Add your story or photograph

Do you want to share a photograph or story about something that is happening here in the Benefice? Just email it to:-

Thursday, 28 November 2013

Church Services - at a church near you

Church Services in the Benefice
Sunday 1st December

W. Stickland    9.00  Holy Communion (said service)
                                    Book of Common Prayer - Traditonal
                                    Rev'd Alan

W. Clenston    10.30  Matins
                                   Rev'd Sue


 Milton Abbas   10.30 All Age Worship 
                                    (with modern language and followed by a 
                                     short communion service for those who wish to stay)
                                      Rev'd Alan


W. Houghton     15.00 Holy Communion
                                      - stay for tea and cake after the service
                                      Rev'd Alan

W. Whitechurch   18.00 Prayer and Praise
                                            (informal with modern songs)
                                             Rev'd Sue

Wednesday, 27 November 2013

Advent starts early

Yesterday afternoon and yesterday evening, two groups of people (twenty altogether) gathered in the Rectory for the "Expecting Christ" Advent course. This is encouraging - as a sign of a growing church - is the participation in courses. Conversation was rich and stimulating.
 This week's challenge is "to see Christ in others and, what of Christ, do others see in me?"
Cutting through the jargon, this means that people are hoping to see evidence of the servant nature or selfless acts of Jesus and so putting to one side the 'what's in it for me attitude'!
This is not a tough line to take - but one that builds community.


Monday, 25 November 2013

Coffee Pot's Christmas Bonanza

 The Coffee Pot at St Mary's Church, Winterborne Stickland have been raising money again! A whopping £476 was raised at The Christmas Sale this morning. It was very well attended and at one point there was standing room only. Well done the Coffee Potters!

Saturday, 23 November 2013

Sunday Services - at a church near you

Church Services in the Benefice
Sunday 24th November

 W. Whitechurch - 9.00 Holy Communion 
                           Book of Common Prayer
                           (Traditional without music)
                                 Rev'd Alan

 Milton Abbas - 10.30 Sung Eucharist
                           (Common Worship)
                           Rev'd Alan

                        - 17.00 Lovely Cake
                            Click here to find out more
                                                                                     (A service for all with tea, worship,
                                                                                      Bible stories and craft activities)
                                                                                      Rev'd Sue

W. Stickland - 10.30 All Age Worship 
         (with modern language and followed by short 
            communion service for those who wish to stay)

Turnworth  - 18.00 Evening Prayer
                        (Traditional - Book of Common Prayer)
                                      Rev'd Alan 

Father Christmas made an early visit to Winterborne Whitechurch

Father Christmas looked very at home in the magically transformed Parish Rooms
An early Christmas request?

Is this one of Father Christmas' helpers, helping at the farm shop stall?

Two busy helpers
It was all jolly good fun!

Friday, 22 November 2013

Christmas Fair on Saturday

Lovely Cake is 3 years old on Sunday!

Just a reminder that Lovely Cake is happening at 5pm on Sunday 24th November at the Parish Rooms, Winterborne Whitechurch. All are welcome young, older and whatever age you feel you are.
  I am also looking for volunteers for cakes so if you are baking this weekend or know someone who is, please ask them to put a littlle extra in for Lovely Cake. 
 This will be Lovely Cake's 3rd Birthday and will be on the theme of Christ the King so crowns will be involved and we will also be doing Camel racing and unless you come along - you won't know whether real camels are involved or not!

Look forward to seeing you there on Sunday

Thursday, 21 November 2013

What makes faith stick?

Yesterday evening, four Winterborne Sticklanders travelled to Bournemouth for a presentation on 'Sticky Faith'. It was an evening sponsored by South West Youth Ministries (SWYM), Urban Saints and the Scripture Union. We were not quite sure what to expect but we went with an open mind. Sticky Faith is an approach based on an American study that looked at why young people tended to drift away from their faith and church attendance. What was it that young people needed to make their faith 'stick'?

"Sticky Faith is....
1. Both internal and external - part of the inner thoughts and emotions, together with choices and actionsthat reflect the innerfaith commitment.
2. Both personal and communal - celebrating God's lovefor the individual, but always locating faith in the wider community.
3. Both mature and maturing - showing some evidence of maturity but recognising we are all on a journey.

The findings were based on American research but, so often, where America goes, the UK is only a few years behind. we were shown how the profile of church attendance in the UK has changed. The average age of attendees has risen from just below 40 years old in 1980 to over 55 today and still rising. We were shown some of the American findings and what the young people felt they needed to keep their faith.

So what's that got to do with the Winterborne  Valley and Milton Abbas Benefice? It made us question how we reach our young people, who are noticeably absent from our churches much of the time. We were shown
three different approaches to youth work that had been identified in the study: - consumer, content and contemplative. You could say: - fun, facts or relationship. It was the latter that stuck - according to the study.

Young people needed: -
More involvement with worship - linked with mature faith.
Opportunities to work with younger children
A congregation that was interested in them.
More interaction with adults - not less!

...and those who had the stickiest faith in the end, were those who had often talked about having doubts.

It was certainly food for thought, as we sat in a modern, warm, urban church - with all the facilities and extra space you could wish for! We have our successful Lovely Cake and Awesome Cake groups here in our Benefice - but is there more we should be doing? We met the Church and Community development officer (Scripture Union) and we would like to ask her to come and visit our Benefice, to see what is being done. If this is something that you feel strongly about and would like to get involved, do please contact Alan (the Rector) - he would love to hear from you.


Wednesday, 20 November 2013

Faith in Action

Faith in Action
Passion for Change


26th November 2013 
10.00am until 4.00pm
At Village Hall, Durweston, DT11 0QA
Cost: £5.00 per person (light lunch included)
Open to everyone

Guest Speaker: Alison Webster
Social Responsibility Adviser to the Oxford Diocese

Alison Webster is a writer, focusing on themes of spirituality and social transformation. She is author of numerous resource books that draw together social action and contemplation. She has a longstanding interest in identity issues – particularly gender, race, sexuality and disability, and is author of books on gender, sexuality, health and wellbeing.  Alison has worked for the Student Christian Movement, the Institute for the Study of Christianity and Sexuality and the Christian Socialist Movement. She now works as Social Responsibility Adviser for the Church of England Diocese of Oxford.  Her most recent book, on identity, is ‘You Are Mine: Reflections on Who We Are’, SPCK, 2009. Alison is Chair of the UK-based international charity Amaka Beautiful Child (ABC), empowering people through story-telling and the arts. She is also author of ‘Found Wanting: Women, Christianity and Sexuality’ (Cassell 1995), and ‘Wellbeing’ (SCM Press, 2002). She is the founder editor of two international journals, ‘Theology and Sexuality’ (Equinox) and ‘Political Theology’ (Equinox).
Workshop Details

Workshop1 (13.30-14.30): Dementia Friendly Churches. Facilitated by staff from PramaCare.
This workshop provides ideas for churches that want to be truly welcoming and inclusive and are willing to take steps to enable people with dementia to take a full part in worship and church life.                   

Workshop2 (13.30-14.30): World Aware Churches: Facilitated by Elizabeth Perry. Former Christian Aid area representative, this workshop will help local churches think about how they engage with world development issues and relate to communities around the world.

Workshop3 (15.00-16.00): Gypsy and Traveller Friendly Churches: Facilitated by Adrian Brook.
Recently appointed chaplain to Gypsies and Travellers, this workshop looks at how churches can be places of welcome and generous advocates for people from our travelling communities.
Workshop4 (15.00-16.00): Community Oriented Churches:
Placing the local church at the heart of service to the local community, this workshop looks at how we can develop creative projects with local people to meet local needs. 

Cost: £5.00 per person (light lunch included)
Contact The Sherborne Office
St Nicholas' Church Centre
30 Wareham Rd
Corfe Mullen
Dorset BH21 3LE