Then & Now

Then
We get our title from one of the most famous Archbishops of Canterbury ever to hold that title - St. Thomas Becket.
St. Thomas was famously murdered by four knights who thought they were doing Henry II a favour by getting rid of "this troublesome priest" in 1170.
This took place in Canterbury Cathedral on 29th Dec.1170. Soon afterwards Becket's tomb became a place of pilgrimage and pilgrims made their way to Canterbury from all over the land and Europe.
Not long after the event this church was built as a stage on the pilgrim route for those from even further West and making the journey from Brittany.
As you may have noticed the church is very difficult to find in the village but is very clear and obvious from the River and the West bank.

In the Victorian times the church needed to be rebuilt and was done so within the walls of the earlier church and the Tower, Font and Tomb of Brother Phillip remain from this earlier age.

The coat of arms has the symbol for the Archdiocese of Canterbury with the sword for the martyrdom of St. Thomas and the three Choughs for Kingswear.

Now
The Church bears witness to a more recent death. Colonel "H" Jones who won the V.C. in the Falklands conflict came from the parish and is commemorated by the war memorial.

Bearing Witness
is what all church members are called to do. It may not be in the dramatic fashion of those mentioned above but in the simple day to day living of our small close knit village.
We are all called to care and be there for those in need. We are not perfect and certainly not "saints" but we strive to put the message and example of Jesus into practice day by day. The chances are we won't be persecuted or tortured for it but originally "martyr" meant a witness so may be in a simple way we are endevouring to follow of our illustrious patron.

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