Commemorative Service at St. Peter & St. Paul’s
On Sunday 8 March 2020, a commemorative service was held at St Peter and St Paul's Church to mark the final Sunday morning communion service to be held there, and to herald the beginning of a new phase in the life of the church as a mission centre.
Following the theme, 'A People on the Move', the congregation took a collective journey round the site, starting at the gatepost of the original Victorian church on the west side of Church Road, moving across the road to the 1979 foundation stone of the new church, then inside to the Lady Chapel recalling pilgrimages to Walsingham, out to the garden to see the old school wall and back inside to gather beside the relocated Victorian font.
At each point, we were treated to reminiscences and interesting facts about the various stages in the life of the church and about its links with the parish school which previously occupied the site. We also heard from two children about their experience of growing up as part of our church family, including their baptism and entry to communion, and we laid stones in a cairn at the altar to symbolise our pilgrimage journey. We then celebrated Eucharist together, with prayers contributed by one of our church families and songs led by the reconvened Church Music Group.
We paused to thank members of the congregation for their contributions over the years, in particular our Sacristan, Denis Wheeler, for his dedication and hard-work. As a token of our gratitude, Dominic Topham presented him with a beautiful icon depicting St Peter, St Paul, St Michael and St George, which had been presented to Dominic's father, the late Fr Paul Topham, on his retirement. There was some sadness for the passing of the old, but our final hymn, 'Walk in the Light', was sung with joy and optimism for the future. It was a very moving experience.