Lent has begun and it is possible that once again we will not be able to celebrate Easter together in churches. But! There are many encouraging signs of recovery, and although Lent is traditionally a time of fasting and abstinence, it is also a time of great hope as we prepare to worship our risen Saviour.
Let us encourage one another, to look forwards in hope and to sustain each other in this continuing time of trial. Where the Holy Spirit may seem dormant, there is more happening than we might imagine, and we hold fast to our faith as well as we can. I offer the following prayer, which you might like to pray for yourself personally as well as within the fellowship of many others - just substitute ‘I' for ‘we' and it can bring it all right home.
Gathering together across the Deanery is happening well and effectively for those who are able to access Zoom and we are very sorry that this cannot reach everybody. We all have a part to play in maintaining contact by personal means as well as online, and we value all the kind support and compassion of local communities.
We look to a different kind of future in the Church, as elsewhere, and one vital aspect of it relates to Climate Change, so the main subject of the Deanery Synod meeting on February 23rd by Zoom will be ‘How do we make our churches carbon-neutral by 2030, in line with the Diocesan intention?' Julian Brooks, who is the Lay Dean of Crewkerne Deanery, will address us.
As always, everyone is invited to attend Synod and we hope that many will, along with the Deanery Synod Reps. Please contact your local clergy for a Link to join the meeting.
with prayers for hope, comfort and strength,
Judith Abbott, Area Dean
A prayer for now:
Give to us, Lord, that life suited to our own needs, which is stored up for us all in him who is the life of humanity. Teach us and enable us to live the life of the saints and angels. Take us out of the languor, the irritability, the sensitiveness, the incapability, the anarchy in which our souls live and fill them with Your fullness. Breathe on us, that the dead bones may live. Breathe on us, with that breath which infuses energy and kindles fervour.
In asking for faithfulness, we ask for all that we can need and all that You can give; for it is the crown of all gifts and all virtues. In asking for faithfulness we are asking for effectual strength, consistency and perseverance; we are asking for deadness to human motives, and simplicity of intention to please You; we are asking for faith, hope and charity in their most heavenly exercise. In asking for fervour we are asking for the gift of prayer, because it will be so sweet; we are asking for loyal perception of duty which follows on yearning affection. We are asking for sanctity, peace and joy, all at once. In asking for fervour, we are asking for that which, while it implies all gifts, is that in which all signally fail.
Nothing would be a trouble to us, nothing a difficulty, had we but fervour of soul. Lord, in asking for fervour we are asking for Yourself; for nothing short of You, O God, who has given Yourself wholly to us. Enter our hearts substantially and personally and fill them with fervour by filling them with You. You alone can fill our souls and You have promised to do so. Enter into us and set us on fire, after Your pattern and likeness.
(J. H. Newman)
We are delighted to announce the appointment of The Reverend Joanna Porter to the post of Rector of the Seven Sowers Benefice. This appointment is subject to enhanced DBS clearance.
Joanna is currently Assistant Curate in the Cannings and Redhorn Benefice in the diocese of Salisbury. A licensing date will be arranged in due course. We hold Joanna and her family, the Cannings and Redhorn Benefice and our parishes in our prayers at this time of transition.
Joanna says to the Benefice: I am delighted to be appointed as your new Rector and am excited to discern with you God's plans for the future. I look forward to joining you with my husband Neill during 2021.
The DMPG (Deanery Mission and Pastoral Group) is meeting by Zoom, and Chapter will continue to meet by Zoom until safe to be together in person.
We have had to postpone the two training courses we were intending to run, so the Lay Worship Assistants' and Pastoral Care courses will now run, we hope, in the New Year.
We will also get on with Triennial Inspections when we can.
We do hope to be able to meet for a ‘proper' Synod in the Spring.
For now, in challenging times, let us continue to love and to serve one another as we can, looking always to God for strength and help.
For some of us, this time will have been deeply sad and lonely, or have held regrets and some guilt at the things we might have done and never got round to. For others, it has been a time even of refreshment and an opportunity to think, reflect and reset priorities. And for most of us, I expect, a mixture of all things. We must all be wondering what the longer-term impact will be on our parish churches - and we must believe that all things work together for good as we trust in Christ Jesus.
One day we will be able to share our experiences, and many words will be written on the subject. For now, I offer one very brief exhortation from the early days of the Church, and the Desert Fathers:
Abba Paul said: Keep close to Jesus.
with my prayers and love, in Christ,
On this website, you will find various pages including:
Prayer, Art & Music, and What Matters, for our ongoing engagement with community and global matters such as modern-day slavery and Green issues.
For now, while our physical space is confined, may our hearts and minds be free to love God and neighbours in all the ways we can, and we continue to pray for all who are suffering or working to relieve the ill effects of Covid-19.
We are a group of six Benefices and two single Parishes in South Somerset; we are part of the Taunton Archdeaconry. As members of the Church of England and in common with all Christians, we are inspired by the love of God and are committed to following the Way of Christ in our lives and our worship.
If you would like to know more about Christian faith, please do be in touch with any of us and we would be delighted to talk to you. We aim to make all of our 36 churches open and accessible, and you will be welcomed at any service on Sundays or weekdays.
We also want to share the love of God and the hope we have been given in our communities.
Our particular Deanery mission is to ask ourselves:
which means; what is important to the people of our parishes? What are the real concerns of daily life? What kind of issues are there for communities or the natural environment in our area?
And then: Who is part of the response to these matters? Which are the organisations involved already, or might become involved, and how do we as Church members join in or initiate a caring and effective response?
What matters a great deal to us is the safety and well being of all members of our communities and as churches we operate careful Safeguarding Policy practices.
We hope that you will be able to use this website to find information, and to join in our vision of deepening and extending the work of the Holy Spirit in the Deanery.
Revd Judith Abbott