Evensong & Tea: St Peter’s Church, Pertwood
Sunday 7th July: 3.00pm
On Sunday 7th July at 3pm, there’s an Annual Evensong and Tea in the now closed Church of St Peter’s Pertwood. This annual event takes place as close as possible to St Peter’s Day, and follows the traditional service of Choral Evensong according to the Book of Common Prayer. The service will be led by the Revd Mark Hayter, with music sung by the Hindon and Chilmark Choir.
Do take this occasion to come and enjoy a service in a church that isn’t normally open to the public – and enjoy, too, the magnificent tea that follows in the Village Hall.
The tiny community of Pertwood was mentioned in Domesday (it owned a slave!). It is high up, about 700 feet above sea level, and isolated. It must have been the smallest parish in Wiltshire – but in 1899 it was united with nearby Chicklade, another small parish. Gradually the church, dedicated to St Peter, fell into disuse, and then into decay. By the 1970s, it was a ruin, and when the Giles family moved into Pertwood Manor, there was hardly anything to see but a vast heap of brambles and nettles.
Nonetheless, the Giles family decided to do something about the old church, and gradually restored it. They used local craftspeople, and kept it very simple – but it’s now in excellent condition. About twenty-five years ago, they started inviting people up to Pertwood for a service on a Sunday as near to St Peter’s Day as was possible to arrange. The first services were held outside the building, because it wasn’t safe – but for many years we’ve been able to go in and use the church properly.