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Annual Meetings

Annual Parochial Church Meetings (APCMs) within the Holyford Mission Community will take place in the following churches on the following dates:

St Michael’s, Musbury: Wednesday 30th September at 7pm.

St Andrew’s Colyton with St Michael’s, Colyford: Thursday 1st October at 7.30pm (this meeting will be proceeded by a Eucharist at 7pm)

St Lawrence’s, Southleigh: Tuesday 6th October at 8pm

St Giles’s, Northleigh: Sunday 11th October at 7pm (following Evensong)

St Winifred’s, Branscombe: Wednesday 21st October at 7.30pm.

Please contact the wardens or PCC secretary if you wish to stand for election as a PCC member of your parish church. These APCMs were due to take place in April, and deal solely with events etc. in 2019.

September 2020

This month’s letter comes from Revd Victoria Chester:

Where have the last 12 months gone?  Even though so much of the spring and summer has been spent indoors or no further than the garden gate, both seasons seem to have raced by; how can it already be September?!  Although, as someone said, time proceeds at the rate of one second per second most of us have a sense of it speeding up or slowing down at different times in our lives, even at different times of the day.  The slowing down seems to happen when we wait for something, looked for or dreaded, or are held awake in the small hours of the night; while the speeding up seems to take place when we’re in the midst of ‘living’ – special family events, holidays, even sleep can seem to whisk by when the alarm goes off before we’re ready to get up.

I can hardly believe it is almost a year since I was ordained deacon in Exeter Cathedral.  That day was so full of family, friends, music, joy in a great coming together in thanks for all that had been and all that was to come.  Looking back now that day seems to belong to another time, we didn’t have to wear masks, we could embrace and greet each other and sing our socks off!  Just 12 months on I look forward to being ordained priest in the Cathedral on the 26th of September with just 5 tickets to offer friends and family, no singing, masks and hand-wash replacing embracing; and yet I feel there is still so much to give thanks for, and hope for all that is to come.

Thanks most especially for the support, patience and generosity of our communities, colleagues, and congregations as I have learned new ministries in taking baptisms and funerals, and the privilege of sharing these life moments with people.  Thanks too for being part of new ways of worship, creating new links, new friendships within and beyond our communities in our Telephone and online services.  And hope, that in another year we can be together outside our bubbles, sing together, have time to lament and look forward together. 

Time can seem to pass very slowly waiting for life to ‘return to normal’ though, and I was also recently struck by these words from the American poet Maya Angelou, “since time is the one immaterial object we cannot influence, neither speed up nor slow down, add to nor diminish, it is an imponderably valuable gift.” 

So that is perhaps another hope for the year to come; that however time seems to pass, in our waiting, our living and our hoping, we can welcome whatever it brings as a gift.

The Lantern open air market

Thank you for all your generous donations since we re-opened the Lantern shop. As a result of the need to quarantine all new stock for 72 hours, our storage space is full to overflowing, so we intend to hold an

OPEN AIR MARKET

SATURDAY 12th SEPTEMBER 2020

on THE CHURCH GREEN

11am-3pm (weather & restrictions permitting)

This will enable us to clear our storage and sorting space, but we very much regret we are unable to accept any more donations until 22nd September 2020

Not the breakfast service…

The breakfast service returns on Sunday 16th, though not quite as we knew it as we are unable to serve breakfast at present…

Silence speaks continues

We are offering two more events. Another silent prayer/meditation meeting at the Churchyard, St Andrew’s, Colyton, on Friday 21st August from 12 noon – 1p.m. WEATHER PERMITTING! There are some chairs available or bring your own, and bring a packed  lunch if you would like to stay on afterwards.

Friday 4th September

Silent walk and/ or picnic lunch, starting from the Churchyard, St Andrew’s Church, Colyton.    (weather permitting)

We invite you (people of all faiths and none) to join us for a silent circular walk and/or a picnic lunch followed by half an hour of collective silence.

To join the walk we invite you to arrive by 10.15a.m.  We aim to begin walking at 10.30. You will be able to leave your packed lunch (and chair if you bring one), in the Church Building, before we set off.

The walk is approximately two hours long, and takes us by the river, through fields and lanes. We will have a short stop at the halfway mark. The terrain is mostly flat, with a short section that has a slight incline. There are gates to go through so please be Covid aware and take responsibility for yourselves.

We should arrive back at the Churchyard by 12.30. If you would like to come just for the picnic and collective silence, please join us then.  Finishing time – approximately  2p.m.

We have been offered free use of the church room facilities, so If you would like to make a gratitude donation to the Church there will be a bowl on the table during lunch.

                email: silencespeaks81@gmail.com

August 2020

Our letter this month comes from Rev Preb John Lees

Enjoying the moment

It’s a shock isn’t it, seeing so many people in East Devon. It’s good for our local economy, and good that people can have a holiday of course, but we have got used to things being…… well, quiet.

Many of us have missed seeing friends and family in person. Others have enjoyed the calm and peacefulness of life with less traffic and less frantic dashing from one event or meeting to another. It’s been good for us, in that respect, because it’s enabled us to find time to reflect, to enjoy our countryside and gardens – and we have had more time to connect with people, by phone or on screen.

I’m writing this just after coming home from the first church service I have attended since March. It’s good to be back, even with restrictions, and one of the best things was to see people face to face, all of us comparing hair very much in need of a cut.

People are good for us. Everyone has their preference about how much company they like. Some people say they don’t know what they are thinking until they talk to someone else; they get their energy from other people. Quieter types are usually happy in their own company, but not all the time. It’s good to have conversations even if they are about nothing in particular, to enjoy companionship.

Companion – that’s a good word. Literally, people we break bread with. Perhaps what we have missed most is having a meal with friends or the whole family sitting around one table. It’s what our communion services are really all about – coming to a table, sharing a meal, celebrating all the gifts we are given. Other kinds of meals are also special moments, where we can just be ourselves and not want to be anywhere else but in the moment, enjoying each other’s company.

A writer I came across this week talks about the way happiness is linked to the way we think about the future. If I can save more, work less, ease back on some of my retirement activities, if I can find time for the things that matter, then I’ll be happy. Of course, when the future arrives it’s never as perfect as we hoped. Of course happiness isn’t far away. Being in good company reminds us that all we need is here in the moment; right now.

Jesus was asked when the kingdom of God was coming. His answer was that the kingdom isn’t something you to be observed, nor is it somewhere far off in the future. He said something which turned his listeners’ world upside down: the kingdom of God is among you. We know it’s here by the way we live together, and because we see God in all things.

Don’t always feel you have to match the world’s speed, its hunger for activity. Hang on to peace and quiet if it’s been good for you. Enjoy what you have, and who you are with.

Revd Preb John Lees, Associate Priest

Silence speaks

Welcome to a silent space for all faiths and none. This space is intended as a way to encourage peace in our troubled world and as a gesture of solidarity with all humanity and the whole of creation.

Wednesday, July 15th 2020,  from 12noon – 1.00p.m.

& Friday, July 31st 2020,   from  9.00 – 10.00a.m

At St Andrew’s Churchyard, Colyton.

(weather dependent!)

Stay for a short while or for the whole hour. Bring your own seating if possible , and a candle in a jar.

‘When we were quiet our hearts discovered that they were kindred spirits’   (Dalai Lama and Desmond Tutu)

For more information email silencespeaks81@gmail.com or ring Helen on 075313 06528 . We value feedback, which you can send to our email.

(Co-ordintated  by Helen Miller – Bridport Buddhist Meditation Group & Hetty Kothari – St Andrew’s Church, Colyton)

Worship in Church resumes

We are pleased to announce that public worship will be gradually resuming across the Mission Community. This Sunday, 5th July, there will be a Eucharist at 9.30 am at St Andrew’s Colyton. At 6 pm there will be a service of said Evensong (with organ music) at St Winifred’s, Branscombe. Physical distancing and hygiene procedures will be in place. Owing to the need to maintain distancing, we have limited seating available, but hope to accommodate everyone who wishes to join us. Our weekly online and telephone services will continue until further notice. Please stay at home if you are vulnerable, shielding, have any Covid symptoms or are feeling unwell. Services for the coming week:

Sun 5th July: 9.30am: Eucharist, Colyton

6.00pm: Said Evensong, Branscombe

Tue 7th July: 8.30am: Morning Prayer, Colyton

5.00pm: Evening Prayer, Colyford

Wed 8th July: 8.30am: Morning Prayer, Colyton

10.00am: Eucharist (BCP), Colyton

5.00pm: Evening Prayer Musbury

Thu 9th July: 8.30am: Morning Prayer, Colyton

5.00pm: Evening Prayer, Branscombe

Fri 10th July: 8.30am Morning Prayer, Colyton

5.00pm: Evening Prayer, Northleigh

July 2020

This month’s letter comes from Father Steven:

‘Then Jacob awoke from his sleep and said, “Surely the Lord is in this place—and I did not know it!” (Genesis 28:16).  This verse is often heard during services which celebrate the dedication of a church—the actual dedication after the church building is finished, or on the yearly anniversary. Jacob realises that the Lord is there with him and says ‘this is none other than the house of God!’.  Our churches are meant to be houses of prayer; God’s house, where we can feel and know that he is with us.

During this period of intense restriction and lockdown, we haven’t been able to go to God’s house. Yet the prayers and worship of the church has continued, not least in our homes. ‘Surely the Lord is in this place—and I did not know it!’ During lockdown, rather than go to God’s house, people have invited God into their home and have been surprised at how close they have felt to him. As thoughts turn to God, so comes the realisation that he is always there for us wherever we are, waiting on us to share the ups and downs, or even the ordinary day-to-day. 

God comes to us.  Many people have told me how they have found spaces at home where they have been able to pray as they have in church, places where they have felt the Lord beside them. Our homes, out of necessity, have become our churches. Although I was very glad to be back in church a few weeks ago to celebrate the Eucharist there again, it was sad to be dismantling the make-shift altar in our dining room. It made me appreciate, like Jacob awaking from his dream, that the Lord is everywhere, if we did but know it.

Our church buildings are now open for private prayer and soon, if the situation continues to ease, we shall be able to begin inviting people to take part in services. This is all good, but I hope that although we will be back in our beautiful, spiritual church buildings, we shall continue to know God to be with us at home, and continue to pray as often and deeply at home as we can in church.

Your parish church is God’s house. It is also your house and is there for you as a spiritual home and you are welcome there.  Please continue to pray wherever you are. When we pray, either at home, in church, in the car, on a walk—truly the Lord is in that place. Open your heart to him in trust and honesty and he will come to you. 

Please pray especially for those suffering from the virus, for those who have died and their families, and for all those caring for the sick, elderly and vulnerable.  

With every blessing,

Fr Steven

Our churches reopen

Five of our churches are now open for private prayer. St Winifred’s, Branscombe and St Andrew’s, Colyton are open each day; St Michael’s Chapel, Colyford and St Michael’s, Musbury are open on Sundays and Wednesdays, and St Giles’s, Northleigh is open on Sundays. The work involved in cleaning the churches has greatly increased – could you help? Please ring the Rector on 01297 553180 or your churchwarden or email.

June Breakfast Service

June’s Breakfast Takeaway service – a short resource for all ages, this month focusing on Father’s Day.

I will sing with the Spirit

Members of the Royal College of Church Music’s Millennium Youth Choir, including Colyton’s Alex McNeice, sing John Rutter’s I will sing with the Spirit on this video for the RSCM Big Music Sunday online service.

June 2020

From Revd Victoria Chester

As a confirmed armchair gardener I have two favourite kinds of garden. Those such as lovely National Trust gardens, where someone else does the hard work and I can enjoy the results. And second, those shown on ‘Gardener’s World ‘ on TV with the wonderful passion of the presenters for the plants in their care.

What I also love though, in any garden, is the way that plants have of scuppering our best laid plans.  Despite the very best our garden centres can offer there are still weeds that seem to survive relentlessly. Which of us hasn’t marvelled at the state of our hedges and borders, when everything else struggles for survival, but the brambles and nettles still grow at a rate of knots?  Even amongst carefully tended house plants, shoots of quite different stalks and leaves can appear seemingly from nowhere overnight.

But the bramble doesn’t realise that it’s a weed nor does the daisy in the middle of the lawn. There is something quite wonderful about their pride in blazing into flower in the most inappropriate place, gloriously unaware that they don’t fit into our plans.  No matter how good a gardener we are, weeds, soil and the weather all  help remind us we are not entirely in control. We can fertilise our soil, but if it is acid, it is unlikely to become alkali – and the plants that thrive will reflect that. Some years we think we have done all the right things, but still there are plants that don’t flourish as we might hope and ‘weeds’ that flourish all too well. But after all, it’s been said that “a weed is just a plant in the wrong place”.

I sometimes wonder whether our gardens can offer us some important lessons, particularly in these strange times when not being in control of what we otherwise take for granted has been a big feature of life for so many of us.  For Jesus, it was the wild flowers and weeds of the field that had so much to teach us.  In his parable of the mustard seed the wild black mustard plant was the perfect example of the potential and blessings of the kingdom of God that come when we let something grow as our Creator intended it.  What for the farmers of his time was a pernicious weed, was for Jesus a vital source of shade from the burning sun and shelter for birds and animals alike.

For those of us blessed with gardens, allotments or houseplants over the last few months they have been oases of calm, refreshment, colour and activity.  But perhaps there is a bigger message growing there for us too; that our Creator delights equally in all that he has made, in each lily of the field, in each mustard seed, and in each one of us.  His love encompasses the weeds as well as the flowers wherever they grow, planned or unplanned, because they are all signs of life, growth and the hope of his kingdom.  In the words of one of our best loved hymns:

All things bright and beautiful

All creatures great and small

All things wise and wonderful

The Lord God made them all.

Church Funds

Jane Preece writes: “On Sunday 31st May there is an opportunity to sell things outside our houses for charity. I am going to sell cakes and marmalade in aid of St Andrew’s church. 2 Bishop Court, off Burnards Field Road, cemetery end.” Perhaps we could all support her by buying things, and/or also raise funds for our churches in the Mission Community by selling things outside our houses.

Breakfast service 17th May

Click here to download our breakfast service takeaway.