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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.


DEC 2023

Sunday 3rd 9.30am

 Holy Communion

Sunday 17th  9.30am  

Carols by Candlelight

Mon 25th 9.30am

Christmas Praise

Sun 31st 9.30am

Mission Community Joint service  

     It’s coming…getting closer…soon be here!! Feel the excitement. My favourite season is nearly upon us and I’m excited. The music, the story, candlelight, and that wait for Him to arrive; ‘has he been yet?’. For those of you who feel that the season comes far too quickly and is over-anticipated let me reassure you! I'm excited about Advent! Yes, the church season marked by the first Sunday of Advent somewhere near the beginning of December and now largely forgotten by the wider world, except perhaps for the Advent calendar. So what is Advent? For many (most) it's the countdown to the 25th of December, the beginning of at least four weeks of parties, presence, drink, revelries, festivities and general overindulgence. The season of Advent, those four Sundays before Christmas, is a complete opposite. Traditionally it's been a reflective time, a time to think about the state of our world, about our own lives and commitments, and even to reflect on what makes the coming of Jesus necessary. It's also a useful counter-balance to the world of consumerism and materialism which has now all but drowned the religious festival of Christmas - how often do we hear the lament “What's the real meaning of Christmas?” Worryingly, even the humble Advent calendar has become a mockery of the simplicity of Advent; some calendars now retail for hundreds of pounds and contain expensive jewellery and alcohol. I won’t be giving my children the jewellry-filed replica of a stately home, with a £22,000 price tag (and that’s not a typing error by the way). Advent gives us the space to think about ‘the real meaning of Christmas’ and perhaps helps us to avoid the overheated commercialism of the Christmas season when we seek comfort, solace and meaning in “things”, rather than in values or beliefs..

For Christians, Advent clears away the clutter and ensures we are ready to welcome Jesus, not in the Christmas celebration, but when He returns. For those who think this is an extreme view, it is a core part of Jesus’s teaching, and church teaching since.

The public are fairly fickle - we were all shocked at events in Israel a few weeks ago, but we seem able to shrug it off and get on with a four week festival of parties, presence, drink, revelries, festivities and general overindulgence. I’m no Puritan and I shall be celebrating joyfully at the right time, but if we really want to support the ordinary Palestinian and Jewish people, or the Ukranians and others, maybe keeping a more reflective Advent is a more sincere way of doing so.


A blessed Advent to all (and presently, a happy Christmas!)


                                  SEPT  23



Hey – the last magazine article in 2023, the next one will be written for January 2024! Where's the year gone, what's been good, what could have been better, and so on.

Yes 2023 has been a very good year in so many ways. St Peter's started 2023 without an incumbent Vicar, and ended 2023 with the Rev'd Chris Painter, who has been a breath of fresh air, or should I say a hurricane of fresh air (that's a compliment Chris). We've had a Pet Service, 2 Harvest Festivals (in case 1 wasn't enough), Family services with maximum use of the toy box, and a congregation which has grown, and will grow more. A revised Remembrance Service where 50% was held outside was not only very well received, but 'felt' right in tone and content to commemorate those who gave so much. 2024 is going to be a year to look forward to! And we still have the candlelight carol service to come which will be awesome (3.30pm on Sunday the 17th of December) Mince pies and mulled wine are added incentives to attend!

We also must remember that for some, 2023 was not a good year, but are thankful for the warmth and care that St Peters showed for those who needed it, and whose faith was strengthened as a result.

Harbour, the charity for the disadvantaged of Bideford and local areas, gave a great presentation at St Peters, and if people were unsure as to what they actually do, and how they could be supported, there should be no doubt now. A display is either already in the Church or will be very soon, showing what can be done practically to help.

Finally, living in Westleigh continues to get better each year, with the 3 'hubs', Church, Village Hall, and of course the Westleigh Inn all combining to make it 'the place to be'!

Have a great Christmas and New Year everyone

Roger (and out)