When planning activities for the year, the incumbent and PCC have considered the Commission’s guidance on public benefit and the specific guidance on charities for the advancement of religion.
We strive to enable parishioners to explore and develop their spiritual awareness and to live out their faith, by means of prayer and worship, Bible study and ethical discussion, and provision of pastoral care to all sections of the community.
The work of all three churches is summarised on the parish website, http://www.wiltonparish.co.uk..
The PCC aims to provide public worship appropriate to the varied needs of the inhabitants of the Ecclesiastical Parish.
Where practical this includes ecumenical cooperation with the local Baptist congregation and members of other Christian denominations living in Wilton.
The clergy seek to respond to all requests for the “Occasional offices” of the Church – Baptisms, Marriages and Funerals from those living in the Ecclesiastical parish, or with a legitimate connection with any of our churches and to provide appropriate preparation and pastoral care.
We seek to foster a sense of community within the town of Wilton through the provision of social activities and active involvement in other local organisations.
To facilitate this work, we strive to maintain the fabric of our church buildings and meeting room in good order – taking due note of the recommendations included in our Quinquennial Inspections.
In December 2009 it was agreed that the PCC would discontinue its policy of making annual grants to specific charities and would instead encourage individual Church-members to support such charities as far as they are able. In addition, the PCC nominates a monthly/quarterly Charity – for which donations are invited at Coffee after the principal Eucharist each Sunday – with a balance of local, national and international charities. In addition Wilton’s congregations continue to sponsor the education of Richnaider Paul, in Haiti – through the Charity “SOS Children’s Villages” and, through the Chalke Deanery, agricultural and social projects in the Diocese of Cueibet, South Sudan.
The PCC makes provision for regular public worship in all three churches, as well as a Trust-owned Chapel in Wilton. The former Parish Church, “Old St. Mary’s”, is under the care of the Churches Conservation Trust and is used only occasionally for worship.
At the Parish Church, Morning Prayer was said Monday – Saturday and on Sundays either one or two celebrations of the Eucharist have been held.
At St. Peter’s Church, Fugglestone, regular services were suspended from the end of September 2013 due to lack of heating and lighting. Thursday morning Communion services were introduced in 2016 and these were continued in 2018, along with occasional Evening services. These attracted a small but committed congregation, including some of the new residents of the “Wilton Hill” development.
At St Catherine’s Church, Netherhampton weekly morning services were held – alternating between Holy Communion and Matins. Festival services were especially well attended in 2018.
Parish Clergy continued to be assisted by two Lay Worship Leaders, Christine Lawson and Tim Purchase, and by the retired clergy – notably Canon Chris Savage and Canon Michael Goater. The Revd. Janet Mugridge continued to play a significant role at St. John’s Priory and to assist at the Parish Church.
At Petertide, The Revd. Caroline Titley was ordained Priest at Salisbury Cathedral and celebrated her “First Mass” at the Parish Church on 8th July.
In our aim of drawing parishioners, and others, to God through worship
we have again benefitted enormously from the commitment of our Parish Choir, Organists, Ringers, Verger and Altar servers, Eucharistic Assistants, Lectors and Intercessors and have been very well supported by our Churchwardens, Sacristans, Flower Arrangers and team of sidesmen and women – all of whom show admirable dedication. In September, Andrew Hanley was appointed as “Director of Youth Music” and a Junior Choir formed. The children led their first service in October and sang at further Eucharists in November and December and to a very well-attended “Crib Service” on Christmas Eve.
In December, St. Catherine’s Church’s second organist David Brown retired and was replaced by Ben Maton, who had recently also taken over the Treasurer’s role for St. Catherine’s.
After seven years in post, Mrs Ann Hindley stepped down as Churchwarden. Peter Gulliver succeeded her as Senior Warden and was joined by Andy Tyrer as second Churchwarden.
The Parish’s Safeguarding Representative moved to a new post in the Diocese of Llandaff. The Revd. Dr. Stella Wood was appointed as the new PSR – with the added proviso that any concerns relating to members of the clergy should be referred directly to the Diocesan Safeguarding Representative.
The Parish Safeguarding Policy was adapted to reflect changes in terminology in national policies, pending a fuller revision before the next Annual meeting.
The Tuesday morning “Coffee Corner”, held in the Community Centre, lost a number of children – who moved on to school or nursery – and in the summer it was decided that a fresh approach was needed. Initial focus on the older members resulted in a new Friday afternoon group “Young at Heart” – which attracted a membership of some 20+ people and is well supported by a strong team of volunteers, providing cake and refreshments and engaging with the attendees.
The Ecumenical “Open the Book” team continued to meet in the Primary School, on alternate Mondays, to present dramatised Bible Stories and engaging the pupils and staff in various ways.
Two Mothers’ Union Groups and the men’s group, “Grapevine”, continued to meet regularly. Three new groups were introduced in the Autumn: an afternoon Bible Study Group, an evening Discussion group and Christian Mindfulness group.
In July, the Rector shared in the leadership of the “Pulse Camp” weekend at the Hampshire Christian Trust, Lockerly – attended by young people aged 11 – 17 from various Christian denominations including three young people from Wilton.
In April, the Parish Church hosted the Salisbury Branch of the Prayer Book Society, for their AGM and Evensong. A second Branch Evensong was held at Michaelmas and an Advent Carol Service at St Catherine’s in December.
A training course for Lay Pastoral assistants was run, from February to July, co-led by clergy and an experienced LPA, Tim Purchase. Four new LPAs from this parish were commissioned on St Edith’s Day, along with a fifth from the Chalke Valley.
The rejuvenated “Pastoral Ministry Team” subsequently adopted a pattern of monthly meetings to establish priorities – reviewing patterns of home-visiting and “Home Communions” and monthly Communion Services were established in two residential complexes: Olivier Place and Pembroke Court.
Services for Holy Week and Easter followed the comprehensive pattern established in 2015, following a major review. These were well attended, as was the Ecumenical “walk of witness” on Good Friday.
In early September all three of our Churches welcomed participants in the Wiltshire Historic Churches Ride and Stride, while we deployed one cyclist to visit Churches in the Wylye Valley.
In 2018, parish clergy officiated at 17 baptisms, 4 weddings and 19 funerals.
(In 2017 – 19 baptisms, 12 weddings and 17 funerals.)
Members of all three churches are involved in other community groups and organisations – including Wilton Community Centre, Public Library, Burnbake Trust, Alabaré, Riding for the Disabled and also assist with events such as the Christmas Day lunch for the elderly. A number of church-members are Trustees for almshouses at St John’s Priory and St Giles’ Hospital and for three separate Educational Trusts.
As Trustees of the Wilton Middle School Educational Trust, the Rector and Churchwardens contributed further significant grants to local schools, the Youth Centre in Wilton, Youth Action Wiltshire (for work with Young Carers) and provided assistance to a Nursing Student and an Apprentice Carpenter. The Rector continued to represent Wilton at Area Board “Youth Network” meetings.
The Revd Caroline Titley serves on the Board of the Wilton Community Land Trust and as a Trustee on the Church of England Pensions Board.
In January the Primary School was placed in “Special Measures” and in August became an Academy, as part of the Salisbury Diocesan Trust. A considerable amount of support has been given by Foundation Governors – Ivan Seviour (Chair of Governors), Revd. Caroline Titley and Ben Kinsey. After ten years as Governor, the Rector stepped down from this role, but maintains an active pastoral role among staff, pupils and parents. A Baptism service was held at the school for one of the pupils, attended by staff and pupils from Years 1 and 2.
In September, a favourable, external review of “Christian Ethos” drew attention to the quality of support provided by Parish clergy.
Educational visits to, and services in, both the Parish Church and St Catherine’s Church have been arranged, involving local Primary schools and nursery schools.
A steady flow of tourists and pilgrims visited the Parish Church throughout much of the year, with a number of U3A groups arranging guided tours, aided by our dedicated group of “church guides”.
Wilton’s “Mayor’s Sunday” service was held on St Edith’s Day, in the afternoon, and attended by members of the uniformed Youth Organisations. During the service, the school’s new Headteacher, Richard Boase, was formally welcomed and commissioned.
Remembrance services took on a particular poignancy in 2018 – marking the centenary of the Armistice – and were well attended in both St. Catherine’s and the Parish Church. A banner was created for the Parish Church, by children from the Primary school, Cubs and brownies, commemorating 290 soldiers from WW1, and was hung from the gallery during the season of Remembrance.
Wilton’s annual “lighting of the Christmas Tree and Children’s Nativity” provided further opportunities for ecumenical cooperation and partnership with other Town Team organisations.
The Rector officiated at the annual Carol Service for the Pembroke Centre (Riding for the Disabled).
Year 5 Pupils from the Primary School attended a special 50th Anniversary Christingle Service at Salisbury Cathedral and, on the final day of term, a “whole-school” Christingle Service was held in the parish Church.
The Christmas Fayre was again held in the Community Centre, with a similar format to previous years.
The new Parish “Newsletter” was delivered to all dwellings in the parish in March, June, September and December. Costs of production were met from advertising charges, involving a number of local businesses.
St. Mary and St. Nicholas’ Church:
The Town Council continued to arrange the grass cutting, and other aspects of the churchyard continued to be maintained to a high standard, largely due to the efforts of Nick Barsby, Neill O’Connor and David Fraser.
Further works were undertaken to upgrade the electrical installations and, in September, the lighting system was adapted to house LED bulbs throughout, resulting in vastly improved light levels and presentation of the building and reducing energy consumption and running costs.
St. Catherine’s Church
In March, the church suffered a break-in, resulting in a broken window in the South Aisle and damage to the Vestry Door Frame. Cathedral Glass was instructed to repair the window and Mouldings Builders Ltd was asked to tender for repair of the woodwork. It was also proposed that the porch should be repaired and estimates sought.
St. Peter’s Church
In February, the church suffered a break-in through a vestry window – resulting in significant damage to the glazing and also to the casing of a donations box in the church. Cathedral Glass was instructed to repair the window.