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Friday, 28 February 2014

Fairtrade Fortnight

Get clued up: Fairtrade


? fairtrade coffee farmer
What is Fairtrade?
Fairtrade is a simple way to make a difference by thinking carefully about our everyday choices. It’s about better prices, decent working conditions, local sustainability and fair terms of trade for small-scale farmers.

Fairtrade facts

  • More than 1.3 million farmers and workers in 70 developing countries now get a better deal from Fairtrade
  • Over 500 Catholic parishes and 8 Catholic dioceses across England and Wales are certified Fairtrade
  • One in every three bananas sold in the UK is Fairtrade
Farmers and producers in the developing world – and some closer to home – are often the ones who bear the costs and risks of trade, while global companies make the profits.
Fairtrade products such as cocoa, sugar, fruit, cotton and thousands of other top quality goods have been bought by companies for sustainable prices. This ensures that the world’s poorest growers and producers are able to earn a decent living and have a little extra to put back into their communities.
Why does CAFOD support Fairtrade?
CAFOD founded the Fairtrade Foundation in 1992 along with Christian Aid, Oxfam, Traidcraft, the World Development Movement and the National Federation of Women’s Institutes.
We believe we are all part of the global food system - which means we have the power to change it. Changing the food we buy and choosing products from Fairtrade companies is one of the ways we can help tackle poverty.
Speak out for a fairer food system>>>
What is Fairtrade Fortnight?
Fairtrade Fortnight is a key moment for you to get involved with a CAFOD campaign and speak out for justice in solidarity with the world’s poorest communities.
This year Fairtrade Fortnight will run from 24 February to 9 March.
It’s an ideal chance to look at what’s on our plates and think more carefully about the food we buy and who produces it.
Find out more about this Fairtrade Fortnight>>>
How can you get involved?
There are plenty of ways to get involved during Fairtrade Fortnight. You can host local events or take up the Fortnight’s challenge, or you can take steps as a community to become an official Fairtrade parish or diocese.
Become a Fairtrade parish>>>
Become a Fairtrade diocese>>>

Thursday, 27 February 2014

New LPAs in the benefice

Congratulations to Toni and John who have completed their Lay Pastoral Assistant training and were commissioned, along with  LPAs from other benefices, at Pimperne church yesterday evening. They were supported by family and friends from the benefice.

'A Lay Pastoral Assistant is trained and authorised to engage in pastoral ministry on behalf of the local church, working as part of a team of clergy and laity. Each individual's ministry will vary according to their gifts and skills and according to the local situation. Some will be involved in visiting the sick or housebound, in hospital or at home, others will exercise their ministry through supporting the bereaved or through visiting baptism families. In all cases, however, the ministry of an LPA calls for a loving and compassionate heart and a willingness to listen to and support those in need. This is a weighty task which those who are called to this ministry can only fulfil by the grace and mercy of God and with the prayers and support of all God's faithful people.'

From the LPA Commissioning Service

Tuesday, 25 February 2014

Alpha in Blandford

25 February 2014


Good food, good friends and a good, no-holds barred, discussion on the meaning of life – that’s the menu  in Blandford in late Spring and early summer this year.

Following the success of the 2013 Alpha course in Shaftesbury, the Rt Revd Graham Kings, Bishop of Sherborne, is again inviting people in Dorset to sit down and eat with him as he kicks off a no-holds-barred course.

Bishop Graham will be running a 10-week Alpha course at the Blandford Parish Centre, Tabernacle, Blandford Forum, Dorset DT11 7DN on Tuesdays, beginning on 6 May 2014 The first evening will consist of a free meal in the Centre, followed by a talk and discussion.

“It’s an evening that’s open to everybody in Blandford and the surrounding areas – to meet the bishop and to discuss the meaning of life,” he said.

“The Alpha course is based around two things – food and questions; food because the central act of worship, the Holy Communion, is a meal and questions because they are so important.  No question is out of bounds, no question is silly. “I hope that people will come to faith and to new faith, and that they will come asking questions. But God is a God of surprises – anything could and probably will happen!”

The course begins at 7pm on May 6th 2014. The nine subsequent meetings which also involve a meal (not free, but with contributions) will also take place in the Parish Centre, Tabernacle, Blandford Forum, Dorset DT11 7DN.

For more information or to register on the course, please call Mrs Jill Cuss, St Peter and St Paul's Church, The Market Place, Blandford Forum, DT11 7AS, Telephone: 01258 456260

The Alpha course has been running for over 26 years as a means of presenting the basic principles of the Christian faith in a relaxed and informal setting.  Alpha really is for anyone who’s curious. The talks are designed to encourage debate and explore the basics of the Christian faith in a friendly, honest and informal environment. Alpha currently runs in 169 countries and in 112 languages.

Sunday, 23 February 2014

Aiden and Joey's Baptism

A lively morning worship service this morning, at St Mary's Church, Winterborne Stickland. The church was full as we joined together to celebrate the baptism of Aiden and Joey, as part of our morning worship.

Saturday, 22 February 2014

Church services at a church near you this Sunday

Church Services in the Benefice
Sunday 23rd February

W. Whitechurch   9.00 Holy Communion (said)
                             Book of Common Prayer - traditional
                             Rev’d Alan

Milton Abbas       10.30 Holy Communion
                            Common Worship
                            Rev’d Marion

W.Stickland        10.30 Morning Worship
                            Informal service for all (without Holy Communion)
                            + the baptism of Aiden and Joey
                            Rev’d Alan

Turnworth           18.00 Evening Prayer
                            Jenny G

Tuesday, 11 February 2014

The foodbank

Date: Tue, 11 Feb 2014 13:50:44 +0000

Dear all

I would like to take this opportunity in thanking everyone for the wonderful gifts of food that have appeared at the food bank during the past months, it’s come from the local churches ,the churches in the villages, local businesses and from everyone who shops at Co-op, Morrison’s and Tesco and those who call into the foodbank.  It has been wonderful to see your generosity.

I have just this minute had someone come in who wanted to give me some spices which they felt would help liven up some of the meals that people get in a food parcels.  They then asked if there was anything else that I was short of, jam I said, half hour later this person comes back to the foodbank carrying a shopping bag filled with jams (mixed fruit and strawberry),there was honey, there was lemon curd, and peanut butters!!  I’m finding it quite difficult to describe what I feel when things like this happen.  It is amazing to witness people’s need to  help those who are in crisis and particularly someone they have never met.  Then picture this ;

A middle aged lady comes into the Foodbank, she soaking wet, she is wearing layers of clothing to combat the cold, and you can see from her face that she is at her limit. She’s living in a caravan down a lane as she and her husband have been evicted, the police want to move her on, she’s not in receipt of benefit yet as it takes six weeks to put a claim through,  she’s not able help herself as her energy is at such a low due to extreme cold, lack of warm food and lack of hope.  She then receives her food parcel, filled with the food that you all have so wonderfully given, and she starts to cry.  ‘Is there anything the matter I ask her’, she says she is so overwhelmed; that people would do this for her!  I say that I will pray for her, she thanks me and opens her purse to show me the cross that’s lying within.  All her prayers, hopes and fears are pinned to that cross and then the light of love is shown in one generous gift.

That is what your individual donation gives – the realisation that someone cares.

If you would like to make a donation we are short of the following items:

Tinned tomatoes
Fruit juices
Tinned fruit
Toilet rolls
Hair shampoo

Thank you.

Gail Del-Pinto
Blandford Foodbank Manager

01258 456 093

Monday, 10 February 2014

The Dunbury School

Last week The Dunbury School became an ‘Academy’ which means it is now under the umbrella of the Diocese of Salisbury Trust, rather than the LEA. They marked this occasion with a church service in St Mary’s Church, Winterborne Whitechurch.  I would like to share their last week’s thought for the week with everyone:-

‘God loved us before we were born and loves us even when we do the wrong thing. As we start life as an academy, may we be a place where all people are loved, even if they make mistakes.’

A new command I give you: love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.’
 John 13 vs. 34


Wednesday, 5 February 2014

Some thoughts from the Organist.

The Confirmation Service

'Twas a good service this evening
Said the Bishop to the Priest,
With a hearty congregation
Who also joined the feast.
The Lord sent down His Spirit
Who showered one and all,
Especially His servants
Who by His Grace He called.
As one by one He met them,
Hearing every name
A Blessing from the Cross Impressed
By Bishop upon the same.
Be bold be strong and resolute
Though weathered, tired and sore.
The Word of God made manifest
With Jesus at the core.
The song is strong and evil faints
When witness sounds again.
God's harmony is crowned in Love
As through the old refrain
We stir the soul to seek our God,
Through fellowship divine,
And learn again through word and song-
The Lord is yours and mine.


Monday, 3 February 2014

The Rector's Letter

Dear Churches of the Winterborne Valley and Milton Abbas Benefice,

We have just had one of the most fantastic confirmation services. Thank you to all those who helped in so many ways. And a big thank you to God our Father for making it such a Spirit filled time! This was the first confirmation service in our benefice since 2001. I had not expected to be arranging one in my first year here. There will be more - if you feel this is a step you want or need to take, do speak to me.

Often, I think we wonder where our church is going and what is happening, because there is a failing in communication. So I am taking a moment to write to you, to let you know about what is going on behind the scenes. With 6 parishes, there can be quite long periods between when we meet and see each other which can mean that communication can be erratic.

At the Churchwardens' meeting in December we thought about how the first disciples put Jesus in a boat and pushed it out so that he could be seen by more of the crowds. I suggested that we, as Christians, should be doing that, both as individuals and as churches. Christmas would be an ideal time to focus on that. Winterborne Whitechurch's short notice Carol Service and Winterborne Stickland's Christmas morning praise service were part of that.

I also asked the gathering to review our mission statement and see if they could come back with a statement that responded to three points. The points were: 1. Something we could remember. 2. Something we were able to do and 3. Something that was achievable.

At the Churchwarden's meeting last week we had an item on the agenda: Reports from the parishes: Making Christ Visible. It was really exciting to hear all the reports on what has been going on and is continuing.

When we came to review the mission statement, it was  observed that we had it on the agenda in three words: Making Christ Visible! We have been doing this. It is thrilling to see groups of people working together and encouraging each other to make Christ visible. This is how our mission statement has become "Making Christ Visible." There is no doubt in my mind that this is what the first disciples did and what God is asking us to do. And we can do it! As we do, we should remember that whilst judgement is God prerogative, so is his love. It is his love that I ask you to show the world around you.

The second significant decision made, was to change the name of the Churchwarden's meeting. It was unanimously agreed that the meeting will now be known as the Benefice Leadership Meeting. This alteration in the name changes the dynamics of the meeting. It means that others can be members of it. For instance, it means that a PCC lay-chair, who might not be a churchwarden can now be involved. It means that the benefice treasurer can now have a voice beyond financial matters.
These are small but significant steps forward for our benefice. They will influence our thinking and decision making.

I hope and pray that as we move forward, we move united by the Spirit, engaged in the mission of God, opening up his Kingdom for many by making Christ visible to all.