Saint Peter's Church, Devizes

Welcome to the website for the St. Peter's Church in Devizes, Wiltshire.
We are a Forward in Faith Church in the Anglican Diocese of Salisbury.  Episcopal oversight is given by the Bishop of Ebbsfleet. We are active members of Churches Together in Devizes (formerly the Devizes Partnership of Churches).  We support the Prayer Book Society in its promoting the use of the traditional Book of Common Prayer.

Firmly established in the Catholic tradition of the Church of England, St Peter's Church has witnessed to the Christian faith and served the people of the Devizes area since 1866. The church is in the town's western outskirts on the Bath Road, near the famous Caen Hill Locks on the Kennet and Avon Canal.





 Service / Event
Sunday  ,                16 October
Trinity 21
 8:00 am St Peter's  Low Mass (BCP)
10:00 am St Peter's  Sung Mass
 3:30 pm St Peter's  Family Service
Tuesday ,                18 October
St. Luke the Evangelist
 7:00 pm     St Peter's Silent Meditation-Tuning in to God’s deep peace, healing and joy within
Wednesday ,           19 October
 7:00 pm     St Peter's Low Mass
Saturday  ,              22  October
 5:00 pm St Peter's  Evening Prayer (BCP)
Sunday  ,                23 October
Trinity 22
 8:00 am St Peter's  Low Mass (BCP)
10:00 am St Peter's  Sung Mass
 3:30 pm St Peter's  Family Service

This week - 16th to 23rd October - is Thank Your Vicar Week, celebrated nationally in every Anglican diocese. It gives parishes the opportunity to say a big thank you to their Vicar.

Let us give a big thank you to our own Vicar, Fr. Vincent Perricone, for all his work in our parish.
This week follows closely on the Feast Day of St. Francis of Assisi, who saw the work of the priest as of supreme importance in bringing Christ to us in the Eucharist.
Click the image on the left to see one of his verses that expresses this.


To arrange Baptisms or Marriages, please contact Fr. Vincent Perricone (501481)


Advance Notices  

Thursday 17th November 7:30 pm Devizes has been a Fairtrade Town for 10 years. You are invited to come and celebrate the recent renewal of this status at the Town Hall.
Enjoy a glass of Fairtrade wine and watch some short films about the difference Fairtrade makes to producers in developing countries.
Entry free. Donations welcome.

Saturday 26th November 7:30 - 9:30pm The Mellstock Band return to Edington Priory Church on Saturday 26th November to give a "rambunctious concert of rural Christmas music from Thomas Hardy’s Wessex".

Friday 2nd December 1:00 pm - 7:00 pm At St. John’s Church Devizes
After the great success of last year’s Christmas tree Festival in St John’s Church, we are holding it again to coincide with our Candlelit Bazaar. Money raised from both events will go to local Children and young adults Charities, which include Canon’s House, Julia’s House, Rowdeford School, Devizes Opportunity Centre, Bradbury Manor and Wiltshire Young Carers.


Archdeacon of Wiltshire Preaches at St. Peter's

On Sunday 21 August 2016 we had a visit from the new Archdeacon of Wiltshire, the Venerable Sue Groom at the 10:00 am Mass.  Her husband accompanied her on the visit and both took a lively interest in meeting with members of our congregation.

She preached the Sermon based on the Gospel for the day from Luke 13:10-17 - the story of how Jesus healed the woman who had been crippled for 18 years.   This healing took place on the Sabbath.  This met with a storm of protest from the leaders of the Temple, and was the last recorded occasion when Jesus preached in the synagogue. Jesus accused the leaders of hypocrisy.

Many in the congregation were impressed by the Archdeacon's sermon, and she kindly agreed to provide the text for further study.

The full text of the sermon, together with a the text of the Gospel for the day may downloaded from here : Archdeacon\sermonadwilts210816.pdf

For the benefit of those without internet access a number of copies of this document were made available at the back of the church.

On the following Sunday - 28th August - the celebrant, Fr Brian Tigwell, announced that these copies of the Archdeacon's brilliant sermon were available, and there was a big demand for them.. 




Glastonbury Pilgrimage - Saturday 9th July 2016

A driver for the usual minibus could not be arranged for the Glastonbury Pilgrimage this year and it was up to individuals to arrange transport in their own cars.   Following so closely on the Flower Festival there were not as many pilgrims as usual from St Peter's.  There  were, however, some,  and Simon Bees was there to record the event from sunrise to sunset. In the photos that he took - shown below - two other pilgrims from St Peter's can be identified:















































Simon, Super Server of the Sacrament

Our accomplished  Altar Server, Simon Bees,  has served many senior members of the clergy at St Peter's.  He has served a number of Bishops here, and recently the Archdeacon of Sarum complimented him on his performance as MC on his visit to St Peter's. 

More recently he reached the summit of the Anglican hierarchy when he served Archbishop Rowan Williams who was the Celebrant and Preacher at the Thanksgiving Mass of the noted theologian Fr Ken Leech in St Paul's Bow Common, London.  Simon and the Archbishop are at the right hand end of the picture above.

Congratulations, Simon We are privileged to have you as a member of our church. 


Remembrance Sunday 2015
In front of St Peter's is a War Memorial that often goes unnoticed. An article under the heading 'Remembering the Dead' our November Parish Paper explained the background to this Memorial.  It was erected in 1920 - a year before the town's main Memorial in Long Street.  The designer was the distinguished church architect, Sir Ninian Comper.  

The names of those from our parish who died in the First World War are carved on the memorial, and the smaller number who died in the Second World War are also mentioned.

The Remembrance Day ceremony took place after the 10:00 am Mass on Sunday, 8th November.  It began with Fr Vincent reading out the names of all those who fell in both the First and Second World Wars, as shown in the picture on the left.  Holding the wreath is Squadron Leader Alan F. Frost who joined the RAF in 1940 and served as a fighter pilot throughout the war.  On D-Day he flew a Spitfire over the American landing beaches, where he observed the fierce fighting below. He is now a stalwart of St. Peter's congregation.
On the right of this picture is Fr Brian Tigwell with his wife Mary.  He was too young to serve in World War 2 but did National Service with the Royal Signals after the War. He was the previous Vicar of our parish from 1985 to 1999.  St Peter's flourished during his priesthood there.  Our Wikipedia article says of him:
Fr Brian increased the amount of money given to the poor and disadvantaged. He also forged a strong link between the church and the school, and attracted large congregations. He could especially connect to the children and was loved by the students of St Peter's School. Fr Brian also completely re-decorated the inside of the church, and installed a new electrical lighting system. He also served as Rural Dean of Devizes from 1993-1998. 
In retirement Fr Brian has helped at many churches -- fortunately for us, St Peter's is now one of them


Squadron Leader Frost  laid the wreath on the War Memorial and Fr Vincent censed it.

Squadron Leader Frost  recited the words of the poem For the Fallen:

They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning,
We will remember them.


At the end of the ceremony at the War Memorial the congregation processed back into the church for the singing of the National Anthem.  




The youngest member of the congregation at that ceremony was the child pictured left, who with a delightful smile charmed the members of the congregation.

Our November Parish Paper thanked Maureen Wood who organised the collection of boxes for the Children's Society.  With five boxes still to collect the total of 626.80 hag already exceeded last year's total.

This Paper also reported another big thank you that was given to our Sacristan, Doreen Riley, by the Centro da Mae orphanage in Madeira for a quantity of crocheted clothes and babies' blankets made by her.   Thanks also go to the ladies of St. Peter's, who supplied the wool to make the crochet blankets.











Wantage Retreat October 2015


The pilgrimages and retreats organised by Simon Bees at St. Peter's have always been inspirational and enjoyable; this October's in Wantage was no exception.  It was organised by Simon and led by Fr. Vincent. For the benefit of those who were unable to attend Simon has documented the inspiration that came from this retreat in verse and photagraphs, a copy of which may be  downloaded by clicking here.
John Betjeman was specially fond of Wantage and was a keen supporter of its Parish Church of Ss Peter & Paul.   Simon's account begins with an extract from Betjeman's poem  to the bells of Wantage::
Now with the bells through the apple bloom
Sunday-ly sounding
And the prayers of the nuns in their chapel gloom
Us all surrounding

In the October "season of mists and mellow fruitfulness" the fruit of the apple tree is a recurring theme in Simon's account.  It includes a beautiful photograph of the fruit on apple tree -


Looking ahead to Christmas hymns Simon reminded us of the hymn 'Jesus Christ, the Apple Tree' with the words;

The tree of life my soul hath seen,
Laden with fruit and always green:
The trees of nature fruitless be
Compared with Christ the apple tree.

There are many renditions of this hymn on YouTube.  One is by the Choir of St. John's College, Cambridge and can be found at:

This version is beatufully sung and the accompanying picture has red apples on a tree that is covered in frost.

Comments on this page included:

If was forced to choose one Christmas carol - and I would have to be forced - this would be it. I was astonished to learn that the setting by Elizabeth Poston is modern. In fact the words are not specifically related to Christmas, but are a simple metaphor of faith., Jesus Christ as an apple tree. Wonderful invention.

One of those Christmas Carols that's in a class of its own. I find it hard to put into words the sheer beauty and profound wonder it stirs within me. It is, well, out of this world!



Welcome to Our New Churchwarden

David Purchas has been one of the most steadfast and dedicated servants of St. Peter's in a number of roles over more than 20 years.  His roles have included being a Server, a School Governor, PCC  Member, the driver of the minibus on church outings and at Christmas time it was David, aided by his wife Jill, who did much of the decorations for the season. 

In April 2012 he was on a group photo of the then Churchwardens, shown on the right.  David was at that time a Deputy Churchwarden; the two Churchwardens with him are Ann Reeves and Jean Hosie who retired this year.  David was the popular choice to take on the role of Churchwarden after their retirement , and he was formally licensed at a ceremony that took place at St Mary's Marlborough on the evening of 11th June.  There were a large number of new Churchwardens from all round the diocese being licensed at the same time.   

The ceremony was led by the Archdeacon of Wiltshire, Ruth Worsley, who was accompanied by a legal lady wearing a barrister's wig from the Registry in Salisbury.   Revd Canon Andrew Studdert-Kennedy, the Team Rector welcomed the visitors to his church. 

At certain points during the ceremony David and the other new Churchwardens had to stand to make their solemn vows.  Churchwardens are bound by certain Canon laws such as:
'The Canons of the Church of England state that churchwardens shall be foremost in representing the laity and in cooperating with the incumbent; they shall use their best endeavours by example and precept to encourage the parishioners in the practice of true religion and to promote unity and peace among them. '

David is shown standing to make these vows in the picture on the left.  Careful inspection will show that there are a number of other new Wardens also standing to make these vows. 

Fr. Vincent and six other members of St. Peter's congregation had accompanied David to the church.  At the end of the service a number came up to offer their congratulations and express their pleasure at his appointment -

A large number of visitors stayed behind afterward to enjoy the splendid buffet that had been prepared and the fellowship of those from other churches.




... And Welcome to Our New Vicar

On May 11th 2015, less than eight months after welcoming Fr. Vincent as our new Priest-in-Charge [see below] there was another similar ceremony to license him as the incumbent Vicar - the first Vicar that St. Peter's has had since the retirement of Fr. Brian Tigwell in 1999.  On this occasion not only the The Archdeacon of Wiltshire and the Rural Dean were present, but also not one but two 'flying bishops' - our own Bishop of Ebbsfleet plus the Bishop of Ramsbury, who on the previous day had done a sponsored abseil down the tower of St. Mary's church.  Fr. Vincent tolled the church bell to signify that he had taken up his office.  A social gathering to celebrate followed.    The congregation had found this an "inspirational" evening.

Welcome To Our New Priest-in-Charge

        Michaelmas Day, the Feast of St. Michael & All Angels
                 -  7:30 pm  29th September, 2014

A large congregation, including many who have not been regular members for some time, came for the licensing of the The Revd. Dr Vincent Perricone as our new Priest-in-Charge. 

In his opening remarks the Bishop of Salisbury, The Right Reverend Nicholas Holtam, spoke of the importance of St. Peter's and its Catholic witness.  He mentioned the former curate of St. Peter's, Father Wainwright, who became a distinguished priest at St. Peter's London Docks, a parish not far from Stepney, where he himself had served in his early career.  The Catholic witness had been dissipated in recent years, but now needs to be renewed, not just for the sake of St. Peter's but for the whole Church. In the future this witness will be more important than it has been in the past, and so this could be a special night. 

The Archdeacon of Wiltshire,  The Venerable Ruth Worsley, introduced Fr Vincent and, as the Patron's representative, presented him to the Bishop.  The congregation were asked if they welcomed Fr Vincent and responded with a firm "We do"; when asked if they would "share with Vincent in mission and pastoral care" - they responded with an equally firm "We will".   It was then Fr Vincent's turn to say that he was willing to accept the position.

There then followed a procession to the Font, the Chancel step and the Sanctuary accompanied by appropriate verses of hymns, and being met at each place by appropriate parish workers and ministers of the sacrament.

The Lesson from Matthew 14: 22-33 was read by the Archdeacon and our Bishop Jonathon Goodall preached the Sermon based on the words of this Gospel.

Fr. Vincent was welcomed as the new priest by the Rural Dean, Revd Jonathan Triffitt.  Fr Vincent's first official duty as priest was to announce the Notices for the coming week. 

After the ceremonies refreshments were provided with three types of cake that had been baked, accompanied by wine and soft drinks with the opportunity to chat to Fr. Vincent and his wife Jenny.  There was a general feeling that this had been an enjoyable and inspiring evening, which augured well for the future of St. Peter's.

... Fr Vincent Update

The November 2014 Parish Paper had a leading article headed 'A NEW ERA - New Priest's Installation'.  The article gives a description of the "impressive service" with the "tolling of the church bell by the Revd Dr Vincent Perricone signalled that he had started his ministry with us."  There was "a large and representative congregation" which included (in addition to those mentioned above) The Mayor of Devizes, Councillor Sarah Bridewell.  After the service ...

... "Fr Vincent, spoke of the "very warm welcome" he had received at St Peter's. "I'm beginning to get to know Devizes and the beautiful surrounding countryside - (which also means I'm getting lost frequently)." He added: "I hope to get to know all who live around the church. You are all in my daily prayers."