ST PETERS CHURCH
The present church building dates from the end of the thirteenth century. Monuments both inside and outside the church commemorate the Clevland family, who once lived at Tapeley Manor and the Christie family, to whom the house and estate passed by marriage. There are also monuments to the Berry Torrs, who lived in the littler village of Eastleigh. Some restoration work has been done, and more is envisaged in the near future when funds become available.
The present congregation is small and ‘elderly, though there is a much bigger body of people who come on special occasions and are willing to help in practical ways. The church and the pub are the two main focal points for this community.
St. Peters, Westleigh is part of the United Benefice comprising St. Peters, Westleigh, St. Johns, Instow and St. Peters Fremington.
At such times, it is good to remember that the Church is not primarily a building or an ordained minister, but rather the people of God. People have worshipped here for hundreds of years and they do so still. Please pray that others in this generation will come to put their trust in Jesus Christ as Saviour, and bear witness for him in this rural community.
9.30am Holy Communion
The news that the Brecon Beacons National Park is chanmging its name caught my eye, for several reasons. Firstly I’m from south Wales, secondly my grandmother was born there, and thirdly -
According to Wikipedia, “ A beacon is an intentionally conspicuous device designed to attract attention such as lighthouses and radio beacons. They also provide important information and help guide navigators to their destinations. …Handheld beacons … deliver instructions to the crew of (grounded) aircraft.” Further, their use as fires is described as ‘historical’. So to understand a beacon as fire is outdated; the new understanding is a means of communcication and protection. Perhaps the managers of the national park shgould have checked with the dictionary first!
When I came on interview one member of the church said the church should be a beacon to the community. I don’t think any fire was involved, they wanted the church to attract attention, provide important information and help guide people. This is what the church has always meant to be, helping people navigate the confusing maze of human life (and becoming increasingly confusing and confused) and a place of help. Of course, in recent times people have looked to the government for much help, but some still fall through the many gaps for a variety of reasons. But there is no provision for other matters and often where there is it is a divisive ideology.
I hope that our churches are places of hope, joy and learning to be accepting of others, and communities of welcome. Last week the reading from Acts described how the church dealt with disagreement and worked for reconciliation (if you haven’t noticed, increasingly polarised society is forgetting or even disregarding the need to disagree well, especially on social media).
As the new Vicar I’ve already talked with many people and I hope to meet as many local people as possible. I’m not here just for the churches, or Christians or people of faith. I’m here for everyone -
Jesus says “I have come that [all] may have life, and have it to the full.”
April ended on a high when Rev Chris Painter was licensed as our minister at St Peter's, Fremington by Bishop Robert. Rev Shirley Patterson of Holy Trinity led the service. The following Sunday there was a large attendance at Westleigh when Rev Chris took the service celebrated communion, held a baptism and many attended from the TTEC churches. We also enjoyed a lovely Coronation lunch on Instow front arranged by Instow Parish Council and WI. A big thank you to those who made the arrangements , fetched and carried tables and put up the bunting. On May 14th Rev Chris took his first service at St John's. We had the pleasure of meeting his wife Andrea.
Our PCC met on May 22nd and had a good opportunity not only to deal with repairs and church business but to meet Rev Chris and begin the process of exchanging views on the way forward in our parish ministry.
We send our deepest sympathy to Marion Spencer, Nick and Tanya on the death of David aged 87 who has lived at Landkey for many years. David was a churchwarden at St Johns, serving on the PCC with a special talent for looking after our fabric. David's funeral took place on May 23rd followed by burial at St John's. We also send deepest sympathy to Sue Spiegelhalter of Inshore, Worlington whose husband Brian passed away in May. The funeral of Hazel Woodhead took place in May of mother and mother in law of Ruth and Philip Coles late of Railway Cottage, Instow at ND crematorium conducted by Rev Brenda.
Readers in June will be notified. Sidesmen at June 11th Peter; June 25th Anne. Cleaners are Carole and Cherry; Churchyard patrol Glenis and Cherry.