C of E logo

St Peter's Church,
Willersey Village

C of E logo


Willersey has a facebook page.                        Home Page | Menu & Search Page           Email us here:-

St Peter's Church, Willersey Village as the sun sets.

Sunset St Peters


Our parish Church is beautifully positioned at the end of Church Lane and is surrounded by a traditional churchyard.
You can learn much more about the church and its services from its website
Every Wednesday at 11:00am we celebrate Holy Communion with the traditional language from the 1662 prayer book. You are always very welcome at our Church. We hope that the love of God will touch your heart during our services. Do come along and/or drop in for a coffee and a chat from 11:30 to 12:00 noon.
Our vicar is the The Rev'd Scott Watts     The New Vicarage, Stratford Road, Honeybourne, WR11 7PP     Tel: 01386 834946     email:     twitter https://twitter.com/revsw
Every edition of our Church and Village News contains a message from our vicar.

St Peter's in Willersey, St Lawrence with St John the Baptist in Weston-sub-Edge, St Andrew's in Aston Sub-Edge, St Lawrence in Mickleton, St Ecgwin's in Honeybourne, St Peter's in Pebworth, St Peter's in Dorsington and St.Nicholas' Church in Saintbury are all part of the Vale and Cotswold Edge benefice.
Enquiries to the Team Rector, The Rev'd Craig Bishop, The Vicarage, Church Street, Chipping Campden
Tel 01386 841927     admin@stjameschurchcampden.co.uk
The Vale and Cotswold Edge ministry team includes the Rev'd Dana Delap in Blockley 01386 700676. The United Benefice of Chipping Campden, Ebrington and Mickleton is also under the care of the Rev'd Craig Bishop.



For more details about our services look on page 8 or 10 of the appropiate Church and Village Newsletter.


Below are the times of all our local benefice services for November 2017.







St Peter's has a famous peal of six bells which are rung regularly.

As well as being rung on Sunday service days, bell ringing practice is on Thursdays each week from 7:30 to 9:00pm. Once a year on St Thomas' Day, 21st December, tradition is that the bells are rung in Willersey, and indeed in the North of the Cotswolds, for about 45 minutes from about 6:00am in the morning. They are rung for Christmas Day services and to ring in the New Year. The bells may also be rung from time to time by visiting bands of ringers, and also on special occasions. Three weddings were planned this year ( as of April 2015 ) and we have marked the 80th birthday of a longstanding ringer. We also took up the challenge of ringing a full peal which lasted for three hours on Saturday 23rd May beginning at midday. In Willersey, the regular sound of church bells continues to be a traditional feature of village life. Originally there were three large bells but in 1712 they were melted down by Abraham Rudhall and recast into the six beautiful bells we have today. An inscription on the tenor bell reads 'ring for peace merily' to celebrate the signing of the Peace of Utrecht.
Robert Chadburn is the Tower Captain. Bob Topp and Chris Gooding are the Steeple Keepers.

St Peter's is a stone cruciform building, in the Early English style, consisting of chancel, nave, transepts, north porch and an embattled central tower, with pinnacles
It is a Grade I listed Church and is therefore judged to be of exceptional interest and the highest architectural merit.

( C12 nave with blocked South doorway. C13 North porch. North aisle rebuilt C13. C15 tower. C19 vestry and restoration.
The ancient font, supposed to date from the 13th century, is preserved, though not now in use. There are some remains of 13th or 14th century stained glass: the church affords 250 sittings. Nave and North aisle: coursed and squared limestone, with angle buttresses and a racking buttress on the North Transepts:coursed, squared and dressed limestone. The communion cloth has the date 1664 woven into it. )


In 1897, the living was a rectory, yearly value £275, with residence, in the gift of E. Gibbon esq. of Gateacre, Liverpool, and held since 1891 by the Rev. Charles Oldfeld Bartlett MA. of Exeter College, Oxford.
There is a charge by will, of £8, on a farm here, paid annually to descendants of the Pendrell family, who harboured Charles II in 1651 when a fugitive.

It has been said that there are three typically British activities - Morris Dancing, Playing Cricket and Church Bell Ringing.




Drawing of a Bell
An Invitation from the Bell Ringers

Last year over thirty locals came to our first ‘Open Tower’ event, to see what the ringing chamber looks like and what happens when the bells are rung for a wedding or on a Sunday. Many who came have lived in Willersey for many years and not had an opportunity to see the bells for themselves, and lots who visited tried their hand at ringing too. So, if you're new to the village, missed out last year or fancy another go we invite you to join us on Saturday July 22nd between 5.00-7.00 pm.

This is not a recruitment drive, although we are always keen to welcome new ringers, but more of an opportunity to demystify what bell ringing is and how it's been done in Willersey for over 300 hundred years.
The circular staircase to the ringing chamber is a little steep, so you might need to be steady on your ‘pins’, but you can be sure of a warm welcome and a chance to ‘have a go’ if the fancy takes you.
Please talk to Bob Topp, Chris Gooding or Pete Kavanagh for more information. We look forward to welcoming you.


Saintbury Church is visible from St Peter's Churchyard.






St Peter's Churchyard Mowing Rota 2017 (not the erroneous Rowing Motor!)
We are grateful to the following people for agreeing to mow the churchyard.

    Dates        
   01.04.17 to 15.04.17       Rob McNeill-Wilson   
   16.04.17 to 29.04.17       Leslie Jordan & Paul Tolley   
   30.04.17 to 13.05.17       Peter Bond ; 
   14.05.17 to 27.05.17       Stephen & Nigel Foxall   
   28.05.17 to 10.06.17       Stephen Jordan & Bill Payne   
   11.06.17 to 24.06.17       Rob McNeill-Wilson   
   25.06.17 to 08.07.17       Leslie Jordan & Paul Tolley   
   09.07.17 to 22.07.17       Peter Bond   
   23.07.17 to 05.08.17       Stephen & Nigel Foxall   
   06.08.17 to 19.08.17       Stephen Jordan & Bill Payne   
   20.08.17 to 02.09.17       Rob McNeill-Wilson   
   03.09.17 to 16.09.17       Leslie Jordan & Paul Tolley   
   17.09.17 to 30.09.17       Peter Bond   
   01.10.17 to 14.10.17       Stephen & Nigel Foxall   
   15.10.17 to 28.10.17       Stephen Jordan & Bill Payne   
   Remembrance Sunday       Rob McNeill-Wilson   

If these dates are not convenient, as before please could you make your own arrangements to swap duties.
Thank you.



Here is the order of service for the licensing of Rev Scott Watts, our new vicar in June 2017.





The Bishop of Gloucester came to Willersey to lead the licensing of the Rev'd Scott Watts.

Bishop Treweek and Rev Watts



This is a copy of our Easter Card which gave details of our 2017 Easter Services.
(Its designed to be folded in half.)





This is a copy of our Easter Card which gave details of our 2016 Easter Services.
(Its designed to be folded in half.)





This is a copy of our Christmas card which gave more details of our 2016 Christmas Services.





Here are two paintings done by Willersey school children for our 2016 Christmas card.
(Click on the images for a full size version. Be patient, they can take a while to load.)

Front of Card    Front of our Christmas card     Back of Card    and the back.



Safeguarding and St Peter's Parochial Church Council

We have policies for safeguarding children, young people and vulnerable people.
Support is available from the following Diocesan safeguarding officers:-
Judith Knight 07801 750664     jknight@glosdioc.org.uk
Becca Faal      07944 680320     bfaal@glosdioc.org.uk    



February (2017) to me is the time when we can begin to put winter behind us and look forward to spring, and new life in the shape of our gardens and fields being filled with new growth and baby animals of all sorts appearing in the countryside. Life means all sorts of things to different people. What ‘floats your boat’, ‘gets you going’ andd ‘energises you’ are some of the expressions we use to describe the things which really interest and animate us.

The Diocese of Gloucester launched its new vision at the beginning of Advent, and it too is called LIFE. LIFE stands for Leadership, Imagination, Faith and Engagement. In the next five years your church communities are being challenged to find new ways of engaging with everyone in the communities in which we live and work and socialise. Do look out for events and activities which will be happening in your local parish church. And you are always welcome to join us at a service or just for a chat. The inspiration for the name of the vision document comes from a saying of Jesus: “I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full”. (John 10:10). More details of our plans can be found on the diocesan website, if you wish to take a look!
As Winter turns to Spring, may your life be energised through new growth, so that your hopes and dreams will be fulfilled.

With love and blessings,
Celia.
Assistant Curate. Vale and Cotswold Edge Team Ministry.



There are over 5,000 bell towers for change ringing in England, with less than 300 in the rest of the world.
Despite coming in many shapes, sizes and materials, most bell towers have a familiar layout. At the top are the bells, spreading the sound out to the community, below which is usually a clock room. The bell ringers usually stand on the ground floor, or first floor if there is a lobby below. At the top of the tower, the bells are hung in a wooden or metal frame with each bell fixed to the axle of a large wooden wheel that pivots in ball bearings on the frame. A rope is tied to the wheel spokes, runs partly round the rim and falls through holes and pulleys to the ringing chamber below. When not ringing, the bell is parked with its mouth upwards. Pulling the rope attached to the wheel rotates the bell firstly in one direction and then in the other.

Church Bell Parts

The main parts of the mechanism of a bell hung for change ringing are:-

  • FRAME This may be made of wood or iron in substantial proportions to support the weight of the bells. Each of the spaces where the bells hang is called a pit.
  • HEADSTOCK attaches the bell to the wheel and is pivoted on two gudgeon pins into the bearings.
  • WHEEL has a deep channel for the rope around its circumference.
  • GARTER HOLE A hole in the wheel that allows the rope to pass through. The rope is then tied around the wheel spokes.
  • CLAPPER is mounted on a bearing just below the crown of the bell. It swings from side to side as the bell rotates and strikes on the sound bow. Often wrongly called a Bell Clanger, Bell Donger, Bell Tinckler (in ornimental bells)
  • SOUND BOW is the name given to the thick metal area on the mouth of the bell.
  • GUDGEON is a strong pin fixed to the headstock and carries the weight of the bell into the bearing.
  • BEARING The two bearings allow the bell to rotate easily. Nowadays roller bearings are fitted, however in the past, other designs were used that required regular greasing to work efficiently.
  • STAY is the device that keeps the bell in an upright position between ringing, when the bell is stood. It needs to be sturdy enough to support the bell. If the bell is mishandled and it violently comes to rest the stay is designed to break and protect the bell, which could otherwise crack across its crown. One end of the stay bolts into the headstock and the other engages with the slider as the bell approach the balance point.
  • SLIDER does as its name suggests and slides across a track between two end stops on the lower part of the frame. In conjunction with the stay, it allows the bell to be parked with its mouth upward just slightly past the point of balance.




Gloucester Cathedral Roof

Two hundred solar panels are being fitted to the south nave roof of Gloucester Catherdral from September 2016 onwards at part of a £6 million overhaul of the 15th century building. This should cut its carbon footprint and save 25 per cent on its energy bills. This is part of Project Pilgrim.



Welby bids to defuse Church of England's ‘demographic time bomb’

Divisions on ways to modernise an ageing church will trouble the new synod. (Harriet Sherwood, Religion Correspondent, The Guardian, 22nd November 2015).
Discord over a radical programme to make the Church of England “fit for purpose” in the 21st century is set to spill into the open this week when the new synod meets at the start of its five-year term. The Reform and Renewal programme was initiated by the archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, and is being enthusiastically driven forward by a cohort of senior figures who share his zeal for modernising and evangelising the church. However, critics fear that traditional values could be lost amid the speed of change, lack of consultation and a new culture of setting goals and targets. “Some of those driving the Reform and Renewal agenda don’t seem to understand the complex nature of the institution they are seeking to improve. In trying to change the church, there is a significant risk of unintentional vandalism,” said Martyn Percy, dean of Christ Church, Oxford.

The programme – which includes the redistribution of financial resources, training and education, and simplifying the arcane governance of the church – springs from alarm at the steady decline of congregations over recent decades. “We're in the last chance saloon,” said Pete Broadbent, bishop of Willesden and one of the architects of Reform and Renewal. “All the demographic evidence shows that, unless we do something in the next five or 10 years, we're shot. There are those who say this [programme] is alien and who want to dig their heels in, but we're facing a demographic time bomb.” The evidence was “indisputable”, said John Spence, chair of the church's finance committee and a former Lloyds Bank executive. “Twenty years ago the demographics matched the population as a whole. Now we''re 20 years older than the population. Unless we do something, the church will face a real crisis.”

Among the changes is a redistribution of funding, largely away from struggling rural parishes to churches in deprived urban areas and those seen as innovative and energetic in adapting to social change. “Some dioceses are being funded to do not very much,” said Broadbent. “And some dioceses are underfunded, but are doing an amazing job in trying circumstances. It's about how we divvy up the money to go to places that can use it well and have the greatest need.”
Another key area is recruitment and training. Around 40% of the church's clergy will retire in the next decade, yet fewer people are putting themselves forward for ordination. The church needs to attract recruits, especially those described by Spence as “game changers”, and provide accelerated career paths and appropriate training. The selection of a “talent pool” – clergy to be fast-tracked to leadership positions – has caused consternation among those accustomed to a system of quiet recommendations for preferment. Their unease has been compounded by bishops and deans being enrolled on MBA-style management courses.
“Bishops are well trained at one level – being priests – but at another level they aren't fit for purpose in terms of leadership and management,” said Broadbent. “We're running multimillion-pound organisations which need CEO-type roles. Of course there's a spiritual dimension, but people are also called to be managers and leaders. It's difficult to run a diocese if you're just being learned; you need theological skills, pastoral care skills and management skills – you need to be multi-talented.”
But, he insisted, “money and business is not the model. We're still meant to be the church of Jesus Christ, but we just need to be more hard-headed and pragmatic about it.We're in the last-chance saloon. Unless we do something in the next five or 10 years, we're shot. Some have expressed anxiety over talk of efficiency, success, targets and data. According to Percy, there are real concerns about “the uncritical use of business principles, which are mostly untested in the church and may not be the most appropriate fit”. Under Welby's leadership, he said, the church was being run by people with an “executive managerial mindset”. Welby is a former oil executive and many in his inner circle have business or banking backgrounds.

Some critics also claim that the Reform and Renewal programme is being driven by a zeal associated with Holy Trinity Brompton, the London church which pioneered the successful Alpha course to attract new blood to the C of E. One of Percy's principal criticisms is a lack of consultation – particularly among scholars – over the measures. “The feeling in some quarters has been that the exclusion of intellectual voices has been deliberate. They're not wanted because they would slow the work down and cause lots of questions to be asked,” he said. “If you can't value the past, you may then decide it needs to go or needs modification. If you've never taken the time to understand it in the first place, there are risks.”
Linda Woodhead, professor of the sociology of religion at Lancaster University, shared the view that Reform and Renewal “true believers” were not sufficiently reflective. Evangelism with a business-model spin was not the solution. “Rather than stepping back and asking, ‘why are we going down this path [of decline]’, they think, ‘let's preach the message louder, let's keep being more prophetic, and that will somehow attract people’,” she said.
“Well, it won't. It will make the C of E increasingly into a little sect. It will never get back its broader social significance unless it can rethink its whole strategy. The church is in freefall and of course action needs to be taken, but their solution is much too unambitious.”

She advocates increasing lay and community involvement, inclusivity and multi-functional use of church buildings. The synod will debate Reform and Renewal after being inaugurated by the Queen on Tuesday. The previous synod strongly endorsed the programme, but most members of this synod are new, making the depth of support or criticism hard to predict. The main danger, said Broadbent, was of the programme “dying the death of a thousand qualifications. But I hope not – a lot of us have staked the future of the Church of England on this.”



A letter from our last vicar.
Dear Friends,

We are now safely installed in the vicarage in Addington and have just reached the point of deciding where to put pictures on the walls, so before any more time elapses I wanted to write to say thank you. Firstly thank you to the many of you who came to my last service in Honeybourne. It was a wonderful experience to see the church so full of friends, there firstly to worship God and secondly to wish us God speed. Thank you too to the many who could not be there but who sent cards to wish us well. It was good to be able to spend time eating together after the service in Weston sub Edge so thank you to those who made that possible – I know that these things don’t happen on their own! Worshipping together and eating together, what better way could there be to celebrate our common life in Christ and the journey we have made together?

Which brings me to our beautiful gifts: I grew up in Gloucestershire so its countryside is special to me and holds many precious memories of childhood, of parents, of people who have been saints along my journey so it is wonderful to have a book which captures so delightfully the essence of its landscape and life and combined with poetry, another of my loves, could not have been more aptly chosen. One of the things that we have enjoyed learning while being in Honeybourne, has been gardening. We are still amateurs, but have come to appreciate time spent wondering at the beauty of plants, at their determination to flourish and time spent with the soil as a way of getting life in perspective. Here in Addington we have a big garden. It is a good time of year to move because we shall discover over the next few months what is in the garden. Edward's book on Making a Garden will be an invaluable resource as we move through the seasons and as he discovers the joys of retirement. I said at the beginning of this letter that we are in the process of deciding where pictures are to go. We are very much looking forward to deciding on a place for the two wonderful paintings of Gloucester Cathedral, the Cathedral that has played such an important part in our lives. For me that goes back a long way to picnics as a child with my Nan and Mum in the Cathedral precincts, to playing in the Youth Orchestra there and finally, after a gap of many years, being ordained there in 2008 when it became a part of Edward’s life too. I love the Cathedral at night which speaks of the unfailing caring presence of mother church and Edward’s, ”The organ plays” says all that can be said about the way in which music transcends bricks and mortar and any possible boundary we might attempt to put in place. The picture of the churches in the group will likewise find a special place and be a reminder of the gift that being among you was. Thank you too for the very generous cheque which accompanied these lovely gifts. We shall spend it wisely.

So now, another chapter in our walk with God is beginning for both you and for us. I keep you daily in my prayers as you enter a period of discernment. For us we are in that strange place of belonging but not belonging before my Institution on the 28th April. Last Sunday we worshipped at Southwark Cathedral and we have yet to decide where we shall worship tomorrow. Although it feels rootless it is good to have time to reflect and to pray and I am grateful for these in between days.

May God bless you as you journey together.
With our love and prayers

Debbie and Edward



Vale and Cotswold Edge
The Parishes of Pebworth, Dorsington, Honeybourne,
Willersey with Saintbury,
Weston sub Edge and Aston sub Edge

Nativity Scene

A joyful and blessed Christmas to you all

Dear Friends,

Christmas is upon us once again and we are caught up in a whirl of buying and parties and Carol Services. Yet, as I reflect upon the noise and bustle of the season, it occurs to me that at the centre of all this activity is great stillness. God’s outpouring of self to become human in the babe in the manger is not a noisy affair. The Father looks on the Son with a steady gaze as time stands still and the author of all that is, lies helpless, a still point in his creation. As the carol puts it, “how silently, how silently the wondrous gift is given.” So as we wrap the presents and do that last minute shopping, as we deck the halls and our houses fill up with guests, let’s pause for a moment and reflect on the stillness of the manger scene. It is from this place of wonder and stillness that true celebration comes. If we can but pause and gaze then the gradual dawning of all that that quiet scene means for the world will give our joyful celebrations an added exuberance. I love Christmas, I love giving presents, I love the faces of children caught up in the wonder of it all, I love the spirit of goodwill that comes as a welcome guest for a brief spell, but most of all, I love the quiet simplicity of the child in the lowly manger.

May I, Celia and the churchwardens wish you all a joyful, exuberant and peace filled Christmas.
With my love and blessings,
Debbie.

Special Services in the Parishes during Advent and Christmas 2015

St. Peter's Church, Pebworth
Sunday 20th December 6.00 pm — Carol Service
Thursday 24th December 3.00 pm — Crib Service
Thursday 24th December 11.30 pm — Midnight Mass
Friday 25th December 10.00 am — Christmas Morning Family Service

St. Peter's Church, Dorsington
Wednesday 16th December 7.00 pm — Carol Service
Sunday 20th December 11.00 am — Christingle Service
Thursday 24th December 11.00 am — Crib Service
Friday 25th December 11.00 am — Christmas Morning Family Communion

St. Ecgwin's Church, Honeybourne
Tuesday 15th December 7.30 pm - Carol Service
Friday 18th December 4.30 pm — Christingle
Thursday 24th December 3.00 pm — Crib Service
Thursday 24th December 11.30 pm — Midnight Mass
Friday 25th December 10.00 am — Christmas Morning Family Communion

St. Peter's, Willersey
Sunday 20th December 11.00 am — Family Carol Service
Thursday 24th December 4.00 pm — Christingle
Thursday 24th December 11.30 pm — Midnight Mass
Friday 25th December 9.30 am - Christmas Morning Family Communion

St John the Baptist and St Lawrence, Weston sub Edge
Thursday 24th December 6.00 pm — Family Carol Service

St Andrew's, Aston sub Edge
Sunday 20th December 6.30 pm — Carol Service
Friday 25th December 8.00 am — Book of Common Prayer Holy Communion

Sunday 27th December Service for all the churches of the group and patronal festival at St Ecgwin’s 10.00 am

For other service times, please look in the magazines or on the church notice boards.





An Easter Card and Message for 2015 from the Reverend Debbie Forman.

Happy Easter
He is risen, alleluia




Dear Friends,
We have journeyed together through Lent, exploring puzzling questions, but the last week of Jesus' life takes us on a different sort of journey. We begin the week hopefully as we enter Jerusalem with Jesus and we join with the crowds acclaiming him King. But all too soon the storm clouds gather as Passover approaches. The disciples gathered for that meal know it will be the last. They claim they will be faithful.
Like the disciples we gather in the upper room professing our faithfulness, yet we, like them, shall all abandon him. In the garden we fall asleep and fail to watch and wait. Mingled with the crowd we forget our shouts of “Hosanna“ and bay for his blood “Crucify him!“. He hangs on the cross and we weep. His body is laid in the tomb and our hearts are empty. Is there really nothing….? And just as we are tempted to give up, the light of the Resurrection shines through the darkness and hope and joy explode in our hearts. He is risen. Yes, he really is!
A blessed and exuberantly joyful Easter to you all.
Rev’d Debbie

Vale and Cotswold Edge
The parishes of Pebworth, Dorsington,
Honeybourne, Willersey with Saintbury,
Weston sub Edge and Aston sub Edge
Holy Week and Easter 2015

Monday 30th March Reflection 7.30
Aston sub Edge
Tuesday 31sth March Reflection 7.30
Honeybourne
Wednesday 1st April Reflection 7.30
Weston sub Edge

Maundy Thursday 2nd April 8 pm:
The liturgy of Maundy Thursday including
the footwashing and the watch until midnight.
Willersey

Good Friday 3rd April:
9am Journeying with the cross — Aston sub Edge
9.30 Journeying with the cross — Weston sub Edge
10.15 Journeying with the cross — Saintbury
11am Journeying with the cross — St Peter's, Willersey
12 noon Journeying with the cross — Willersey Methodist Church

1pm At the foot of the cross — Honeybourne
1.30 pm At the foot of the cross — Dorsington
2pm The liturgy of Good Friday — Pebworth
6.30 pm Meditation — Aston sub Edge

Holy Saturday 4th April 8.30pm:
The Vigil, Renewal of Baptismal Vows,
The first Eucharist of Easter - Dorsington


Easter Sunday 5th April
9.30am Holy Communion — Willersey
9.30 am Eucharist — Pebworth
10.00 am Eucharist — Weston sub Edge
10 00 am Eucharist — Honeybourne
11.00 am Eucharist — Dorsington
6.30 pm Holy Communion — Aston sub Edge


You can download a copy of this card and message.



Willersey has a facebook page.                           Go to top | Menu & Search Page            Email us here:-

© Copyright Willersey Cotswolds 2014 - 2017