Friday, 3 March 2017

St Brelade's Church in 1978

From "The Pilot", 1978, comes these two Parish notes for January and February from the Rector, Michael Halliwell (Rector: 1971-1996), a time when quite a lot of changes were underway.


As the New Year begins it may be of interest to our parishioners to give a report of some of the activities of the Church Council during the past months. As far as the church building is concerned, we have been engaged in a tidying-up operation following on the new lighting scheme. 

With Mr David Ling's help we have now completed a new set of signs and notices for the bookstall, the intercession book, the porch and the church exterior. The external notice board has been repainted and now includes reference to our ecumenical area, and information in French and German for the many foreign visitors. Mr Alan Young has completed the manuscript for a new guide book, and we are making a selection from some excellent colour photographs for inclusion.

The vestry is still something of a junk room, and is not properly furnished. There is a need for a wash basin, and a supply of water to top up the heating system. 

It is also important that when the new vestments arrive to complete what we already have, they shall be properly stored. They are being made by Messrs Louis Grosse, of London, and the Green set, adorned with the "Three-Fish" symbol, was in use at the end of the year, the White set followed at Christmas, and the Purple and Red sets will be ready for Lent and Pentecost respectively. Thus, by the first half of this year, our church will be provided with a complete set of vestments worthy of such a fine building, and they will last for many years to come. A cope, for use at weddings, funerals and other similar occasions, will be put in hand later. 

The churchyard gates, which have been missing for some months, are in process of being remade, and we are hoping to find a wood other than oak which is durable, and less costly. The metal gates have not been attended to for some ten years, and will need attention at the same time. Some people have commented on the state of the churchyard, and it seems that the time has come for the reseeding of the new, North Cemetery, and of parts of the rest of the old Churchyard, as time goes on.

For some years the Verger's cottage has been giving the Council serious concern. Four years ago we carried out an extensive programme of refurbishing the interior, but it became clear that it was. structurally, an inadequate building to offer to an employee of the Parish Church. 

After careful consideration, the council felt that the only solution was to add a second floor, and demolish the wooden lean-to which was serving as a bathroom and toilet. The work was put in hand, in faith, and in the knowledge that about half the cost could he met from the funds of the Balleine Trust. and should be completed by the end of the month.

However, the biggest task still remains ahead of us, namely the provision of an adequate car park for the needs of a growing parish. We only need to have a large service of some kind for the surrounding roads to be blocked. Recently, at a funeral. I had to appeal to one of the mourners to leave the church and remove a car which was blocking the public highway. It was not his fault, as there was clearly nowhere he could leave his car.

Some of these projects can rightly he met from parish funds while others will fall on the congregation. Either way we cannot delay them any longer, and I hope that, with the support of all our congregation, the Church Council and I will be able to look back on 1978 as another year in which, with God's help, we have achieved what we set out to do.

HOLY BAPTISM. Matthew -John Fiott; Carli Suzanne Bisson.

BURIALS. Wilfred Francis Ross. 64: Monica Augusta McArthur, 86; Anthony Boss, 38; Elizabeth .Jones Mauger,43; Annie Adelaide Evans, 87: William Stafford Vaughan,88.

Michael Halliwell



We concluded the Christmas cycle of festivals with an Epiphany Service at St Bernadette's. Don Farm. This is the first occasion on which the three member congregations of our group have combined with the Roman Catholics of St Bernadette's for a joint act of worship. The singing was led by the choir of St Bernadette's, under Mr Bernard Le Cocq, and the St Brelade's Parish Church choir and group, under Mrs Jane Horsfall. United Christian witness and service is the natural consequence of united Christian worship, and it is much to be hoped that this will soon become a reality.

It is sad to say goodbye, at least temporarily, to Jane Horsfall as organist at the parish church. Since she joined us on the death of Mr Goodyear, she has given her best, and the occasional joint and special services have been her special care and concern. The choir and the singing group have flourished under her leadership, and the quality of our worship has been enhanced by her perceptive under-standing of its principles and by her personal devotion. In partnership with her husband James, who deputed on many occasions, they have probably done more for St Brelade's than most of us realize.

Last month I wrote about some of the projects which we were being called on to undertake. The most demanding of all is probably the restoration of the Fishermen's Chapel. When my illustrious predecessor, John A. Balleine, finished his booklet on the church and chapel he expressed the hope that whilst for the time being it was necessary to leave the building "in situ", he hoped that in due course science would enable us to preserve the wall paintings for posterity in a manner which would prevent their further deterioration. 

As I mentioned in these notes some time ago, emergency repairs have already been carried out to prevent this deterioration. However, we must obviously go much further and rehabilitate the chapel as a worthy place of worship.

Some preliminary thoughts have been given to this by the Rev. David Bishop, ARIBA. of the Church of England Council on Places of Worship. He suggests that, whereas the parish church is a series of "rooms" divided by thick columns, the chapel is one little cell and ought to be treated as such. He feels that this would involve bringing the altar forward to a line on the axis of the two small windows. The floor could be lowered to a single level, which is most likely how it originally was, and paved either with wood block or stone flooring. 

And he points out that there is no need for a step before the altar because it is not two rooms. Just as in the Parish Church the whole of the floor slopes down, so, too, here the floor slopes a few inches, and therefore it is unlikely that any-one would be able to see the altar placed thus for a week-day celebration.

There are great problems of damp and ventilation. particularly caused by the proximity to the sea, and it looks likely that we shall need, as recommended by Mr Clive Rouse, FSA, to create a system of through ventilation and a system of thermostat heating which will ensure a constant, even temperature of 55 F to 60F. .

The death in December of Claude Russell marks the end of an era at St Aubin's Church. He was one of those faithful Christians who works unobtrusively in the service of the kingdom, who sticks firmly yet gently to his principles, who is not moved by the whims of passing fashion and whose loyalty is to his Saviour before any church, congregation or minister. To him it was the most natural consequence of Christian commitment that a churchwarden should visit his parishioners, and he did it in season and out of season, quietly sustaining and encouraging the flock at St Aubin's in good times and in bad.

Lent begins this year on Wednesday, February 8, and Holy Communion will be celebrated in the Communicare chapel at 7.30 pm, followed by a meeting in connection with Methodist Home Missions. It is hoped that all our communicants will begin Lent, as is fitting, at the altar, and may be able to stay on for the meeting. There will be two Lent study courses - on Tuesdays at the Vicarage, St Aubin, and on Thursdays at the Manse, Route des Quennevais. Full details will be announced.

At the morning services during Lent we shall be hearing a course of addresses on the problems and challenges of being a Christian in today's world. I shall be sharing this course with Terry Hampton, Gerald Stoddern, Arthur Stievenard, Vicar of St Matthew's, Barry Giles, Rector of St Peter, the Rev. John Gravelle, of the Clinical Theology Association, and Mr Francis Corbett, Headmaster of Mont Nicolle School, a licensed Reader in the Church.

The preachers will be putting much thought into their address, so please give them your full support. Full details of each Sunday's theme are enclosed.

HOLY BAPTISM. Alexandra Catherine Elizabeth Blake.

BURIALS. Claude Holland Russell, 81; Zilda Bollanger Le Rossignol, 85.



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