CHRIST CHURCH TOTLAND BAY – A THUMBNAIL SKETCH
Christ Church Totland Bay is in the Isle of Wight Deanery and the Diocese of Portsmouth. It is the westernmost parish in the Diocese. It includes the tourist attractions of Colwell Bay, The Needles, Alum Bay and Tennyson Down. Although the church is located at the geographical centre of the parish, the heart of the village is nearly half a mile down the hill, site of the church hall. It is situated in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and has many SSSIs within its borders. In addition to the church and church hall, we have a wooden annex behind the church with a fully equipped kitchen. The population of Totland is 2,981 (ONS 2009), 33% of whom are over 65, 14% under 15. This shows a more elderly population than the national average. There is a high proportion of second homes.
Christ Church Totland Bay is part of a worldwide family of churches in over 160 different countries who proclaim the Good News of Jesus Christ as Saviour and Lord.
Learn more at:
The Diocese of Portsmouth Website: https://www.portsmouth.anglican.org/
The Church of England Website:https://www.churchofengland.org/
Who and what we are
Christ Church is within the evangelical tradition. Following an interregnum on the retirement of our last stipendiary priest, we feel, blessed to have the Reverend James Cook (Associate Priest, House for Duty) as our Minister. Leadership of all our services is currently planned at a monthly meeting, attended by our Minister, retired clergy with ‘permission to officiate’, readers and representatives of all the churches in the cluster. The meeting covers services held at all the churches in the West Wight Cluster Group. Our PCC meets 10 times a year, and is chaired either by the Minister or by one of the churchwardens. Our main service takes place on Sundays at 11 am and includes Holy Communion (currently 3rd and 5th Sundays) and an informal, frequently lay-led ‘Worship for All’ (currently 1stSunday). Mid-week Communion takes place at 9.30 on Thursday mornings and is followed, either then or later in the day, by a prayer meeting. We have 3 Home Groups, one of which is a Women’s Fellowship. There is a small Junior Church. Average Sunday attendance is 62. There are 105 names on the electoral roll. We are active partners in the many activities of Churches Together in West Wight.
Who we really are
A recent newcomer to our church described her first service with us as “joyous”, something, she said, she hadn’t known for a long time. We do find real joy in our faith, in the fellowship of Christ Church and in the loving care shown by James and his wife Suzanne, the Pastoral Care Team and all the members of our church family. Prayer and financial support for mission at home and overseas is an important feature of our church life. We enjoy our times together, both during worship and at our other gatherings, often centred round food. As part of our mission, we strive to engage the local community in various ways, including help at a local drop-in-service. Four church members drive the local community minibus, the FYT Bus, working on regular routes and, in addition, bringing the less agile members of our congregation to and from Sunday worship. Much care is given to our large, but secluded and peaceful churchyard.
Music plays a pivotal part in the life and worship of Christ Church; we are blessed to have a gifted organist and a talented and inspirational choir master. Our regular choir numbers some 15/20 adults and is augmented for special occasions. The church, with its first class organ and enviable acoustics is the venue for many organ recitals and concerts, both sacred and secular. Our most recent undertaking was a musical, set in the Second World War and composed by our choir master. The large choir was drawn from across West Wight, and such was the support that we received at two performances, we were able to donate the proceeds, £1,850, to SSAFA, the Armed Forces charity.