St Werburghs & Home

Jan 16, 2011, 4:57 PM |

The Parish of Wembury lies on Engand's southern shores and consists of Wembury village,the hamlets of Knighton and Down Thomas, and the coastal hamlet of Heybrook Bay.

   Our little church is called St Werburgh's and it came up in conversation with a friend here a few days ago; having already shared some detail of it with others, I felt it time (and promised) to blog it, so that she, and  anyone else with an interest could share in it too. A little over 2 years ago, one of my son's friends was married here at St Werburgh's, and, as luck would have it, the video photographers recently uploaded edited extracts of the wedding which typifies the ceremony and how we do it here in England. The groom, John, is a great guy with a good job in management at the local luxury boat-builders Marine Projects.

   The next family affair there will be the wedding of my own son and it promises (having lived here all out lives) to be a major social event at which, not only he and his bride, but I too, will have centre stage and my own part to play LOL 

~ without more ado, here it is. . . O, I should say that the officiating vicar is Terry Freeman (an ex-RN Chaplain) who really is one of the boys and has recently retired. Hahaha, he smokes, swears, and  he drinks ~ he has even had the embarrassment (like the rest of us) of being in the pub, a lock-in after hours, and been busted by the police LOL ~  He is above all though a highly respected man with huge faith (he buried my own father 15 years back) and is coming back by special request to officiate for  us  Smile


   The main village dates back to Saxon times - Wembury grew up as a look-out post against attacks by the Danes in the 9th century and there is evidence and accounts in the history books of battles that were fought here between the Saxons and Danes more than 1000 years ago.   

   St. Werburgh, was the niece of the Saxon King Ethelred, so presumably this was around the time that it was built, although no doubt a wooden structure would have existed back then, but today, the church still exhibits the evidence of its 15th century features

   An old 19th  century book gives the following description of Wembury Church:

   "The church of St. Werburgh, situated close to the sea and at some distance from the village, is a plain building of local stone in the Early English style, consisting of chancel, nave, aisles, south porch and an embattled western tower containing 3 bells, of which the first is dated 1675, the second is a plain bell badly cast, with the inscription 'When I doe call, then follow me all,' and the tenor dates from 1631: in the church are several monuments, including one dated 1677 to the family of Calmady..."


Since the church (and like everyone else these days, in order to turn a good profit) no longer requires brides to live in the parish of the church they wed in, our little church has become hugely popular as the preferred choice for those wanting something a little more special. St Werburgh's is, by point of fact, now the Number 1 choice and the most popular church in all England in which to get married! Here are a few photos:

 I live on the hill in the far right of the pic a little over 2 miles from the church.


The church (from my side of the beach) sits alone on the hill outside the village which is beyond the hill.


And the view from the church over the beach to Wembury Bay and the Mewstone beyond.

The icing on the cake to complete the perfect day is to hold the reception at the historic Langdon Court Hotel, the very place we are holding ours, which, like the church, is equally special and similarly dates back 1000 years ~ part II to follow. . .