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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. Reverend Keith Brimacombe is the vicar of St. Peters, Westleigh and St.Johns, Instow.

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.

Rector & Vicar :

Revd Keith Brimacombe

June 2019

Sun 2nd 9.30am

Prayers in the Parish

 Sun 9th 9.30am     

  Family Holy Communion

Sun 16th 9.30am

Prayers in the Parish

Sun 23rd 9.30am

Holy Communion

Sun 30th

Joint celebration at Fremington


Fastnet Part 1

Recently I was asked to write an article on the Fastnet sailing tragedy as the 40th anniversary approaches. I was part of a seven man crew on board a yacht called Charioteer  - a Contessa (OOD 34), owned and skippered by Dr John Coldrey. A fellow crew member was the veteran yachting journalist Bob Fisher who wrote “No one who was in any way involved … be they sailors who took part, members of the rescue organisations …. will ever forget the graphic details of the three days of “Hell on the Celtic Sea.” On analysis, it was the overwhelming force of the seas, generated by two separate gales that produced gigantic waves, way out of proportion even to the wind speed, which caused the greatest problem. It was one to which even the statistics, frightening as they are, cannot do justice to the full horror. The memories still trouble me.” To be honest, I do not remember that much of what happened on August 14th 1979. Research reminds me that 15 people died in the Irish sea.” Force 10 gales whipped up 50-foot waves to turn the famous Fastnet yacht race into a terrifying fight against the elements for 2,500 sailors aboard some 300 yachts – wrote Andrea Mann @ http://home.bt.com/

Official records reveal that “The 1979 race began on August 11 in fine weather but that was soon to change. More than a third of the yachts were knocked over until their masts were parallel to the water, and a quarter capsized completely. The Royal Navy led rescue efforts, with a Dutch warship and French trawlers joining in with the search and rescue operation. Together with ships, rescue helicopters and lifeboats, they found around 80 boats and rescued 136 crew members from life rafts or sinking yachts. It was the biggest rescue operation launched by UK authorities since the Second World War. Six men were lost overboard and swept away because their safety harnesses broke; nine others drowned or died of hypothermia. Three rescuers also lost their lives. Only 85 yachts out of 303 reached the finish line; at least 75 boats flipped upside down, five yachts sank and 24 crews abandoned ship. I was one of the lucky ones who returned home safely.

John Rousmaniere's wrote in his book, Fastnet Force 10: The Deadliest Storm in the History of Modern Sailing, as he described his experience in the 1979 race “I had seen gales before the Fastnet race – but none as bad --- and probably will ever see again – I hope, none worse.” In the next episode(s) I will write about what I do remember and the unintended consequences. In the meantime we pray for all those who may be in peril on the sea.


JUNE 2019

A very enjoyable Soup and Sweet lunch was held in the village hall on Friday 10th of May attended by 46 people. There was a wide choice of delicious home made soups and sweets.  We welcomed friends from Instow, Fremington and further afield. THANK YOU for your support. Also many thanks to everyone who helped on the day to make it a success.  A total of £324 was raised for church funds.

The funeral and burial has taken place of the late Mr Melvyn Harris which was attended by over 300 family and friends.  The service was taken by the Rev. Keith with a tribute given by Julie-Ann and the reading by Simon.  We extend our deepest sympathy to his family.

Donations were divided between the Devon Air Ambulance and Hospicecare, Exeter.

The internment of ashes has taken place of the late Mrs Stella Marmion, following a short service taken by Rev. Keith and was attended by family members and friends. We send our sincere condolences to her family.

WELL DONE to Sophie Temple team leader of her group from Shebbear College who successfully completed the Ten Tors challenge on Dartmoor.

Flippy Fronteras, wife of the late Captain Paul Fronteras, has recently moved from the village to the Totnes area to be nearer her family. We send our very best wishes to Flippy and her family.

At the Annual Parochial Church Meeting on 26th April, Mrs Julie Grigg was re-elected Churchwarden and the PCC members agreed to serve for another year.