About West Down

St Calixtus Church, West Down

The 13th century church of St Calixtus stands in the centre of the village. It is surrounded by residential buildings, some of which are used as holiday lets during the summer months. The village has a primary school, community run shop, pub and village hall. The population is over 600 with a number of farms, people who commute to the local town, retired people and an increasing number of young families.

The congregation of West Down church is small (average 12) with the majority of retirement age. There is a church run Mums and Toddlers group (about 10 children). We run a nativity around the village (100 people) and have tried an Easter and Harvest Messy church (45 people). The school holds harvest and Christmas services in the church and a member of the Mission Community ministry team leads a school assembly once a month.

West Down pays its full common share and has undertaken repair work on the tower recently with a few stages still to complete and some roof repairs due to be done in 2018. We have a small, recently refurbished church room which is used by Mums and Toddlers, a weekly Bible study group and is hired occasionally.

Despite monthly family services with drama and modern music we have found it difficult to encourage families to worship regularly in church. For six years we ran Messy church every month (15 children) but this has recently stopped as new leaders are needed. We hope to restart this in September.