Welcome to All Saints Church website; here you will find photos and information on this historic church building and links to the Parish website with information on the life of the church today.
All Saints Church is one of a group of churches within The Church of England and The Methodist Church in the Parish of Sturry with Fordwich and Westbere with Hersden. It is part of both the Anglican Diocese of Canterbury and the North East Kent Methodist Circuit.
Westbere church building mostly dates from the 13th / 14th century. Some of the walls are built from re-used material suggesting that this church replaces an earlier Saxon building.
Early photos from 1756 show that there used to be a timber framed porch by the south door, and a squat square bell tower at the western end which has been replaced by the bell-cote. The south door has now been replaced by a low window.
All Saints, Westbere has a chime of three bells. These are visible from the outside in the open western gable. They are sometimes rung before Sunday services, but small bells like these, cast around 1853, usually have a poor tonal quality.
All Saints, Westbere has a nave and a chancel; looking at the different roof heights outside suggests they were built at different times.
The nave is a simple hall with a timber framed roof. Many of the furnishings of the nave - such as the pews and the organ - were added in the Victorian times. Traditionally, the nave is the part of the church where the congregation stand or sit to worship.
The archway between the nave and the chancel is called the chancel arch. In All Saints, Westbere, the chancel arches are supported by stone corbels (a name given for projections from the wall) with fine carvings of a man crouched on top of a lion and a woman.
The chancel was probably built a few years after the nave. The chancel is the name given to the part of the church used by the clergy and sometimes the choir. It is usually at the eastern end of the church.
The new altar at Westbere was carved by a member of the village with the symbols Chi-Rho on the front. These are the first two letters of the Greek word for Christ.
On the south side of the chancel there is a piscina and sedilia. The piscina is a niche used in medieval times for the washing of the communion vessels. The sedilia is a seat for the priest at communion services, often carved into the wall.
The aumbry is on the north wall of the chancel. An aumbry was used to keep some of the consecrated bread and wine, and used later in the week for home communions.
The colourful tiles in the chancel are Victorian. They were white-washed over in the 1950's and only uncovered 40/50 years later in 2001.
This altar used to be at St. Albans church, Hersden, a daughter church of All Saints, Westbere. St Albans was dedicated in 1929 and closed in 1970. The altar was then moved to Hersden Methodist church. In 2001 this altar was moved again to All Saints, Westbere - to its original mother church.
The Reredos behind the altar contains three mosaics. The centre one is of the cross - as a reminder that on Good Friday Jesus died for all of us.
The other two mosaics are of a vine with grapes and ears of wheat, reminding us of the wine and bread that Jesus shared with his disciples at the Last Supper. Christians also remember this by sharing bread and wine at a communion service.
The pulpit is used for preaching. Having listened to some readings from the Bible, the preacher may use these to explain part of the Christian faith. The added height helped the preacher project his voice to the back of the church.
The lectern holds a large print copy of the Bible. From here passages of the Bible are read during services.
The Bible is very important to Christians. The Old Testament (first part of the Bible) contains the history of the Jewish people, the psalms (songs) of David, and writings from many prophets - some of whom spoke about Jesus. The New Testament (second part of the Bible) contains the 4 gospel accounts of Jesus life, a history of the early church, and letters written by early Christian teachers to churches.
"I baptise you in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit"
The font is used for Baptism. At baptism, water from the font is poured onto the person's forehead as a sign of new life with Christ.
Our Lord Jesus Christ has told us that to enter the kingdom of heaven we must be born again of water and the Spirit, and has given us baptism as the sign and seal of this new birth.
Baptism marks the beginning of a journey with God which continues for the rest of our lives. The parish website gives further information on baptism at Westbere church.
Stained glass windows often portray scenes from the Bible, to remind us of these stories. The photos here do not do justice to the beautiful artwork, best viewed from inside on a sunny day.
This is the west window above the west door. It shows the lamb upon the throne - taken from the book of Revelation, the last book of the Bible. The Lamb (Jesus) is surrounded by a large number of Saints and Angels.
The stained glass window on the left shows Jesus Christ as the Good Shepherd (with shepherd's staff) and as the Light of the World (with a lamp).
In the stained glass window to the right is King David with his harp. David is the writer of many of the Psalms in the Bible, many of which he would have sung accompanied by harp.
If you would like to visit this church, then why not join us for worship on Sunday. Services are usually held at 11am.
Further details can be found on the parish website at www.sturrychurch.org.uk .
The exact location of All Saints Church, Westbere can be seen via the
multimap of Westbere.