Categories

Older News

May 2018

This month’s letter comes from Rev Anne Futcher.

“We sent 2,000 palm crosses to Exeter and in return, we get Anne!”  So the Very Reverend Chris Butt, Dean of Bahrain Cathedral and Awali Church told his congregations before I arrived in Bahrain.

That’s a lot of palm crosses to live up to!

As a curate, I have the chance of a placement to experience a different kind of ministry.  And, after meeting Chris Butt back in Spring 2017, it was agreed that I‘d visit Bahrain during Lent  – to join the ministry team at the Anglican Cathedral.

It couldn’t have been more different from East Devon!  Bahrain is an archipelago on the north-eastern coast of the Persian Gulf, linked by a 16 mile causeway to Saudi Arabia.  Over half its population is non-indigenous – coming mainly from Australia, Kenya, India, the Philippines, Kenya and the UK.  And it was hot!  While I was there, the temperature reached 29 degrees centigrade – in the evening!

Bahrain is a Muslim country and Friday is the rest day for most people.  Accordingly, church services are held mainly on Fridays with smaller services held on both Saturdays and Sundays.  ‘Mothering Friday’ takes a bit of getting used to!

Bahrain has a proud tradition of hospitality to other faiths.  Apart from its churches, it hosts both Buddhist and Hindu temples, and a synagogue.

In its widest sense, hospitality loomed large during my visit.  I was overwhelmed by the generosity I received.  The sharing of so many personal stories – and wonderful meals – will stay with me.

I was intrigued, too, by how the Anglican Church was both a guest and a host.  As guest, the cathedral community was privileged to worship freely on land gifted by the Royal Family.  As host, it offered worship space to forty-three different local church communities.

I was struck afresh by the privilege of sharing in key moments of people’s life and faith journeys: in baptisms, weddings and marriage blessings – celebrations that melded together traditions from different cultures and backgrounds.  One wedding blessing service of an older couple particularly touched me.  Their Christian and cultural diversity was honoured by a reading in Arabic and in English from the Book of Ruth – a poignant acknowledgment of love and welcome offered to strangers in a strange land.

I was struck, too, by how the church family, in all its diversity, not only offered hospitality to one another, but also to its local community – through running a thriving thrift shop, supporting migrant workers in local labour camps; and, through its work with the Mission to Seafarers, to those in need at the Port.   I had an opportunity to spend time in each of these contexts during my stay.

My first Sunday back in the Holyford Mission Community was on Palm Sunday. As I held up my palm cross to be blessed, it felt even more special than usual.  It brought vividly to mind those Christians I’d met in Bahrain, and the journey we’d shared through Lent. And that morning, I had a sense we were all celebrating Christ’s entry into Jerusalem together.

Looking at my palm cross, I recalled some incidental meetings that spoke deeply of hospitality.  In one such meeting a local woman told of how, desperate for a child, she’d found herself drawn to the cathedral to pray to Mary.  Proudly showing us a photo of her small child, she spoke of looking forward to dropping in once more to share in a prayer of thanksgiving.

I recalled the welcome I received preaching to the Urdu congregation at the New Evangelical Church, presiding and preaching to the Tamil Cathredral congregation on ‘Mothering Friday’, and co-leading the vibrant and colourful worship on Women’s International Day of Prayer.

Was my visit worth 2,000 palm crosses? I can’t say.  It was certainly a very rich time of learning and ministry.  And despite being greeted by snow, it’s very good to be back  – in time for a Devon spring!

Anne Futcher

Rogation walk and tea

On 13th May the Branscombe Rogation walk will start at 3.00 from the hall and tea is at 4.00 at the Old Vicarage.

Beaminster Gallery Quire 5th May

We are very fortunate to have Beaminster Gallery Quire visiting Holyford on Saturday 5th May, to sing informally at Southleigh at 10.00 am and Musbury at 2.30 pm.

They write: Based in West Dorset, we like to play and sing the sort of music performed by Thomas Hardy’s family and his fictional characters. The music has been described as ‘of th earth’. It has strong tunes and lovely harmonies. Much of our repertoire is derived from 18th and 19th c settings of the Psalms but there is also a large collection of Chrismas Carols as well as a selection of secular music – reels, jigs and glees. Our church music would have been performed from the West Galleries of English parish churches. For performance and services we generally wear costumes, loosely based on the period 1825-1840.

Breakfast service 15 April

The popular third Sunday service at St Andrew’s continues this month – we’d love to see you there!

Musbury Barton Open Garden

To help celebrate Send a Cow’s 30th. Anniversary the garden at Musbury  Barton, opposite Musbury Church, near Axminster, EX13 8BB will be open on Saturday and Sunday, May 12th. and 13th., from 2.p.m to 5.p.m. in aid of Send a Cow.   (www.sendacow.org)

The garden was started in 1947 and has been developed ever since. Trees and shrubs are well established – some of them rare and unusual.  The garden has never been professionally designed. It has grown and changed  to suit the owners’ tastes.  It aims to provide colour and interest all the year. There will be Teas on the Terrace and plants for sale.  This is a glorious, five acre garden in a wooded valley complete with stream.   Due to its steep paths and steps, wheelchair access is limited to the terrace from which there are fine views of much of the garden Entry £5 – under 14s Free.   Dogs on leads welcome.

Colyton PCC Annual Report

The annual report is now available to download as a pdf. Annual Report Book 2017-18.

The Annual Meeting will take place on Tuesday April 3rd at 7.30 pm. This will be after the service at 6.30 to mark the completion of the Revd Shuna George’s training curacy, and her continuing role now as Associate Minister.

Talk about Dartmoor 9th May

The Friends of St Andrew’s present an illustrated talk by Alan Endicott on 9th May at 7.30 in St Andrew’s Church:

Alan Endacott was brought up on Dartmoor and has spent his life exploring and trying to make sense of its world-famous prehistoric landscapes, especially the Neolithic and Bronze Age ceremonial or ritual monuments. In 2007, following up a hunch, he discovered a long-buried and forgotten stone circle on an exposed ridge near Sittaford Tor.
His illustrated talk explains his theories regarding the layout of ritual landscapes on northern Dartmoor and the context of the discovery of the Sittaford circle, with personal accounts and some of the insights he has gleaned into the beliefs and rituals of those who built it some 4000 years ago…

 

April 2018

As I write, we are just emerging from three bitterly cold days.  Deep snow and ice have brought our communities to a standstill and we have all had that strange experience of patterns and routines being forced to change, for good and ill.  As ever, the cold weather has seen our communities at their very best as everyone tried to help one another.  As the snow melts it seems hard to believe that Easter is just around the corner – it doesn’t seem a moment since we were celebrating Christmas.

A very good way to link both festivals is to think about the Christmas tree.  Our Christmas trees, with their lights and decorations, are wonderful, joyful celebrations of the love of God coming into the world through the birth of Jesus.   After the festivities are over, many churches now carefully cut off the branches from the trunk of their Christmas tree.  The trunk is stored away and then used to make a cross.  The cross is brought into church in Holy Week, the solemn week of prayer and reflection that leads up to Easter Day, a stark reminder of the suffering and death of Jesus.  Rather than a polished and beautifully carved cross, the ‘Christmas tree’ cross is misshapen and rough, and somehow more redolent of the sadness and harshness that we remember as we tell the story of Jesus’ arrest, trial and death.

Finally, on Easter Day, the ‘Christmas tree’ cross is decorated once more.  This time with white linen and spring flowers, symbols of the new life and hope that comes with Jesus’ resurrection.  Many people don’t realise that the Easter season last for 50 days.  As the days lengthen and new life flourishes all around us, do come and hear the Easter stories and join in the many services that will take place right across our Mission Community throughout those 50 days.  You will be very welcome.

Hilary

 

Gesualdo Six

The Gesualdo Six–  singing beautiful unaccompanied choral music from the renaissance to the present day. If you were lucky enough to have been listening to In Tune on BBC Radio 3 on 19th March, you would have heard a feature on Gesualdo Six’s forthcoming UK Spring tour (here is a link to the BBC programme; the feature starts 13 minutes in).

St Andrew’s is a venue hosting one of the concerts from these talented young men. The concert is brought to you by Margaret Clark, the originator of Concerts for Colyton, and supported by the Friends of St Andrew’s (FoStA). Colyton is proud of its legacy in bringing artists of international reputation to our magnificent church. Show your support by coming to this remarkable event. You will be made very welcome.

Tickets available at The Little Shop, Colyton, on the door (pending availability), or online. Telephone: 01297 553238. There will also be a bar and a chance to socialise.

Lent course postponed

The final session of the Lent course has been postponed because of the snow. It will now take place in Southleigh on Monday 26 March at 7.00 pm in place of the Holy Week Worship. Zillah Martin will talk to us about the season of Advent, and there will be a short act of worship at the close.

In Ecclesia sing at Musbury on Palm Sunday

There will be a special service of Evening Prayer at Musbury church on 25th March, Palm Sunday, at 6.30 pm. We are delighted to welcome In Ecclesia, whose mission is to to maintain and promote the glorious tradition of Anglican choral music by bringing that music to churches large and small. This will be a chance to hear superb singing within the service and a wonderful way to mark the beginning of Holy Week. We hope to see you there!

Colyton Lent lunch new date

The lunch which was postponed because of the snow will now be held at 12.30 on Friday 16th March

St Andrew’s Colyton are holding a Lent lunch on Thursday March 1st from 12.30-2.00 in the Sunday School building. The menu will be cottage pie with peas and apple crumble with custard.

The cost is £5.00 with all proceeds to World Vision for their appeal for Rohingya refugees in Myanmar. Please click here to find out more about World Vision and the appeal.

Musbury Table top sale

Musbury church and village hall are holding a table top sale in the hall on Saturday 17th March from 10-1.

Stalls include cakes, books, raffle, cards, bric a brac and lots more. Refreshments including bacon butties. Enquiries 01297 552440.

Weather situation

1st March:  We regret that, because of the deteriorating weather,

Noah’s Ark today is cancelled,
the Lent Lunch is postponed and
the Women’s World Day of Prayer tomorrow is cancelled.

Mothering Sunday

Mothering Sunday is on 11th March this year and everyone is welcome to the services in our churches. We celebrate our mothers and grandmothers as well as the care that all parents have given in our lives and the mothering role of our church.

Branscombe – 11.15 Morning Prayer
Colyford – 3.30 Evening Prayer
Colyton – 8.00 and 9.30 Holy Communion
Musbury – 10.00 Village Praise
Southleigh – 11.15 Holy Communion