Welcome to All Saints Church, Witley

All Saints Church, Witley, Surrey

MESSAGE FROM THE VICAR OF WITLEY:

Dear friends,

Unfortunately, with deep regret and sadness, our lovely church is now closed until further notice to help reduce the spread of the Covid19 virus. At this anxious time, we all need each other and we are always available for you. Please contact the duty priest through the office on 01428 681 872 or by calling the vicar on 01428 681 867.

We are so sorry we can't share worship with you in person but do try some of the wonderful digital options available; which have been helpfully listed for us on the Church of England's website at www.churchofengland.org. You can also keep in contact with us directly on Facebook at "All Saints Church Witley' or by checking out our website www.allsaintswitley.org.uk.

With everyone following government guidance to stay at home, we are aware there could be real practical difficulties in picking up groceries and prescriptions. If you are over 70 or self-isolating on medical grounds and require help, just phone or email the office or the vicar and we can get one of our team of DBS checked volunteers to contact you and provide the assistance you need.

Be safe and take care,
James

Palm Sunday Service
Please click on the Parish News tab for a digital copy of the Service for 5th April 2020 along with the Dramatic Gospel. You will find them at the top of what is usually our weekly newssheet.
A recording to follow the service can be found on facebook HERE.

April: finding joy and peace in lockdown

What a difference a year makes! This time last year I was looking forward to my first Easter here in Witley and waxing lyrically about how April often opens us up to the joy of nature and love of God. I quoted from George Herbert's ecstatic poem for 'Easter'. Our thoughts are probably elsewhere and of a much darker tone today.

The virus came. We live in fear, even suspicious of our neighbours when out for a walk in case they are infected or a 'silent carrier'. We have witnessed appallingly selfish and disturbing panic buying in our local supermarkets. We labour under stricter movement controls than in the Second World War. Just when we need community most, the village is quiet - the church is closed, the pubs are closed, and the schools are closed save for the children of keyworkers. At All Saints, the doors are not only shut on a Sunday but also on our myriad weekday activities - no services; no Lent groups; no choir and band practices; no bell ringing; no Popup Coffee or Cameo; no children's playgroup; no baptisms or weddings.

But wait, aren't we meant to be people of hope, children of a loving God? These are the words that now come to me, from the pen of that faithful Christian, J R R Tolkien, in 'The Fellowship of the Ring' - written whilst he was watching his beloved European civilisation hurtle towards a terrible six-year long struggle for life:

Frodo: "I wish none of this had happened."
Gandalf: "So do all who live to see such times. But that is not for them to decide. All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us. There are other forces at work in this world, Frodo, besides the will of evil."

And so there are! Although the village is quiet, we can see and hear them: in the groups that have sprung up to help those forcibly isolating; in the hundreds of thousands who have volunteered to become NHS volunteers; in the local shops staying open; in pubs adapting to offer tasty takeaways; in all the phone calls to our friends and those who may be lonely and disquieted; in the everyday care of vulnerable neighbours; in the new shoots of community life chattering around us on Facebook and WhatsApp; in the growing desire to do things differently when we reach the other side.

So, let us all join in and change the mood. All Saints is also learning to be different: our Sunday services are now online at Facebook or via the website; we are phoning each other more often for a chat or going on Zoom for a virtual coffee morning. You can also tune into our daily Lenten Reflections on Facebook. Don't give in to despair, we must come out from behind our curtains and be the light of day we want to see. Let us be Easter people, even if we cannot meet for Easter.

God bless, take care and be safe.

James McKeran

Safeguarding
Here at All Saints Witley, we take the safeguarding of children and vulnerable adults very seriously. We have adopted the national Church of England's robust procedures and guidelines. Details about the national polices and procedures can be found HERE.
If you have any concerns at all, contact either our Safeguarding Officer, Gary Cook through the office or our Vicar, Rev. James McKeran on 01428 681867. If you have reason to think that a child or vulnerable adult is in immediate danger, you should contact the police straight away.

Please click HERE to read the Parish Profile for All Saints Church, Witley.

Please click HERE to view our DATA PRIVACY NOTICE.




VISITING THE CHURCH

All Saints Church has a huge wooden door, which, while being very old and attractive in its own way can be a physical barrier to those who have never entered All Saints before - don't let it be like that. Turn the handle, push the door and come in, all are welcome. Inside you will find a building that is filled with the prayers of 1000 years, a wall painting that is 900 years old, a 700-year-old Lady Chapel with medieval stained glass, signs of the conflict in the 16th and 17th century with an unfinished memorial tablet in the sanctuary and several other family memorials. The 18th century put in a gallery which was removed by the Victorians who added so much more, including a whole aisle on the North Side. The Victorians with three generations of Chandler Vicars built the organ, the bell tower and the vestry. They refurbished the chancel ceiling, floor and altar and put up memorials to the eminent people of the day as they passed on. The beginning of the 20th century completed the collection of stained glass windows and introduced the pews we have now, instead of the previous box pews. All Saints is full of history reflecting the needs of the generations who have worshipped here before us. There have been many changes in the past few years which help us now to use the church on a daily basis for many different groups. There is a children's trail available with many interesting things to find out and see.

Please do come inside and explore and have time for yourself, the church is open in daylight hours. Or come and meet with others to worship or chat everyone is welcome.


If anyone would like to speak to James or Ann, please ring or email and we will endeavour to meet you as soon as we can.

The All Saints Parish Office, is in the grounds of Witley Infant School, opposite the Church.

Wishing you every blessing

James McKeran         Ann Fraser
                       James McKeran                                     Ann Fraser



The parish of Witley is made up of the villages of Witley, Brook, Wormley and Sandhills. The Parish Church of All Saints dates from about 1040 and is situated just off the main Petworth Road (A283) in Church Lane, opposite the White Hart public house. Witley CofE Infant School is opposite the church and has close links with it.

Apart from a regular pattern of worship on Sundays and Holy Days, the church serves the whole parish and after recent refurbishment is available every day for a variety of uses. The door is open in daylight hours for anyone who may wish to spend a quiet few moments or longer in the peace and quiet of this ancient building.

The mission of the church in Witley is to bring the love of God to all who live and work there. The church is open to all people, and here to serve the entire parish. Everyone is welcome at all services and other events and anyone is welcome to use the space in church for their own charitable or social events where appropriate. Click here for more information on using the church for your event.

If you are new to the area you are very welcome! There are a wide range of activities going on around the church that may interest you.

A team of Pastoral Assistants visit the housebound, take Communion to those who can't get to church for whatever reason, and generally help the clergy keep an eye on pastoral needs.

James or Ann would be pleased to talk with and welcome you. Enjoy the web-site!

Please feel free to click on the links above or on the right to find out more about us.

Be sure to visit our Parish News section which is updated weekly.

Our site offers documents in Adobe Acrobat format. If necessary, please click here to download the latest version.