My dear Friends,


The first thing I want to say is ‘A very Happy New Year’ to all our readers – and indeed all who live in our parishes! It is also a time to say thank you to all involved in the on-going life of our Magazine. It is, as so many people say, those living here and others who see it, a most amazing production with so much news and so many great adverts, offering you help in countless different ways. We had a lovely evening in the Vicarage recently when many of the distributors attended and it was an opportunity for me to thank them...and those who were not there! We thanked Sally and Gordon Cheeseman for their many years of co-ordinating the distribution. Our thanks go particularly to Alison Debenham, our Editor, who produces the magazine month by month. Perhaps our New Year resolution could be to encourage more people to receive it – great value, especially if you subscribe for the year.


One of the great privileges of being a Parish Priest is to conduct those special occasions, Christenings, Weddings and Funerals. At a Wedding service, or sometimes before, I suggest to the bride and groom that each anniversary that comes along is an opportunity to take stock of how God has blessed their union in the past year. Just recently, on November 20th, Her Majesty the Queen and Prince Philip celebrated seventy years of marriage – a remarkable achievement! What is so wonderful is to see the love bond between them change, yes, but grow and deepen through the years. Now we have heard that Prince Harry is to marry Meghan Markel in the Spring of 2018; we wish them every happiness in their life together and may their common concern for many suffering people in our world keep them truly close to each other.


The turn of the year, while ‘ringing out the old and ringing in the new’ brings us all, at whatever stage of life we are at, to take stock of how God has blessed us in 2017. Of course, for some looking back, there will undoubted sadness in the loss that they have suffered and for others there will have been enormous challenges, but even if this is the case for you, I hope that you have found comfort in the love of family and friends and indeed from God in the comfort and support shown you. As there have been a number of funerals this year that I have been asked to lead, I should like to thank family members for giving me the privilege of doing so. I sincerely believe that the Christian Church can offer the best both in Weddings and Funerals! However I hope that most of us, whatever the challenges will have been, can look back in thankfulness for many blessings. Hopefully too we can feel that God’s love is an ever greater reality in our lives.


Our World – and particularly its media communications - seems to have a penchant for concentrating on all the bad things and certainly there is much in our world that could cause us deep concern; I will not list all those countries where civil war brings so much physical pain and mental torture. Our world leaders too frequently seem better at causing division rather than cooperation. It strikes me time and time again, that as we so often turn our backs in our own country on the teachings of Jesus, that we drift further into mess. Well, I am an optimist and, more importantly than that, I am a man of faith and I believe that if as Christians we are more willing to proclaim the truths that Jesus taught, all could be well. So my resolution this January will be to pray for a coming back to God for our nation and indeed for our World...indeed his World!


As I wish you all a very happy New Year, I pray that it will be one of greater peace, joy and above all, God’s love.

Your loving Vicar and Friend,




The Emmaus course has been running with 13 of us involved from both parishes which has certainly produced some interesting discussions I believe. After the first six sessions, we are taking a break and re-starting on Monday 15th January at the home of Audrey Grindrod for three more sessions. After another short break we will take up the last 5 sessions during Lent beginning on February 19th and these will be at the home of Penny and Jonathan Haigh. Thank you those who host for the welcome!

The Confirmation group will have finished shortly before Christmas and it has been truly inspiring for me – and I hope for the others who have taken part. If you are interested (either as someone wanting to be confirmed or someone who was confirmed some year ago) in another course, just let me know.





I cannot imagine that there is anyone in the locality who has not noticed the scaffolding around our Church. The work is, I believe, going well and the old lead stripped off. Repairs are happening and we look forward to the re-leading happening in the New Year.

Meanwhile, I do want to thank all who have been involved in either getting the church ready for the various stages of work or bringing it back into use, looking as good as possible, both for Remembrance and Christmas.

It is also a moment to publicly thank the School for allowing us to use their wonderful hall for our other Sunday services; we are very grateful for their welcome and help in this way.





It was truly up-lifting to see so many people come to the School Hall for our Christmas Fayre. We had decided to try a bigger event than in the past. We are always grateful to the Scouts for the use of their Hut for various occasions but the hall was more suitable for size on this one. We should like to thank all those who worked so hard beforehand and those who bought and sold on the day. You will be glad to hear that we raised just over £1,000. Well done everyone and thank you!





While the church is out of use, the box for any of your donations is in the porch of the Vicarage and it will be super if you can still provide the necessary things as you have been doing. During the winter months and at Christmas, it is as much needed as ever. I would remind you:


This provides a simple way of helping people who have fallen on hard times.

I would ask: Please ensure that your gifts are at least 6 months in date.

You do not have to be a church member to contribute!

The boxes are emptied regularly

and the contents given to the Wareham Food Bank.

The list of what is most appropriate is:

Tinned Soup Fruit Juice(carton) Pasta Sauces Baked Beans Rice/Sponge Pudding (Tinned)

Tomatoes (Tinned) Pasta/Rice (1kg) Tinned Vegetables Tea Bags/Coffee Instant Mash Potato

Tinned Meat/Fish Tinned Fruit Sugar (500g) Biscuits or snack bars


The FOOD BANK provides for local individuals and families in crisis -

Thank you for your support!