A monthly letter
September brings us to our Patronal Festival. Three of our churches are dedicated to St Mary so we share this special service with Marston Magna, Rimpton and Mudford at Marston on the 10th September at 5pm, with the Benefice Choir and the Reverend Dr Jeremy Swaine as the preacher.
There are four dates in the Church calendar to remember St Mary, the mother of Jesus.
25th March when the Angel Gabriel came to visit Mary with the news that she is to become the mother of God's Son.
31st May Mary's visit to her cousin Elizabeth whose son John leaps inside his mother at the presence of Jesus, both children as yet unborn.
15th August The Assumption when many churches think of Mary being taken up to heaven, or as the falling asleep of Mary. A novel way of looking at this is in Sue Monk Kidd's ‘The Secret Life of Bees’.
8th September The birth of Mary. This is the time chosen to remember Mary here, on the nearest Sunday to 8th.
Many legends grew around Mary, including the names of her parents, Ann and Joachim. There are other stories about how Joseph came to be chosen as Mary's husband. I knew nothing of these stories until a visit to Chora in Istanbul, to a very ancient church covered in frescos about this.
What we do know from the Bible are the stories of Jesus' birth in the gospels of Matthew and Luke. Mary initiated Jesus first miracle, at the wedding at Canaa. She was also there when her son died in John's gospel and was also present with the other disciples in the Upper Room when the gift of the Holy Spirit was given to them all.
At this time we remember the death of Princess Diana, the most photographed woman in the world and I would not be surprised if Mary is not the most painted woman in the world. Legend has it that Luke was the first person to paint her and that Luke must have got a lot of his information about Jesus from Mary. The painting is to be found in Bologna, Italy.
Perhaps the most important thing about Mary is her trust in God and obedience in accepting God's call to be the mother of his Son. To be an unmarried mother at that culture and time in history was not a good place to be.
Diary Dates in September
4th Monday The Opening of the Park School at Chilton Cantelo
7,14,21, 7pm Christians Against Poverty Money Course free The Market House Martock
contact 01935 426771 or email email@example.com
9th Saturday Ride and Stride
12th Tuesday The Calling of Anglicanism 10-
16th Sponsored Walk for Starfish Asia
23rd Towards a Caring Community-
24 Sunday Rimpton Harvest Festival 10.45
25 Monday Rimpton Harvest Supper Village Hall
30th Saturday Parish's Day at Wells Cathedral to include talks, lunch, guided tours and Evensong
30th Saturday Conference on Mental Health ‘Discovering Wholeness Together’ 9-
Temple Methodist Church Upper High Street Taunton TA1 3PY
if anyone needs more information about any of these events please contact Rev'd Barbara
We are in the season of summer and it has been a good one so far.
Summer brings the Proms at the Royal Albert Hall. I remember being able to go many years ago when I was a student and I sat in the Gods, as the gallery was called, or the pit, just in front of the orchestra where you either stood or sat on the floor. It was quite pleasant as there were flowers and a fountain. Later when I lived near Birmingham I was able to go and hear the Birmingham Symphony Orchestra under the, then, young, dark, curly haired Simon Rattle. Yesterday I listened to a programme about the new director, a young woman from Lithuania.
Music has always been part of Worship. Much is made of this in the Old Testament and we know David, of Goliath fame, was a good musician, singing and playing the harp as well as a dab hand with a sling. We are a few hundred years on from the likes of composers such as Handel and Haydn but even today a lot of new music is still composed for worship in Church. Our Cathedrals are still places of excellence with their choirs and magnificent organs and we have one of them at Wells.
We are fortunate in our parishes to still have very able organists, pianists and a Benefice Choir. However, we are losing Chris Perrin at Marston, through arthritis, and Mary Dron at Chilton, who is moving, and we thank them for all their lively playing over the years. If there are any organists or pianists out there in our Benefice, do get in touch if you could possibly help with our music rotas.
This year is one where we have our Benefice Project to raise money for a charity, currently Starfish Asia, which provides education on a shoe string for the poorest of Pakistan. Quiz sheets are going round at £1 a time, we have had pancakes and our BBQ and now in August are having a concert in Marston Magna Church. Not only do we have organ and piano but our organists have good contacts and relations who come and add to the variety of music. The concert will be on Sunday 13th August at 7pm and will include wine and nibbles. Do try and support this event even if you do think you would not like the music, you may be surprised how good it is.
Sunday 13th August concert Marston Magna Church 7pm
Wednesday 23rd August Fun Day for Primary aged children at Mudford Village Hall
contact Jo Dalton-
July is a five Sunday month and on the fifth Sunday, 30th July, we just have one service to welcome everyone to one Church. It is not a Sunday off, although it does give Church Wardens and others with responsibility of services a chance of a rest, apart from those where the service is to be held. The churches take it in turn for this service.
Last year brought the Benefice service to Ashington and the same has happened this year.
Last year we celebrated Lammas with a home-
Ashington is a tiny village with a Grade 1 listed building needing a new roof. Funds are desperately needed, so this is an opportunity to help a handful of loyal people doing their best to keep this beautiful Church in use.
Lammas is one of the four agricultural services celebrated for hundreds of years in England. Harvest Festival is another of them and possibly the youngest. The Benefice Choir will lead the singing. If you have never been to this service or Ashington before do try to come. Hopefully the good weather will last but there is a building to use in case of rain.
July is also special this year as there are not one but two weddings in Marston Magna, the first since I have been here and, even more unusually, both couples actually live in the village. So, the 8th and 29th will be very special. It is so good for our beautiful churches to be used in this way.