How we are organised
The Reverend Doctor Peter Hayler is the Rector of Shipbourne with Plaxtol. He returned from sabbatical leave Monday 25 September.
Peter provided profiles of himself and Donna:
“Peter was born in Nottingham and grew up as a chorister on a traditional diet of chanted Matins and Evensong. A keen musician, he learnt to play the violin from the age of six, spending many years playing in youth orchestras. He studied chemistry at Royal Holloway College and went on to work for Astra Pharmaceuticals in London, while experiencing the renewal of his faith as a member of St James the Less, Bethnal Green.
Donna grew up near Esher in Surrey, and worked for the Church Missionary Society in London before moving to Yorkshire as a member of the Scargill House Community.
Peter and Donna met in college in Blackheath as they trained to be Church Army evangelists. They were married in 1992 and have two children who have recently flown the nest: Oliver (22) and Nat (18). Their work for the church took them first to Cambridge and then on to South Wales (1995- 2009), during which time Peter was ordained and served as Curate and Team Vicar in Magor, Monmouthshire, before returning to Cambridge.
During his twenty four years in ministry, Peter has served many years as a chaplain; first pioneering a chaplaincy to the high tech companies of the Cambridge Science Park, then in traditional manufacturing and the local voluntary sector, latterly bringing his experience and the insights of industrial mission to the developing ‘Chaplaincy to University Staff’ in Cambridge.
His recent work has focused on the multi-faith aspects of the complex University community, together with issues of staff wellbeing, while also having a full share of the liturgical work as Associate Vicar at Great St Mary’s Church. The challenges of this work caused him to take on the Professional Doctorate in Practical Theology as a way of deepening his pastoral engagement with reflective practice.
While in Wales, Donna re-trained in Counselling and Psychotherapy, completing her Master’s, practising in the voluntary, public and private sectors, and teaching to Diploma level. Although no longer practising, Donna continues to use her skills in the area of creative spirituality and spiritual direction.
Together Peter and Donna have a miniature Schnauzer, Alfie. They enjoy walking and fresh coffee. Peter enjoys playing second violin with Maidstone Symphony Orchestra, which gives five concerts each year.
Our Curate, Mark Packer and his wife, Susan, have been with us from the beginning of July 2021. Mark’s ordination took place in Rochester Cathedral on Saturday 25th September 2021 and he was formally welcomed and licensed at the Harvest Festival Family Service on Sunday 26th September.
Peter Brewin is the Lay Reader and may be contacted on 01732 810361
Mr Francis Read is the patron of the living of St Giles Shipbourne.
The Parochial Church Council (PCC) of St Giles Shipbourne is responsible for the running of the Church. The Rector is the Chairman of the PCC. The Annual Report and Accounts of the Church are presented to the Annual Parochial Church Meeting which is held normally in April each year. The members of the PCC are elected at this meeting from the congregation.
Andrew Boorman (01732 352 597)
Cath Jackson (077298 147 798)
PCC Secretary: Caroline Chambers
Treasurer: Charlie Keeling (07825 139 046)
Parish Safeguarding Officer: Cath Jackson
Lead Recruiter: Sandy Oram
Lay Vice Chair: Viv Packer
Electoral Roll Officer: Helen Leach
Shoreham Deanery Synod lay representatives: Sir Paul Britton and Nick Ward
The last Annual Parochial Church Meeting (APCM) took place on Tuesday 25 April 2023.
During the meeting there were reports on the activities of the Church over the past year and the annual report and financial statements for the year ended 31 December 2022 were presented for approval. The annual report provides further information on the activities of the church during 2022.
The annual report and the financial statements for 2022 and earlier years are attached.
The tower contains six bells which were re-hung in 1993. Bell ringing practice is on Thursday nights at 20.00. Call the Tower Secretary, Graham Edwards on 07487 729549, if you would like to ring the bells.
The Choir sings at the 9.30 service every Sunday. Practices are held at the home of John Young, the choirmaster and organist once a week on Thursday or Friday. Contact John Young on 01732 810289 if you would like to sing with the choir.
Felicity Ward organises the rota for the flower arrangements in the church each week. Please contact her on 01732 810525 if you would like to help with the flowers or to discuss flowers for weddings or funerals.
The sidesmen’s rota is displayed at the back of the church.
Volunteers serve coffee and biscuits at the back of the church at the end of the 9.30am service on Sundays. The list of those organising the coffee is at the back of the church.
Cleaning the church
The church is cleaned by volunteers: details are shown on the list at the back of the church. Please contact Mary Perry on 01732 810797 or by e-mail at [email protected], if you would like to help.
Our churchyard is active which means that it is still used for burials. It is a beautiful area of just over an acre and we aim to manage it for everyone’s enjoyment.
Management of the churchyard
The PCC’s policy is to manage the churchyard so that it has an informal, rural appearance; we wish to balance the need to ensure that everyone can get to the graves easily and enjoy the peace of the churchyard while encouraging the wildlife and widening the diversity of plant life.
The cost of maintaining the churchyard is met by a grant from the Borough Council and a contribution from the PCC.
Our churchyard working parties of volunteers have done good work in recent years in clearing graves which had become engulfed in brambles and cutting back ivy and the encroaching undergrowth. Working parties meet normally twice a year, in spring and in autumn.
History of our church
The present church was built by Edward Cazalet of Fairlawne and opened for worship in 1881. It replaced a smaller Georgian church which had fallen into disrepair; this church replaced an earlier building which had been in use since the late middle ages. A leaflet providing further information on the history of St Giles is available at the back of the church.
St Giles Trust supports the St Giles Church restoration appeal
One of the funds which has been supporting the continuing restoration of St Giles is a local charity, St Giles Trust. The Trust was set up in 1985 by the Venerable Edward Maples Earle who was Rector of St Giles at the time, and two Shipbourne residents, Bernard Russell and Aubrey Beach. Their aim was to create a fund which would contribute to the cost of the maintenance and decoration of the church’s fabric and the upkeep of its churchyard. The Trust has continued to pursue these aims and it remains a local charity, run by four trustees who are all members of the congregation of St Giles.
Over the years the Trust has contributed over £11,000 to various projects. The Trust contributed to improvements to the lighting and to the installation of the new oil fired central heating system. In 2008 the Trust contributed towards the cost of the first stage of the restoration appeal, which involved replacing the nave roof and doing urgent repairs to the roof, stonework and joinery of St Giles’ distinctive tower. In 2010 the Trust contributed to the overhaul of the St Giles organ and the restoration of the mosaic floor.
Since it was founded, many people have contributed to the Trust, through personal donations or by making a specific legacy in favour of the Trust in their wills; some people have kindly donated to the Trust funds collected in memory of a loved one. All these contributions have been greatly appreciated.
If you would like further information on St Giles Trust, or would like to contribute to the charity, please contact Nick Ward, who is the Chairman of the Trustees, telephone 810525.