St Saviour's Church Westgate-on-Sea

News and Events

  1. The Licensing and Installation of Reverend Dr Peter Rowe to St Saviour’s.

    The Parochial Church Council are delighted to welcome Reverend Dr Peter to officiate at St Saviour, following an unusually short interregnum. This is due in no small part to Archdeacon Stephen Taylor (Archdeacon of Maidstone and acting Archdeacon of Canterbury) who suggested that Reverend Peter may be an ideal successor to continue the work of the Parish. The occasion was also an opportunity to welcome Reverend Peter’s wife, Elizabeth, to the Church family of St Saviour’s Church.

    The Licensing and Installation of Reverend Dr Peter Rowe to St Saviour’s.

    The Licensing and Installation of Reverend Dr Peter Rowe to St Saviour’s.

    The opening procession led by the choir of All Saints Church, Birchington, followed by many Clergy and Readers robed for the occasion, with the Area Dean, the Reverend Andrew Jacobsen, the acting Archdeacon of Canterbury, the Venerable Stephen Taylor and the Bishop of Canterbury and Dover, the Right Reverend Trevor Willmott completing the procession, during which the hymn “Longing for Light, we wait in darkness” was a reminder of Reverend Peter’s role within the Iona Community. After a brief ceremony of welcome, Bishop Trevor addressed the congregation with good humour, emphasising his pleasure at appointing Peter and confidence that his experience and faithfulness would serve St Saviour’s well in their desire to continue providing a place of worship within and for the Community. There followed the second hymn “Lord for the years…” before the act of Licensing was conducted by Bishop Trevor. This was followed by the act of Installation by Archdeacon Stephen during which time representatives from United Reform Church, St Saviour Church of England Junior School and community groups formally welcomed Reverend Peter to St Saviour. It was good to hear Peter respond to those greeting him with a mix of sincerity and good humour. The service continued with the next hymn “Christ triumphant, ever reigning” during which Archdeacon Stephen led Reverend Peter to the font to receive waters of baptism, the lectern to receive a Holy Bible, the chancel to receive a vessel of olive oil, and finally the Altar where bread and wine were presented. Prayers were then said by Reverend Peter before the final hymn “Lead, kindly Light, amid th’encircling gloom”.

    All in all a memorable service showing St Saviour’s Church at it’s best. Not forgetting the wine and buffet refreshments available afterwards! And if you wonder why the word Fāilte was suspended across the west doors of the church, this was to recognise Reverend Peter’s Associate membership with the Iona Community by using the Gaelic word for ‘Welcome’!

    Many thanks to everyone who contributed towards the success of the occasion.

  2. Plant Sale

    As part of the fundraising activities, a plant sale is held on the last Saturday in May, which is usually part of the late May Bank Holiday, between 8am and 12 noon.  It has been held since 2004 and is a well attended event by the Community who have come to appreciate the quality and variety of plants available.

    St Saviour's Plant Sale

    St Saviour’s Plant Sale

  3. Completion of the repair to the Window at the west end of the north wall

    Earlier this year I reported that urgent repairs had become necessary to the mullions and the stone tracery above, due to recent cracks appearing which were in fact collapsing fractures.

    I am delighted to report that the works were primarily completed by 7 June 2013 as expected.    The renewed window was installed but there remained a need to replace the ‘saddle bars’ (these are metal bars fixed horizontally in the stonework to which the window is fixed by copper ties).  The work was finally completed by 21 June 2013.

    The repaired window differs slightly from the original window in that the ventilators, have not been reinstated.  As the ventilators were no longer used, and were probably a contributory factor in the deterioration of the stonework through corrosion, it was considered beneficial to remove them.  This was the last remaining window as originally constructed.  All remaining windows were replaced around the early part of the last century with stain glass windows at which time any ventilators in situ were also removed.

    The repaired window at the west end of the north wall

    The repaired window at the west end of the north wall

    The final cost of the project is £7605 including VAT, part of which may be reclaimed under the Listed Places of Worship Grant Scheme.

    A final word…….

    An application to Marshall’s Charity has resulted in the offer of a grant amounting to £1000 towards the cost of the repairs to the stonework (Marshall’s Charity do not offer grants towards repairs of windows and glass).  We are very grateful for their generosity.

  4. West Wall and Window Restoration Project

    The sight of scaffolding encasing the west wall of the church heralded the commencement of restoration work on 8 May 2012.  The start of the project costing £89000 has been made possible by the generosity of the Community in supporting our social events, plant sale and 5p challenge together with grants from various charitable bodies including the Friends of Kent Churches who have given £12000.  Grants were also given by Colyer Fergusson Charitable Trust (£5000), the Friends of St Saviours (£4000), Garfield Weston Foundation (£3500), Allchurches Trust Ltd (£1500) and Alan Evans Memorial Trust (£1000).

    The wall before work commenced

    The wall before work commenced

    The damaged window before work commenced

    The damaged window before work commenced

    So what is actually being done?  There are three main objectives.  Firstly to restore the west window which if left unattended would be at risk of collapse in the near future.  This entails replacing the stone mullions (upright supports) and all the leadwork around the glass  (it was originally hoped that only 50% of the lead would need replacing but following removal it was found to be totally unusable adding £3000 to the cost).  Secondly, replace eroded stones in the wall and repair the cracked stone frames around the smaller windows to include restoration of Hawtrey’s stained glass in the south aisle window.  Thirdly, to arrest the movement between the inner and outer wall by pinning them together, and infilling the cavity between.

    The window during the works

    The window during the works

    The wall during the works

    The wall during the works

    The window during the works

    The window during the works

    The 5p challenge seemed to capture the imagination of the Community, none more so than the pupils of St Crispins who competed to find which year group could collect the most coins.  In just one month, they managed to collect in excess of  7000  5p coins.  A remarkable achievement and unsurpassed.  The staff of Best One set out to be the business raising the most, and you will see from the Champion Collectors list that they duly achieved that accolade.  The Westgate and Birchington golf Club also entered into the spirit by insisting members contribute in the event of verbal indiscretions.  But to everyone who participated, contributed or otherwise supported this challenge, thank you.  The appeal ran for just over 13 months during which time £1822.65 was raised including 22,725  5p coins.

    The project was completed on 7 September.  Once again light streams through the west window as it must have done when first completed 128 years ago.  Also Hawtrey’s stained glass window has been restored to it’s former glory and is no longer at risk from the elements.  The exterior stonework has been replaced where necessary and the stones used in a previous project replaced with the correct Kentish Ragstone to recreate the appearance of the original construction.

    The restored window

    The restored window

    The restored wall

    The restored wall

    The final cost of the project was slightly over budget at £92199, however given the nature of the work involved and the fact that you cannot be sure quite what you will find when works commence, this is a very satisfactory result.  Special thanks must go to James Rospo (Pierra Restoration Ltd), John Corley (John Corley Glass Studio) and John Bailey (Thomas Ford & Partners – Architect) without whom this project would not have been possible.

Contacts

For all church enquiries please telephone
01843 831869

Parish Priest
Reverend Dr Peter Rowe

Honorary Assistant Priests
The Reverend Susan Wing
The Reverend Lesley Valiant

Churchwardens
Mrs Brenda Carter
Mrs Christine Attwood

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The Licensing and Installation of Reverend Dr Peter Rowe to St Saviour’s.

The Parochial Church Council are delighted to welcome Reverend Dr Peter to officiate at St Saviour, following an unusually short […]

> Read More

Plant Sale

As part of the fundraising activities, a plant sale is held on the last Saturday in May, which is usually […]

> Read More

Completion of the repair to the Window at the west end of the north wall

Earlier this year I reported that urgent repairs had become necessary to the mullions and the stone tracery above, due […]

> Read More

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