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A monthly letter

June 2017

Dear All

With Easter being late this year we have the celebration of the Feast of Pentecost or Whitsun in June - June the 4th. This marks the end of the Easter period. I will have to take down my Easter tree of eggs, rabbits and chicks. We will also stop lighting the Pascal or Easter candle in Marston Church, lit with the new fire of Easter Eve to symbolise the resurrection and the continuance of the physical presence of Christ in the world.

With Ascension celebrating Jesus' return to God, Pentecost, 50 days after the Feast of the Passover, or Whitsun, celebrates God's Holy Spirit coming to the disciples and the continuance of God's presence in the world. It changed the still frightened disciples who hid behind closed doors, to brave men and women who were prepared to tell others about Jesus and his teaching. Peter, the fisherman from Galilee, addressed a huge crowd, who had come to Jerusalem to celebrate Pentecost, (an agricultural festival). Here was a different man from the one who denied knowing Jesus, changed to a brave, inspired preacher. Because of this, Pentecost is often called the Birthday of the Church. Pentecost is a major festival of the Church which, especially with a fixed Bank Holiday no longer connected to it, has become a rather poor relation of those other great festivals of Christmas and Easter. We will celebrate this important milestone in the Church's history with services in the 3 largest churches. Chilton Church was used to celebrate Ascension.

Chilton has now started Cafe Cantelo in the Church on the 1st Saturday of the month. The two Church Warden's wives are in charge for June. Here is their flyer

Cafe Cantelo

Saturday 3rd June 10.30-12.00noon


The Wardens' Wives and their Wares

Featuring the first public viewing of the transcription of our Parish Register.

250years of history! Are you in it?

Eat:  home-made Food

     Drink: hot & cold beverages

                                             & be merry:  on our local cider……

Plants for sale in aid of the Church Fabric Fund

Flaming June - we hope! also brings the Marston Magna Village Event, which hopes to raise a lot of money to help village charities. Lots of exciting things are happening. Do come and support this new venture. So many people have put in so much work to make this a really exciting event with something for everyone, young and old, human or animal throughout the whole day.

Thursday 15th June also marks a special day, called the ‘Thanksgiving for Holy Communion’ or its perhaps better known Latin name ‘Corpus Christi’. As Marston Magna are having a PCC meeting  on this day, we are having a short said Communion Service before this at 7pm.  All are welcome for this and being June (hopefully warm enough) our meeting will be in the Church following on from the service. You may know this service better as the one, when in the Roman Catholic Church, young people receive their First Communion. Confirmation follows later when they are adults. There is provision for this now in the Anglican Church, where it is called Admission of the Baptised to Communion, ABC for short.

May brought the launch of our Benefice Project to raise funds for Starfish Asia in a special Benefice Service at Rimpton where the leaders of this Charity came to speak to us of how the funds will be used for the education of the poorest in Pakistan. Lots will be happening about this in future.

Diary Dates

3rd June Saturday Cafe Cantelo

4th June Day of Pentecost Whit Sunday

10th June Marston Magna Village Event

15th June Corpus Christi and Marston Magna PCC

22nd June Visitation, the new Archdeacon comes to St John's Yeovil

for the swearing in of Church Wardens 5.30pm all welcome

26th June PCC Rimpton 7.30pm

May 2017

Dear All

It does not seem possible, but it is two years since our last successful Benefice Project to support deprived children in Yeovil, Tea and Toast.

Parish representatives have recently met and after a lot of discussion, considering we supported a local charity last time, is that we should look further afield.  I had a missive from the Diocese recently asking what we had done for people in the wider world and I had to fill in nothing.  There had also been a Lent Appeal for Syrian refugees which I had not let you know about (my feeble excuse was that I was away in March and the April letter had to be written early).  If you would like to make a one off donation to that, please give it to your Church Treasurer.  Mudford has already donated.

The charity chosen is one we have supported before, but before I came.  We know that all the money will go directly to the people in need and not in administration, and also will know exactly what our money will be paying for.  The project is Starfish Asia.  This supports Christian children in Pakistan, not an easy place to be, and will concentrate on education, providing chairs, books, electricity, toilets, teacher training and better wages.  A little money goes a long way there and our fund raising will really make a difference to many children.

I have been told the story of how this charity got its name.  A man was walking along a beach and hundreds of starfish had been washed up on the shore and had no chance of returning to the sea.  Death for them was inevitable.  He started to throw as many as he could back.  Someone saw what he was doing and said “You are not going to make much difference; there are hundreds of them”.  “But”, replied their saviour,”it will make a difference to the starfish who do reach the sea”.

You will be hearing a lot more about Starfish Asia and the ways we can raise £1500 as a target.  Do let me know of any ideas you have.

To start with, two of the people closely involved with the charity will be coming to speak to us at a special Benefice Service on 21st May at Rimpton, 10.45am.  It is Rogation Sunday and our thanks to God for the natural world and farming will be reflected in this service.  Please bring your own picnic for after the service in the Churchyard if it is fine.  Cold drinks will be provided.

May brings another Benefice Service in the same week!  Ascension Day is when we remember Jesus’ return to heaven after his resurrection.  This service will be at 7.00pm at Chilton Cantelo Church.  Refreshments afterwards.  Do try and come and see this beautiful and unusual church rebuilt in an Italian style after a fire.  The assistant architect was Thomas Hardy before he gave up his day job and just wrote his novels!  The alter frontal has also recently been restored to its original magnificence.

Rev’d Barbara

April 2017

Dear All

I am having to write this early as I am going away.  Holidays are wonderful but I am a little sad as I will miss the daffodils about to burst into flower.  I would not want to live anywhere without seasons.  Two weeks is a long time; I will miss the cat too, but am fortunate to have a friend looking after both house and cat.

Easter is late this year.  The grass will have had its first cut and all will look amazing. Lent with its austerity of no flowers in Church, should explode into the joy of Easter, celebrating the resurrection of Jesus from the dead.

We are having an extra service this year to celebrate.  It is one always held in the Cathedral when many people will be baptised and confirmed and, also, in most of the churches in the Yeovil Deanery.  It is called the Easter Liturgy or more often, The Service of Light, symbolising the return of the light of Christ.

The service begins with a new fire lit outside the Church from which the large Paschal or Easter candle is lit, proclaiming the Resurrection.  From this candle, our individual candles are lit and we process into the darkness of the church reciting ‘The light of Christ’.  We hear Old Testament readings telling the story of salvation, ending with the New Testament and the revelation of the resurrection.  This is something to make a noise about and anything will do; bells, tin-plates and spoons etc.  Use your ingenuity. One churchwarden once brought a huge gong.  The Gloria which has not been used throughout Lent is then sung.

This is followed with the filling of the font and the renewal of promises made at our Baptism.  

Refreshments are then offered.  I was once in Nice for this service at the English Church and we went back to the presbytery for nibbles and Champagne.  I don’t think we will quite manage that!  At theological college the service began at midnight and ended in the early hours with breakfast.  Don’t worry we are starting at a much earlier hour and it will not be a long service.

I wish everyone a very joyful Easter

Rev’d Barbara


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