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Messy Church September

We were looking at the theme of “The Mustard Seed” and thinking about how the largest and smallest things are all so important and work together.  We planted mustard seeds and went on a treasure hunt for pennies to put on a map of our area to show what we treasure in our community.  Everyone had a lovely time followed by delicious sausage casserole and stewed apples and custard.  Thank you to everyone who came and to the team.  Next Messy Church in on Sunday 13th October.  All welcome.

Southleigh Teddy Bears’ Picnic

We had a big turnout for the Teddy Bears’ Picnic service in Southleigh on 1 September. We started with a small and simple act of worship. Many Southleigh families turned out and a wide range of soft toys were launched from the tower, with bravery certificates for all. The afternoon concluded with a cream tea, much appreciated  – especially by the stalwart team who climbed the tower.

September 2019

This month’s letter comes from Victoria Chester

‘Tis the season . . .

Having been a Reader (a lay minister) in our parishes for a number of years I am about to take the plunge into ordained ministry – or as a friend of mine puts it ‘getting collared’!  As the year turns from summer to autumn I will be ordained in Exeter Cathedral on the 14th of September and then serve as a self-supporting curate in our Mission Community parishes of Colyton with Colyford, Branscombe, Southleigh, Musbury and Northleigh.

Although the days may still be warm, there’s no doubt that September marks a turning of the seasons for many of us, from holidays to the start of the new school year for some and the return to work for others.  The same is true for our religious festivals, those times in the Church year that recall special moments in the life of Christ and in the life of the Church.  Some of the most familiar festivals and seasons seem to come round with startling speed – can it really only be just over 100 days to Christmas?!

Here in our Exeter diocese July marks a special time commemorating St Peter and Christ’s call to him to be “a rock” on which the Church would grow.  Whether or not these were the exact words used it is always an important anniversary in the life of any community when we remember the foundations we are built upon.  Church, village and family all have roots that remind us of our beginnings, where we have come from, and where and with whom we hope to grow in the future. 

For Exeter Cathedral, Petertide, the season of St Peter, has particular significance as the Cathedral building itself is dedicated to St Peter and each year the community there uses this as a focus for special celebrations.  This significance also carries through into other seasons in the life of our diocese.  Ordinations in the Church of England usually take place at Petertide, but here in Exeter we wait until Michaelmas, mid-September, for the service at the Cathedral that marks the start of our new ministry.  I for one am grateful for this later season and celebration; just as the disciples waited in Jerusalem before starting their ministry so the period between the end of my study course at Petertide and my ordination at Michaelmas has given me much needed time to rest, to give thanks for the care and support that has given me the foundation from which to take this new step, and to look forward with joy to the journey to come.

Victoria becomes a Deacon

Many of us already know Victoria Chester, who has been exercising her Reader ministry here in Holyford Mission Community for a number of years. She has now completed her training for ordination and will be ordained Deacon at Exeter Cathedral on Saturday 14th September at 3.00 pm. Please pray for Victoria as she prepares for this new chapter in her ministry.

She will be welcomed among us in her new role on Sunday 15th September at the Breakfast Service in Colyton: breakfast at 10.00 followed by the service at 10.30. So that everyone who wishes has the opportunity to be there, the morning services in the other Holyford churches that day have been cancelled. Other services which will still take place that day will be 8.00 am Holy Communion, Colyton; 6.30 pm Evening Prayer, Colyton.

She will be continuing in her secular job as CEO Bristol Animal Rescue Centre while working among us as our Assistant Curate (self-supporting).

Harvest weekend at Northleigh

Northleigh will be a hive of activity with events spread over three days.

Friday 6th  Harvest Supper – 7.00pm for 7.30pm, Village Hall . Tickets – Adults £10, Children under 16 years £5 – Please call Norma 01404 871422,

Saturday 7thHarvest Show from 2.30 pm at the Village Hall We are planning a brilliant harvest show this year, on the theme of ” Our Planet  Matters” with craft entries photographers, artists, gardeners and flower arrangers. Presentation of Cups 3.00pm – Cream Teas available – Entrance £1- Under 16’s free  for more details call Hazel 01297 552416

Sunday 8th  The Harvest Festival Service in St Giles Church –  11.15am

Teddy Bear Service at Southleigh

Beach Songs of Praise

This year we continue our popular Songs of Praise services on Branscombe beach on

Sunday 9th June at 6.00 pm and

Sunday 18th August at 6.00 pm, when the singing will be led by Honiton Town Band.

If wet it will be in the Sea Shanty. Do join us for these most enjoyable events.

Southleigh Fair Aug 14

Come and enjoy Southleigh’s Annual Fair, August 14th, 2.30-5.

Adults £4.00, children go free. All the usual stalls, bird of prey display, sheep shearing and racing, cider pressing demo, dog show, tea tent and bar, Bar-B-Que. Any profits are divided beween the church, village hall and local charities.

Location Lees Farm, EX24 6SA

August 2019

Happy To Chat

We have scaffolding up outside the house at present and it’s rather odd to see knee-down views of workmen passing the bedroom window.  It’s not attractive – the scaffolding, I mean  – I wouldn’t dare criticise the chaps’ legs!   But scaffolding isn’t pretty to look at, unless it’s been specifically designed to be visible like the jolly coloured structures on the Pompidou Centre in Paris. 

Anyway, all this has got me thinking about hidden support (there should be an underwiring joke here, but I can’t think of one, so insert your own).  So many things in our lives depend on hidden support.  The friends who drop by to see you when you feel low, the casseroles and cakes that arrive when life’s got out of hand aren’t listed as emergency services but they rescue us just the same.

We’re lucky to live in a place where people care about their neighbours and where there are such strong networks of friendship holding our communities together.  The everyday friendliness of our neighbourhoods is a great gift and harnessing it in organisations such as LINK is a brilliant idea.  And here’s another one that I saw online –  a photo of a bench bearing the sign  ‘happy to chat’.  The idea being that if you sat on that bench you were inviting conversation as an antidote to loneliness – either your own or whoever might pass by.   Of course some people would find that a nightmare – they’re desperate for a bit of quiet,  and five minute’s peace on a bench where no-one mithers them is their idea of paradise.  Support comes in all shapes and sizes.  Sometimes just letting someone enjoy their alone-time is the best support you can give.  Which is not the same as blanking them – a smile and a nod go a long way to making everyone’s day better.   A smile and a nod is like wearing your built-in support system on the outside.*  It’s part of the glue that holds us all together.

Jan Lees

(*insert own joke about being a superhero/wearing your pants on top of your trousers etc etc….)

Christian Aid Concert 7th August

St Andrew’s Summer Fete

Saturday 27th July 2.00-5.00 pm on the church green.

Fun for all the family – games and competitions, cakes, plants, books, cream teas, bar, quiz. Raising funds for Colyton parish church.

Obligato String Quartet

On 17th August at 7.30 in the Branoc Hall, Branscombe

Summer fun at Noah’s Ark

A Teddy Bears Picnic took place in warm sunshine at Noah’s Ark today (18th July) in the grounds of Chapel of Ease of Saint Michael, Colyford.  The children and their families enjoyed a teddy bear hunt, singing and dancing, parachute play and a story.  A lovely tea was provided by the wonderful team of volunteers and visiting German students kindly helped with face painting.  Noah’s Ark will recommence again in the new school term in September, but all the team would like to wish everyone a happy summer with your families.

The Titanic lands at Branscombe!

Children from Branscombe School and the Jubilee Federation had a lovely time in the sunshine on the beach on Monday July 8th. They worked together beautifully as a team to sculpt this image of the Titanic using different coloured pebbles.

St Giles Bike Ride

Sunday 21st July 2.30pm

This has become a regular annual event since it was launched in 2013. Starting at the Church and finishing at the Village Hall with a Barbeque and bar, it has proved a popular and enjoyable Sunday afternoon family activity. At the same time significant funds have been raised for a variety of good causes.

This year’s good cause is HEADlight, an Action East Devon Service providing a friendly, non-clinical space for young people in East Devon who are affected by emotional and mental health issues.

Registration at St Giles, Northleigh from 2.30 pm