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The History of St John's, Elberton

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St Helen's Church

Elberton is a small village that is bisected by the B4461. Over the past fifty years the village has changed from a community based on a number of small farms to a community where most working people have jobs elsewhere.

in 2015 there were about 50 households, and a population of around 150. Besides the Church, there is a Village Hall, a Garage, a small Industrial Estate which is based on one of the Farms, and a few bigger Farms.

The Church of St John the Evangelist itself is run by a small PCC who officially meet about three times a year. There is a Licensed Lay Reader, who acts as our Focal Minister. In recent years there has been a good working relationship with the vicar. These two formed a partnership, which has served Elberton very well, and this resulted in good feedback for pastoral care as and when needed.

Elberton likes its independence, but nevertheless there are matters (such as Pastoral Care, Marriage Preparation, Vulnerable People (Children and Adults), and House Groups etc) which are best shared with other members of the United Benefice, with whom there is a good working relationship.

Usually there are two services a month at 9am. On the second Sunday of the month, Matins is taken by the Lay Reader and a Communion taken by the Vicar on the fourth Sunday.

The Church plays an important part in the life of the Village. The Carol Service is a special village occasion. Plough Monday is celebrated with Olveston Young Farmers, and usually Communion on Christmas Day is very well attended.

The Church Fete is still an important part of village life, and helps the Church’s finances. The Churchyard is still open, and many former villagers wish to be buried there. It is a stable and supportive community which values its independence and its smallness.

The Community Magazine for Elberton (and Littleton) is the Olveston based ‘Meeting Point’, although Elberton Services are advertised in ‘Helmet’ as well. In Elberton, a ‘Flyer’ is added to ‘Meeting Point’ for just Elberton events. In addition, the Church does an annual Newsletter thanking those who have helped with the running of the Church over the past year.

The Victorians updated the Medieval Church and some the original structure and fittings remain. The recent Quinquennial has confirmed that the structure of the Church and its surrounds are in reasonable condition. Currently (2016) there are no problems with the Parish’s finances.

The Church is usually locked, but the keys can be obtained easily from the Churchwardens:

John Gunnery
Tel: 01454 413225
Address: Rock House, Elberton, Olveston, Bristol BS35 4AQ

Pauline Ford
Tel: 01454 416708
Address: Pillar Box Cottage, Elberton, Olveston, Bristol BS35 4AE

The photograph on this page has been kindly provided by Cheryl Meredith.

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