A LETTER FROM YOUR VICAR

A LETTER FROM YOUR VICAR

 

 

My dear Friends,

At the turn of the year, did you wish for a better world in 2018 and for all good things for yourself and your families? It would be natural if you did, but now I ask the question:

Do you like change? I suspect that for most of us we don’t mind change which has been brought about by ourselves, but we don’t like it when it is imposed either by other people or simply by inevitable circumstances. I suppose that there is a part of many of us that like to use those rose-tinted spectacles and think that in the past life was so much better. There is a sense in which life in earlier decades, and even centuries, may have been simpler but there is much that is so much easier now than then.

 

I know I wrote about Bob Naylor in the January Magazine but it was before I had attended the funeral. Now that was an amazing occasion. The church in West Lulworth was packed with people and some even couldn’t get inside. It was a very moving and fitting farewell to a man and priest we had all loved; a man who had touched the lives of so many people, helping us to find a closer union with God. Our parishes were well represented on that occasion and over 60 people attended our Epiphany service in Affpuddle which was also our local celebration of his life and ministry here among us. Our main concern is for Joan and the family and all so close to him, but we have to realise, too, that our life and worship must go on as he would have expected. For the time being there will be just some small changes in our service rota. As from February, the service in Affpuddle on the First Sunday of each month will be at 11:30. In Bere Regis, the 8am on the Fourth Sunday will not happen but there will be a simple shortened Communion after whatever service is taking place at 11am. At 8am services I shall use the readings that will be used later in the morning, thus meaning I don’t prepare two separate sermons!

 

I know that many people find it hard to accept that the Church is changing. It is now a long time ago when every village parish had its own Vicar and we have seen the linking of parishes to spread more evenly the on-going work of the clergy. It would be wrong to think that a parish of say 200 people should have a full-time priest when another of 10,000 or more should also just have one. That is why, of course, that I am is what is described as a ‘house-for-duty’ Vicar; paid by the use of a house, but no stipend, for what is meant to be Sundays and two days in a week. Well, you have probably guessed that I cannot work like that. We are looking at ways in which in the future things could be different.

 

One of my joys has been knowing that there are two other Christian churches in our Parish; the Congregational Church in Butt Lane and the Methodist Church in Bere Heath. It was a particular honour to have been asked to lead the Thanksgiving service in Butt Lane for dear Basil Norgate on January 9th. I am now also looking forward to our joint Covenant Service on January 28th with Bere Heath Methodists. These things would not have happened a few decades ago, so I give thanks to God that Christian Churches are finding ways of working together; after all, the truths that unite us, as fellow disciples of Jesus, is so much more significant than those things where we hold different opinions.

 

So, my friends, we can rejoice that some changes can be very positive and I hold on to the wonderful saying found in the Book Psalms (86:15): “You, O Lord, are a God, merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness.”

Let us take that reassurance into our lives whatever changes we may face.

Your loving Priest and friend
 

Charles

 

EMMAUS AND CONFIRMATION COURSES

The Emmaus course has been running with 13 of us involved from both parishes which has certainly produced some interesting discussions I believe. After the first six sessions, we are taking a break and re-starting on Monday 15th January at the home of Audrey Grindrod for three more sessions. After another short break we will take up the last 5 sessions during Lent beginning on February 19th and these will be at the home of Penny and Jonathan Haigh. Thank you those who host for the welcome!

The Confirmation group will have finished shortly before Christmas and it has been truly inspiring for me – and I hope for the others who have taken part. If you are interested (either as someone wanting to be confirmed or someone who was confirmed some year ago) in another course, just let me know.

 

Charles

 

 

WORK ON THE CHURCH UPDATE

January 9th was a good day for our Roof project. There was a Site meeting with the Architect but also it was the day the re-leading started, after all the repairs to the woodwork during the weeks before Christmas.

It is too soon to be able to know when the work will be completed and we can be back in church for our services but by next month, we should be able to give you a better idea.

Meanwhile, I do want to thank all who have been involved in either getting the church ready for the various stages of work or bringing it back into use, looking as good as possible for Christmas. I’ll let you know when we shall need your help finally to restore the church to its usual glory.

We continue to be very grateful to the School for allowing us to use their wonderful hall for our other Sunday services.

FOOD BANKS

While the church is out of use, the box for any of your donations is in the porch of the Vicarage and it will be super if you can still provide the necessary things as you have been doing. During the winter months and at Christmas, it is as much needed as ever. I would remind you:

 

The Food BankT provides a simple way of helping people who have fallen on hard times.

I would ask: Please ensure that your gifts are at least 6 months in date.

You do not have to be a church member to contribute!

The boxes are emptied regularly

and the contents given to the Wareham Food Bank.

The list of what is most appropriate is:

Tinned Soup Fruit Juice(carton) Pasta Sauces Baked Beans Rice/Sponge Pudding (Tinned)

Tomatoes (Tinned) Pasta/Rice (1kg) Tinned Vegetables Tea Bags/Coffee Instant Mash Potato

Tinned Meat/Fish Tinned Fruit Sugar (500g) Biscuits or snack bars

 

The FOOD BANK provides for local individuals and families in crisis -

Thank you for your support!

 

CALENDARS

I should like to thank all who have been involved in the production and distribution of the beautiful Bere Regis calendars this year and also all those of you who bought one or more. You will be glad to know they have raised just over £500. Particular thanks go to Jeanette in the Post Office, the Moorses in the shop, Alison at the Pop-In. We are also very grateful to those who took the wonderful pictures and to Brian Benjafield for the printing. Finally thanks to Peter Wharf and all others for promoting these calendars.

 

 

 

 

 

FOOD BANK

While the church is out of use, the box for any of your donations is in the porch of the Vicarage and it will be super if you can still provide the necessary things as you have been doing. During the winter months and at Christmas, it is as much needed as ever. I would remind you:

 

This provides a simple way of helping people who have fallen on hard times.

I would ask: Please ensure that your gifts are at least 6 months in date.

You do not have to be a church member to contribute!

The boxes are emptied regularly

and the contents given to the Wareham Food Bank.

The list of what is most appropriate is:

Tinned Soup Fruit Juice(carton) Pasta Sauces Baked Beans Rice/Sponge Pudding (Tinned)

Tomatoes (Tinned) Pasta/Rice (1kg) Tinned Vegetables Tea Bags/Coffee Instant Mash Potato

Tinned Meat/Fish Tinned Fruit Sugar (500g) Biscuits or snack bars

 

The FOOD BANK provides for local individuals and families in crisis -

Thank you for your support!