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Posada 1 December

Mary and Joseph’s Advent journey continues (see earlier post for details).

Posada 30 November

Mary and Joseph continue their travels – please see previous post for further details.

Posada 2020

Posada (the Spanish word for ‘inn’) started as a Mexican custom. Children dressed as Mary & Joseph and went from house to house in Advent asking people if they had any room, so prompting thinking about the Christmas story.

The tradition was first brought to the UK by the Church Army and has spread.

As you may be aware in Holyford, we have in relatively recent times used part of the knitted nativity set (Mary, Joseph & the donkey) for a Posada journey throughout Advent into people’s homes. Obviously, this will not be possible this year in the same format.

Instead, from Advent Sunday to Christmas Eve, Mary, Joseph & the donkey will start on a journey throughout the mission community & bordering parishes, to outside locations only, for a series of 26 photo shoots. These will be posted daily on both the Holyford Facebook page & website. At the end there will be a prize for anyone who can correctly identify the 26 locations – £10 voucher to spend in The Lantern Shop in Colyton.

December 2020

This month’s letter comes from Charles Hill:

This is being written early in the second period of lockdown this year when nothing in December can look certain and in this season of Advent our preparations for Christmas will be getting underway. Christmas is a season of hospitality and for many this involves the giving and receiving of food and drink and the sharing of time with friends and family.

Mary and Joseph must have been extremely grateful for the hospitality shown to them by the Innkeeper and although perhaps not meriting many stars the accommodation was no doubt a huge improvement over any alternative.  In turn, Mary and Joseph were able to offer simple hospitality to the shepherds and wise men and possibly others not recorded.   

The birth of Jesus was also a sign of God’s hospitality towards each one of us as a reminder that he invites us to be part of his family.  In the Eucharist (a celebration of Jesus hospitality to his disciples and their successors) the following words are sometimes said in a prayer after Communion ‘Father of all, we give you thanks and praise that when we were still far off you met us in your Son and brought us home’.

At the heart of hospitality is love. Love which seeks to recognise the needs of others and meet those needs either through own actions or by supporting others. Such hospitality can be shown in so many ways; through the offering and receiving of food and drink, through personal presence and presents! but also through a kind word by phone or other means, through the carrying out of a simple errand or just a smile (face masks permitting) at the appropriate time and other possibilities may well come to mind.  Through our own acts of hospitality our own love for others and that of a loving heavenly Father can become manifest.

I wish you a blessed and peaceful Christmas Season.

Charles Hill

PS  each week on Friday or Saturday an email is sent out to about 200 email addresses with details of what is happening on the Sunday and coming week.  If you think you should be receiving this please check your Spam folder as attachments on the email could be routing the email here. If you are not receiving such updates and wish to do so, please get in touch.

National Christingle Service

Sunday 13th December with other details to be announced

Please see https://www.churchofengland.org/resources/preparing-advent-christmas-2020-comfort-and-joy

Mission Community Carol Service

This will be a short service (5 carols) on 23rd December at 5pm via Zoom (incl telephone) and hopefully facebook too, aimed at the whole community

Advent Windows

We invite you to join us with a special advent window:

Day of Prayer 29 November

The Archbishops have called for November to be a month of prayer.  As a Mission Community our part in it will be to hold a special day of prayer on Advent Sunday, 29th November.

We invite you to pray for our country and our community during this pandemic. During the day our churches will be open if you want to pray there, and you can simply pray at home at any time, or you can sign up to cover a time slot as part of our 12-hour vigil.

Everyone living in our Mission Community is encouraged to join in.

You are invited to light a candle at 6pm on Advent Sunday and say the special prayer for our Mission Community which you can download now here.

Do watch out for further announcements on this website and watch out for the online service which will be available shortly.

There will be a Telephone Service at 2.30pm on Sunday 29th November.

At 6.00pm you are invited to light a candle and say our shared Mission Community prayer at home.

At 8.00pm there will be a service of Compline on Zoom.

Open the Book

Rev Ann Stuckey who works with our team writes this blog to help adults with learning difficulties. She explains about her blog:

If you’ve wondered about making friends with your local residential home but not sure how to do this, then this website will help you do just that.

Visit the information page to learn how to go about making contact with your local home, how to set up a visit and ideas on what to do during that visit.

Visit the video page to see a tried and tested session in action. Be enthused with how much fun it can be to visit a home and take a session. Also the reward of the smile and interaction of the residents will stay with you for a life time.

Day of Prayer for Covid: Special Prayer

This prayer has been written for our Mission Community Day of Prayer by John Lees. Please pray this prayer on Advent Sunday, 29th November, and share it with others.

Almighty God

Who has cared and protected your people in every generation

We offer our prayer to you today

for this country and our leaders

for everyone who has to make difficult decisions

about the health and well-being of this nation.

We pray for everyone affected by Covid-19;

for all those who are sick and those who care for them;

for all those in hospital;

for medical staff, carers, researchers, for our emergency services.

We pray for our local community,

for all those who protect us and keep us safe.

We give thanks for all those who support,

serve and feed us in these difficult times.

Keep us, good Lord,

under the shadow of your mercy in this time of uncertainty and distress.

Loving Lord, you taught us to love our neighbour,

and to care for those in need as if we were caring for you.

In this time of anxiety, give us strength to comfort the fearful,

to tend the sick, and to assure the isolated of our love, and your love,

for your name’s sake. Amen.

When putting on a facemask…

We hope you may appreciate this prayer for use when putting on a facemask:

November 2020

This month’s letter is from Reader Jan Lees

The harvest is in.  The clocks have gone back. The year is turning, drawing to a close.  Later this month the church year ends and we begin again with Advent. It’s a time to consider endings and to look towards new beginnings – whatever they may turn out to be. 

Doing things differently because of the strange times we’re living in has been a mixed thing, hasn’t it?  I rather enjoy the slower pace of my life at the moment – the going out less, but when I run into a friend I haven’t seen in a while I don’t enjoy keeping my distance. I look forward to the day when I’ll be able to give them a hug.

Advent is supposed to be a strange time, I think.  We’re supposed to watch and wait, to long for God to come to us, to hope for his coming.  But it’s hard to do that when we’re already thinking ourselves into Christmas.  We’re like time travellers with one foot in the departure lounge and one in arrivals…

This year will be different.  Quieter.  Make the most of it.  As we stand at the tail end of the church’s year do a little inventory.  There might be some things you should just let go.  Do that.  There will be some things you need to give thanks for.  Do that.  The year begins afresh any minute now.   And the new growth might be just like the old.  Or it might be something new and surprising.  God delights in surprising us, I think – delights in making all things new.  So we move on doing things differently – or maybe just doing different things.  Either way we’re not on our own.  God is with us every step of the way.  Enjoy the journey.

Jan Lees

Pastoral Reorganisation

The following announcement affecting Holyford Mission Community will be made in our churches:

“A Notice giving the objects of proposed pastoral reorganisation affecting this parish has or will be displayed near the main door and on the Church of England website. The Notice includes the last date by which representations regarding the proposed reorganisation may be made to the Church Commissioners.”

The notice reads as follows:

Mission and Pastoral Measure 2011

Draft Pastoral Scheme

The Exeter Diocesan Mission and Pastoral Committee has prepared a draft Pastoral Scheme for:

(i) the termination of the group ministry established for the three benefices of Honiton, Gittisham, Combe Raleigh, Monkton, Awliscombe and Buckerell; Offwell, Northleigh, Farway, Cotleigh and Widworthy; and Broadhembury, Dunkeswell, Luppitt, Plymtree, Sheldon, and Upottery;

(ii) the termination of the team ministry established for the benefice of Honiton, Gittisham, Combe Raleigh, Monkton, Awliscombe and Buckerell;

(iii) the dissolution of the three benefices of Honiton, Gittisham, Combe Raleigh, Monkton, Awliscombe and Buckerell; Colyton, Musbury, Southleigh and Branscombe; and Offwell, Northleigh, Farway, Cotleigh and Widworthy;

(iii) the creation of a new benefice of Honiton with Monkton, Awliscombe, Buckerell, Combe Raleigh, Cotleigh and Gittisham, the establishment of a team ministry for the new benefice, the cure of souls to be shared by a team rector and one team vicar, the appointment of the team rector and the selection of the team vicar;

(iv) the creation of a new benefice of Colyton, Branscombe, Musbury, Northleigh and Southleigh and the appointment of the first incumbent of the new benefice;

(v) the creation of a new benefice of Offwell, Farway and Widworthy

the housing arrangements for the three new benefices and their future patronage arrangements

in the diocese of Exeter.

The draft Scheme is on the Commissioners’ website www.churchofengland.org/consultation or you may obtain a copy from me.   Large print and/or audio copies are available on request.

  • Anyone may make representations for or against all or any part of the draft Scheme (please include the reasons for your views) preferably by email or by post to reach the Commissioners no later than midnight on Monday 7th December 2020.   Send your representation to rex.andrew@churchofengland.org or by a letter marked for the attention of Rex Andrew, Pastoral Division, Church Commissioners, Church House, Great Smith Street, LONDON SW1P 3AZ.
  • If they have not acknowledged receipt of your representation before this date, please ring 020 7898 1743 or e-mail them to ensure it has been received. For administrative purposes, a petition will be classed as a single representation and the Commissioners will only correspond with the sender of the petition, if known, or otherwise the first signatory for whom they can identify an address – “the primary petitioner”.
  • When making a representation, please indicate the nature of your interest in the proposals (e.g. parishioner, member of parochial church council, etc) and whether you would like an opportunity to speak to their Committee regarding your representation if the Commissioners decide a hearing should be held regarding the case.
  • If they receive representations against the draft Scheme, they will send them, and any representations supporting the draft Scheme, to the Bishop whose views will be sought.  Individual representors and the primary petitioner will then receive copies of the correspondence with the Bishop (including copies of all the representations) and will be told whether a hearing is to be held.  They and individual petitioners may comment further to the Commissioners.  Copies of all of the representations received and associated correspondence will normally be published on the Commissioners’ website if the matter needs to be considered by them.
  • If a hearing is held, anyone may attend the meeting of the Commissioners that considers the case and representors may have an opportunity to speak to their Committee. Otherwise, if a hearing is not to be held, the case will be considered in private and you will be informed accordingly.
  • When they acknowledge representations the Commissioners will let individual representors (and the primary petitioner) know the next few dates of their Committee’s meetings. They will confirm the actual date if a hearing is to be held nearer the time.
  • The Commissioners’ will decide if the draft Scheme should proceed when they consider all the representations on the basis of a paper prepared by the Commissioners’ staff and any points raised at the meeting.
  • The Commissioners will notify all representors of their decision and give a statement of the reasons for it.
  • If they so decide, any representor or petitioner against the draft Scheme may seek leave from the Privy Council to appeal against the decision.
  • Please see the Commissioners’ website www.churchofengland.org/consultation for further information about the procedure.

Revd Dr Adrian Hough
Secretary Exeter Diocesan Mission and Pastoral Committee

ah@exeter.anglican.org

Branscombe Patronal festival

The Dean of Exeter will be preaching at Evensong on Tuesday 3rd November at 6.30.

Remembrance Sunday

STOP PRESS

Due to the renewed lockdown we will not be able to hold the planned services. We will hold these short simple outdoor services at the war memorials:

10.50 Colyton

10.55 Branscombe

10.55 Musbury

We still have the telephone service at 2.30

The following church services have been CANCELLED:

8.00am            Eucharist BCP  Colyton

10.45am          Remembrance Service, Southleigh

10.50am          Remembrance Service*, Colyton *see below

10.55am          Remembrance Service, Musbury

10.55am          Remembrance Service, Branscombe

3.00pm            Messy Church, Colyton

3.30pm           Remembrance Service, Colyford

6.00pm           Evensong, Northleigh

Social distancing measures will be in place and you will need to wear a mask unless you have an exemption.

* Numbers at St Andrew’s Colyton will need to be limited, so we ask you to let us know you wish to come by emailing David Fouracre david@thetoolbox.org.uk by Saturday 31st October with your name, phone number, and the names of people in your household/bubble who wish to attend. If you are offered a place and then find you can’t come please let us know so we can offer the place to someone else.

There will also be a short Act of Remembrance at 10.55 on Wednesday 11th November at Colyton war memorial

Annual Memorial Services

Annual Memorial Services. This year there will be two services to remember our loved ones by name at All Souls. As in previous years there will be a reflective service on Sunday 1st November at 6.30pm. This year there will also be a Eucharist on Monday 2nd November at 10am. Given the covid restrictions both will be held in St Andrew’s Colyton to accommodate as many people as possible. If you would like to come please contact Emma Laughton. We will be reading the names of everyone for whom we held a funeral this year. If you would like to add any names, please contact Christine Sansom by Mon 26th October.

Ninebarrow virtual concert

Saturday 17 October 2020 at 7pm

from St Nicholas’ Church, Studland

The concert can be watched live or during the following week. We are delighted to announce that the popular folk duo Ninebarrow are going to trial a system with the Friends of St Andrew’s, where any sales that result from FoStA supporters’ participation in this virtual event will result in Ninebarrow contributing 30% of your ticket price to the Friends of St Andrew’s funds. FoStA welcomes this initiative and we hope you do too. Thank you Ninebarrow! The concert can be watched live or during the following week.

More details of the concert and how to book tickets can be found on:

https://www.ninebarrow.co.uk/fosta