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Breathing Space in August

You are invited to “Breathing Space” – short, reflective times of stillness and prayer which are taking place again in August. Each time is from 6.30-7.00 pm. If you have any queries please ask Hilary.

In Musbury:  Tuesdays 14th, 21st, 28th August

In Colyton:    Wednesdays: 1st, 8th, 15th, 22nd August

In Branscombe: Thursdays; 16th, 23rd, 30th August

Branscombe beach services

Our popular songs of praise services on Branscombe beach are taking place again this year at 6.00 pm on Sunday June 10th and Sunday August 19th. Everyone is welcome; there is free parking with thanks to the Sea Shanty, and you can book fish and chips there afterwards. Please book by Sunday August 12th with Norman Brimson (680224) or Pat Ayles (680328). The service will be indoors if wet.

Breakfast Service at Colyton

This month’s popular breakfast service is on 15th July

July 2018

This month’s letter comes from Reader Jan Lees.

The Book of The World

In Shakespeare’s As You Like It, Duke Senior says that he ‘finds tongues in trees, books in the running brooks, sermons in stones, and good in everything.’  It’s a reference to the idea of ‘The Book of the World’ – the belief that God speaks to us through Creation.  And I think that’s true – though if you take it too literally God will sometimes seem to be saying some very strange things…  For example, I don’t think the mating habits of the Black Widow spider should be taken as a pattern for family life.

But the beauty we see around us living in such a place as this and the friendship and support we can find in our communities certainly can be seen as a natural expression of God’s good will, of his desire for our well-being and his whole-hearted commitment to joy in our lives.

The Book of the World is a very useful idea if it helps you find joy – if it helps you identify what makes you feel at peace with yourself and others because those things are everyday blessings.  A cup of tea, a hot shower, the scent and colour of a flower, a view to the sea – all these things that make us feel happy and more open to the world are everyday blessings and we need to make the most of them.

Before I moved here I relished the idea of being able to swim in the sea -conditions permitting – and if I couldn’t swim, then at least I’d see the sea every day.  Now I’m here, I don’t make enough effort to visit the shore.  I’ve not ‘got used to the sea’, but I am in danger of taking my chance to visit it for granted.  I need to sort that out.

The world is full of such wonderful things and such interesting people it’s a shame not to enjoy their company.  We can get so involved in chores and jobs that we forget to savour life.  So, as the summer blossoms round you, don’t forget to be part of it.  Remember, no-one has ever lain on their deathbed and said ‘I wish I’d done more dusting.’

Jan Lees (Reader in Holyford Mission Community)

P.S.     St Andrew’s is at the start of hosting an ongoing art/craft project looking at the world of colour in the cycle of the church year.  Its next few sessions will focus on the idea of ‘The Book of the World’ and the colour green.  If you’re interested in joining us, or want to know more, get in touch.  (01297 551351)

Ninebarrow at St Andrew’s

Enjoy this wonderful duo on 21st July at 7.30 with pimms and canapes beforehand.

St Andrew’s Church Open Day

There will be events and activities all day on Saturday 7th July – come and join in!

Musbury Scarecrow Festival 2018


MUSBURY SCARECROW FESTIVAL AND ARTS TRAIL

SATURDAY 14th AND SUNDAY 15th JULY

2 – 5.30 pm both days

Follow the scarecrow trail round Musbury and visit some artisan studios en route.  Villagers have created a variety of scarecrows to be seen lounging around in gardens and on drives – there will even be a wedding in the Church !

Refreshments and cream teas will be served in two gardens in the village, each day at a different garden.

Trail programmes will be available on the day at the Village Hall – £4 for Adults, Children free.

This event aims to raise money for the Village Hall and St Michaels Church.

Do put the dates in your diary and join us for a fun weekend. Enquiries 01297 552440/552711

 

Breakfast service in June

The breakfast service in St Andrew’s is on 17th June, see below – all are welcome:

June 2018

This month’s letter comes from Rev John Lees

The gift

This month a lot of conversations and events have got me thinking about friendship. For example, I’ve reconnected with one or two people I haven’t heard from in over 30 years. Often the conversation has started again because I’ve emailed an old photograph. Scanning old negatives, turning them into digital images not only prompts good memories, it’s given me an excuse to get track down people I though had lost touch with.

Another reason the topic comes to mind is that I was asked to contribute to an article about friendship at work. appearing in the work pages of the Financial Times. One of the conclusions reached by the piece is that many people spend so much time at work that it’s a place where relationships are built – but some people are wary of making friends with colleagues, especially where you have to manage them. Oddly, when the article appeared online many people wrote fairly dismissive, cynical messages about friendship being irrelevant or counter-productive at work.

We also know that as work pressures increase, the chances to build warm friendships during working hours diminish. In the past when things were a bit quiet at work you probably enjoyed a conversation or two. Today, when work slackens off, people on minimum hours contracts are often sent home. If your only experience of work is to be under pressure with no time to ask questions, learn from other people, or just spend time getting along with people, an important dimension is missing.

This might sadden us a little. We have our fair share of funerals here in this part of East Devon, and so we hear a lot of life stories. We hear about family life, but we often hear about work, too. In funeral addresses people rarely say ‘he met all his targets and always worked late’. Often what is remembered is deep trust, good humour, helping people out in difficult times, being alongside people in the ups and downs of life.

Christians believe that God provides many gifts. The gift of community, for example, and – of course – the gift of friendship. God is often most clearly seen in the people around us. Friendship is not just a ‘nice to have’ element after you’ve done your chores and paid your bills. Being valued, appreciated, having friends who enjoy your company – these are the greatest gift.

God makes us gifts to each other. These are the times we value most – quiet, companionable summer evenings, or a fireside chat in the winter. Perhaps a long walk in the country with someone whose company you enjoy.

So, if it’s fashionable to believe that life is too busy for friendships, why not be counter-cultural – show your friends how much they mean to you. Reach out to someone who matters to you, especially if they’ve dropped off your radar. It might make their day.

Revd John Lees, Associate Priest

Children’s summer dates

Noah’s Ark (for babies and toddlers with carers) and Messy Church (for families) continue this summer. All are welcome. Please ring Katheryn Radley for details – 07599 292449
Noah’s Ark: Thursdays 1.15-2.45 at Colyford Memorial Hall:
May 10th, 24th, June 7th, 21st, July 5th, 19th.

Messy Church: Sundays 4.00-6.00 at Reece Strawbridge Centre, Colyton:
May 13th, June 10th: Summer party (this is the last date for the summer).

Vacancy for Director of Music/Organist

St Andrew’s Colyton

Autumn 2018
With the imminent retirement of the Director of Music, we seek a gifted and collaborative musician to join our ministry team. We wish to enhance our strong choral tradition, maintaining our extensive repertoire and exploring new music and styles of worship.

For more details please click here.

Please also see our Music at Colyton page.

Closing date for applications: Friday 6th July 2018
Interviews to take place on: Friday 20th July 2018

Ascension Day Communion

There will be a service of Holy Communion for the Mission Community on Ascension Day,

Thursday 10th May at 7.00 in Musbury Church.

Supper afterwards for those who wish at the Golden Hind.

Come and Sing Bach Vespers

Sunday 13th May at St Andrew’s Church, Colyton EX24 6JS
This event is part of the South Wessex Organ Society Festival. Singers will gather at 1.30pm to rehearse Bach’s Cantata 150 with local Bach scholar Peter Lea-Cox, who is also an artistic adviser to the society.

The assembled choir will then perform the cantata during a service of Vespers at 5pm, accompanied by organ and a small orchestra.

Tickets are £15 at www.sworgansociety.org

May Breakfast service

The Breakfast service this month is on 20th May:

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