Please pray for
- the Seven Sowers Benefice and the Good Shepherd, Chard in their Vacancies, and the postponement in appointing a Youth Pioneer in Chard/Ilminster.
- Lead theft from church roofs. Ilton and Pitminster have had lead stolen and vigilance is needed throughout the Deanery.
Support, Alone - Together
A guide to social distancing and isolation from experts who know about it. Including guidance from Father Christ...
Looking to the Rainbow is a brand-new song from Nick & Becky Drake for schools to perform during the Covid-19 lockdown.
Daily Hope offers music, prayers and reflections as well as full worship services from the Church of England at the end of a telephone line.
A Church of England initiative in partnership with CONNECTIONS at Holy Trinity Claygate, and Faith in Later Life
The line - which is available 24 hours a day on 0800 804 8044 - has been set up particularly with those unable to join online church services during the period of restrictions in mind.
For the Christian community
We are not people of fear:
we are people of courage.
We are not people who protect our own safety:
we are people who protect our neighbours' safety.
We are not people of greed:
we are people of generosity.
We are your people God,
giving and loving,
wherever we are,
whatever it costs
For as long as it takes
wherever you call us.
Barbara Glasson, President of the Methodist Conference
For those who care for others and for those who look for a cure let us pray
give skill, sympathy and resilience
to all who are caring for the sick,
and your wisdom to those searching for a cure.
Strengthen them with your Spirit,
that through their work many will be restored to health;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.
I have been moved this morning (Easter Sunday) by a heart-warming story from the Blackdowns
For the last couple of years we have been working as a group of churches in the Blackdown Benefice, to develop an old idea of erecting crosses around our churches on Good Friday and leaving them bare until Easter Sunday, when they are then decorated with spring flowers to celebrate the risen Christ.
St Nicholas Corfe have really taken this on as a yearly tradition.
This year in light of the current lock down, the church council. decided that they would simply put up the bare cross up on Good Friday, but not send a team to decorate the cross on Easter Sunday morning.
However, a couple from the village, who have grown to understand and appreciate this tradition took it upon themselves to decorate the cross. They also posted a short note whilst wishing to remain anonymous.
"The cross @ Corfe has stood again for a week in bleak bareness as a poignant message of the harsh means of capital punishment of the time of Christ and of his death ...
Today in readiness for Easter tomorrow it has been decorated to bring perhaps a feeling of hope that from bleak cruelness remembered on Friday, to the joy of the first Easter day ...
We hope that it is of some help in these troubled times that it can bring some thought provoking reflection on the souls of people passing, if only to tell all that Easter is not cancelled ... It has a week to do some mission work."
As we finished the pleasure of the task, we were rewarded by a walking passer-by who took a photo, what a splendid thought that with social media it may be shared also with others ...
We carried this out without requiring any recognition or thanks, we find that staying in the shadows is our preferred mode of adding a little to our locality, as so many others do, making us stronger in so many ways ..."
A reminder that the cross is a powerful symbol of hope to us all, especially in times of challenge.
Compline for Passiontide
Here is a video of audio and stills of Compline (Night Prayer) recorded and put together by Rev'd Philip Butcher (Two Shires) for Passiontide. Whilst it has been prepared for use in Holy Week, it is a gentle service that can be used at all times last thing in the day, especially during these times of uncertainty.
Philip Butcher offers this service of Compline (the last service in the monastic day), using his own photographs and voice. Here he talks about the process:
‘I love to take photos when ‘out and about', particularly of shapes and forms that inspire me in nature. Often I don't have a particular use in mind, and so I end up trawling my files to find ones that go with what I am doing!
‘In the Compline video the pictures are from a variety of places. The font was in a church in Budapest as the sun was going down. The tree is on Dartmoor near my parents' farm. The statue is at Forde Abbey with the fountain cascading over it. The sunrise is on a beach near Melbourne, Australia. The cloud pictures are from above Cheddar Gorge last summer between storms. The unfurling leaf is from a hedgerow near Tatworth this week. The sunsets are from Cornwall.
‘The singing is plainchant. It is an old form of musical notation where the difference in pitch is scored, but not the note itself. It is a traditional form of monastic music and lends itself well to unaccompanied singing.
‘I used to belong to a plainsong choir many years ago. But when we were training for ministry, we were also taught it as part of our worship. Everyone had to lead the college compline at least once in their time in the seminary! I am a bit rusty as haven't done it now for a few years.
‘What is my day job? I don't really think I have a ‘job' as such, but I am the rector of the Two Shires Benefice; five wonderful parishes near Chard. Being a priest or a vicar isn't really something you do, but rather something you are, and something that you are always discovering more about.'