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Brigadier Nigel Speller

Many will have been saddened to hear of the death of Nigel Speller who died in March. Nigel was a friend to many, and served the church and the local community in many different ways. He was a Reader in the Church of England who served the parish of Colyton, Holyford Mission Community, Honiton Deanery, Exeter Diocese and the national church over many years. We send our love, prayers and condolences to his family. There will be an opportunity to remember and give thanks for Nigel at a Service of Thanksgiving at St Andrew’s Colyton on Saturday May 14th at 12.30 pm.

Bible study groups

bible with phone John 1Our Bible study groups are continuing this summer with the following dates and contact details. Everyone is welcome to come to any of the groups.

Branscombe (Rev Nigel Freathy 680424) – Friday May 13th at 2.30

Colyton (Rev Jeremy White 32299) – Thursdays 12 May at 7.30m (Coffee from 7.00), Thursday 26th May at 8.00 after HC in church

Musbury (Rev Hilary Dawson 553180) – Tuesdays 10 and 24 May, 7 and 21 June, 5 July at 7.30.

Children’s summer dates


Noah’s Ark for pre-school children and Messy Church are continuing over the summer term (please see families page for more details).

Noah’s Ark fortnightly on Thursdays from 1.45-3.15 at Colyford Memorial Hall:
April 28th, May 12th and 26th, June 9th (no session on 23rd), July 7th and 21st.

Messy Church monthly on 2nd Sunday from 4-6 at the Reece Strawbridge Centre in Colyton:
8th May, 12th June and 10th July.

We have lots of fun activities planned and everyone is welcome.

May 2016

reader-logo editHilary writes:

On Ascension Day in 1866 the order of Readers was re-inaugurated, and so this year we celebrate 150 years of Reader ministry.  We are blessed to have a group of Readers working in the Holyford Mission Community as part of our ministry team.  On Sunday 29th May at 6.30pm we will be having a special service at Southleigh Church to celebrate the 150th anniversary of Reader ministry.  Please do come along to help us celebrate, and to thank God for all that our Readers contribute to the life of our churches and communities in so many different ways.  Jan Lees, one of our Readers, explains a little more about Reader ministry:

I’m a Reader in the Church of England – so what do I actually do?  Some people assume it simply means I occasionally read from the Bible in services, that being a Reader is just a matter of being invited to join a rota.  It isn’t.  Reader Ministry is a calling which includes preaching, teaching, evangelism, pastoral work and planning and leading worship.  Very few Readers do all of those things in equal measure, but all of us would recognise those elements in our ministry.

Traditionally Readers are described as ‘bridges’ between clergy and congregation – I’m not very comfortable with that idea, it suggests that clergy and congregation belong in two different worlds and that doesn’t reflect my experience.  Though being voluntary ministers and in the pews on a regular basis does add a dimension to our preaching and leading of worship – a heightened sense of solidarity, perhaps?

Readers are trained in theology and licensed by the bishop, but we’re not ordained like deacons or priests.  In practical terms this means Readers can’t consecrate bread or wine, but we are often closely involved in the Communion service.  Exactly how we are used in services varies according to local custom.  In some parishes we distribute bread or wine, and taking communion to the housebound is a very Reader-y thing to do. Readers often take funerals – very important in busy town centre parishes, where if it wasn’t for Readers a priest might find themselves doing very little else.

Sadly, we don’t officiate at baptisms (think of all that baby cuddling we miss out on) and we don’t declare God’s blessing – we simply ask for it, in the absolute confidence that our loving God will not refuse it!

Jan Lees (Reader in the Holyford Mission Community)


St George’s Day Celebrations at Branscombe C of E Primary

Ascension Day in Musbury

ascension-of-jesusWe will be celebrating Holy Communion for Ascension Day together as the Mission Community on Thursday 5th May in Musbury at 7.30 pm – all are welcome.

Taize Service in Colyton

Alleuia Christ is Risen squareThere will be a Taize-style service of prayer, readings, music and silence on the theme of the Resurrection in St Andrew’s on Sunday May 1st at 6.30 pm. All are most welcome.


Rogation Sunday in Branscombe, 22nd May 2016

St Winifred's Branscombe

On Sunday 22nd May we will be holding our annual rogation service.  Starting at the Branoc Hall we will walk through the fields to thank God for our wonderful world and all that it has to offer.  We will finish our walk at the Masons Arms where refreshments will be served.

If it is wet the service will take place in the Masons.

Spring Clean at St Winifred’s churchyard

St Winifred's Branscombe

On Friday 15th April 2016 we will be giving our Churchyard a spring clean.  Please come along from 2pm to lend a hand.  All welcome.

April 2016

Mensa Christi beach resized

The beach at Mensa Christi, Sea of Galilee


From Revd Anne Futcher:

Daffodils in early January…snow in March…. 2016 has begun with the unexpected – with wonder, contrast and contradiction.

Wonder, contrast and contradiction sum up the start of the year for me in a different way. For late January didn’t find me admiring the spring flowers of East Devon, but rather those of the Holy Land.  With 22 fellow curates and 2 bishops from Exeter Diocese, I was there on pilgrimage.

Starting in Jerusalem we visited places holy to Christianity, Judaism and Islam.  We marvelled at the mosques on Temple Mount and joined Jewish worshippers on Sabbath Eve at the Western Wall.  We followed in Jesus’s steps to the Mount of Olives where he spent time with his disciples; to the pool at Bethesda where he healed a paralysed man; to the Garden of Gethsemane where he watched and prayed before his death; and we traced his final steps along the Via Dolorosa to the site of his crucifixion.

We journeyed on to nearby Bethany, home of Jesus’s friend Lazarus; to Jesus’s birthplace at Bethlehem; to his childhood home of Nazareth; and onto the banks of the River Jordan where he was baptised; and where we renewed our own baptismal vows.

Our pilgrimage ended in Galilee, home of Jesus’s lakeside ministry.  We swam in the cold water, went up the Mount of Beatitudes where Jesus preached, and finally walked on Mensa Christi beach where the resurrected Jesus cooked supper for his disciples.

Wonder indeed.  Biblical stories and place names took on new and special meaning.  And there were moments for me of deep encounter with God.  Not among the ornate shrines, but at unexpected moments outside – on hillsides, by water and most of all among weathered rocks and stones.

And there were moments, too, of sadness.  As Jesus grieved over the divided city of Jerusalem, so, more that 2,000 years later, did we.  The West Bank Wall now divides both Jerusalem and Bethlehem.

Contrast and contradiction were all around: seen in the bustle of market stalls along the Via Dolorosa; in the Israeli female soldier at prayer, sporting designer bag and gun on either shoulder; in the walls that protect but also separate and exclude; in all those who spoke to us of living in fear and yearning for peace, for shalom.

We journeyed from places of darkness to light: from the darkness of Jesus’s crucifixion site and the Holocaust Memorial to the light of places associated with the resurrected Jesus; a home and school dedicated to restoring children’s hope and dignity; and a reconciliation centre with its blunt message: ‘don’t curse the darkness, light a candle’.

So this Easter season, among the remaining spring flowers, my prayer is one for light and hope and peace, in the Holy Land and among peoples of difference the world over. Shalom

Annual Church Meeting

This year’s annual meeting takes place at St Andrew’s on Tuesday April 26th at 7.30 pm.  Do come along and hear about what has been happening in the parish and at St Michael’s and St Andrew’s over the past year, and what is being planned for the year ahead.  Coffee will be served from 7pm.