Welcome to All Saints Church, Witley

All Saints Church, Witley, Surrey

December: A Christmas Message

"I am dreadfully busy this year - it makes my hand more shaky than ever when I think of it - and not very rich. In fact, awful things have been happening, and some of the presents have got spoilt and I haven't got the North Polar Bear to help me and I have had to move house just before Christmas, so you can imagine what a state everything is in."

A few lines of the 1925 letter from JRR Tolkien's 'Letters from Father Christmas', that perhaps sum up both the stress and busyness December may bring. Walking down Godalming High Street this week I was certainly struck by the busyness: lots of people rushing about doing their Christmas shopping already. There's a sense of excitement and anticipation in the air.

Observing folks dashing around, I find myself wishing them fun and joy at this time: it can be a wonderful distraction from the tension which besets our nation and the world at present, as well as our personal troubles. I hope, though, that they will not be distracted from the truth which lies at its heart - "distracted from distraction by distraction. Filled with fancy and empty of meaning", as TS Eliot puts it. I hope all of us see beyond the presents to what they symbolise. We give presents to symbolise our love and Christmas is about God's love for everyone.

As you walk around the village - especially when dropping kids off to school, visiting the pub for lunch or enjoying a stroll on the recreation ground - at least the tower of All Saints is usually visible. The church stands four square, as it has done for nearly a thousand years, to symbolise that truth which lies at the heart of Christmas, the truth of God's love for us shown forth by being born as a human being.

So, my hope and prayer for you is that you will be able to enjoy Christmas - the fun and the food and the presents - but at the same time not be distracted by them from that most wonderful of presents. May you feel God's love for you in Jesus. If you wish to share this experience, please do come and join us at one of our special services this festive season. Our traditional Service of Nine Lessons and Carols is on Sunday 15th December at 6.00pm. It is followed by mulled wine and mince pies. Midnight Mass on Christmas Eve starts at 11.30pm. On Christmas Morning we have both a quiet reflective Holy Communion at 8.00am and a full Parish Eucharist with Choir at 10.00am. We look forward to welcoming you.

God bless you and a very Merry Christmas to all.

James McKeran

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.


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.