Saturday, 31 March 2018

Web Magazine - April 2018 - Rector's Pages - Happy Eastertide

Rector’s Pages:   The Two Seas (a reflection by Roger Stapenhill)

The other day I saw a mention of two seas, both in Palestine and it set me thinking, so more about them later.

One date firmly imbedded in my mind is February 5th 1953. It was probably the happiest day for a good number of schoolboys and girls for many a year.  It was the day sweets came off ration and I remember walking home from school along Canterbury High Street where a younger lad (by about two years) was standing with a bag of sweets in his hand.
 “Have a sweet.” He said smiling from ear to ear.
“No thanks.”  I probably wanted to be polite.
He pushed the bag under my nose.  “Go on, have a sweet, they’re off ration now, we can have as many as we like.” And he looked really thrilled to be able to share his good fortune with me.

Rationing was a hard time but we always seemed to manage.  Mum would invite someone for tea.  “Thanks,” they’d say, “I’ll bring a cake.”  They would never come without something to share.  My sister or somebody would need new clothes and there weren’t quite enough coupons.  There was always someone who would ‘loan’ some to you.  It was a really good time for sharing.

I remember my uncle who worked on a farm where they kept pigs.  Come slaughter time he was allowed some of the chitterlings, but he would share his good fortune with us and probably with other families as well.  In return, my father kept chickens and rabbits, Cockerels for Christmas (plucked and drawn, they made good Christmas presents), hens for the eggs and rabbits for meat. The eggs he shared with others whenever there was a surfeit and never asked for payment.

Helen and I went as aid workers in Romania, just after Ceauşescu was overthrown and things were very tough for the Romanian people.  Many living were in poverty with whole families living in one or two rooms but there was this atmosphere of giving and sharing.  We gave our time and they in return wanted to give us gifts.  It might be something they’d had in the family for years but they wanted to share what they had with others and always did it with a smile.

An Australian family had gone there to live as aid workers and after a few days, the wife knocked on a neighbours door to borrow some sugar.  She was immediately given a fair quantity in a bag.  It wasn’t until later she discovered that it was all that lady had got and that it hadn’t been on sale for over six months but again, no arguments and it was given willingly with a smile.  It was good to help other people. 

Father Elvis recently shared part of his vestments with our own vicar after he showed a special liking to his stole, giving it to him without a second thought.

Jesus shared his ministry, no where in the Bible does it say that he begrudged doing so, in fact he actually sent his disciples out to share his good work for him and to receive no payment.  Giving and sharing should be what life is all about, but it does seem strange that we have to live in adverse times to realise it.  Jesus showed us how but perhaps ‘keeping up with the Jones’s’ is more important.  What do you think?

Oh yes,  the two seas in Palestine.  One is fresh and vibrant, full of fish and a good place to live.  The other is sour, nothing lives in it or along its shores, yet both are fed by the same river.  The river Jordan.  It flows into the sea of Galilee, which takes what water it needs and releases it to flow on and into the Dead Sea.  This sea retains all it takes and gives nothing away and that to me is how some people choose to live.  What sort of sea are you?




FIRST SUNDAY SERVICES:

 Sunday 6th May 2018 - Rogation Bluebell Walk
Cudworth to Chillington through the Bluebell Wood

09.40am - Tractor Transport from Chillington to Cudworth
(if you would like to leave your cars at Chillington)

10.00am - Light Breakfast at Cudworth Church

10.30am  - Brief Rogation Service

10.40am - Walk begins

Coffee & Cake on arrival at Chillington

(Tractor Transport from Chillington to Cudworth 
if you have left you cars at the latter)



OTHER SERVICES:
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Special Services for the 5th Sunday - 29th April

10.30am   CHILLINGTON   
“Sing for Spring” A celebration of new life
Canon Ian Gibson
6.00pm     PUCKINGTON     
1662 Evensong 
Rev’d d’ Fyfe
+++++ 

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.
The venue changes as we meet in peoples homes and have a cuppa afterwards; ring Rev’d Geoff (240228) if you’d like to come along.

This service is 2 minutes long, simple Communion Service to reflect, 
pray and give thanks.
+++++




FROM THE CHURCH REGISTERS:
24th February Harry Alexander; holy baptism at the family church in Stocklinch.
26th February John England, 83 yrs; ashes interred with his ancestors at Shepton Beauchamp.
5th March Charles Bond, 79 yrs; Thanksgiving Service at Sherborne Abbey for the life of a much respected soldier and gentleman.
10th March Vienna Hammelburg; holy baptism in her village church of Cudworth.



DATES FOR YOUR DIARY:

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Wednesday 11th April - DOWLISH WAKE
7.00pm - AGM in church - everyone welcome
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Saturday 14th April - PUCKINGTON
10.30am - 12.00pm - Coffee morning at Peelmead 
(in aid of repairs to church roof)
+++++

Saturday 5th May - KINGSTONE
The famous “Kingstone May Fair” 
(see note later in this Web)
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Saturday 12th May - DOWLISH WAKE
The Plant Sale!
2.30pm at the Pavilion on the playing fields.
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Baby Loss Event:  at Exeter Cathedral on April 14th 

The Mariposa Trust is one of the UK’s leading charities, with its core objective being to support people who have lost babies at any stage of pregnancy, at birth, or in infancy. Founded in 2012, by Zoe and Andy Clark-Coates, who saw a critical lack of support for people like them, who had gone through baby loss. With over 258,000 babies being lost yearly in the UK alone, the charity needed to be able to offer not only a comprehensive package of befriending and support, but also national baby loss remembrance services (called Saying Goodbye Services), for people to join together and remember the children they had lost. 4-years on over 100 services have taken place at Cathedrals and Minsters across the UK, US and France, and 2018 will see a further 20 plus take place.  1 in 4 women suffer miscarriage and baby loss.

On the 14th April at 1pm in Exeter Cathedral the trust is holding one of its Saying Goodbye services.   So who is the service for?

Anyone who has either personally lost a baby at any stage of pregnancy, at birth or in early years, or who has been affected by a family members or friends loss.  Whether the loss was recent or 80 years ago, everyone is welcome to attend. We have also extended the services, and gladly welcome anyone who is grieving the fact that they haven't had children. This may be due to circumstance, infertility or for other reasons - but all are welcome. Babies and children are also invited to come with their family, as the Saying Goodbye service is truly a family event for all.

To read more on the charity, please see the Saying Goodbye website, which you can find at: www.sayinggoodbye.org. On the site you will also be able to see the fantastic set of Ambassadors and Advocates the charity have, including: The Archbishop of York, Lord Robert Winston, Nigella Lawson, Jools Oliver, Kym Marsh, Gabby Logan, J John, Mary Nightingale, Professor Lesley Regan, Julie Etchingham and more.

The team can be contacted by email at office@sayinggoodbye.org if you have any questions.

Emilie de Bruijn

The Mariposa Trust
www.mariposatrust.org                                                       Tel:  0845 2938027
Email:  office@sayinggoodbye.org            Website:  www.sayinggoodbye.org





Barrington Church Lent Lunch - Sat 17th March
A big thank you to all who braved the biting winds to support the churches Lent Lunch to raise money for Parkinson’s Research.  Special thanks to all who helped and cooked the delicious selection of home made soups.  A slightly low turnout – about 21, but quite a few apologies received from those who are away or not well and the atmosphere in the church was great.


£142 was collected for Parkinson’s Research.

Saturday, 3 March 2018

Web Magazine - Rector's Pages - March 2018

Rector’s Pages:

WHO? WHAT? WHY?
Who are we?         What are we doing?          Why are we doing it?
The Deanery Action Plan.

All the churches in this area are now working with the Deanery Action Plan which essentially asks us to look at three questions, “Who? What? Why?”

Who are we?   Before we can do anything, we need to remind ourselves who we are.....we are the People of God, God’s chosen people, called to serve him and ALL his people.   This is both a great privilege and equally a huge responsibility; God has chosen us and trusts us to take his message of love to the world (or at least, that bit of the world that we live in!).

What are we doing?    I often feel like a National Trust manager, the amount of time I spend looking after the gutters, drains and churchyards of our very old and beautiful churches, and I know that lots of us feel we spend so much of our time on the building and raising money to pay our way, that we don’t have the time and energy for anything else!  Whilst our beautiful churches do take a lot of time and effort, they are well worth that investment because they attract countless visitors throughout the year - especially the unlocked ones - even if visitors don’t come on Sundays!   A recent youth survey revealed that 80% of young people were brought to faith when visiting a church!   But there must be more than this otherwise we are just caretakers.

Why are we doing it?   We are doing it to spread the Christian message, and that is summed up in one word, “LOVE”.   Love God, love your neighbour.   Christianity is a way of life; love is the cornerstone of all we do.

So once we start the process of looking at what we do - and why - there is a sense of liberation and achievement.   Achievement because, like generations of Christians before us, we “fight the good fight” and, against seemingly overwhelming odds, we keep our churches open, active and well looked after (a symbol of the unending love of God).   Liberation because when we look at what we do in and for our communities, we are already doing an enormous amount for our villages, not just in our “church lives” but also in our lives outside the building.

Fight the good fight With all thy might;
Christ is thy Strength and Christ thy Right.
Lay hold on life, and it shall be
Thy joy and crown eternally.



FIRST SUNDAY SERVICES:

 Sunday 1st April - Easter Day 2018
See all the Holy Week and Easter Services 
on the centre pages of this magazine



OTHER SERVICES:

Sunday 4th March - Day of Prayer for Suriname
This year, all services on this Sunday will  include prayers the country of  Suriname, using material supplied by the women of that country.
+++++ 

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.
+++++




FROM THE CHURCH REGISTERS:
25th January     Daniel Lawrence, 66 yrs; ashes interred near his ancestors in Barrington church yard.
5th February Charles bond, 79 yrs; a private funeral service at Chillington fallowed by burial in the village cemetery.
6th February Hazel Faulkner, 78 yrs; funeral service at Taunton Crematorium followed by interment of her ashes at Stocklinch Church, with her husband Fred, on Saturday 10th.



DATES FOR YOUR DIARY:

Sat 3rd March    DOWLISH WAKE - ‘Coffee with Bells'
10.00am - 12 noon at St. Andrew's Church
Open Morning with the church tower open with access to the bells 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
+++++

Wednesday 7th March - CHILLINGTON
7.30pm - AGM in church - everyone welcome
+++++

Saturday 17th March - CUDWORTH
10.00am - Community Coffee Morning in church
(with Church AGM (10 minutes) and news of village photo competition and Summer Market)
+++++
Saturday 17th March - BARRINGTON
12.00pm - Lent Lunch in church
+++++

Monday 19th March - KINGSTONE
7.00pm - AGM at the Uzzell’s home - everyone welcome
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Monday 26th March - BARRINGTON
7.00pm - AGM in church - everyone welcome
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Tuesday 22nd March - PUCKINGTON
7.30pm - AGM at Munro’s home - everyone welcome
+++++

Wednesday 11th April - DOWLISH WAKE
7.00pm - AGM in church - everyone welcome
+++++

Saturday 14th April - PUCKINGTON
10.30am - 12.00pm - Coffee morning at Peelmead 
(in aid of repairs to church roof)
+++++

Deanery Open Evening - Wed 7th February

For those who remember the Deanery Synod and think, “No, not for me”.  Think again.  It has changed its name and style considerably over the last year.  It is now called the Deanery Open Evening and it is just that – an evening where people from the Deanery can meet, have a coffee/tea/biscuit and talk to other members of the deanery.  There is usually about ten minutes of “business” and then a talk and questions.  (On one occasion, at the front of a church, we had a racing car built by school children to demonstrate green power! )   This Wednesday we met in South Petherton – about 70 of us!  Not bad for a small deanery!  After coffee we settled down, began with a short act of worship, then the Rural Dean invited various people to tell us some of the things that were happening in our deanery.

First up we heard about Café Church at Seavington.  It was started to fill a gap:  to have an All Age service in a setting which was accessible to all.  (Both accessible to those who couldn’t get up the church steps and to non-church goers who were interested in taking the first step!).  This was church in a non-threatening environment!  Next, we also heard from the Go Team, who are taking youth work out from Wells and into the deaneries.  They are coming to us rather than us having to go to them in Wells.  After this the Revd Geoff Wade told us about the Deanery Mission Plan.  A simple copy of it is available in most churches,  it asks the questions, as churches:
Who are we?         What are we doing?          Why are we doing it? 

Then it was the turn of Bishop Ruth, the Bishop of Taunton.  She made the point that Mission is living the Christian Life and Evangelism is telling the story.   It isn’t scary!  She told us how the diocese had reorganised its core staff to help us “Tell our Story”.  She brought with her a number of people from Wells who spoke to their particular strengths and explained what they did.

Broken down, the diocesan mission plan is to:
a.   engage everyone with the vision of the gospel.
b.   use our resources (ie people!) to best effect – what to stop and what to continue.
c.   to release the power and gifts of ALL God’s people.
We are to create a pioneer culture and be taught how to tell the story.
They are looking at first steps and how we can be helped. 

What does mission look like in our deanery?
The Bishop commended us for sharing skills resources macross the whole deanery; our Quiet Days, Morning Prayer, acts of worship, training courses and the Wadham Chaplaincy, which is supported by local churches.

It was recognised that living in a rural context is difficult.  How can we make “living and telling the story” strong and flourishing………... 
We are encouraged to invite bishops and the archdeacon to events.  They are happy to go to churches needing support; ask Wells for help - they can advise on communication, resources and plans.

Missions questions to think on.....
How do we bring people to worship god, not necessarily in church? 
How do we listen to the wider community (not just church-goers but all people)?
How do we live out the love of God across whole communities?
What we need is Coal face stuff, not strategy.







































Tuesday, 13 February 2018

Web Magazine - Rector's Pages - February 2018

FRIENDS OF MANJUSHREE VIDYAPITH SCHOOL & ORPHANAGE

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. 
PAST PUPILS 
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. 

OUR COMMITMENT 
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. 

MEET BISHOP RUTH!

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.


FIRST SUNDAY SERVICES:

 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

OTHER SERVICES:

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.
+++++
DATES FOR YOUR DIARY:

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


FROM THE CHURCH REGISTERS:
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.






DOWLISH PAGE PLEASE

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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