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The Posada’s continuing travels…

Mary and Joseph continue their travels around Colyton at the weekend (see our earlier post). They enjoyed choir practice:

Musical enjoyment continued at Tysons – click here for video: Posada 2017 Tysons – 5

It was good to see they found suitable-sized housing for one night at least:

then continuing on their way with the promise of lunch at Abbeyfield:

next a little musical interlude…

then Mary and Joseph stopped off at Bishop Court for a little chat with St Francis:

Next Mary and Joseph snuggled up cosily for bedtime stories with three of the Fouracre grandchildren:

Then perhaps not so cosily among the metalworking tools:

 

December 2017

This month’s letter comes from Rev’d Anne Futcher.

We’re now well into the season of nativity plays.  And every time I watch one, I’m taken back to my son’s first ever public performance.  His playgroup was staging a nativity tableau.  James was desperate to be the drummer boy.  We awaited the casting decision anxiously.   The news wasn’t good.  He’d been cast as Joseph.

The day arrived.  James came on stage looking solemn. Clearly he was taking his paternal responsibilities to heart.   Mary looked depressed.  The little boy playing the donkey was insistent in placing his orange felt carrot inside the crib.  Maybe he meant it as his gift for the baby.  But James was equally insistent in removing it.  We watched, helpless with laughter and tears, as the carrot went in and out of the crib – over and over again.  That nativity is a cherished part of our family story.

Back in August, nearly thirty years later and newly married, James visited Rwanda with his wife, Katie.  On their return, James and Katie presented us with a beautiful set of crib figures, made by a wood carver in Kigali. There are shepherds wearing traditional robes. There are the three kings each bearing a differently shaped casket.  Mary in local headdress, smiles serenely.  A bareheaded Joseph looks suitably solemn. And there is baby Jesus in his crib.  He’s attended, not by an insistent donkey brandishing a felt carrot, but by a sheep and a long-horned cow.

I learned that this long-horned cow, called an inyambo, is considered by Rwandans to be very special indeed.  Under the traditional Rwandan monarchy, inyambo were bred specifically for ceremonial purposes and sent to the king’s palace.   There they were trained to listen, and to move, to traditional songs.  Bedecked with jewels, they’d then take part in elaborate parades to honour the king.

By including the inyambo among his crib figures, the Rwandan woodcarver was welcoming and honouring baby Jesus in the best way he could.  And by embellishing the Christmas story with local detail, he made it his own.

Each time we retell the nativity we make it our own too.  It’s no longer a story about an insignificant family in an insignificant village long ago.  It becomes a story that transcends time and place:  It’s James’ story. It’s his and Katie’s story.  It’s the woodcarver’s story.  It’s yours and it’s mine.

And above all, it’s God’s story.  It’s the story of the God who chooses to come to us, as vulnerable as a baby, across time and place.  He comes to us in Palestine and Rwanda and England, in the first century and the twenty-first.  Over and over again, God overflows into our lives and our stories with love.

This Christmas, like that boy with his felt carrot; like the woodcarver with his inyambo, let us welcome him and honour him in the best way we can.

 

Community cafe at St Petrocks

St Andrew’s  community café is supporting St Petrocks, the charity for homeless people in Exeter, this year. On the 6th October café organisers took along a further £250 which brings the total given so far this year to £350.

The café is also collecting the items they desperately need from now until the end of December. The poster below lists items St Petrocks needs, which can be brought along to the café . Many thanks for your support.

Annual Meetings

 

The parishes will be holding their Annual Meetings (APCMs) towards the end of April. Do come along to hear about the church’s work during the year, think about the future and help choose your churchwardens and representatives on your PCC. All the meetings are at 7.30 pm

Monday 24th April – Branscombe

Tuesday 25th April – Colyton

Wednesday 26th April – Southleigh

Thursday 27th April – Musbury

Chandelier cleaning

On Monday 17th October St Andrew’s was a hive of activity for the annual cleaning of the chandeliers. Each chandelier has to be dismantled, the pieces cleaned and then reassembled.

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Many hands make light work! Now they’re gleaming beautifully, ready to be lit for Carols by Candlelight. We are so blessed to have these magnificent objects to remind us of Christ’s glorious light coming into the world.

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Leprosy?…

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… is that still with us?

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We recently heard about Jesus healing ten lepers…

Come and hear a presentation about leprosy and the work of The Leprosy Mission, with Rev’d David Beazley, Area Rep, as part of One World Week.

Thursday 27th October at 7.30pm in St Gregory’s Church Hall.

Churches Together in Seaton.

Branscombe Harvest Fair 2016

After the tremendous success of last year’s inaugural Harvest Fair we are in the process of organising this year’s event.  The Harvest Fair will take place on Saturday 17th September 2016 12 noon-4pm in the Branoc Hall and on the playing Field. Members of St Winifred’s Church will be playing a pivotal role in organising and running, amongst other things, the family dog show.  Keep an eye on the Facebook page (Branscombe Harvest Fair) for updates and please pray for lovely sunshine.

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St Winifred’s Flower Festival, Branscombe

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Huge thanks to everyone who was involved in putting on such a marvellous flower festival. Each of the displays really encapsulated the theme of ‘Natures Bounty’ in such an imaginative and creative manner.

Despite the weather visitors from far and wide came to marvel at the arrangements, drink tea, eat scrummy cakes and enjoy wonderful fellowship in the beautiful setting of St Winifred’s.

The Songs of Praise service on Sunday morning, led by Shuna, provided the perfect opportunity to reflect upon and celebrate God’s creation and all that nature provides through song, prayer and readings.

Over the 4 days it was wonderful to see and hear people truly being touched by the whole experience.

I wonder what the next theme will be? 🤔
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Licensing of Rev John Lees

We are looking forward to welcoming the Bishop of Plymouth to St Andrew’s Colyton on Monday 4th July at 7.30. He will license our ministry team member Rev’d John Lees for his additional new role as Bishop’s Officer for Self-Supporting Ministry. John’s role includes supporting SSM vocations as well as informing diocesan policy. More about the contribution and varied roles of Self-Supporting Ministers can be found on the Diocesan Website here.

 

 

St Winifred’s Flower Festival Friday 24th to Monday 27th June. Help wanted.

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Do you have any spare time to help make this wonderful event a success?  We are currently looking for people to help with stewarding or helping with the refreshments.  If you can spare some time, however short, please contact Pat – ann3681@icloud.com

Many thanks

St Winifred’s Choir

Do you love singing praises to God?

Would you like to share this passion with friends?

St Winifred’s Church Choir are seeking new members.  If you would like to join please contact Geoff Butler (01297) 21375.choir

St Winifred’s Flower Festival 24th-27th June 2016

787 Branscombe flowers 2014 editOn Friday 24th June to Monday 27th June 2016 (inclusive) St Winifred’s Church will be holding a spectacular flower festival.  Tasty refreshments will be available throughout the day.

We are all looking forward to seeing ‘Earth’s bounty’ depicted in flowers within such a wonderful setting.

If you would like to get involved please do not hesitate to contact Pat Morgan or leave a message on the website.

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

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.