Our Christian Life together is centred on the Sunday (9.30 and 11.15am) and daily celebrations of mass (the source and summing up of our life in Christ and the foundation of our mission).
We have a small but lively Sunday School who meet during the 9.30 service where they have a variety of activities based on the gospel of the day.
Our Youth club meets on a Friday evening in term time and is open to children in year 5 and above.
In addition we seek to provide nurture, to deepen the Christian life of people by running various courses. We seek to be missionary and to serve our parish and those who ask by baptising, celebrating marriages and conducting funerals and maintaining contact with people through Christmas and Easter Cards and information leaflets and the monthly parish magazine called ‘High Tide’.
St Paul the Apostle
The Acts of the Apostles and St. Paul’s own letters provide us with a wealth of detail about the life of Paul – more than we have about any other apostle, perhaps with the exception of Peter. We know that Paul (his Jewish name was ‘Saul’) was from Tarsus, a large, multicultural city in what is now Turkey. Raised in the strict observance of the Jewish faith, he was in fact a Pharisee, one of those rigid and correct observers of the Law with whom Jesus so often found himself in conflict.
Paul persecuted Christians (the followers of “the Way”) until his encounter with the risen Christ on the road to Damascus.
A well-educated man, Paul spoke several languages and also knew the Hebrew Scriptures well. We know that Paul was a working man, a tentmaker (Acts 18: 3). Even when he was travelling and preaching he continued to support himself by the work of his hands (1 Thessalonians 2: 9). In describing his own background, Paul showed his pride in his Jewish roots: “ … of the race of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of Hebrew parentage, in observance of the law a Pharisee, in zeal I persecuted the church, in righteousness based on the law I was blameless” (Philippians 3: 5).
The Acts of the Apostles and Paul’s letters also tell us much about Paul’s life after his conversion to Jesus Christ. Some people were at first suspicious of this persecutor-turned-apostle, but later Peter and the others came to acknowledge the genuineness of Paul’s call, especially his call to preach the Gospel to the Gentiles. Paul, in turn, acknowledged the special role of Peter, and visited Jerusalem to consult with him several times. But Paul did not hesitate to challenge Peter when he felt he was wrong, particularly on the status of non-Jews the new faith.
Paul was constantly on the move, and both Acts and the letters provide detailed evidence of his missionary journeys, which took him from end to end of the ancient world, from Athens to Rome. Sometimes with other disciples, and sometimes alone, Paul preached the good news in small towns and large cities. In some places the message flourished; in others Paul endured sharp persecution for the faith. (For Paul’s own account of all he went through for the faith, see 2 Corinthians 11: 24-27.)
The Acts of the Apostles concludes with Paul awaiting sentence in Rome. Tradition tells us that he met his death there by beheading around AD62, during the reign of Nero. Over his remains one of the oldest Christian church was built, that of Saint Paul outside the Walls.
St. Paul’s Church was built in response to the growing needs of the new residential area of Weymouth, which became known as Westham.
Until 1852 land to the north of the Backwater, or Radipole Lake as it more commonly known now, was just farmland which lay within the parish of Wyke Regis.
By 1880 the population had grown to the extent that the Reverend Pigou, Rector of Wyke Regis, instigated the opening of a school and chapel on the south side of Abbotsbury Road. The chapel seated 200. Within ten years however, it was obvious that in a rapidly growing suburb this would soon be inadequate. The population of Westham in 1892 was about 1500 and the average number of communicants was reckoned to be 140.
The Reverend Sydney Lambert was curate in charge of the Church as it stood then. Together with several parishioners he held a meeting on April 21st 1892, to propose the building of a new church for Westham.
A site had already been chosen on the opposite side of the road from the existing church and school, and this was secured for the princely sum of £60.
Father Lambert seems to have been an energetic and charismatic man who inspired others by his enthusiasm and it was due in no small part to him that this beautiful church now exists.
George H. Fellowes Prynne was the chosen architect and tenders were invited for the construction of the building. Money was raised by public subscription.
The foundation stone was laid by Alice, Countess Hoyos, on May 4th 1894. In a cavity hollowed out of the foundation stone is a bottle containing a piece of parchment on which is written the dedication, which concludes with the words: “Here let true faith and fear of God and brotherly love, ever flourish and abound”.
The church was consecrated on St. Luke’s Day, 18th October 1900 although it was not complete until 1913 when the baptistery was built.