Coming together as the Granta Vale Benefice
to carry out God's work in our Parishes
to carry out God's work in our Parishes
St Andrew's Church, West Wratting:
St Andrew's Church, West Wratting is part of a 7 Church group located in the South Cambridgeshire Parishes of the Abingtons, Balsham, Hildersham, Weston Colville, West Wratting and West Wickham are currently in double 'Vacancy', which means we have neither our full-time priest or House for Duty priest in place.
To assist any new prospective Rector, there are also several web-pages dedicated to each of the Seven Churches in our group, the joint and parish profiles and details about the proposed Pastoral Reorganisation
The information given below is designed to help any prospective new incumbent to learn as much about West Wratting Church community and God's work in our Parish
St Andrew's Church, West Wratting Profile January 2017
St Andrew's Church, West Wratting Profile January 2017
“We pray to be generous and visible people of Jesus Christ.”
St Andrew's Church, West Wratting Profile:
West Wratting is a small village of approximately 450 people. The parish is a friendly place, has a strong sense of community, and is welcoming to newcomers. The housing is mainly concentrated along the High Street and Mill Road, but a number of households live on The Common, the road between Withersfield and West Wratting. The village is surrounded by agricultural land and farm estates and there are many attractive walks in the area. Residents commute to Cambridge (and its university, hospitals and science parks), Newmarket, Saffron Walden, and London to work.
The village has a pub, The Chestnut Tree, which is a focus for much regular social activity including a book group, over sixties meetings, and a third Thursday lunch. The landlords are very supportive of village events. There is a Village Hall, which was extensively refurbished to mark the Millennium and is well equipped with a kitchen, bar, stage and other facilities. It is overseen and managed by a committee and hosts a range of activities, including exercise and dance classes. It is also the venue for a Café which is held on the first Saturday of each month and run by a group of volunteers. This serves coffee and cake and provides a popular forum for conversation and social exchange. There is also a recreation ground, which is the base for a youth football club and the D’Abo tennis club. West Wratting has an annual Progressive Supper, which is an enjoyable opportunity to meet new people and share a meal together. The village is also in the vicinity of a former World War II RAF Bomber Command site (Wratting Common) and there is a yearly service on Remembrance Day there.
Regular fund raising events for the church include a Pet and Produce Show (including a dog show and a teddy bear parachute drop from the tower) in early August; a clay-shooting day in late August; a Harvest Supper in September; and an annual Autumn Concert in October (normally held in Balsham church). The church and churchyard have also been at the centre of village celebrations, including parties to mark the recent Queen’s 90th Birthday and Jubilee anniversaries.
The parishes of West Wratting and Weston Colville Fund have a magazine, the Challenge, which is published monthly. The village also has its own website.
The morning service (normally said Eucharist) is currently held at 10.45. We use a red service book based on Common Worship and using contemporary language. Hymns are sung with organ accompaniment. There are four well attended family-friendly Songs of Praise services per year at 4pm on Sunday. These are organised by John and Scilla Harvey, who bring musicians and singers from outside the village to enliven the service. Drinks and refreshments follow. There is a carol service and Christingle service for children. West Wratting and Weston Colville have joint services at Christmas, alternating as the location for midnight mass and Christmas morning from year to year. On the fifth Sunday, there is a united benefice service, which takes place by rotation in one church in the benefice.
St Andrew’s has a small but committed congregation, which we are keen to see grow. There are many inhabitants of West Wratting who already contribute to supporting the life of the church as a community and building without attending services. We are eager to encourage and strengthen ties with the rest of the community through events and initiatives that bring together church goers and non-church goers. We want to make St Andrew’s increasingly inclusive. We strongly support the Parish Nurse Project, which we regard as central to creating a caring and compassionate community.
Members of the congregation would like to see existing services maintained, but we also hope to introduce different styles of service to meet the needs of a wider range of people within the community, notably families with children, who find the traditional liturgy intimidating. We want the church to embrace all age and social groups (including disabled people) and strengths of belief. This may involve a creative reconfiguration and use of the church space, and in particular the chancel. We are also keen to reinstate a monthly Family Service and some would like to see the introduction of evening and Sunday afternoon discussions. We would be open to the church being used for services by other denominations. We hope that the new incumbent will help us to engage in outreach initiatives to assist the church to grow.
We have two churchwardens (Sebastian Bain and Alex Walsham) and an electoral roll of 35. There are six members of the PCC (including the churchwardens) and they meet five times a year. We have a rota of laypeople for the setting up of the service and serving coffee afterwards, as well as for cleaning and flower arranging. We have an organist who supports all our services. We have an active group of bell-ringers, who ring each Sunday, led by the tower captain, Dr Mike Rowland.
The oldest part of the church dates from the fourteenth century and changes were made in the fifteenth century. The church was heavily restored in the eighteenth century and further remodelling took place in the nineteenth century. The church has a fine ironwork screen that dates from 1922. The organ was built in 1895 and enlarged in 1953, when it was moved to its present position. It was recently repaired with the assistance of a grant from the Wadlow Wind Farm Community Fund. The Church has six bells. The church seats 120 in the pews, but can seat up to about 250 if chairs are put out in the chancel and other areas. The church has an oil-fired heating system. There is a kitchen in the area under the tower.
In April 2016, St Andrew’s was the victim of the theft of two thirds of its roof lead. This has catalysed a vigorous fund raising campaign to replace the roof with steel led by the PCC and assisted by other villagers, who have been immensely generous with their time and support. Our misfortune has been reported in local newspapers and also featured on ITV Anglia news. We have secured grants from a number of charitable trusts and benefited from generous donations from local people. Happily, we are now in a position to proceed with the works to repair the roof and the damage to the interior. These are expected to begin in January 2017 and will be followed by redecoration of the nave and chancel. The last Quinquennial inspection took place in October 2016 and has revealed no serious issues requiring urgent attention, once the roof repair is complete. We also have plans to improve disabled access to the church and to install a toilet to enable the building to be used for a variety of purposes by the whole community.
A team of volunteers keeps the churchyard in excellent order. The grass is regularly mown and there is a twice yearly working party to prune trees, remove ivy, and tidy gravestones, accompanied by coffee and doughnuts. Burials still take place in the churchyard.
A recent meeting to which the whole village was invited elicited some excellent ideas for utilising the building and churchyard for other activities, including flower arranging courses, a community orchard, farmers’ market, remembrance garden, youth groups, camping, cooking and wildlife classes, and a mini sports day.
The Vicarage in West Wratting was built in 1971 and has been used as a residence for the House for Duty Priest in the past. It is currently occupied by tenants.
The parish had an income excluding gifts and donations for the church roof repairs of circa £20,000 expenditure of £15,000 in 2016; it pays a parish share of £8,422 and the apportioned shared ministry costs of the parish administrator and the clergy team. Income is derived from collections, covenants, donations, gift aid tax and interest. Annual fundraising events include: An Autumn concert, Harvest Supper, a get your eye in Practice Shoot and a Fete. We have raised and now fully funded the Nave roof repairs and the redecoration of the whole Church. Personal donations amounted to £18,120; the Insurance claim raised £15,000; and grants have been secured to the sum of £58,000. This was all raised successfully within 6 months by a small team from the PCC and members of the Village. We anticipated that we will have addressed all the key A and AA points raised in the Quinquennial from our current reserves.