Saturday, 26 March 2016

Web Magazine - March 2016 Issue - Rector's Pages

The Rector’s pages:       

   I think I’m getting old!   Well everyone tells me that the older you get the quicker the time goes by, and it doesn’t seem five minutes since we were in the middle of winter, rushing towards Christmas.   But here we are nearly at Easter; the Snowdrops have gone; and the Daffs are starting to fade; the bluebells will soon be here! Spring is on it’s way – despite the cold, rain and frost! – and Summer is just around the corner.
   Early Spring is my favourite time of year and I count that period to start from the time the first Snowdrops push their heads through the mud and bloom in spite of the cold and wet; for me that is a very real Christian sight.    The Winter represents those dark days in our lives – and all of us have those days of dark depression and gloom to some degree or another.   In winter many people feel their spirits brought low by the early sunsets and late dawns, the fog and mist, the grey clouds and rain, the biting cold, the browns of the gardens and countryside, through illness or grief.   Our lives sometimes reflect that laden feeling, displayed in the world around us.
   But the Snowdrop comes early and it’s hardiness, and colour, cheer and revive with it’s hope-filled promise of distant spring, warmer days, life and colour returning to the land.   This is the Christian message – hope.   No matter how dark the day, we have a firm promise of better times to come.   At Easter this year we will be presented with the early bulbs in full flower, the magnolias and cherries budding and the world returning to life; what a glorious sight that will be!    And how appropriate!   Easter is the most important of Christian festivals because it promises life out of death, joy out of sorrow and hope out of despair.   It reminds us that our faith is about persevering through the winters of our life, confident that the joy of spring is never far away.
   Thanks be to God for the promise of Spring and the joy of Easter.

Would we be counted among the doubters 
hiding in the shadow cast by that cruel cross?
Or, when challenged, like Peter openly deny you?
There are times, Lord when doubts assail 
and the distance between us seems to increase.
There are times, Lord when darkness has its hold, 
like a barrier between us that will not move.
Who is there we can turn to when we feel so overwhelmed?
Who can roll away the stone and reveal the empty tomb?
No-one but you, Lord Jesus,no-one but you!  (Anon.)

"Christ the Lord is risen to-day," 
Sons of men and angels say. 
Raise your joys and triumphs high; 
Sing, ye heavens, and earth reply.     (Charles Wesley)

From the Church Registers
22nd January 2016 Patrick Fowler, 79 yrs; ashes interred next to his wife at Kingstone.
26th January 2016 Norma Hawkins, 75 yrs; funeral service and burial at Shepton Beauchamp.

From other records
18th February 2016    Lesley Leeds of Stocklinch; a celebration of a wonderful person and a life well lived.   Stocklinch Village Hall and Church.

First Sunday Services - Sunday 3rd April
08.45am  Dowlish Wake 1662 Communion
10.00am Kingstone Worship 4 All
10.30am Shepton         Modern sung Communion
11.15am Cudworth         Communion
6.00pm Barrington Sung Evensong 


4th March - World Day of Prayer
10.30am Shepton Beauchamp church.
This year the featured country is Cuba.
Sunday 6th March
11.15am - Mothering Sunday service at Cudworth
A special service for this special day and these special people.
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.


Saturday 19th March - CHILLINGTON
5.00pm   The Easter Story - retelling the stories leading to the Last Supper. 

24th March - Maundy Thursday
10.00am  Communion in Shepton Church
11.30am  The Last Supper at Buttle Close, Shepton

25th March - Good Friday
10.00am   Shepton – The Way of the Cross                 
12.00 – 12.30pm   Dowlish Wake - Vigil Prayers
2.00 – 2.300pm   Barrington - Vigil Prayers
3.00 – 3.30pm   Shepton - Vigil Prayers

Saturday 26th March - KINGSTONE
5.30pm   New Fires Service - the first service of Easter
(Starts with an Easter Egg Hunt!)
+ + +


09.30am   Barrington
Modern Language Communion

09.30am   Dowlish Wake
Easter Praise
a service for all ages, retelling the story of Easter 
and culminating in an “open to all” Last Supper.

10.00am   Puckington
Modern Language Communion by extension.

11.00am   Shepton
Easter Praise
a service for all ages, retelling the story of Easter 
and culminating in an “open to all” Last Supper.

11.00am   Stocklinch
Easter Praise
a service for all ages, retelling the story of Easter 
(after which there will be an “open to all” 1662 Communion 
& Easter Egg Hunt in the church-yard).

The Isle Abbotts community choir welcomes members from surrounding villages to sing joyful songs and harmonies. We meet on Monday evenings from 7.30-9.30pm at Isle Abbotts Village Hall TA3 6RR. No need to read music and no auditions. Men particularly welcome! We will be one of 25 choirs singing for Wateraid on July 10th in Bath. If you would like to join us for this magical event and help raise money for wells and safe water around the world, please get in touch with David Sutcliffe 01460 281440. We start Wateraid practices in March. 

Your Village Church - your chance to have a say in its running or to ask questions - Annual General Meetings:
Will be held on the following dates - in the relevant church
Mon 11th April - KINGSTONE - 7.30PM
Tue 12th April - BARRINGTON - 7.00pm
Wed 13th April - CHILLINGTON - 7.30pm
Tue 19th April - PUCKINGTON - 7.30pm
(NB - held at Rose Cutter’s Cottage)
Wed 27th April - CUDWORTH - 6.30pm
Wed 19th May - STOCKLINCH - 7.00pm
Mon 16th May - DOWLISH WAKE - 7.00pm
SHEPTON BEAUCHAMP - to be notified

Our Churches -

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

Food and Hospitality

One of the things I most enjoy about village life is the many ways that we can enjoy other peoples company via food and drink!

Whether it is a convivial pint, meeting neighbours and making new friends in the local pub, the bring and share church picnic, a quiet evening supper with a couple of friends or a simple coffee and bun at the village coffee stop, food and drink always seem to bring people together in the nicest ways!

But what if there is no pub or farm shop in your village? Some villages I know organise a BIG breakfast a couple of times a year and find them very popular and sociable – and quite easy to organise; one couple in Chiselborough lay out a ‘pop-up café of garden furniture on their front drive, involve the uniformed group to be waiters, and also raise money for a couple of charities (like Farming Community Network). Thank you!

If you read the gospels you will find that Jesus is very keen on sharing hospitality and many of his important encounters, miracles and teaching took place while sharing a meal with friends and strangers – even picnic breakfasts! He knew how important hospitality is – both to hosts and guests.

At this time of the year I am busy organising farmers suppers – in a local pub with a guest speaker. This week Rob Walrond is our speaker and 50 farmers are signed up – it’s a good way for busy country people to keep in touch – and to hear about someone’s faith journey.

On April 16th (9.15-Lunch) there is a gathering at Bagley Baptist church near Wedmore – a stunning venue with great views, and the purpose is to explore ways in which churches use their gifts of food and hospitality in their outreach to local communities. Do come and join in the workshops - bring your ideas and examples.   I hope to be exchanging ideas about a Passover meal and service we are planning for Maundy Thursday… Details on Bath and Wells website – look for Mission through Munching!

Revd Annie Gurner  07765 216818

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