Tuesday, 13 February 2018

Web Magazine - Rector's Pages - February 2018


Dear Friends 

Just a couple of weeks ago, Leo and I took the long, bumpy, dusty, winding mountain road down from our second home in the high Himalayas of Northeast India. It was painful to leave the ‘family’ – the children, our fine past-pupils, the dedicated teachers, the ‘aunties’ and other non-teaching staff, the monks – and our beloved boss-monk, founder and principal Lama 
Thupten Phuntsok. This was my tenth visit to Manjushree home and likely to be my last. The challenges of the journey, the altitude and weakness in my own health have finally got the better of me. FMVSO, however, will continue – managed from our kitchen table at Wallbridge Farm. My fellow trustees will continue to make regular visits and I shall remain in contact with students and staff so we will be able to update you regularly. 
The highlight of our visit was the presence, and evident involvement, of a large number of past pupils. They organised, for the first time, the Foundation Day celebrations and what an excellent job they made of it. They demonstrated clearly their sincerity, their maturity, and their determination to play key roles in the next chapter of Manjushree. They announced that they had opened a bank account solely for the purpose of supporting Manjushree; all past pupils have committed to contribute regularly, according to their means, and regular contributions are already being made. It was particularly heart-warming to see the love, care and concern of the past pupils for their younger brothers and sisters and the respect the younger ones show for the seniors. The younger children continue to delight and tug at the heart strings; they now have the benefit of role models to help guide their future. All 29 past pupils are either in gainful employment or pursuing further studies. Two of them are teaching at Manjushree and another two are teaching in local schools. Looking at these very impressive young people, I felt an immense sense of pride in what you, the FMVSO donors, have helped to achieve over the past 12 years. Manjushree produces well rounded, balanced and caring young people who would be the envy of many schools in the UK. They are extremely aware of, and enormously grateful for, the opportunity your generosity has given them. 
Modern technology has made communication with the Manjushree family so very much easier. The internet and power situation is still as bad as ever but there is now 3G of sorts in Tawang so we are able to keep in touch through Whats App and Facebook. 

Education - FMVSO currently covers all Further Education costs (apart from a couple of students whose costs are covered by individual sponsorship). We are supporting 23 students in college including 9 post- graduates who are studying for Masters, Bachelor of Education or Arunachal Pradesh Civil Service. Average cost per student is £60 per month FMVSO contributes £16,000 per year.  Apart from the academic route there are other opportunities available to the Manjushree children. There are already a dozen or so boys in monk training at Mysore Gyumed Tantric Monastery in south India. They are free to leave the monastic life at any time if they so choose. In spring 2017 some of the older student monks took the opportunity to return home to Manjushree, for a holiday.  The girls who chose to join a nunnery in Nepal are happily settled and doing well. It is common practice within the culture of the region for at least one boy, and often a girl from a family, to choose to take the monastic path.  Several boys have opted for the Indian army. Other boys are taking coaching for entrance exam for army schools. Two have already
been accepted and started this term at an excellent school in Assam
where they will have the opportunity to train to be officers. For the less academic but more practical there is the option of a non-degree nursing course. 10 of the Manjushree girls are now training in Mangalore. Rinchin, who is deaf and dumb has gone to Nepal to learn Tibetan painting; this avenue could provide a future for others who are less able academically.
Manjushree provides education for the children up to 14/15; they then attend secondary school in the nearby village of Bomba. Once they pass Xth grade they go on to Tawang High School for their final 2 years of school. Sadly science teaching there is weak so, under a government scheme, 5 of our more able students are now at boarding school in South India studying science for XIIth grade (A level). 
Food - he children are well-fed and their health is generally good. The food is plain and wholesome, with the occasional treat of fish or meat – and cake on special occasions. Food costs continue to rise and the requirement is over £3,000 per month, of which FMVSO are contributing at least two thirds on a regular basis – FMVSO contributes £26,000 per year. 
Di Gallagher (FMVSO Trustee) 
E-mail: fmvso06@gmail.com  Website:www.fmvso.org  Charity No. 1113428
No expenses are deducted, our trips are self-funded. All donations to FMVSO go direct to Manjushree to support the children. 


Wed 7th February at South Petherton Church
Tea/Coffee available from 7.00pm; talks start at 7.30pm

This is an evening for everyone!   Bishop Ruth is visiting us to find out some of the things that we, as Christian communities, are doing locally.   There will be some very short talks about our projects and success stories; a Q&A session with Bishop Ruth focused on how we can reach out to the people of our villages and towns (which comes under the title, “Deanery Action Plan”); an open Q&A session; a short act of workship.


 Sunday 4th March 2018
Barrington - 6.00pm Evensong 1662
Cudworth - 11.15am Modern Communion
Dowlish Wake - 8.45am Communion 1662 
Kingstone - 10.00am Family Service
Shepton Beauchamp - 10.30am Modern Communion


ASH WEDNESDAY SERVICES - 14th February 2018
10.30am - Kingstone - Prayers & Communion
11.30am - Barrington - Prayers & Communion
6.30pm - Shepton Beauchamp - Prayers & Communion

* * * * *
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.
This service is 25 minutes long, simple Communion Service to reflect, pray and give thanks.

Sat 3rd March    Dowlish Wake - ‘Coffee with Bells'
10.00am - 12 noon at St. Andrew's Church
An Open Morning with the church tower open with access to the bells
Some and try your hand at bell ringing or even climb to the top of the 
tower for a look at the beautiful view.
Not a fundraiser - Everyone Welcome - No charge

16th December      Henry Glyde, holy baptism at Shepton Beauchamp.
20th December      Dom Blackmore and Jodie Vickery; joined in holy matrimony at Kingstone.
30th December      Jane Isaacs, 89 yrs; re-united with her beloved husband Derek, as her ashes were interred with his, at Moolham church yard.


Sat 3rd March    Dowlish Wake - ‘Coffee with Bells'
10.00am - 12 noon at St. Andrew's Church
An Open Morning with the church tower open with access to the bells
Some and try your hand at bell ringing or even climb to the top of the 
tower for a look at the beautiful view.
Not a fundraiser - Everyone Welcome - No charge


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