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.


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



When you receive the March edition of the Gazette, hopefully there will be signs of spring and many people will be making plans for the Easter weekend.   Having a day off either side of the weekend makes it a splendid occasion for connecting with friends and family from rather further afield than is practicable on other weekends.   But I wonder how many people realise just why we are able to enjoy this holiday.   It all goes back to Christian custom and the fact that Christians regard this as the festival which is at the heart of their beliefs about Jesus Christ.   On Good Friday we remember that Jesus was executed for being a trouble-maker, challenging the civil power in his homeland, and claiming to be the Son of God.   And on Easter Day he proved the point through his resurrection; he was dead, and yet he came alive again.   It is hardly surprising that this day is seen by Christians to be very special.

Whether you believe or not, there is no doubt that the reason we have a holiday over this weekend is because of the Christian festival of Easter.   Like so many other things which we take for granted they have their beginnings in Christianity.  For 2000 years, through all the trials of the Middle Ages, the Renaissance and more modern history our country has been guided by Christianity, which is the foundation of our monarchy, our government system and our law.

Please feel free to come and join our Christian community in East Markham on Easter Day and feel the specialness of the occasion.  Join us too on other days and share our friendship and enjoy the spirituality of our lovely church, which is itself an astonishing memorial to the beliefs and sacrifice of people hundreds of years ago.

Many people have asked how soon we will have a new Vicar.   Progress is being made and the Bishop and his staff are well aware of the urgency.   One of the things we have to do before we can start the recruitment of a new clergy person is to decide what it is that makes East Markham an interesting place to minister.  And an important aspect of that is how we see our Mission.   So, the PCC has come up with a draft statement which can be seen below………

An inspiring church, people and building, to glorify God at the heart of the community.

We aim to achieve this through the following:

  • Prayer, praise and preaching week by week
  • Accessible, all-age worship at major Festivals
  • Providing baptism, confirmation, weddings and funerals
  • Providing as much pastoral support as resources allow
  • Encouraging sufficient giving to meet routine demands and fabric maintenance, also charitable giving
  • Encouraging everyone to be as deeply involved, as they feel able.
  • Enabling everyone to develop their skills to the glory of God and for the benefit of his people.

Drop into the church at any time through the North door which is open daily from about 9am until 6pm or sunset if that is earlier.   You can give for the work of the church and for maintaining the building at www.give.net/eastmarkham , or through the collection box in the church.

Thank you.