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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.


APRIL 2024

Sunday 7th


 Holy Communion

Sunday 121st


Family Praise

  I'm told that when an excited small child emerges from school clutching an object  of pride which they’ve made themselves,  the preferred words are not “What other earth is that?!”, but rather,”That's lovely - tell me about it!”.  Bringing the results of our handicraft into the public gaze usually takes courage.  My wife is reluctant to let me put up pictures on my own and my DIY would certainly win no prizes. There are a number of talented artists in the area and I'm full of admiration for their skill in visual art; my attempts are somewhat less successful (despite my name!). Now imagine that you've taken up a new hobby and dabbled around a bit, and experimented, but when you bring it into the public view it causes something of an unwelcome storm. I do have a lot of sympathy for the Princess of Wales over the fuss that's being made of her imperfectly edited photo; her explanation that she's an enthusiastic amateur photographer who's tried editing her own artwork is entirely plausible. I'm somewhat puzzled by the reaction of the world press to the photograph. Now, I understand that they receive photographs which are less than truthful and have been manipulated to support a particular narrative.  Whatever conspiracy theorists believe I'm inclined to believe the less interesting story; the photograph was adjusted in a minor way not to deceive,  nor to distort the narrative and certainly not a flagrant corruption of the truth, but merely the work of the amateur attempting something new. The press went into overdrive on the whole story, it was headline news for several days and I think it's noteworthy that news agencies which often believe the first reports of an event uncritically, decided in this case that it merited suspicion and caution.

   I understand that there is such a thing that's a slow news day when the media seize a story enthusiastically because there's nothing more interesting, let alone worthy. Yet It is surprising what stories don't make the main page and as I delved into the pages further into my newspaper I found two deeply troubling stories from the African continent. Firstly in Nigeria where troops have been sent to free 300 kidnapped schoolchildren, in addition to the 187 children kidnapped last week. In Mozambique at least 80,000 people (roughly the population of north Devon) have been driven from their homes as ‘a massive escalation in insurgent violence’ takes place. Why were these horrendous on-going events simply ignored by the mainstream media? How ironic, and troubling is it, that while many are so keen to call out racism in this land, the fate of a population (the size of north Devon) in Africa, is of less consequence than the efforts of a royal princess in her hobby.

The Son is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. (Colossians 1.15)

Rev Chris


                                  SEPT  23



I have to say that I do occasionally get feedback on the content of the 'Letter from St Peter's', and it is really appreciated, mainly because it is, or has been very positive! I have been reminded that it is not a 'Churchy' review, but something that should be of general interest, and not necessarily a religious or theological opinion or comment! The magazine is not a Church entitlement, but an overall view of Westleigh, Instow, and Yelland!

Okay, point taken, but not an awful lot takes place in Westleigh, that does not centre around the Church, the Village Hall, or the Westleigh Inn - events concerning the Village Hall are always advertised, the Westleigh Inn needs no publicity, the car park speaks for itself, so St Peter's needs its input too, as it is part, and an integral part of Westleigh Parish!

Sorry, therefore no apology, I'll continue in my own way until someone jumps out of the woodwork and says 'I'll do it' – I love living in Westleigh, and I love the Village and its life, whether religion comes into it or not – oh dear, I may have exceeded my words allowance!

Be brief Roger, okay – some sad news, there have been 2 funeral services at St Peters, Lilli Gannicifft, and Major General Nick Ansell.

I can only comment on Nick Ansell's funeral as he was someone who I got to know over the past few years – his Army Rank dwarfed my non-commissioned Rank, and I said to him that I felt uncomfortable calling him Nick – to which he replied, 'well I don't feel uncomfortable calling you Roger'! He was an Officer, a Gentleman, and someone who I wished that I had met many years ago, although we both served in Osnabruck (W. Germany) at the same time!

He encouraged me to be slightly irreverent, realistic, and open in my views within the Parish News, and always sent feedback – I shall so miss him!

The 10th March was a very different Sunday, because each Church in the Benefice held a Mothering Sunday Service – something unusual because it is normally only 2 out of 3 that hold a service. Westleigh PCC rallied to the call, and although a smaller congregation than normal, a service was held – 13 adults and 5 children, and Andrew Temple on the Organ drove a lovely 'together' service – singing with actions, no-one on the naughty step, and jammy dodger biscuits! What could be better?

Just a reminder, and I will keep on with this, on Friday May 24th, 7.30-9pm, St Peter's will be holding a Musical Evening, featuring the Applecorers Shanty singers, the Littleham Howlers, Andrew Temple on the Westleigh Wurlitzer, and several local artistes! Tickets on the door, and the monies raised will be for St Peter's, and Harbour, their chosen charity for 2024!

Okay, that's it – Roger (and out)