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Breakfast Service 18th March

The 3rd Sunday Breakfast Service takes place in St Andrew’s again on 18 March: bacon baps and croissants at 10 followed by the short service for all ages at 10.30.

March 2018

Holyford Mission Community Pilgrimage to the Holy Land 2018

On Tuesday 30th January in the icy cold of the early morning twenty hardy pilgrims left Colyton square heading for Heathrow airport.   On Friday 9th February those same twenty pilgrims returned to Colyton, to be met by the torrential rain of a winter’s night.  In between, we experienced a warm, sunny journey that took us to Jerusalem, Bethlehem, Masada, Bethany, Jericho, Tiberias, Nazareth, Capernaum, the River Jordan, Cana, Mount Tabor, the Mount of Beatitudes and Caesarea.  Accompanied by our ever-patient driver Hassan, and our wonderful guide Samer, whose knowledge of history, archaeology, religion, art, botany, politics and culture was profound, yet shared with such humility, we were generously fed. We visited plenty of ancient stones but drew our greatest inspiration and learning from the living ones – the people who faithfully live out what they believe in the most difficult circumstances. We heard stories of pain and loss, light and hope, and of remarkable co-operation between those of all faiths and none. Such a journey will take time for us to process, and in time we will share our stories and photographs. For now, here are a few first impressions from our intrepid travellers:

A land of contrast and contradiction and blessing.

Old stone, repurposed so many times; history sits in thick layers, yet the light over the water is unchanged, the green of spring just as fresh. Perhaps the old stones matter less than the living stones – those who we met, we who are changed.

No wonder the Lord of all creation was raised in the beautiful land of Galilee, though amid so many human tensions, and chose the shores of the lake for so much of his ministry.

I enjoyed the singing: the Peruvian Gloria in St George’s Cathedral, Jerusalem, and then again at the Sea of Galilee; singing heartily in St George’s, remembering the harmony to ‘Just as I am’; the exquisite acoustic of St Anne’s in Jerusalem;

hearing other groups around us with their chants and hymns, some very different from our sacred music.

Jerusalem: beautiful in an unbeautiful way.

Gethsemane: the feeling of Christ among the ancient olive trees.

Tabgha: a moving, relevant, Eucharist over-looking the Sea of Galilee.

Tiberias: saying prayers in the early morning on my balcony.  As I read the phrase, ‘Christ as a light’, so the sun appeared over the hills opposite.  What an amazing feeling and a great way to finish a wonderful pilgrimage.

Inspiring, thoughtful, provoking, insightful….and just the start of our journey.

Finally, some words from our guide Samer, which we found helpful on our pilgrimage, and will carry with us into the future:

‘In this world, there is no black or white, only grey.’ 

And, his oft-repeated injunction to us in Arabic to walk ‘shway, shway’ (slowly, slowly), encouraging us to move more slowly through this world, lest we miss signs of God’s glory in beauty, creation and the faces of our neighbours.

Hilary

Pancakes at Messy Church

Messy Church met just before the beginning of Lent and the children enjoyed traditional pancake races.

Open the Book at Musbury

Children at Musbury School helped out in bringing to life the story of the Creation in the recent Open the Book session.

Talk at St Andrew’s Cafe

On Tuesday 20th February at 10.30 the community cafe welcomes Sara Bennett from the Exeter-based charity Balloons to give a short talk about their work with bereaved families. The cafe will be open from 9.30-11.30 as usual with the usual delicious cakes and fresh coffee.

February 2018

This month’s letter comes from Rev’d John Lees:

Visiting St Andrew’s Colyton – in New Zealand

It feels like some time ago now, but in October Jan and I were fortunate enough to spend some time in New Zealand. Before we set out we were delighted to receive an invitation to visit St Andrew’s church in Colyton. Colyton NZ is a small farming community on North Island, some way north of Wellington. The nearest big town is Feilding. The area was turned into farmland in the late 19th century and it’s clear that the area was mapped out by someone with a ruler. The roads are in a grid system, many of them long and entirely straight. Colyton sits around one of the rural crossroads, with a village hall, a few houses, and a pretty wooden church. The big Scottish influence in NZ means that there are many St Andrew’s churches over there, but this one was founded by an East Devon family.

Colyton NZ is a quiet, rural parish, with a small but thriving community supporting its life. Bryan and Joanne Guy gave us supper and overnight accommodation and gave us a real insight into life into this farming community, dominated by large dairy farms.

We were given a huge welcome by Graham Conlon, a local secondary school teacher who serves as worship leader, and by the Ven Wendy Scott, who not only looks after a large group of churches centred on Feilding but also acts as Rural Dean and Archdeacon.

Jan and I were invited to talk about life in our Mission Community, so we said something about all of our churches, talking about the Harvest Festival services going on the same weekend we were overseas. I showed photographs of all five churches, and our audience was delighted to see that we have a painting of our NZ counterpart church here in Devon – look for it in the bookshop corner in Colyton.

We also showed images from the ‘God at Work’ exhibition from last June, telling them how the event came together. Jan told the congregation one of the stories told at the exhibition – with plenty of sound effects and actions to join in with.

I closed the service by talking about the Royal British Legion badge I was wearing, commemorating the 100th anniversary of Passchendaele. I’d been given it in September to take with me, but I hadn’t realised that Passchendaele means such a great deal to New Zealanders, who suffered more casualties on 12th October 1917 than any other day of the first world war. That day fell close to the time of our visit.

We may have left two ideas behind us. Wendy was very keen to try the God at Work idea in one of her churches. And Colyton NZ may be hosting its very first tractor run…. We await developments.

We couldn’t have had a warmer welcome, both in terms of our overnight accommodation and in church. Our hosts kindly allowed us to disrupt their normal Sunday morning service entirely, and then very kindly organised a big parish lunch to celebrate the visit.

We also couldn’t fail to notice how pride of place has been given to the stained glass cross sent over from St Andrew’s here in Devon in 2013. The cross is made from glass saved from our west window. It now sits on an internal wall, illuminated by light coming into the parish rooms. Like our visit and the warm welcome we received, a firm reminder of a strong connection between churches many thousands of miles apart.

Ash Wednesday Communion

Lent starts this year on 14th February, and we will be celebrating Holy Communion in the morning at 10.00 in Colyton, and then in the evening at 7.30 pm, Holy Communion with imposition of ashes in Colyford. All are most welcome.

Holy Land Pilgrimage

On 30th January Hilary and Anne are leading a party of 21 from Holyford on pilgrimage for ten days to the Holy Land. The group will be staying both in Jerusalem and Galilee, and have the opportunity to see many of the most well-known and interesting places connected with the life of Jesus. This is a most exciting event for all those taking part, and your thoughts and prayers for them while they are away would be much appreciated.

Lent Course 2018

Colour me holy: Alive to the seasons

Exploring the liturgical seasons

how do they intertwine with the natural seasons?
how do they help us reach out through the year to pray, grow and serve?

Each speaker will focus on one liturgical season in a way that inspires them.
Each evening begins with refreshments at 7.15 and ends by 9pm

Monday 26th February – St. Michael’s Chapel, Colyford
Ven. Christopher Futcher, Archdeacon of Exeter

Tuesday 5th March – Sunday School Building Colyton
Jan Lees and Rev. Shuna George, Holyford Mission Community Ministry Team Members

Monday 12th March – Branoc Hall, Branscombe
Rev. Preb. Graham Stones, Chaplain to the Bishop of Exeter

Monday 19th March – St Lawrence’s Church, Southleigh
Zillah Martin, former Prison Chaplain

All are welcome

Quiet Day on 17 Feb

Everyone is warmly invited to a Holyford Mission Community Quiet Day, led by Bishop Bob Evens (former Bishop of Crediton)

‘Growing Closer to the God who loves you’

Seeing more clearly,  Questioning more freely, Facing ourselves more openly.

Saturday 17th February from 10am-3pm

at St Rita’s Conference Centre, Ottery Moor Lane, Honiton EX14 1AP

Lunch is included – donations welcome

To book your place please sign sheet in church or contact Hilary Dawson by Monday 5th February

Breakfast service 21 Jan

Colyton’s breakfast service this month is on 21st Jan, with everyone warmly invited:

Auction of promises & gifts

BRANSCOMBE PCC are hosting an AUCTION of Promises and Gifts with SUPPER

SATURDAY 27th JANUARY 7.30 pm for 8 pm Branscombe Village Hall

Tickets from Ross Willmington 07813 117149 Email mrw”at” symondsandsampson. co.uk

Tickets £12.50 per person (includes hot supper & pudding)

DONATIONS OF LOTS FOR THE AUCTION INVITED All proceeds to St Winifred’s Church

January 2018

In 2013 the author Tracy Chevalier published a novel called The Last Runaway. Set in the 1850s, it tells the story of a young Quaker girl who leaves Dorset for America with her sister.  During the hazardous journey her sister dies, leaving Honor to make her own way in an unknown country.  One theme of the book is the underground railway which helped slaves to escape to freedom.  Another theme is quilting which was such a feature of American domestic life.

In order to immerse herself in her book’s subject matter, Tracy Chevalier taught herself to quilt and soon discovered a passion for sewing.  She went on to curate a quilt show in Bexleyheath and, as a result of that show, was contacted by the charity Fine Cell Work which teaches needlework to prisoners in UK prisons.  They invited Tracy to speak about her book and her quilts, and this led to 63 prisoners from Wandsworth prison working with her to design and make a quilt with the theme of sleep, each creating a ten-inch square for the finished quilt.

In an article in The Guardian newspaper in October Tracey describes how the project turned out to be more therapeutic than she had first imagined: things came out, emotions came out. Sleep is quite contentious in prisons, and I hadn’t known that. But when we’re going to sleep, it’s often the time we think the most. For prisoners, things have gone wrong for them in their lives and that’s the time it comes out. That definitely came through in the quilt.” *

The finished quilt represents every possible emotion, together with the hopes, fears and dreams of those who created it.  A book called ‘The Sleep Quilt’** has now been published, funded by many individuals who believed in the value of the project.  It contains images of the squares and the words of those who sewed them.

We often think about learning a new skill or taking up a new hobby at the start of the year.  Tracey Chevalier did, discovering something hugely pleasurable and rewarding for herself, which also turned out to bring help and new life to those who needed it most.

Hilary

* The Guardian, 18.10.17

** The Sleep Quilt by Tracey Chevalier and Katy Emck, published by Pallas Athene, Oct 2017

Bible Studies

Our Bible study groups are meeting again in the New Year. We are very friendly groups and you are welcome to join us at any point.

The Branscombe group is continuing to meet at 3 Mill Lane from 2.30-4.00 pm, with the first date Friday 19th January and further dates to be confirmed. Phone 22303 for details.

The Colyton group meets on Thursdays from 7.30-9.00, dates 11th and 18th January, and February 1st which is to be confirmed. The venue will be confirmed. Phone 551400 for details.

The Musbury group meets on Tuesdays from 7.30-9.00, please phone 553180 for details.

 

Messy Church and Noah’s Ark

Children’s event are continuing in the New Year, with Messy Church for Primary age children with their families meeting again at the Reece Strawbridge Centre from 4-6 pm on Sundays 14th January, 11th February. In March Messy Church will meet on Good Friday, 30th March, from 3.00-4.30 in St Andrew’s Church Colyton. Then the next session back at the Reece Strawbridge Centre will be as usual on Sunday 13th May from 4.00-6.00.

Noah’s Ark babies and toddlers is meeting at a new time, 1.15-2.45 pm, which we hope will suit those who then have to pick up from school. Noah’s Ark continues at the Memorial Hall in Colyford on Thursdays 4th  and 18th January, 1st February and 1st, 15th and 29th March.