A Letter from your Associate Priest

 

Dear friends

 

Happy New Year!

 

As I write this at the beginning of December, I wonder what sort of Christmas we will have had. Hopefully we will have been able to join with family and or friends in the flesh and enjoy all the festivities that go with what we think of as a Happy Christmas. We live in such an uncertain world and any planning is done with a lot of crossing of fingers! Since I started writing this, there have already been changes, the wearing of face coverings inside for example, but hopefully we will have been able to have our planned services and visits from the family.

I’ve just come back from a few days away at a retreat centre on the edge of Dartmoor. My time away was a bit later this year than usual, so days are not so long for walking if you want to do it in the daylight. It also means you have a different view of the countryside, views that are usually filled with green leafed trees and woods that are full of growth and bird noises are strangely much quieter, fields open up in the distance and trees on sentry duty point to an open sky, their bare branches reaching and stretching out like a dancer should on Strictly. I was particularly struck by the tangle of roots, exposed in mossy banks that would usually be covered over in the summer. Some were really open and free flowing, loose connections working together to give shelter to insects and small mammals, sharing the nutrients in the soil. Others seemed to be stuck in rocky outcrops, surviving none the less, determined to conserve their energy for the spring. It reminded me of the importance of community. We all need to interconnect to survive. I manage about five days of solitude and it’s lovely, but by the end I’m ready to interact with others and share my life again. As community we sometimes connect loosely with each other and other times we have to get stuck in together and make things happen. We work with each other and for each other in so many different ways.

Hopefully we will all have been able to enjoy those connections over the Christmas period and managed to continue to live with the uncertainty that this virus brings with it. Something I find very comforting, particularly in the times we are living in is a verse from the book of Psalms, ‘In God I trust, and will not fear’ Psalm 56 v4. Wherever we are and whatever is going on in our lives, God is with us in the mess and the muddle, in the joy and the sadness, reaching out to connect with us. Sometimes it’s a bit of a loose connection, sometimes it’s a bit like getting through rock, but rest assured, God will always be there ready and waiting with open arms to share our lives, bless us and wipe away the tears and uncertainty.

With blessings Sandra

 

 

From the registers

 

St John the Baptist

 

Interment of ashes

3rd December Dennis Robinson

13th December Geoffrey Booth

 

 

 

 

 

BENEFICE AND Parish News

 

Sunday 2nd January

As it is a bank holiday weekend there will only be a service at 10am for this part of the benefice held at Bere Regis. It will be a Holy Communion but will also include prayers and blessing of the plough. This is the first of our special agricultural observances in the year, you may recall that we had a service for Rogation in May, Lammas in August and of course Harvest in October. In medieval times some ploughs were kept in the parish church, and some churches kept a ‘plough-light’. In days when work was scarce in winter, the observance looked forward to the time of sowing with the promise of a harvest to come.

 

Messy Church and Junior Church

 

The Christmas Cake Service

This was going to be on 12th December, but with concern about the new virus variant and not wishing to put anyone at risk before Christmas with the family, hopefully, we decided to postpone this celebration until January. Therefore…

Sunday 9th january at 11am

Junior Church and Messy Church will be joining together to bring you this spectacular Family Christmas Service! Puppets, a play with angels, shepherds, kings etc, Little Donkey action song, and even Carols along with the much-anticipated Procession of the Cakes. Followed by seasonal refreshments. We do hope and pray that this service will be able to go ahead. There will be activities and rehearsing for the children from 10am and the service starts at 11am.

 

There will be a Messy Church online on Sunday 23rd January at 4pm. We will be thinking about our lovely world and how we can look after it. To get the link and order your activity bag please email Pat on patswiftwharf@outlook.com by Sunday 16th Jan.

 

Benefice Service

As there are 5 Sundays in January, Bere Regis will be hosting the Benefice Eucharist on Sunday 30th January at 10am. The theme will be The Presentation of Christ in the Temple (Candlemas).

 

Wednesday 2nd February – 7pm Holy Trinity, West Lulworth

The licensing and installing of Reverend David Chillman as House for Duty Associate Priest in the West Purbeck Benefice will take place on this date. It would be useful if you could let the office know if you wish to attend: westpurbeckoffice@gmail.com

 

Life events

Please do get in touch with me if you are interested in the church being involved in any of your life events.

From the sad ones – Funerals, to the happy and joyful ones – Christenings and Weddings, we’re here for you. There are also a few young people interested in confirmation – if you’d like to know more and maybe join in then get in touch.

Rev Sandra revsandrawestpurbeck@outlook.com 01929 792235. Please use this contact for any visiting requests too.