St. Mary's Church

St. Mary’s ancient Church stands on the footings of its Norman predecessor in the original St. Mary’s Wyke.

A message from Rev David Barnes (May 2020)

Dear Friends

Whilst there is still time, I’d like to wish you all a happy Easter. This Easter and Eastertide have been the strangest time I can ever remember. I suspect the last event surpassing this magnitude was World War 2. Now, as then, each of our lives has been turned upside down and we’re all waiting expectantly for the sirens to sound marking the time for normality as we have known it to return. 


During the last four weeks of lockdown each of us has experienced the highs and lows of life. For some people they have felt the full weight of life’s pain at the loss of a loved one; for others it might be the separation from loved ones that lockdown has brought to many of us. No longer are we able to meet up in person with those who are nearest and dearest to us, a hug or an embrace has eluded us all. 


It also seems that the Church, that bastion of stability, has closed and locked its doors at a time when the world might need it most. There are no Alleluias ringing from inside its doors, no mighty organ playing those great Eastertide hymns. In spite of all this, this letter is not about Doom and Gloom; it’s about heroics and courage and hope. 


I see the super heroic action of Nurses, Doctors, Carers and all those working in hospitals and nursing homes throughout the country. I see people who are working in retail ensuring that food and the essentials of life are available. I see local communities banding together and serving those who are ill, those who are housebound. I see a 100-year-old man (Captain Tom) capturing the heart of the nation and doing today what he did during the second world war, giving his all. They are the people of courage, heroic in their dedication who are bringing hope to us all. 


In spite of the church doors being locked the Church is still alive and still working in our communities, in its service to others, through action, through prayer, through worship. The church is not the building, the Church is the people and the church is wherever the people meet. If we cannot meet in the buildings, we are finding other ways to meet, usually through modern technology and the internet. 


The church meets Sunday by Sunday on the internet, praying for the needs of all people, who ever they are and where ever they find themselves. 


If you would like to know more or if you would like to join with us please contact us on 01288 341670 - you will always be welcome. 


As we travel on through this unprecedented time let us find hope in the goodness we find around us and in the God who walks with us on our journey. 


Easter Blessings be with you all.


David

A message from Rev David Barnes (18th March 2020)

Dear friends,

It is with a deep sadness of heart that I have to inform you that all services in church are to be suspended beginning from now. This does not include weddings or baptisms as long as they are kept to small numbers.

This will be a challenging time for all of us, yet I’m sure that under God we shall still prevail regardless of the situation.  I shall be saying morning Prayer this Sunday (22/3) at St Michael’s at 9.30, and at Week St Mary at 10.30. Next week I’m hoping to be at St. Marwenne, Marhamchurch at 9.30 and Poundstock at 10.30. This to assure you that our churches are continuing to be places of prayer. Whitstone and Widemouth Bay will be part of the week after.

Will leaders of our faith communities please pass on this information to those in your care so that they know they are being prayed for.

Please continue in prayer, remembering  your neighbours, family and friends as we journey through this challenging time.


God Bess you all

David

HOWEVER - WEEK ST MARY CHURCH IS OPEN FOR BUSINESS!!


For people who remain well and wish to use the church whilst observing social distancing, the church will be kept clean, and the following facilities will be provided:


Week St Mary Church will remain open in daylight hours as usual. Tea and Coffee making facilities will be left as usual and lights will be left on as usual with a signpost to additional lighting if required.


Church Members who are well, will pray in the church on the Sundays that Father David is not available (10.30am).

A bell will be rung at this time so that people may join in at home. There will be a prayer station within the church which will be changed weekly to assist with Private Prayer. There will be a children's activity which will also be changed each week.


We will be starting a Book Exchange which will be cleaned and maintained by church members (details to follow). Telephone numbers of the Rector and Trained Pastoral workers will be published for people in need of spiritual support or who are lonely during isolation. The churchyard is open for exercise and recreation (please respect graves and anyone visiting them).


The Adventure Church Garden at the rear  is available for anyone to cultivate and care for should they wish to as the weather improves and the wormery and bug hotel are there for you to look at and add to.


We welcome everyone to use the church and trust that it will be used sensitively and with respect, especially for those who undertake to look after it.


THIS SUNDAY IS MOTHERING SUNDAY AND YOU ARE ENCOURAGED TO PLACE FLOWERS IN THE CHURCH AS WOULD HAVE HAPPENED AT OUR MOTHER'S DAY SERVICE.


There is a donations wall box to the left of the front door and people who cannot give as they would usually during church services are encouraged to make their gifts online to the following bank account.

NAT WEST BANK:  Week St Mary PCC
Sort Code: 53-50-52 Account No: 04109171

It is important to note that during this difficult time, when income will be greatly reduced for a variety of reasons, this church and the Diocese of which it is a part, still has significant ongoing expenses for wages, electricity, oil, insurance and maintenance. Any help that is given will be very gratefully received.


With best wishes from Lesley Booker & Dick Sowerby (Churchwardens)

  • For a full list of churches within Stratton Deanery, please click HERE
  • The Church runs "Adventure Church" for the children of the village ~ details on Facebook
Please support our beloved St. Mary's Church roof fund!

Some may say a landmark for the area as it can be seen for many miles and I am sure many of you look for the tower in the distance driving back towards the Village. We are only custodians of this Grade 1 Listed building during our lifetime and responsible for its upkeep. During last year’s Quinquennial Report (every five years) by a surveyor on the structure and condition of the building it was highlighted that the ENTIRE CHURCH ROOF will need REPLACING within 5 to 8 years. 


This is obviously a VERY costly job to undertake and quite daunting for the PCC to find the money. In order to comply with our Church Insurance, we have to show that preparations are under way to finance the repairs.  The PCC decided at their meeting in September to kick start the ROOF FUND and have set up a RESTRICTED FUND namely for the ROOF with £10,000 which we had from a legacy. 

We will be looking at our options regarding grant funding and hopefully donations to pay for this very big and expensive job which will run into many hundreds of thousands of £s. 

Every £1 counts and if anyone has any ideas to help us on this mammoth project, we would be delighted to hear from you as we will have to do some match funding at the very least. 


Any suggestions or enquiries please contact:  Linda Cobbledick (PCC Secretary) lincob@gmail.com

The parish church is dedicated to St. Mary the Virgin. It comprises a chancel, nave, and north and south aisles. The north arcade has five four-centred arches, with monolith granite pillars; the south arcade also has five arches, three of which are obtuse pointed, and two obtuse four-centred. The pillars are of Polyphant stone and granite. 


The entrances are a south porch and a priest's door; the north door is not used. The tower is of granite ashlar; it has three stages and is 99 feet in height, including its pinnacles. 


The church, built in 1643, contains six bells which were hung in 1731, and is finished with battlements and crocketed pinnacles which terminate with crosses. 


The bells were re-hung and repaired in 1887 when the tower was also renovated at a cost of £168. See below for details of the bells.

Week St. Mary church is a clean and well-cared for example of a village church, with church services, musical events and the annual craft display adding to the regular use. The village has many visitors and the church is always visited and praised for its beauty and cleanliness.

St. Mary's Church Bells

THE RING OF SIX BELLS IN THIS TOWER WAS RECAST AND REHUNG IN 1950 BY GILLETT & JOHNSTON, CROYDON

  1. "F#" MEARS & STAINBANK, FOUNDERS, LONDON GIVEN BY COSMO NEVILL PEAKE IN MEMORY OF KING EDWARD VII R et I 1910 • Weight: 4cwt 1qtr 2lbs
  2. "E" AST BY JOHN WARNER & SONS, LONDON PEACE AND GOOD NEIGHBOURHOOD RECAST 1887 • Weight: 4cwt 2qtr 23lbs
  3. "D" PROSPERITY TO THIS PARISH A R 1731 • Weight: 5cwt 1qtr 5lbs
  4. "C#" PROSPERITY TO THE CHVRCH OF ENGLAND 1731 • Weight: 5cwt 3qtr 2lbs
  5. "B" ABR RVDHAL OF GLOCESTER CAST VS ALL 1731 • Weight: 6cwt 2qtr 18lbs
  6. "A" I TO THE CHURCH THE LIVING CALL AND TO THE GRAVE DO SUMMON ALL RECAST 1887 · J. D. PEAKE - RECTOR · T. WALKEY - CHURCHWARDEN · B. HUTCHINGS - CHURCHWARDEN

1950 saw the operation of rehanging the bells take place under the control of Revd N.A.F. Townend, MA and Churchwardens J.H. Rogers & T. Rogers.

Church Officials

Church Wardens
Mrs Lesley Booker - Tel: 01288 341221 • Mr Richard Sowerby - Tel: 01288 341348


Parochial Church Council Secretary

Mrs Linda Cobbledick, Wyke House, Week St. Mary, Holsworthy, Devon EX22 6XA


Treasurer: (Vacant)


Dioscesan Child Protection Representative

Sue Dickenson, Ranelagh, Week St. Mary, Holsworthy, Devon EX22 6XF


The cutting of the grass is currently undertaken by Churchwarden Dick Sowerby, and he enjoys it!
    50º 45'03.84N    4º 30'01.39W        OS:  SX 237977           Elevation: 142m
    © All of the content of the Week St. Mary website is the copyright of David Martin & Linda Cobbledick except where stated