Sunday, August 30, 2015

Come and join the celebrations!!

The famous story of Jacob’s ladder from the Bible ends with Jacob exclaiming this is truly a holy place and marking the spot with a large stone. Peoples desire to mark places of holiness has continued through history. Large stone crosses marked the earliest places where christians would gather to hear itinerant Priests. Eventually small churches arose on the sites of the cross as people wanted to show their honour to God. The first great phase of church building in this country was in the 6th and 7th century but few of these original buildings still now remain. The second phase occurred in the 10th century but again the saxons were not good builders and many of the churches were either strengthened  by the normans or even rebuilt in the third phase of church building after the normans arrived. After the normans left there was an early english phase of building during the 14th and 15th century. 

Now we know St John the Baptist is old but how old? The earliest document evidence we had was that a vicar was granted a living in 1230 - 6 acres were given so that a vicar could have land to live off and then also minister to the people. The Vicarage was completed on the 21 November 1230! However many features of the church indicate the building to be older. The round pillars in the north aisle and their capstones indicate 12th century. The stone work high up on the north side of the church between the windows are of more of a saxon standard then norman standard. So when was St John the Baptist built?

Evermore records are now become digitised and available on line. Even more importantly they can be digitally searched. Recently while looking for something else i stumbled  upon a record referring to Wadworth Church in 1086!  So why is there no record of a church in the Domesday book entry for Wadworth? Well in 1069 the north of England rebelled against William and he took a terrible revenge, burning and destroying many buildings - it may well be that the church in Wadworth became derelict during the this  time only later to be restored back to use. 

Throughout the centuries there have been many changes to St John the Baptist with parts added, changed, taken away. The work this summer is part of that long heritage of change associated with church. We are thankful to all those who helped us raise the money and who contributed financially. We are thankful also to those who gave their time freely to enable the works to occur. We are thankful for the skill with which the work has been planned and carried out by our Architect Peter Pace and contractors Keystone. We must not forget that the result would not looks so splendid without the work of Peter Dutchak and the probation service over the last 8 years, cleaning the walls inside with such care and attention. Peter Pace commented that the church now looks and feels medieval but has 21st century facilities.

At its heart though,  St John the Baptist church still marks a place, like Jacob marked, a place of holiness, a place to be with God but also a place to be with friends and a place to be community. We have tried to make all these part of our celebration and thanksgiving for the work that has been done. So please join use for the Garden Party at 2pm on Saturday 12th September, meet old friends, make new friends, explore the changes to church, find out about parts you did not know. Join our colouring competition, try ringing our bells. 

And then on…. Sunday 13th September 10:30am - Please join us for a service of thanks and rededication with Bishop Peter of Doncaster followed by a bring and share lunch.We are inviting children to come dressed as characters from history. You could come as a King, a Queen, a knight, a soldier, a farmer, blacksmith or anyone else -  so use your imagination.

For the rest of the autumn we have a series called Saints and Angles as we look at St Matthew, St Michael and all angels, St Francis and then St Luke.
So come and join us
Alun


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