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Newchurch Church - Canterbury Diocese

 St. Peter and St. Paul

Image by John Hendy

 

Church Services at Newchurch - Click here for Services at Newchurch

 

 

Parish Priest

 

As the living is presently in interregnum please contact our Churchwarden, Tony Day  Tel. 01303 874601, who will put you in touch with the person who can best help you. 

 

If Tony is not available you may like to contact the Reader who works in the Parish: Edith Martin Tel. 01797 367382

Please telephone for Baptisms, Weddings and Banns at Newchurch

or for any pastoral concern which you would like to discuss

  •  Reader: Mrs Edith Martin Tel: 01797 367382

  •  Churchwardens: Tony Day and Pamela Baxter

  •  Organist: Jan Day

  •  PCC Secretary: Mike Barclay

  •  PCC Treasurer: Valerie Denby

  •  Sacristans: Jan Day

  •  Church keys: Jan Day

  •  Magazine Editor & Advertising: Mike Worthington to email: click here

  •  Web-site: Mike Worthington

 

Take a look at last months magazine by clicking on the News Page button

 

Would you like to subscribe to our monthly colour parish magazine? It's only 60p per month plus postage. Interested? Then send an email to:-  church.magazine@btinternet.com    Thank you.

 

SUNSETS AND SUNRISES

WE had many things in mind when we selected our present home in Greatstone.  Many of those things related to position. The proximity of bus routes and shops were high on the list as we considered what our needs would be in the years ahead. Not far behind was our desire for a lovely view which we should be able to enjoy even if we eventually reached a point where it was difficult to get out and about. A little railway running along beside our garden fence made the location ideal for my train loving husband.  The thing which neither of us considered, however, has turned out to be something which has given us immense joy and encouragement: the East – West orientation of our bungalow.  This means that we are often awakened by the first light of the risen sun streaming into our bedroom.  That can mean a very early awakening during the summer months, but even that has the advantage of helping us to see that our little dog gets a nice, cool morning walk. At other seasons the warm rays cheer the start of even the coldest and shortest days. In the evenings things are even better. In winter the slanting rays of the setting sun tinge the clouds with brilliant colour on so many afternoons at the very time when brilliant colour is in short supply in the garden. In summer the deep, restful reds and purples contrast with daytime brightness. It is, though, in the spring and autumn that we most fully appreciate our position. The sun sets right opposite the centre of our fence at the equinoxes, so it is in these seasons that we see the full glory of the setting sun, with the full panorama of colour and shape spread out for our delight.  In spring it is the encouraging reminder of good times ahead; at this time of year it encourages us to look beyond the cares of the moment and gaze in awe upon the beauty of that which does not change, even though it may sometimes be hidden behind the clouds.

We live in a world where there seem to be so many things which are wrong. Every time we turn on tablets or computers we are shocked by yet another atrocity, epidemic or famine inescapably headlined before us. It is sometimes quite difficult to bring ourselves to turn on news broadcasts or read newspapers, because we know that we are going to be faced by yet more heart-rending details as well as more local accounts of tragedy and wrong-doing. This is the raw reality upon which news writers depend for a living, but it is not the full reality.  Just occasionally something more encouraging hits the headlines: a doctor infected after giving himself to tending those with a lethal infection, a mother giving her own life to save her drowning children, an athlete giving time and money to help deprived children to have access to sporting facilities, a teenager sacrificing social life to care for a sick parent and younger siblings.  There are so very many accounts of sacrificial care for others which just don’t get heard amidst the clamour of what seems to be ‘newsworthy’, leaving us with a very unbalanced idea of what is really going on.

When I watch the glory of the autumn sunrises and sunsets around my home, I am reminded of that eternal good which, like the sun, is still there, however much the dark clouds may sometimes seem to obscure it. As a Christian I recognise that good as the God who revealed himself in Jesus Christ.  Not a god who is absent or uncaring, but who is present in the worst and best of circumstances, suffering and rejoicing with those whom he has made, the God who has already overcome all that makes for suffering and whose victory will eventually be clear for all to see.  He is the one to whom we can look for help and encouragement amidst all the changes of this world.  It is good to be reminded of these things at a season of the year when so much seems to change in so many areas of life.                                                                                                                 

Edith Martin


COFFEE MORNINGS at ST PETER & ST PAUL NEWCHURCH

Saturday mornings 10.30 until 12.30


YOU AND YOUR LOCAL CHURCH

If you want to get to know us better there is an opportunity to mingle and chat informally at our weekly coffee mornings, held in the Church between 10.30 and 12.30 every Saturday from Easter till late Autumn. If you are housebound we would be happy to visit you, if you ask us.  We are also pleased to be alongside you at significant points in your life, whether just to chat informally or to arrange a suitable service, and below you will find information about these which we hope that you will find helpful.

YOUR  BABY

We are so glad that you want to say thank you to God for your lovely baby in a service here.  There are two ways in which you can do this

1  A Service of Thanksgiving for the Gift of a Child

    This is a time when you and your family and friends can bring your baby in to say thank you for all that this new member of the    family means to you. As a congregation we pray for you and your baby and join in your thanksgiving. This would most usually take place during our child - friendly service on the first Sunday of the month, although other times are possible.

2  Baptism

    This is a service in which you ask for your child to be received as a member of Christ's Church.  In this service you will be asked to declare your own faith in Jesus and to promise to bring your baby up in the Christian faith. This can also take place in the monthly All Age Service (lovely for other children in your party, who can then join with others in some child-centred activities as a part of the service) or at some other time, by agreement with the priest taking the service.

All families taking part in these services are warmly invited to join us in the monthly All Age Service, where we worship in less formal ways which both you and your children can enjoy. You would also be most welcome at our bi-monthly Messy Church, which is held on a Saturday afternoon.

WEDDINGS

We would be delighted to welcome you into our lovely old Church as you begin your lifetime of commitment to each other. Getting married is one of the most important things which we can do in our lives, so it is not surprising that there are some formalities which must be gone through before the service can take place, including the publishing of Banns of Marriage at three services in the parish of both the bride and groom (if different).  Don't let that put you off - the priest who is available to take the service will go through all the details with you, and help you to make your day really memorable for all the right reasons.

FUNERALS

We are there to give you all the help and support which is possible in your time of sorrow, which includes helping you to have the things which really matter to you in the service, whether in our Church and graveyard or at a local crematorium. The  Funeral Director makes the initial arrangements, but you are free to say where you want the service to take place and to give any preference which you may have as to the person whom you would like to take the service if they are available. When we are contacted by the Funeral Director, we will arrange for the minister who is going to take the service to make an appointment to visit you and  work with you  on the service details.

POINT OF CONTACT

During our Vicar's illness please contact our Churchwarden, Tony Day  Tel.01303 874601, who will put you in touch with the person who can best help you. 

If he is not available you may like to contact the Reader who works in the Parish: Edith Martin Tel. 01797 367382


A BRIEF GUIDE TO NEWCHURCH CHURCH

Three things strike you about the parish church of St. Peter and St. Paul, Newchurch: the size, so much larger than the average church on Romney Marsh;  the leaning tower; and the fine peal of bells.

When you first walk into the church you get the impression of spaciousness; it is large and tall; the lancet windows in the chancel illustrate how the architect was striving for light and height in the Early English Gothic style.

The eastern end is divided into three main sections. The chancel and east window is where the main worship now takes place in the church. The whole of the church is used on rare occasions, such as  large funerals, or for example on the installation of the rector when numerous local worthies are invited  to welcome the new incumbent; or for Harvest Supper, a very successful day in the Newchurch calendar.

Looking towards the east, on either side of the chancel are additional chapels. The one on the left is perfectly plain and a reduced wooden screen separates it from the main body of the church. It is dedicated to St. Michael and St.Thomas of Canterbury, and at one time was used for the Sunday school. On one wall is a rough, plain piscina, matching the one at the North entrance to the church. It is in this chapel that the series of History Panels, recording the life and history of the village of Newchurch are exhibited. Documents and pictures charting the history of the village from as far back as the Domesday Book are on permanent display on behalf of Newchurch Parish Council.

The chapel on the right of the main chancel is the Lady Chapel, set up as a place of private prayer with a triptych of the Virgin Mary on the altar and a statue of the Virgin set in an ornate wall plinth, next to which is the remains of a simple aumbry. Fragmentary remains of mediaeval glass are in the window above the altar, worth looking at through binoculars, and the window on the South wall is unlike any other in the church being very ornate although of plain glass. The oak screen separating the chapel from the main body of the church is in better condition than the one on the left. 

The chancel itself rises gradually by shallow steps to the altar under the East window. There are few brasses or memorials; one notes that the church was restored between 1909 and 1915 by the rector of the time, the Revd George Brocklehurst, M.A. and his wife Rose Mary. Other memorials are from the First World War: Arthur Henry Link, born April 17, 1888, killed in action at sea in 1917; and Frederick Charles Rogers, killed at Ypres in 1916, aged 25.The organ is believed to be from the 18th Century and the blower was given in memory of  Edward John and Sarah Elizabeth Homewood, 1961. In 2005 a loudspeaker was added to the organ giving it increased power and volume; this was given in memory of Libby Baxter by her husband farmer Peter Baxter.

In 1997 cracks were noticed in the chancel walls; surveyors and architects agreed that the roof was pushing the walls outwards, and that a tie was needed across the chancel to hold them firm. This was installed in June 2002 and immediately an improvement was detected. It is possible that 200 years ago, when the stained glass East window was erected, a wooden beam similar to others in the chancel had been removed on the grounds that the new window was partially hidden from view

So why is Newchurch so different for example from Dymchurch and Burmarsh, the other churches in the Benefice? There are no traces of Norman work as may be found in the other parishes, and this church is roughly 100 years younger than them, although as Newchurch was mentioned in the Domesday book, it is thought that possibly a wooden Saxon  church had been here on the site beforehand.

The answer is that it is thought that this church was built as a chantry about 1240, where monks could pray for the souls of their benefactors. The idea of giving money to a church, or for example, an altarpiece such as at Ghent, where the donors are depicted among other saints, and where prayers were said for the repose of their souls, was commonplace in the mediaeval period in particular by wealthy people who had no children. The three chancels would have been used for prayers, the monks paid for by money left for the purpose, and the rest of the building would have been mainly for the villagers and used as a village hall for a variety of purposes such as fairs and sales.

After the Reformation people learned to speak directly to God helped by the priest or rector, partly by exhortation from the pulpit. Here the pulpit was installed about 1600 and is of linenfold design. The font, which is towards the West end of the church, is eight-sided with decorations on several sides, the crossed keys of St. Peter, the sword of St. Paul, and three roses, two large roses of Yorkshire and Lancashire, and one Tudor rose,  giving the impression that it was installed at the end of the Wars of the Roses or during the reign of Henry VII, the first of the Tudor Monarchs.

Elegant eighteenth century script can be seen on panels either side of the door into the vestry: the Creed and the Lord’s Prayer flank the Ten Commandments.

Facing the West Door, looking at the tower, one feels apprehensive at the angle of the pillars and arch as they lean away from the church. These were built in the fifteenth century and after subsidence the project was abandoned. When it became clear that the land had settled, the tower was continued straight up, so looking at it outside from the north, it is apparent that it curves outward and then goes straight up. Looking out from the top, one feels quite perilous, as if there is nothing underneath! There are six bells: the tenor, fifth, fourth and third date from 1637; the second was added in 1845; and the treble was made by the Whitechapel Bell Foundry in 1969. The bells are well used both by enthusiasts from the village, and by visiting teams.

From the outside, the West door appears peppered with shot, thought to be when Revenue Officers chased a smuggler, who then disappeared, falling into a newly-dug grave. Was Russell Thorndike inspired by such a tale?

A large old church in a small Marsh village means a great deal of work and fundraising for a dedicated few; they are to be commended.

If you would like to make a donation towards the upkeep of any of these four wonderful churches then please telephone

 

Priest in Charge  The Vicarage, North Street, New Romney TN28 8DR - Tel: 01797 362308

 

Please telephone for Baptisms, Weddings and Banns at Dymchurch or for any pastoral concerns which you would like to discuss.