The Rector’s pages:
ONE OF THE most consoling texts of the Hebrew scriptures is the Book of Job, which concerns itself with the theme of why bad things happen to good people - a question to which, intriguingly, it refuses to offer up simple, faith-based answers. The point of the Book of Job is his ultimate recognition of the mystery of God's ways and in his recognition of God's sovereignty.
While he cavils at God's ordering of men's affairs and beats his fists in vain against the gates of heaven he finds no peace of mind or respite for his tortured soul. But when he humbly acknowledges that the right relationship of man to God is one of unquestioning obedience and acceptance of the world as it is, his troubled spirit is at rest and adversity or success has now no power to smite him down or raise him up.
He has learned that it is not through material things that man fulfils his being but in dependence and trust in God. The book is teaching us that suffering tests the quality of our faith. The epilogue, Job's final restoration to prosperity, gives the conclusion that he had emerged triumphantly from his testing time and receives his reward.
Certainly the book offers no satisfactory solution to the problem of pain or of the moral order of the universe. It would, however, undoubtedly warn us against the danger of equating the religious orthodoxy of our time or any time with the mind and purpose of God.
Job’s well-meaning friends are so concerned to defend what they believe to be revealed truth that they bludgeon him into refuting a God whom his conscience rejects as a caricature of the God whom the prophets had proclaimed.
The author would also teach us to see in Job the eternal rebel that is in us all, bewildered by the apparent injustice of things as they are and tempted to claim that we could have ordered them better. Job's real sin is man's perennial sin of self-sufficiency, his partial and myopic view of life which sees no farther than his own concerns and questions the whole structure of God's government of the universe on the basis of his own limited experience.
In the end Job wins through from his despair to a true knowledge of God, when he recognises that the God he has been arraigning is a God of his own making. He finds peace of mind and spirit in a humble acceptance of his proper place in the scheme of things as a creature living by faith under a sovereign Creator whose ways are beyond our understanding.
We have reached the heart of the message of Job when we can simply echo St Paul's words: ‘… I am convinced that neither death, nor life …nor anything in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.’ Rom. 8: 35-39 Fr Peter Knott SJ
First Sunday Services - Sunday 5th July
08.45am Dowlish Wake 1662 Communion
10.00am Kingstone Family Service
10.30am Shepton Modern sung Communion
11.15am Cudworth CW Communion
6.00pm Barrington Songs of Praise for Barrington Day
21st June - 6.00pm
Annual Moolham Churchyard Songs of Praise;
see note below.
Buttle Close Common Room - Shepton Beauchamp
We meet at 11.30am on the first Thursday of each month in the Common Room of Buttle Close for a short, gentle service of prayers, hymns, readings and a story. Everyone is very welcome.
Shepton on Tuesdays at 10.30am.
These services are 30 minutes long, simple Communion Services to reflect, pray and give thanks.
21st June - Annual Moolham Service at 6.00pm
The beautiful little churchyard of St John the Baptist, Moolham (just outside Dowlish Wake), is a yard without a church. Legend has it that the original church building burned down (perhaps in Tudor times?) and the wood to replace the building was stolen by the villainous Ilminster folk! I’m not sure how true that is, but its a good story. Suffice to say that the churchyard has survived and it is a beautiful, natural - and very holy - place.
Each year, around the feast of St John the Baptist, we meet in the churchyard for readings and popular hymns and it is a very magical event….so why not join us…..Sunday 21st June at 6.00pm (bring rugs, folding chairs if you want to sit down).
Watch out for:
Shepton Church - sponsored Songs of Praise at 4.00pm
Shepton - St Petroc’s Fair
Stocklinch Church - fete starting at 2.00pm
Kingstone - Open Gardens around the church from 2.00pm
FUND-RAISING RESULTS…..with huge thanks to everyone involved or supporting…..
2nd May Kingstone: May Fair - £1200 despite the cold and blustery weather.
8th May Dowlish Wake and Kingstone: Coffee Morning for the Nepal Appeal - over £1100.
9th May Puckington: Coffee Morning for Bell appeal - £201 (with thanks to Derek Carte for hosting the event).
Shepton Beauchamp: Mini-fete - £623.01!
16th May Dowlish Wake - Plant Sale - £1157
From the Church Registers
25 April Nicholas coombes; Holy Baptism at Dowlish Wake.
26 April Holly Mullen; Holy Baptism at Dowlish.
From other records
24th April Trevor Stansell, 95 yrs; ashes interred with his late wife at Dowlish Wake.
Message from The Venerable John Reed, Archdeacon of Taunton
“We are delighted to announce that the Bishop has appointed the Reverend Chloe Kingdon as the next Rector of the Quantocks Villages Benefice. Their Parish Reps, Archdeacon, Rural Dean, Lay Chair and Patrons were unanimous in their belief and decision that Chloe is called to serve that benefice and they look forward very much to receiving her in September. An institution is scheduled for Wednesday, 9th September. We pray for Chloe on leaving her present ministry and moving to the Quantocks Villages Benefice”.
There will be a message from chloe next month.
Co-Editorship of the WEB
I thought this would be a good time to give you all a quick update on the people who work so hard to produce this splendid little magazine…..
Sarah Catchpole joined the “Staff” a few months ago and has now become a fully fledged member of the team - welcome Sarah. Anthea has asked to take more of a back-seat but has very kindly agreed to continue updating the Block Adverts each month with new contributions, cancellations and amendments as received; I am very grateful for this as setting up the ads sometimes needs that little extra computer expertise which Anthea brings - thank you Anthea. The third staff member continues to be Judy, who co-ordinates all articles and is the general manager - thank you Judy.
All together these three produce a high class community news booklet, every month, for all our villages; they work hard, are always cheerful and do a tremendous job….a very big thank you to them all.
I would also like the offer a heartfelt thanks to the unsung heroes who, each month come rain or shine, distribute the Web to every house in all eight parishes…..THANK YOU!
Stocklinch Church - Porch Roof Repairs
A few years ago the Church Architect (Mr Mark Richmond) asked the PCC to do some minor repointing on the porch roof. The roof is formed from large ham-stone “tiles” (more in the size of slabs!) which have weathered over the centuries and at some point had been re-pointed using concrete cement. The job was quoted at a couple of hundred pounds; work began; the old concrete was removed. It was then discovered that this concrete pointing had caused a lot of damage; water had got into the nocks and crannies, and then seeped into the ham-stone resulting in a number of the “tiles” cracking and splitting, horizontally as well as vertically.
The repairs were looked at again and specialist stone masons were called in by the Architect. The cost was now estimated at £11,000!
Fortunately, the Government’s “Listed Places of Worship - Church Roof Fund” have agreed to pay for up to 90 per cent of the costs……so we are very (very!) grateful for their help.
Puckington Church Bell Appeal - about £23,000 needed
After two short but very hectic years I am delighted to say that Puckington has just managed to raise all the money - or been promised donations - to cover the full cost of the Bell Appeal and work has begun on them!
This is amazing news and a brilliant effort on everyone’s part, to raise c£23,000 in such a short time - VERY WELL DONE EVERYONE!!!
Plans are now afoot to celebrate this achievement and to ring the first Quarter Peal. Archdeacon John has asked if he can come and lead us in this celebration;
SO A DATE FOR YOUR DIARIES
Saturday 12th September at 4.00pm.
We’ll let you have more details nearer the date.
Open all hours! At this time of year the orchards are in full bloom, the bluebell woods are a picture and the trees are bursting into leaf. Somerset has never looked so attractive and in these early Summer days the countryside is full of people enjoying it. Even a drive to work through the lanes is a real pleasure – especially if you can allow an extra 5 minutes to enjoy the sights and smells…
Of course our land is not just a rural idyll and playground, it is a workplace for thousands of people who produce food and energy and manage the landscape. That’s why its encouraging for them and interesting for us to understand more about what is happening on real working farms.
Open Farm Sunday is the farming industry's national open day managed by LEAF (Linking Environment and Farming). Hundreds of events ranging from farm walks through to full open days will take place this month. It is a fantastic opportunity for everyone, young and old, to discover at first hand what it means to be a farmer and the amazing work they do producing our food and managing the countryside. Take time to listen to the birds, soak up the scenery, experience the smells of the farmyard and really get in touch with the land that feeds us. Each event is unique with its own activities - based around the farm’s own individual story. Activities during the day may include a farm walk, nature trail, tractor and trailer rides, pond dipping, a mini farmers market or picnics.
To find your nearest Open farm and more details : http://www.farmsunday.org or look out for the signs. All these events are free. For example on June 7th try: Rushywood Farm in Haselbury Plucknett (dairy) or Meadowlea Farm in South Petherton (beef), or for a walk through a traditional hay/wildflower meadow, visit Hardington Moor National Nature Reserve near West Coker.
Also on June 14th you could try Bineham City Farm, Knole, Langport (dairy) or Frogmary Green Farm, South Petherton (poultry and arable).
It may be that your child or grandchild is one of the hundreds attending a
Schools Open Farm day this month too. Throughout June, farms will be opening their gates and hosting educational visits for children to learn about how their food is grown, where it comes from and meeting the farmers who grow it. We have one organised in South Petherton and one in Minehead this year. They are one of the highlights of my year as we see the fascination of these young children in learning about the animals and plants they eat – discovering that food doesn’t grow in a bottle or a supermarket pack! I hope that for some of them it will encourage the idea of a career in this great industry. As a Christian I am glad to be invited to close each school visit with a simple act of Thanksgiving – for the world we live in and for all that the farming community do for us.
Annie Gurner, Deanery Rural Adviser firstname.lastname@example.org 07765 216818
WEBSITE FOR OUR VILLAGES & CHURCHES
Barrington Village barringtonvillage.btck.co.uk
Barrington (with Ilton) Primary School stmarystpeters.co.uk
Barrington Pre-school barringtonpreschool.co.uk
Deanery Website crewkernedeanery.blogspot.co.uk
Shepton Beauchamp Village sheptonbeauchamp.org.uk
Shepton Primary School sheptonbeauchampprimaryschool.org.uk
Stocklinch Village stocklinch.org.uk