I think village Churches are different from a Town Churches, in most cases because they are small, they seems to be cosier and more peaceful and will nearly always be set in beautiful countryside. Alas things have to change and even a Village Church has to try to keep pace with the busy world of so called progress. Country folk are used to the seasons of the year, the planting and growing and then the harvesting. It is a pity that this natural rhythm is not always used when progress is taking place.
In time all things change, the parishioners themselves change and new people come into the mix with new ideas and a natural evolution takes place, if this happens with care and gentleness no one is threatened and no one is hurt.
As you walk through the ancient door of our West Stafford Village Church of St Andrews, you can rejoice in the simplicity and spirituality that you can feel in the very stones that built it and all the love and care that has been bestowed on it. The important occasions in all our lives that are celebrated in Church, Baptisms, Weddings and Funerals leave their mark. Then to walk around the graveyards, to gaze at the memorials of Christians that have worshiped here through the ages.
In this village we have in our congregation members who in their family, are the fourth generation of worshipers. Just imagine taking wine from the cup that your great grandfather drank from, it must be wonderful.
Village Churches are historically important to our great country, we have lost too many in the past because people have not cared enough about their heritage.
I do hope that everyone who walks through the door of St Andrews Church will feel blessed and welcome.