My dear Friends,


No sun - no moon! No morn - no noon - No dawn - no dusk - no proper time of day.
No warmth, no cheerfulness, no healthful ease, No comfortable feel in any member -
No shade, no shine, no butterflies, no bees, No fruits, no flowers, no leaves, no birds! -



Oh dear – that’s not a very cheerful way of starting the letter for this month” I hear you say. Well this poem by Thomas Hood does seem very negative, I agree. But how do you view November? For many it is the time for buying Christmas presents and cards and really getting prepared for the coming festival, which should be full of joy and happiness! That would certainly be one way to avoid any feelings of negativity!


But one of the expressions that echoes through this month is ‘Lest we forget’. In regard to our Remembrance observances, it has its roots in Rudyard Kipling’s poem Recessional and its repeated prayer ‘Lord God of Hosts, be with us yet, lest we forget, lest we forget’. We find it too on various memorials up and down the country.


Now, I fear that we are in great danger of forgetting and that is why Remembrance Sunday is surely so important. The rise in aggressive extreme Right-wing (and Left-wing) activities shows that there are now generations, who have forgotten what happened in the first half of the twentieth century. Certainly there are many, like me, who are ‘pensioners’ but who have no memories of the last War but at least the War was so close in time that people were often talking about it and why the atrocity happened. But for many in their middle years, and certainly younger, it does not impact on their thinking.


In a recent study, it appears that large numbers of adults do not know that the US and France were our allies and even a frightening number claimed not to know that Adolf Hitler (and Nazism) was involved on the other side. There are those who have no idea of the horrors inflicted on the Jews and others in concentration camps and why we had no alternative than to stand up for what is right whatever the cost and to fight for freedom. As we forget, it is no wonder once again people in Europe and the free world are being led astray by extreme nationalism. Whatever your view may be of Brexit, the countries of Europe are our neighbours and in a sense our friends with whom we seek to co-operate. We have a shared history, similar cultures and a common understanding of the freedom that was saved through the last War.


If you care about these things, then you will join us, I am sure, around our War memorials (Bladen Valley at 9am and Bere Regis at 11am) on November 12th and even at Bere Regis on November 11th at 11am.

We need to be united in our horror of extremism and our desire to protect our values of freedom and tolerance. It may require a little alteration of your usual Sunday, but surely it is worth that!


However in Kipling’s poem, he reminds us that we need God to be with us, ‘lest we forget’. I am increasingly convinced that our society is seriously lacking the joyful and positive direction and moral compass that comes with having God in our lives. The many various ills of our nation, including that of self-obsession, where we are encouraged to see life only from our own perspective, would be much improved by our returning to the Christian faith and morality which has been handed on through the centuries.


Yes, like it or not, Christmas is on its way – and Advent first – but how great it would be if the happiness of this coming season were filled with the wonderful joy of knowing what lies at the heart of the Festival – the birth of Jesus and what that can mean for us who love him and acknowledge him.


Enjoy it all, my friends, as I shall, and think about God having a real place in your life!


Your loving Priest and Friend



Our Remembrance Observances:

Saturday 11th November at 11am Brief Act of Remembrance at the Bere Regis Memorial

Sunday 12th November at 9 am Act of Remembrance at Bladen Valley Memorial, followed by Communion at 9:15 in Affpuddle Church

Sunday 12th November at 11am Act of Remembrance at Bere Regis Memorial followed by the service in church (note not in School Hall). This will be preceded by a march form the Scout Hut.







What a very encouraging response we have had to the leaflet drop around all the houses of the Parish. As I write there is only a small amount to complete the £15,000 that we needed to begin the work. The donations have of course varied in size but every one of them has helped us on our way.

Personally – and on behalf of the Church Council – I do want to say a very warm thank you for all those contributions and where we have known who has given we have sent a letter of thanks. Some have been anonymous and some had no address and we are just as very grateful for those as well. Many came through the vicarage door but quite a few also through the MyDonate page.






The final services in the Parish Church were on October 15th. The scaffolding was due to be starting to be erected in the following week. As we cannot use our church and thanks to the generous welcome by our Head Teacher, we shall be using the beautiful new School Hall for Sunday services which should also mean that we are considerably warmer than we are used to! This will have started with services on October 22nd.

Please do note, though, that we shall be back in church for our Remembrance Sunday service on November 12th. We shall also be using the church for our Christingle and Christmas day services.

Baptisms can take place in the School Hall during services and Funerals will be at Affpuddle Church.

Midweek Communions will be at the Vicarage, still with Soup Lunch!

Access to the church as a building site will be very severely limited especially during working hours...any questions please just ask me or a Churchwarden.




Harvest gifts for the Food Bank


Thank you so much for the food from Bere Regis School and from the Church Harvest services. It will be a great contribution to helping those who are struggling to make ends meet.  The food is distributed throughout the Wareham area and there are usually one or two families from your villages who benefit from the Food bank . So you can be assured the food is distributed locally.

This food will go a long way in providing free emergency provision, for those who find themselves in crisis. Those who have received this food are very appreciative and on behalf of them, I thank you. Without such donations, and your regular ones through the year, the foodbank could not run. The need continues to grow and it is only through people like you that this service is able to continue. Could you please pass my thanks on to everyone!

Kind Regards Lynn Crabb Food bank Organiser






At St John the Baptist, Bere Regis

On 8th October – Isla Grace Ventham (at the Family service)



At St John the Baptist, Bere Regis

On 23rd September – Brian Jones and Jennifer Stone

On 14th September – Richard Bendon and Amanda Way

At St Laurence, Affpuddle

On 7th October – David Lewer and Charlotte Chettle



At Poole Crematorium

On 6th October – Irene Moorse


Burial of Ashes

On 3rd October – Richard and Audrey Moyes


A Letter from Bob Naylor

It’s been a funny old year…………..
Almost a year ago, the 4th October 2016 to be precise, I needed surgery to sort a
problem with an enlarged prostate gland. During the pre-op scans and tests, another
more serious problem emerged. “This isn’t what you wanted to hear” said my surgeon,
“but you have a malignant tumour on your prostate” Some words stay with you as clearly
and vividly as if they were spoken yesterday.
The operation on my prostate was a success and I was subsequently referred to
University College Hospital in London, for radiotherapy treatment which would hopefully
rid me of the tumour. 8 weeks of treatment. Every day. It began in April of this year and
finished in mid June. I have just had my first session with the Doctors since the treatment
finished. They’re happy about me, I’m feeling good, and most importantly, all my blood
test results are looking fine and the numbers are just what they should be.
It’s been quite a journey, still is, and will be for a time yet, and I wanted to write about for
a variety of reasons. First of all because Charles suggested that I may like to. Then to feel
that my experience may offer encouragement to those who perhaps are in a similar
position. Thirdly to flag up signs of hope and positivity in a world which so often seems to
be an ongoing saga of doom and gloom. Fourthly to praise the work of the much
maligned NHS and the people who work within it, and finally to emphasise yet again the
healing power of this wonderful and faithful God of ours, and how we, his children, can be
powerful disciples of Christ to those in need, when we really take our Christian faith
I’ve learned so much on this journey. At the very beginning, if I’d have been given the
choice to travel or not to travel, then the answer is blindingly obvious. “I’ll pass on that
one thank you very much.” And yet, looking back, I’m grateful for the experience, and feel
very privileged and humbled by the encounters I’ve had along the way.
That word “cancer” is the most horrible of words. In fact it took me a good while before I
could actually say the “C” word, preferring less blunt and challenging words such as
“tumour” or “a bit of a problem down there” The “C” word itself produced instant
emotions of fear, vulnerability and a sense of stunned disbelief— “this can’t be happening
to me”. But it was, and it took a while before my sense of balance was restored.
The balance was restored by the love and support of family and friends, and by my doing
what I always do in times of trouble. I flee to God. And God, family, friends, and the
wonderfully capable and caring medical staff in whose hands I was placed, between
them, they all gave me the hope and confidence that in time we would nail this cancer.
The first time I sat in the UCLH MacMillan Centre, I just couldn’t get over how many
people were in there alongside and around me. All being treated for various types and
degrees of cancer. And in a strange way it was very comforting. It wasn’t just me and I
wasn’t on my own here. And as my daily treatment was given, I became part of a band of
brothers, all in the same boat, all developing a black humour about the situation we found
ourselves in, but all cheerfully facing the future as best we could, knowing that we were in
the best possible place and hands, and all determined to win. It was quite inspiring.
My first consultation set the positive scene. My consultant—-with surely the most
unfortunate name for a doctor, Professor Payne—was warm, friendly, re-assuring and
positive. “We’ll be with you every step of the way”; “This is treatable”; “Just ask if there’s
anything at all, we’re here for you”. And throughout the whole time of my contact with
those within the NHS, those who have cared for me, those who have had any sort of
responsibility for me, I have been impressed, touched and reassured by professionals
who are skilled at their jobs, love their jobs, and bring compassion, understanding and a
desire to treat those in their care with dignity. The NHS is much criticised and consistently
on the receiving end of cheap shots. Sometimes I’m sure there are justifications for this.
What I want to say is that those working within it, those working for me and my health,
whether doctors, nurses or radiographers, were skilled and dedicated people, working
within the constraints which we all know so well, but never shirking from going the extra
mile for me. And this in turn, has moved me to look at myself, and to think again about
how I relate and respond to the people I meet in my life. The great commandment to love
God and love my neighbour, a commandment which I’ve always tried to obey, however
imperfectly at times, has taken on a whole new significant meaning for me. We followers
of Jesus could perhaps all do well to look at ourselves in the light of his commandment, a
little more often than we do, and act upon what we find in that looking.
You would expect a Priest to talk about the presence and influence of faith in God as he
experienced what he did. And talk about him I will. I just cannot begin to realise how
people with no faith and belief, no spirituality about their lives, begin to get their heads
around a diagnosis such as the one that was given to me. A loving wife and family were
there for me instantly and I badly needed them. Most of all I needed the hands of my
Heavenly Father, my loving and caring God, firmly clasped around me. And that, I believe,
is what I have had. The combination of God’s healing power and love, allied to wonderful
medical treatment, has brought me to where I am today. And I thank my God for that. At
the centre of “the God thing” have been the prayers of so many people. I have been
overwhelmed and humbled by the messages of support and the knowledge that so many
people have been regularly praying for me. And that has been part and parcel of my
treatment, and I’m glad to say, still is. A priest friend of mine, now long gone, once said to
me “If you trust all that you are and all that you have to God, he will never, ever let you
down”. I say a joyful “Amen” to that and recommend his words to you.
You wouldn’t think it sometimes, judging by the nature of the news we are subjected to
every day, but we live in a wonderful world, and the world is full of wonderful people. This
last year has powerfully reminded me of that, and has renewed my faith in God, in
goodness, and in the really important things of life. Many of us keep a sheet of paper
close by to our phones with emergency numbers on it. GP, electricity faults, you know the
sort of thing. I’ve never seen God’s name on such a list!! And yet he is so often called
upon in emergencies only.
I’ve learned that it’s often a dangerous practice to give advice and as far as possible I shy
away from doing it. Having said that I immediately offer you a piece……..
“Please don’t keep Jesus’ phone number under “Emergencies Only”!
Practice involving him in everything you do. Try this prayer, “ Lord, please walk with me
today. May your presence within me touch the hearts of those I meet today, either through
the words I say, the prayers I pray, the life I live, or the very person that I am.”
Learn to walk with God at the centre of all you do. Imagine him entering every door just
ahead of you. Don’t wait for the storm to call for help. I’d rather be guided by a lighthouse
than saved by a lifeboat!
Revd. Bob Naylor