrance will be completed.   We are still short of funds and ask you to consider remembering someone dear to you by ‘buying’ one of the new flagstones.   £20, £40 or £50 will buy you a stone; you can make a donation through www.give.net/eastmarkham and email EastMarkhamPCC@gmail.com to let us know who you wish to remember; or you can make a cheque to East Markham PCC and call Tom Fremantle (870109) or Josie Batty (807535).   If you would like to identify a particular stone, you will find a plan at the back of the church.   Please help us to make this area of the Church a place where members of our community can meet in our lovely church and enjoy each other’s company in the loving presence of God.

Happy Christmas and a successful and joyful new year to you all.