Westwood: St Mary the Virgin


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FROM THE RECTOR….

‘The season of mists and mellow fruitfulness’ is upon us – but what a great day we all had in the Bank Holiday heatwave for the Flower and Vegetable Show…  And the new Parish Rooms and the church were both looking at their very best, creating a fantastic ambience and meaning that nobody wanted to go home!  So now we come to celebrate and give thanks for the fact that the harvest is safely gathered in. So do join us for our Harvest Family Service at 11.15am on Sunday, 1 October followed by lunch in the Parish Rooms.    

And of course we also need to give thanks more and more for the (relative) predictability of our seasons and the calm of our weather patterns.  Just how humbling – and devastating – has it been to observe the terrifying flooding which has hit the Indian sub-continent, the storms hitting Texas, and the succession of hurricanes wreaking havoc across the Caribbean islands and then Florida. God has created, and given us a large measure of control over, this quite amazing planet. We need to honour it, and treat it with immense care.                                                                 

  With my very best wishes        

The Revd Canon Joanna Abecassis

Tel: 864444 E mail: joanna.abecassis@cantab.net  www.htboa.org 


Article published: 27 Sep 2017

FROM THE RECTOR. . .

As the days start to draw in again, and many of us take our holidays in August and September, this is a time for reflection and a time for looking forward.  It is extraordinary how, whether we have children or not, life seems to begin again in September.  And certainly, from the point of view of the church, it is then somehow non-stop till Christmas as we celebrate first Harvest Festival, then the Feasts of All Saints and All Souls, and then Advent. 

In such a fast-moving world and amidst so much recent trauma and disaster, I become increasingly aware that the Christian faith has a lot to offer.  It sets life in context - and gives it a sense of purpose and balance - and also of continuity and a common framework.  In an age where there is increasing individualism (which is fine for the one who reaches the top of the pile!), we so need that sense of unconditional mutual love, care, compassion and justice for all.                                      

 With my very best wishes   The Revd Canon Joanna Abecassis

Tel: 864444  E mail: joanna.abecassis@cantab.net   www.htboa.org 


Article published: 02 Aug 2017

FROM THE RECTOR . . .

This has to be the 'summer' issue of the Update, and that means community time in Westwood. It was sad that the Safari Supper had to be postponed, as that is always a great start to the summer, but we can hopefully look forward to it happening again in the autumn. And so it's now 'all systems go' for the Church Fete on Saturday, 15 July at 2pm which is always a very special day and in such a beautiful setting, and this year there will be the added facility of the newly completed Parish Room. I think we all can't wait to see it, and then we can start planning those community events which will make the most of it and draw us together.

And then it is the 'Westwood Wedding Season'!  So we have five booked already which is exciting, and the new terrace outside the church doors will greatly enhance the experience for both couples and guests alike.

So do contact me if you'd like to chat about a wedding, a baptism or, for that matter anything else!                                  

 With my very best wishes        

 The Revd Canon Joanna Abecassis

Tel: 864444 

E mail: joanna.abecassis@cantab.net   www.htboa.org 


Article published: 24 May 2017

FROM THE RECTOR.....

Spring is in the air - the sun is shining - and the churchyard looks stunning with its new path, walls and paving and glorious spring flowers.  And during these months of April and May, we as members of God's church in this place will follow and share in once again that poignant journey of Jesus Christ to the cross.  It is a week which begins on Palm Sunday (9 April - also the day of our Annual Meeting afterwards) and which we call 'Holy Week'.  There will be Services daily at Holy Trinity Bradford on Avon, and on Good Friday at 2pm, in Westwood.  And then we rejoice together on Easter Day (16 April) which is a celebration of new life, transformation and freedom, otherwise known as resurrection.                      

And very much against this background, we seek to come to terms with the loss of our very special old friend, Viv Hancock MBE, who died very peacefully on 10 March.  Together with Betty, Viv has served and transformed tirelessly the whole community of Westwood since (it would seem!) time immemorial.  He will leave the most enormous and irreplaceable hole in the life of the village (which of course includes the church).  We slip into this world, and this life, and we slip out of it again in a way that can only be described as sheer wonder.  We have a momentary glimpse of eternity as the two very different states of being with God glide together.  But, with Viv, we can all share that gift of eternal life.                            

 With my very best wishes     

The Revd Joanna Abecassis  Tel: 864444   E mail: joanna.abecassis@cantab.net  www.htboa.org 


Article published: 26 Mar 2017

FROM THE RECTOR….                

 It’s looking like the start of an exciting new year for Westwood.  As I write, the latest news and great pictures from our Primary School is flashing across my screen in the Wiltshire Times – yet again! Not only are such exciting and innovative things happening there, but they are very good at getting them into print too.  And their Radio Station is extremely cool and a wonderful opportunity for learning – I certainly thoroughly enjoyed being interviewed for their Christmas Show.  And so I am very proud to be a governor there, and we all seem to have got to know one another well through my regular Assemblies too.

 And at the church, I already have six weddings booked for this year, and one for next.   Meanwhile the work is coming on in leaps and bounds at the Parish Room and all around the church, making it an even more beautiful setting then it was before and ripe for all sorts of community use.  And who knows, we might even have a Community Shop before long as well?!                

  With my very best wishes         

 The Revd Joanna Abecassis

Tel: 864444

E mail: joanna.abecassis@cantab.net

www.htboa.org  


Article published: 27 Jan 2017

FROM THE RECTOR….                

 We are already into Advent, that season of excited anticipation, as darkness turns into light with the ‘end of the tunnel’ coming into sight at Christmas.  And so may I take this opportunity of wishing everyone in Westwood a really wonderful and blessed Christmas!  Unfortunately, I have not yet found a way of being in two places at once and so will not be able to be with you on Christmas Day.  But that is my plan for Christmas 2017!

 Meanwhile, lots of exciting activity continues with the works to the Parish Room, and in the last week of the school term we shall be having the Nursery Nativity and the Primary School Christingle Services again which are always real high-spots on my calendar!  And then this year our exciting new ‘Nativity Set Festival’ will be in church on 16 & 17 December - so do come along to that.

 And Holy Trinity, Bradford on Avon has opened its doors again – do come and have a look – it’s an amazing community resource for you too!                                                                              

 With my very best wishes         

 The Revd Joanna Abecassis

Tel: 864444

E mail: joanna.abecassis@cantab.net

www.htboa.org 


Article published: 22 Nov 2016

FROM THE RECTOR….                

 So as we continue to bask in the sunshine, the ‘season of mists and mellow fruitfulness’ is fast upon us and, if you do receive the Update in time, please come and join us for our Harvest Festival Family Service at 11.15am on Sunday, 2 October, followed by a light lunch in church.  If the Fruit and Vegetable Show was anything to go by, it will be a very joyful community event.

For that is surely what we are all about at your Parish Church.  And we have celebrated lots of weddings this year, with some amazing ‘Westwood’ flowers, and music ranging from professional classical musicians hot foot from the Proms, to electric guitar and keyboard – and so each one is unique and very special in its own right.  And there are five booked for 2017 already!  But there never seem to be very many Baptisms (Christenings) here, so it would be good to buck that trend…  It’s a very simple, but special and joyful, half-hour service.  So do get in touch…  We do things well!                  

With my very best wishes         

The Revd Joanna Abecassis   Tel: 864444

E mail: joanna.abecassis@cantab.net    www.htboa.org


Article published: 27 Sep 2016

FROM THE RECTOR….                

 So we’ve had a busy couple of months in Westwood - and our community events of the Safari Supper, the Queen’s 90th Birthday Celebration Service and the Fκte (if ‘Midsummer’ wasn’t quite the word!) were all great fun and a special opportunity to meet up with friends both old and new.             

 But we now find ourselves in challenging times, which the beauty and peace of Westwood can so easily mask.  At best, there is a lot of uncertainty in the air – at worst real, grounded fear for jobs, personal finances, and personal safety.  And so a huge amount of vulnerability.  As the broader church, working and walking alongside some of the most vulnerable in our community, and listening, we are only too aware of this.  But as the church, I think that there is so much we can offer in such a context.  There is that ’faith hope and love, but the greatest of these is love’ from the world’s favourite wedding reading – and the well-known Good Samaritan story ‘to love our neighbour as ourselves’ – whoever that neighbour might be…       

 With my very best wishes   

      The Revd Joanna Abecassis

Tel: 864444

E mail: joanna.abecassis@cantab.net

www.htboa.org 


Article published: 07 Aug 2016

FROM THE RECTOR….

 Well, it’s going to be all go in and around the church this June and July…

 So we have an exciting weekend to celebrate the Queen’s 90th birthday on 11-12 June: the Wingfield Fκte at Trowle House on the Saturday, 2-4.30pm – then our very own delicious and fun Safari Supper that evening at 7.30pm (all in aid of Westwood Church and with huge thanks to Caroline Philpott) – and then, on the Sunday, a special informal Service of Thanksgiving at 11.15am, to give everyone the opportunity to say thank you for such a very special lady and monarch.  (Copies of a fascinating booklet ‘The Servant Queen’ will be available for a donation to the church.) Do come along and bring a picnic lunch too!   

 And then… on Saturday, 25 June at 2-4.30pm, we have the Westwood Midsummer Fκte. Come and join us in the Manor Grounds by kind permission of Jonathan & Emily Azis and the National Trust - Cream Teas, Jazz Band on the lawn, all the traditional side-shows, stalls and raffle and - a first for this year – the Maypole Dancers from Westwood School!

 See you soon! – and with my very best wishes         

 The Revd Joanna Abecassis  Tel: 864444  E mail: joanna.abecassis@cantab.net www.htboa.org   


Article published: 30 May 2016

FROM THE RECTOR….                

 April and May are such glorious months and Easter falls almost as early as it can this year, and so we can enjoy the whole of April as ‘Eastertide’, a time of renewed hope, life, light, thanksgiving.  And that will be the theme of our ‘Annual Parochial Church Meeting’ (APCM) which will take place in the Parish Room on Sunday, 24 April at 1.15pm, after the 11.15 Holy Communion Service and a shared lunch. So do come and join us, hear what we get up to, and let us have your views and ideas – we’d really like to hear them.  Alternatively, just Email me! And you can read the Annual Report on the Westwood page of the website.

 The month of May will begin – at last! – with the closure of the Parish Room and the very exciting start of our ‘Transformation’ project.  And so a HUGE thank you to all those who have worked so hard in their different ways to bring us to this point, and every blessing to our new Trustees and all those who will be taking it forward.         

With my very best wishes         

 

The Revd Joanna Abecassis

Tel: 864444

E mail: joanna.abecassis@cantab.net

www.htboa.org  


Article published: 24 Mar 2016

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