A Letter from your Associate Priest

From our new incumbent Canon Rev Richard Bartlett

Walking the Way of the Cross and the Resurrection


Dear friends


What a start! It has been really good to be able to meet so many of you during the first few days of ministry here in West Purbeck as we walked, talked, worshipped and enjoyed food together around the churches of the benefice during Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday of Holy Week. The congregation at St Laurence Affpuddle on the Monday morning was the largest crowd I have ever worshipped with on a Monday of Holy Week, and the food provided at St John the Baptist Bere Regis at the end of the walk that day was a delicious surprise – thank you. What a start!


The Gospel readings used in the services during those three days retell the drama of the final few days of Jesus’ life, leading to his crucifixion. They are powerful and challenging. Powerful, as we reflect on Jesus’ final days, which must have been almost impossible for him to bare. Challenging, as we reflect that we are called to walk the way of the cross with him in our Christian lives too. Many of us continued this in acts of worship on Good Friday – literally walking in the way of the cross and prayerfully considering what this might that for each of us in our lives today?


But the good news is that we are called to walk the way of the resurrection with Jesus too. The amazing Gospel passages of the resurrection which we read Sunday by Sunday in the Easter season remind us time and again of how the risen Jesus brings hope out of despair, joy out of sorrow, life out of death. This is Good News - Gospel! We read how gradually for Jesus’ friends and disciples the situation of defeat they thought they were in after Good Friday is turned into faith in the risen Jesus, as he appears to them and transforms their lives again. This is not some ‘papering over of the cracks’, the death and resurrection of Jesus is God taking seriously the pain of sin and evil, suffering and death, and transforming them through the death and resurrection of Jesus into life and hope and a promise of eternity.


We are called to walk in the way of the resurrection: to be bearers of this Good News! Where are the situations of despair and sorrow and death where we are called to bring the light of faith and hope and joy? Maybe they are in our own lives, or in our families, or in the communities we are part of, or perhaps we can consider this on a more global scale, as we continue to pray and act for justice for the people of Ukraine, and other places of suffering.


My prayer in this Easter Season is that together we will walk in the way of the resurrection, and as we do, become Good News for those around us. Surely that is good reason to repeat the Easter Acclamation time and again: Christ is Risen, he is Risen indeed, Alleluia!


Your friend and Vicar





Benefice and Bere Regis Parish news




Easter Flowers

Thank you to Diane and her team of gifted flower arrangers for the beautiful arrangements of flowers in the church over the Easter period.


Queen’s Platinum Jubilee

Over the four days of the celebrations for the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee – 2-5th June there will be a Festival of Flowers, Quilts, Arts and Crafts in the Church at Bere Regis. If you would like to help in any way – displaying items, stewarding, helping with refreshments, please contact Glo Curtis gloria.curtis@btinternet.com and she will put in touch with the right people. There will also be a Songs of Praise Service at 10:30am in the church on Sunday 5th June.


Messy Church

Our next Messy Church will be online on Sunday 22nd May at 4pm. Please email Pat Wharf patswift@outlook.com to book an activity bag for each child and to get the zoom link by Sunday 15th May. See you then!




For the registers




St John the Baptist, Bere Regis

1st April Reg Snook

7th April Olive Curtis


Interment of ashes in the churchyard

8th April Joan Booth


St Laurence, Affpuddle

5th April George Sherwood