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Thursday, 30 June 2016

The Rector's Ramblings

I’ve been thinking about 'Change' as the 'Casting the Net' project goes live this month. This represents quite a change in the way we do Church. We are getting out into the community and connecting with new people - rather than waiting for people to come through the doors. As I have been out and about this week I have been on the receiving end of peoples' views on the EU Referendum. That is big 'Change' and a lot of people are either happy, or not happy about the result.

I’ve been reading  - Why Growth is Harder In a Small Church – And Change Is Essential by Karl Vaters. He suggests that; Change is inevitable. Everyone who comes into your life changes your life. The fewer people you know, the greater impact each person has. And the longer you’ve known your current friends, the harder it is for new friends to find where they fit.

In the same way, everyone who comes into a church changes that church. The smaller the church, the greater impact each person has. The longer the church has been around, the harder it is for new people to know where they fit. Our churches are small churches - and they have been around for a long, long time.

Everyone who comes into our churches will change them a little. Expect that. Welcome them and the change they bring. The stark alternative is this: when we are gone, someone will have to be brought in to make the building safe and close it. All because change was such a difficult thing to accept... What do you think?



Tuesday, 21 June 2016

Pilgrimage in Teddington

You missed it?! Eight hardy pilgrims from the Winterborne Valley and Milton Abbas benefice joined pilgrims from St Mary with St Alban, parish church in Teddington, for a very enjoyable weekend. A number of them had joined us last year for our Valley walk and now we were joining them on their annual pilgrimage.
On Saturday we walked together along the Thames - we walked, talked and recalled the plight of St Alban. What a superb weekend it has been
The walk opened with a short service in Teddington then we crossed the Teddington Lock and headed towards Kingston upon Thames. Another stop in the church in the town centre and then onwards to Hampton Court.

We lunched together before heading around Hampton Court to go to the Chapel Royal - this was certainly a highlight for many of us. Here, we listened to our last bible reading and reading about St Alban and then sang. It was such an amazing experience.

Our walk took us across Bushy Park and onwards to a super tea. There were many enjoyable conversations between the walkers and the Teddington Pilgrims. These continued into the evening when we met together for an evening meal in a local pub. We were all ready for a good night's sleep after an excellent day. 
On Sunday morning we all met up again for church followed by a delicious lunch provided for us by our Teddington Pilgrims. We all had a fantastic weekend and are very grateful for the generous hospitality of Father Joe and all at St Mary with St Alban parish church.    

Friday, 17 June 2016

A Right Royal Gathering at Winterborne Whitechurch

Well done all at Cup and Cake, Winterborne Whitechurch -You marked the Queen's Birthday in style!

Monday, 13 June 2016

It must be Summer!

 It must be summer...because the teas, fetes and summer celebrations have started. Turnworth had a very successful afternoon with their Turnworth in June (- which is gradually moving from its date in Spring towards Summer). The delightful setting of the Old Rectory gardens provides the perfect backdrop to an afternoon of teas, open gardens and bric-a-brac!
The commencing of  teas on Sunday afternoon outside the Reading Rooms at Milton Abbas are a sure sign that summer is here. It would be good to be able to post some photographs of this successful weekly event.
The Queen's birthday provided an excellent opportunity to celebrate in Stickland, with the Sports club running a very successful afternoon and evening of events on Saturday and then Her majesty appears to have left that event to grace us with her presence at the teas on the Green run for St Mary's Church WS.

Despite a few spots of rain, the most important water was the stream running freely so that the duck race could take place. This proved very popular.

The duck race
 We are so fortunate to have so many people who give their time freely to set up, run, bake for and clear up these community events. Thank you!

There are many more events happening in our benefice - more fetes and  cream teas. During our Casting the Net Festival (starting in July 10th ) there are talks, concerts, a dance, messy games and lots more. Keep an eye out for the posters and adverts giving details of all that is happening in our sleepy, little rural benefice - you might be surprised! If you are not already involved ...get involved!

Elegant Bric-a-Brac at Turnworth in June1
Look out for the red tent and noticeboards which will tell you about Casting the Net.

Friday, 10 June 2016

Churchwardens all present and correct at Salisbury Cathedral

All our Churchwardens attended the Bishop's Visitation and admission of Churchwardens service at Salisbury cathedral on Thursday 9th June 2016. They were accompanied by friends and family and Alan our Rector. The cathedral was full - there were over 850 churchwardens from all over the Diocese of Salisbury. It was a very uplifting service and we were very proud of our Churchwardens who do a tremendous job in our benefice.