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A monthly letter

April 2018

Dear All

It can't be very often that Easter Sunday falls on April 1st, April Fool's Day. In some ways this is an appropriate title. In some eyes, the path Jesus took to be crucified would seem the path of a fool, yet he took that way for the sake of us all, to show God's great love for us. It reminds me of the familiar hymn ‘There is a green hill far away’. It is worth reading as it puts the message of Good Friday both simply and well.

If Christ was a fool, then followers of Christ have often been thought of as fools too. There is the expression “Fools for Christ”. St Paul says, in his first letter to the Corinthians, “We are fools for Christ's sake” and goes on to list the sufferings Christians have gone through. He also says “if there is any among you who fancies himself wise – wise I mean by the standards of this age - he must become a fool if he is to be truly wise. For the wisdom of this world is folly is God's sight.”

The 20th Century artist and visionary, Cecil Collins, both painted and wrote about “fools,” some of his pictures can be seen in the Tate Gallery. I would describe them as a bit like a modern William Blake. He wrote something called “The vision of the Fool.” He says, “The fool does not see the world with delusional knowledge: rather he marvels; he looks with the eyes of a child.” The fool -who he identifies with the artist and the poet, embodies “the eternal spirit, which in the dark winter of the world, continually proclaims the existence of new life, gives the faithful promise of the spring of an invisible kingdom, and the coming of light.”

When I lived in Basingstoke, the Church of All Saints I went to, had a new east window commissioned from Cecil Collins' ideas of light, angels and sun. A play on the word Sun and Son - Jesus the Son of God. I went back there last autumn as it celebrated 100years and the emblem used for the church is Cecil Collins' angel/light /sun however you look at it. It is a magnificent window of light and joy - resurrection.

Happy Easter

Rev'd Barbara Stanton

Diary Dates

Wednesday 4th April  ‘Egg-citing Easter Family Fun Day’ Mudford Village Hall-see flyer

Sunday 8th April  Annual Parochial Church Meeting Mudford Church 12.15pm

Monday 16th April  APCM Rimpton Church 7.30pm

Wednesday 18th April  APCM Marston Magna Church 7.30

March 2018

Dear All

March ends Lent with Holy Week, Easter Sunday being 1st April. Holy Week begins with Palm Sunday 25th March. Summer time begins that day so it is good that the service this year is a Benefice one to be held at Rimpton at 10.45. Lots of time to get over losing an hour's sleep. We are using each of our Churches for one event in Holy Week this year but having a service on Easter Day in every Church.

This will be the first Benefice Palm Sunday. It will begin by gathering at the end of the road where the Church is, for the blessing of palm crosses and then following the donkey to Church, to remember Jesus riding a donkey into Jerusalem. We know that a procession with palms was held in Jerusalem as long ago as the 4th century, with the reading of what is called the Passion Narrative. This is taken from one of the gospels, telling us about all the events of the last week of Jesus' life. This will be done by people reading the parts of all the characters involved and the congregation being the crowd. This year we will be using Mark's Gospel, the shortest and most direct of the Stories of Jesus and maybe the earliest account of Jesus' life.

Rev’d Barbara

January 2018

Dear All

It is very strange writing 2018 for the first time. First of all, thank you for all the lovely Christmas cards. I love enjoying them hung from a ribbon with tiny gold and silver pegs. I feel quite sad when the decorations come down on Twelfth Night. I then get out the hyacinth bulbs which have been under the stairs and am reminded of the coming of Spring and longer days. This leads us to Easter and the celebration of more hope as we remember the Resurrection of Jesus.

The New Year brings in the last of the Twelve Days of Christmas, the First Sunday of Christmas and then four Sundays of Epiphany. At the Feast of Epiphany, 6th January, we remember the Magi or Wise Men coming to greet the Christ child. I have had lots of cards this year depicting the Wise Men. This will be celebrated with an Epiphany Carol Service with the Benefice Choir, to be held in Mudford at 4pm on Sunday 7th January.

The next important date in January is Sunday 21st when the Benefice Project for 2017 is officially ended. Mike and Kersten Wakely from Starfish Asia will be coming to tell us how the money has been used. Starfish Asia is a registered charity which seeks to bring Education and Hope to the poorest children in Pakistan. Lots of fund raising activities have been going on across the Benefice and our target of £1500 has more then been doubled. I think the fact that we have been kept informed of how exactly the money is used makes a big difference and when you know money is not going into administration. A little money spent in Pakistan goes a long way. A Big Thank You to all who have made the Benefice Project of 2017 such a success.

I wish you all a very Happy and Peaceful New Year of 2018

Revd Barbara

If you need to contact us, please visit one of our websites:

or ring or email Revd Barbara on 01935 850745



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