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.
5th Sunday of Easter
7th Sunday of Easter
Today, I have been reflecting on all that has happened over the last ten days. We have travelled with Jesus through Holy Week, exploring the scriptures, and endeavouring to understand all that Jesus and those who loved him and were friends with him went through. Then on Easter Sunday we celebrated Jesus' resurrection from the dead, in all the Taw and Torridge Estuary Churches. The churches were beautifully decorated with spring flowers.
We experienced the joy of worshipping together, despite not being able to sing and learnt of those who visited the empty tomb that first Easter Morning. The Other Disciple, thought to be John, saw the empty grave and the grave clothes devoid of a body and believed. Mary was outside the garden tomb, crying, when Jesus asked her,
'Woman, why are you crying? Who is it you are looking for?'
Thinking Jesus was the gardener, she said, 'Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have put him, and I will get him.'
Jesus said to her, 'Mary.'
She turned towards him and cried out in Aramaic, 'Rabboni!' (which means 'Teacher').
Mary recognised Jesus' voice when he said her name.
Mary then went and told the disciples, 'I have seen the Lord.'
Jesus then continued to appear to the disciples, so that they could testify that He had risen.
Last week we learnt of the death of HRH Prince Phillip. We have heard of all that he was, his faith, his compassion, his loyalty to his wife the Queen and to his country, his endeavours to help others and make the world a better place through all the various organisations he helped, supported and instigated such as the Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme.
I wonder where we all are in our thoughts at this point.
In John's Gospel we read,
'Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; believe also in me. My Father's house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am'.
Today it is cold, many parts of the country have snow, but now the sun is shining. We have hope, we also have hope in Christ Jesus who wants all who believe in Him to have life, and life in all its fullness.
My prayer is as the sun rises each morning and as we move slowly out of lockdown that we too will know the risen Christ in our lives and live life to the full, knowing that we are loved and have a purpose.
A very enjoyable and uplifting Easter Sunday family service was held on 4th April to celebrate the Risen Lord. It was very well attended, in line with current Covid restrictions. The lessons were read by Mark Ansell and John Humphris. Thanks to Ann Humphris who played the hymns at the service. The service was led by Rev. Brenda Jacobs. The church was beautifully decorated with Spring flowers. Thanks to Viv, Julie, Sue and Janet. A service of reflection on Good Friday was led by Rev. Sue Spankie.
The Banns of Marriage for Lucy Grigg and David Ronald were read at the Easter Sunday service. Their wedding will take place on 22nd May at 3pm at Westleigh Church. Currently, only 15 guests are allowed at a wedding ceremony. This will increase to 30 following further easing of lock down on 17th May.
Woody Hudson has removed the large stained glass panels from the South Transept, East window and taken them to his workshop for restoration. The stone mason Richard Sumner has completed his work.
There are plans to hold a coffee morning and open garden at Pillhead House in the summer. More details will be in the June Parish News.
The licencing of our former curate, Rev. Tom Simpson at St. Matthews, Cambridge took place on Tuesday 13th April.
We remember in our prayers, Queen Elizabeth and her family at this sad time with the passing of Prince Philip, The Duke of Edinburgh, which was announced on 9th April 2021.