St Cecilia's Church - West Bilney





FIND THE CHURCH HERE:-
Post Code PE32 1HS
Grid Reference TF 716153

St. Cecilia is the patroness of musicians. Born in  Rome in AD200; Died AD230.


(See St. Cecilia's Abbey - Benedictine Nuns - here)



A gallery of photographs of St. Cecilia church at West Bilney may be seen here




The Graves and Monuments of St. Cecilia's, West Bilney:-
an afternoon with Dr. Julian Litten. 

Doesn't sound like a fun event, does it? But you need to hear Dr Julian Litten on the subject of graves! Nothing could be more interesting!

He's going to run a study afternoon from

2pm - 4pm on Saturday 19th August

and you'll love every minute!

There are refreshments afterwards, too. The talk will cost £10, to raise funds for the Norfolk Churches Trust.  



Those people who were at a similar event at East Winch a couple of years or so ago will know how interesting the subject can be.


There will be a service of HOLY COMMUNION on SUNDAY 20th. AUGUST at St. Cecilia at 6pm.

See all services at West Bilney and East Winch here


Churches Open Week  - Saturday 5th - Sunday 13th August.
All Saints at East Winch will be open Details here



West Bilney (St. Cecilia) and East Winch (All Saints) are part of the
MIDDLEWINCH BENEFICE


Janet Weavers is Churchwarden:  telephone:- 01553 840510
Janet Weavers is PCC Secretary:   telephone:- 01553 840510
Wendy Smith
  is PCC Treasurer:   telephone:- 01553 842281


(See more about the MIDDLEWINCH BENEFICE



See all church services at
West Bilney / East Winch
here










A mini Flower Festival was held at St Cecilia church at West Bilney over the weekend on 20/21 June 2015; a number of the church’s historical books, some dating from the early 1700s, were on display.












Included was a prayer book that was “The gift of Elizabeth Freke to her church of West Bilney”. Note the description of the church as being “HER” church.




Elizabeth Freke's Prayer Book

There are some handwritten amendments to the text of a prayer, for example -

“Most gracious Sovereign Lady Queen Anne” has been altered to read “Most gracious Sovereign Lord King George”. It is thought that this alteration would have been made in about 1714.




 Other handwritten amendments are shown in the photograph below

A gallery of photographs of St. Cecilia at West Bilney may be seen here



There is also a Prayer book with

‘A form of PRAYER WITH THANKSGIVING, to be used yearly upon the Fifth Day of November, for the happy deliverance of King JAMES 1 and the Three Estates of England, from the most traiterous and bloody intended Massacre by Gunpowder: And also for the happy Arrival of His Majesty King William on the Day, for the Deliverance of our Church and Nation”



 











Similarly, another volume offers a prayer;

"Accept also, most gracious God, of our unfeigned thanks for filling our hearts again with joy and gladness, after the time that thou hadst afflicted us, and putting a new song into our mouths, by bringing his Majesty King William upon the day, for the Deliverance of our Church and Nation from popish Tyranny and arbitrary Power".

 








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West Bilney, St Cecilia, with East Winch, All Saints, is part of the MIDDLEWINCH benefice. See here for information relevant to the benefice.

CHURCH SERVICES: Please click here to see details of services to be held at St Cecilia (Bilney) or at All Saints (East Winch).

Other news of West Bilney may be seen here - including some things that were previously displayed on this page.
About 20 people attended a service of Carols and lessons by Candlelight at Saint Cecilia 

on a bright but chilly Saturday afternoon in December.
The service was led by Nell Steele with a closing blessing by Rev. Mubarak.
Following the service the congregation had a natter whilst enjoying mulled wine and mince pies!


The Open Weekend at St. Cecilia's church on 27th -28th July 2013 turned out to be  really interesting. Lottery funding had been obtained to celebrate the life of Elizabeth Freke (d. 1714) and her relationship with "her" church, and to involve the community in the history of their village.

More may be seen about the Open Weekend here

We continue to research the history of the church and of West Bilney. If you have anything that you  think might be of interest please let us know - we should very much like to hear from you.


The Chuch is a listed building - GRADE II*. See the LISTING TEXT here (note the error in spelling of Cecilia on the site !)









NADFAS (Now known as 'The Arts Society') has completed a survey of the church and a first copy of their report is in the hands of the PCC. This is a very comprehensive survey of the whole of the interior of the
church. The survey includes details about memorials, stonework, paintings, fabrics, and so on and is certain to be the most comprehensive survey ever made of the church.

A number of photographs which form part of the NADFAS survey report are now posted on this web site - see here.

A similar survey has been completed at All Saints, East Winch - see more here

A brief guide to the church may be seen
HERE


Elizabeth Freke lived in West Bilney from 1676 until her death. She spent much time and money on the repair of St Cecilia’s church and paid the clergyman. More about her here.





East Winch and West Bilney Community Project
has been awarded £9,300 Heritage Lottery Grant

This enabled them to put on an exhibition of the history of the village, the church and village people past and present in July 2013. .

The money will also help with research, the preservation of documents, photographs etc and help maintain the village website where much of the information gained will be available.

Additionally it will pay for water to be laid on at the churchyard, for the churchyard to be maintained, access improved and better parking.

It is hoped that the bier will be preserved, and for geo physics to find where the chancel once stood and the vault where Percy Freke is buried. He is the husband of Elizabeth Freke, a benefactor of the church 300 years ago.




Though a few services are held there each year, St Cecilia's Church is normally disused and is cared for by the Norfolk Churches Trust. However, the lovely churchyard is not in the care of the NCT and the grass continues to grow !

We are looking for someone who would be willing to mow the grass as necessary and to help keep the churchyard tidy.

Is there anyone willing to carry out this essential work ? Your help would be greatly appreciated.

Please contact Geoff Newton, KL 01553 636118 or Nell Steele 01553 840814 if you are able to help.






A Christmas Service at St. Cecilia's on a very cold evening.

Note that there is no permanent electrical power or heating at St Cecilia's. Those attending the service were indeed "Hardy Souls"






Click on the link to see a description of the Parish Records of West Bilney held by the Norfolk Record Office.


Some graveyard records of St Cecilia's may be seen here

Some records of Baptism at St Cecilia's may be seen here.











The Church is in the care of the Norfolk Churches Trust