Monday, 21 September 2015

Web Magazine - October Issue - Rector's Pages

The Rector’s pages:

As you read this, the Harvest Festival Season is in full flow with each church, school and pre-school celebrating this timeless celebration.   As I wrote last month, “Each service will be a thanksgiving for all the hard work of our farmers and we will also be looking at how they invest in the future, how parents and charities invest in the future, and how we can do something to help”.   Thanks to Leo Gallagher for his article on the Manjushree charity last month which echoed the harvest theme of investment; this month Lucy Blows writes “Families for children” and again suggests ways in which we can DO SOMETHING for the future, “Adoptive parents can feel very alone and each church community is well placed to open its eyes and ears to the needs of others.  The great thing about adopting….. is the support the church (family) can give”.

It is often difficult to think in terms of “today” and at the same time of “next year”; life is short so we must make every minute of every day count (times flies - time goes faster as you get older - my how the children have grown, it only seems like yesterday….), but at the same time we need to have a care for the future (health, retirement and pensions, etc).   This conflict is echoed in the Bible.

In Luke’s Gospel we read of Joseph of Arimathea who was “looking for the kingdom of God” (Luke 23.51).   Jesus says several times “the kingdom of heaven is like….”.   John the Baptist is recorded as saying “…the kingdom of heaven is at hand” (Matt 3.2).   We all tend to think in terms of the kingdom of heaven being a place we can go to after this life, but Scripture gives a timeless element to it; it may be part of this life as much as it is part of the next, “the kingdom of heaven is at hand”.   “Thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven” is well known to us all and once again it speaks to the eternal nature of the kingdom as an eternity which may already have started.

Is this idea of heaven being here and now, disturbing or upsetting?   Why should this beautiful world and this wonderful life NOT be part of heaven?   Of course this “beautiful world” is not all beautiful (look at the wars, violence, hunger) and life is not always wonderful (sickness, death, poverty, refugees), but is there no beauty and wonder in your life?   Is there nothing that doesn’t melt your heart?   Do you never stop and say “thank God”?   If your response is “yes” then the “kingdom of heaven IS at hand” and we can each copy Jesus’ words by saying “the kingdom of heaven is like this moment in my life”.

Grant us dear Lord, not to mind earthly things, but to love things heavenly, and whilst now we dwell among things that are passing away, to cleave to those that shall last forever; through Jesus Christ our Lord.   Amen.

First Sunday Services - Sunday 1st November
08.45am   Dowlish Wake 1662 Communion
10.00am         Kingstone Worship for All
10.30am         Shepton            Modern sung Communion
11.15am         Cudworth         Communion
6.00pm           Barrington Sung Evensong 

Remembrance Sunday is 8th November this year
Service times will be different from normal 


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.
Weekday Communions
Shepton on Tuesdays at 10.30am.
These services are 30 minutes long, simple Communion Services to reflect, pray and give thanks.
Please check to times of Evensong at the churches as some of them will hold the service at 4.00pm during the winter months

Our Churches -

Barrington Village 
Barrington Pre-school   
Deanery Website   
Shepton Beauchamp Village
Shepton Primary School 
Stocklinch Village

From the Church Registers
22nd August Edward Bamford & Helen Crabb; joined in holy Matrimony at Dowlish Wake
12th Sept’ber Stanley Pattisson; holy baptism at Shepton
19th Sept’ber Valerie Gilmore, 94 yrs; ashes interred with her husband at Shepton Beauchamp


Saturday 10th October - Barrington
Harvest Supper
in village hall
+  +  +
Saturday 17th October - Shepton Beauchamp 
Harvest Lunch
in village hall
+  +  +
Friday 23rd October - Dowlish Wake 
Harvest Supper in Speke Hall
+  +  +
Saturday 14th November - Kingstone
Craft Fair in church
+  +  +
Saturday 28th November - Cudworth
Christmas Bazaar in church
+  +  +
Sunday 29th November - Stocklinch
Advent Lunch and Fair in village hall

Fund Raising Results
A very big thank you to everyone involved in the recent fund-raising activities; thank you to the organisers and “worker bees” for all the hard work and time; thank you to those who were so generous in their support.
Regular events:
22nd Aug  Kingstone 1/4ly Craft Fair; made £187 - very well done.
Main/annual fund raising events:
26th Aug   Cudworth Summer Market; made just over £1500!
29th Aug   Chillington Craft Fair; raised the fantastic sum of £1325!!
5th Sept    Puckington Coffee Morning at South Bradon Farm; raised £460+ (thank you to hosts Joan & Geoff Spiller). 

Families for Children by Lucy Blows
In December 2014 there were 2,960 children waiting to be placed with adoptive families where they could feel secure and a sense of belonging.  These children are not able to remain with their birth families for complicated reasons and will have experienced considerable trauma in their short lives.  While they have a birth family, they are currently in limbo waiting to be belong to a new and forever family in a new community.

Most of these children have complex needs, so adopters need a great deal of support and understanding. Parenting an adopted child is very different from parenting a birth child and requires a much more flexible approach. The church can play an important role in helping to give these children a sense of belonging and identity.

Adoptive parents can feel very alone and each church community is well placed to open its eyes and ears to the needs of others.  The great thing about adopting not just into a nuclear family, but into the church community is the support the church can give. And that support needs to be wide ranging from the very practical to the emotional: for example it might be leaving a meal on the door step for the first week, it might be listening to the pain of the family as a child learns to trust. It might be through prayer. 

19th- 25th October is National Adoption week and gives us all the chance to think about adoption in our communities and how we can support those that adopt. So how about supporting our families to think about adoption and offering a child a sense of belonging to a community giving them security and commitment. 

Families for Children trust is a voluntary adoption agency based in the South West with offices in Somerset, Dorset Devon and Cornwall. Families for Children existed for many years as a joint venture operated by the Exeter Diocesan Board for Christian Care and the Plymouth Diocesan Catholic Children’s Society. In 2003 the agency became a separate charity in its own right.

If you would like to know more, visit our website at 
where you will find details of regular information sessions. If you would like someone from Families for Children to come and talk to your church community then please do call us on 01278 227027

Lucy  Blows works for “Families for children” and is a member of one of our congregations.

Devolution of Power?   The new government policy for Rural Productivity is promoting more devolved power, and where that leads to better decision making by better informed local country people it must surely be welcomed. The policy includes commitments also on rural housing, planning and transport, improved broadband and better rural education – both for children and young adults.I wonder whether we will also see more devolved systems of sustainable energy production?  In some rural nations there is far more focus on communities designing sustainable heating and energy solutions into any new developments, and that would surely suit areas like the South West. In the same way that many of us try to reduce food miles by buying locally sourced food, wouldn’t it be good if more of us were able to not only generate our power, but preferentially share it with our neighbours?  I do applaud those schools and churches that now share heating plant, and surely it is great to see the increase in waste consumption for energy at source, as in the Anaerobic Digestors on livestock farms. Also, in a year that so many cereal crops have proved uneconomic, its good to know some land can be used sensibly to grow green ‘energy crops’. Rural dwellers are well aware of the increased cost of living in remoter communities – not least due to our reliance on the car, and it is marvellous that newer vehicles are so much more efficient in their use of petrol and diesel. I hope, however, in my lifetime too see adoption of technologies enabling transport without using fuels that damage the environment and directly impact the ability of our world’s poorest people to grow their food.  I was delighted therefore to see that the Church of England this Summer joined the Methodists and others in a decision to disinvest from thermal coal and tar sands, although it eventually failed to commit to disinvest totally in oil exploration companies, preferring active engagement to reduce production consistent with limiting global temperature rise to 2 °C.  However the Church is committed now to seek investments in renewable energies and other low-carbon energy and technologies.  Any move towards supporting reductions to climate change seem to me to be positive. Today’s concerns are much the same as the prophet Joel, writing four millennia ago, assuring the people that God was jealous, or concerned, about the use and management of the land: He said… ‘Do not be afraid, O soil – the Lord will send the rains in season; the pastures will be green, the trees will fruit again and the years destroyed by the locust will be restored …. so that there would be enough for everyone to eat and be full.’ These words are set for this year’s harvest Festival reading and are just as apposite today. We have been given a productive soil, rain and sun and any number of plants and animals to sustain us with the balance of Nature – rich and poor, in West and East, if only we treat these gifts responsibly. God has covenanted with His people, and this month we will be gathering across the county to recognise His provision, give thanks for our food and farmers and recommit to do our part as stewards of our local land.
Rev’d Annie Gurner  Deanery Rural Adviser 07765 216818

Sometimes it DOES take a Rocket Scientist!!

British scientists at Rolls Royce built a gun specifically to launch dead chickens at the windshields of airliners and military jets all travelling at maximum velocity.

The idea is to simulate the frequent incidents of collisions with airborne fowl to test the strength of the windshields.

American engineers heard about the gun and were eager to test it on the windshields of their new high speed trains.
Arrangements were made, and a gun was sent to the American engineers.

When the gun was fired, the engineers stood shocked as the chicken hurled out of the barrel, crashed into the shatterproof shield, smashed it to smithereens, blasted through the control console, snapped the engineer's back-rest in two and embedded itself in the back wall of the cabin like an arrow shot from a bow..

The horrified Yanks sent Rolls Royce the disastrous results of the experiment, along with the designs of the windshield and begged the British scientists for suggestions.

Rolls Royce responded with a one-line memo: "Defrost chicken.”

A Prayer for the Refugees

Heavenly Father,
you are the source of all goodness, generosity and love.
We thank you for opening the hearts of many
to those who are fleeing for their lives.
Help us now to open our arms in welcome,
and reach out our hands in support.
That the desperate may find new hope,
and lives torn apart be restored.
We ask this in the name of Jesus Christ Your Son, Our Lord,  
who fled persecution at His birth
and at His last triumphed over death.   Amen.

THE SHEPTON BEAUCHAMP CHARITY is a collection of charities for the benefit of residents of Shepton Beauchamp; some of the charities are several hundred years old.  Any resident can apply:

The Over 70's Christmas Box is a small payment, paid in early December, to help with the cost of Christmas and is payable to residents who are 70 years old or over.
If you are not yet receiving the Christmas Box,  please call Fleur on 01460 351272 to have your name added to the list (before 15th November please).


After around 167 years of education for the children of this village, Barrington School finally closed its doors at the end of the summer term in July.  Around 120 past pupils, staff, parents, governors and friends attended the Final Farewell Assembly on 15th July and/or the Fond Farewell on 26th August.   Thank you to all those who helped give the school a good send off with songs, poems and happy memories!

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