Rector: Reverend Adrian Datta
Contact: 266633/ 07781 177177 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Mon-Fri 9am-1pm – enquiries regarding weddings, etc., to be directed to:
Nikki Harvey – 238568 or email@example.com
WHAT WE ARE
The rural parish of St. Pierre-du-Bois is situated in the west of the island with an outstanding coastal area and a well-defined village locality. There is a population of approximately 2,090 living in some 788 households. The primary school of La Houguette straddles the borders of St. Pierre-du-Bois and St. Saviour and principally serves those two parishes. The Rector has habitually been a welcome visitor and traditionally the school’s carol service is held in St. Peter’s every other year.
The historic Parish Church of St. Pierre-du-Bois is beautifully set on a slope below Les Buttes. The Church and grounds are extremely well kept and provide a haven for quiet reflection any time during the day. Entering the Church, one cannot fail to be aware of the peace and spiritual serenity. The impressive stained-glass window to the east, dating from 1871, three other modern windows (including one depicting St. Peter, and one installed in 2010, designed by a previous Rector), not to mention the idiosyncratic sloping aisle, serve to remind parishioners and visitors alike not only of the building’s history, but also of the care and attention devoted to the building. This is a very special place of worship, with a welcome for all.
Although the adjoining Rectory is now let to tenants, the Church enjoys the very useful facility of the Fellowship Rooms, a discrete wing of the Rectory comprising two large rooms, a small room with kitchen, toilets and a storage room. The Church and Philippi Counselling currently use the rooms on a regular basis, as do other groups. We also have use of the Rectory lawn for the annual summer fete.
WHAT WE DO
Currently the services follow a monthly pattern of one 8.00 a.m. Holy Communion (BCP), two 9.30 a.m. Eucharist (CW), a 9.30 a.m. Matins, one 6.00 p.m. Evensong (BCP) and a 6.00 p.m. Eucharist (CW); we also have a Family Service once a month with particular emphasis directed towards children, with music supplied by our own talented band. Every Wednesday at 11.00 a.m. Eucharist (CW) is celebrated and there are special services throughout the year such as the Petertide Beach service, All Souls Day and the enormously popular Christingle on Christmas Eve.
There are, of course, services of baptisms (in 2015:19, 2016:13 to date), marriages (in 2015:12, 2016:8 to date) and funerals (in 2015:13, 2016:15 to date) as and when the occasion arises.
WHO WE ARE
Parishioners, in common with most of rural Guernsey, have a broadly traditional view of their Christian responsibilities. We all share a whole-hearted commitment to St. Peter’s, with everyone contributing appropriately where his or her talents may be usefully applied. The services are supported by a gifted group of musicians (whose age cover three generations!); we have a regular organist and an occasional choir. There are rotas for Readers and for those who lead Intercessions, for Sidesmen and for flowers. A Bible study home group meets regularly. Refreshments are served after the Sunday morning services. The bellringers practice on Friday evenings on our ten bell peal, and ring prior to the morning services, as well as for weddings and public occasions. The Advisory Committee meets on average four times a year; there is an annual Vestry Meeting and the Church is represented on the Deanery Synod.
The need for fund-raising has resulted in the establishment of various events throughout the year including a Christmas Market and a traditional Summer Fete – complete with brass band. With its fine acoustics and recently refurbished organ, the church is occasionally used for recitals and concerts. Our People’s Warden is wholly committed to the welfare of the buildings and oversees the on-going maintenance, assists the congregation and supports the officiant at services.
The Church today:
The historic parish church of St. Pierre du Bois is beautifully set on a slope below Les Buttes, where the local militia would have practised their bowmanship in times gone by.
The church and grounds are well-kept and provide the opportunity for quiet reflection during the day. The sloping aisle is often remarked upon. There is a newly installed stained glass window, designed by Maurice Strike, a previous Rector, and beside the altar another window depicts St. Peter as a fisherman wearing a Guernsey sweater. The colours of the local militia have been restored and are framed and on display.
The church runs a number of events during the year including a Christmas Market, recitals in the church, and Easter Art’s Festival, a harvest lunch and a traditional summer fete complete with brass band.
Welcoming to locals and visitors alike, the services on Sundays follow a changing pattern of early morning Holy Communion, Matins, Parish Communion, Evensong and a monthly family service.
A brief history:
In A.D.1030 our Church of St.Pierre du Bois (du Bosq) in the diocese of Coutances in the Cherbourg peninsular was placed under the patronage of the Benedictine monks of Mont St. Michel by Robert Duke of Normandy. Later in that century the diocese of Coutances organised parishes in the Channel Islands with the church in each parish being dedicated to a saint. The parish church was central to everyday life. Indeed today were our parish church to be mysteriously removed overnight its absence would be felt in many ways. Because our Rector shares with the diocesan bishop the cure (that is the care) of all souls in our parish regardless of their age, gender or creed, all have a call upon his ministry whether for Baptism, Marriage, Burial or for pastoral care and advice given in total confidence.
In 1927 with the departure of The Revd. James Ozanne as our incumbent, services in our church, long since in the diocese of Winchester, were no longer conducted in French. Some who no longer attend Church gave up because of the ‘churchy’ language of services. Others, although they believe there is some higher power and would like to know a clearer purpose in their lives are too shy to use their Church to find out.
Our Parish Church offers fellowship to all souls learning to follow Jesus’ way as they travel together, with him, helping each other and the needy (aren’t we all ?) in our parish, young and old.
It was Archbishop William Temple who said “The Church is the only society on earth that exists for the benefit of non-members.”