Online Alpha course

We have just run a very successful online Alpha and are looking to start the next course. If you are interested in finding out more about faith then read on and get in touch ūüôā

What is Alpha?

Alpha is a series of sessions exploring the Christian faith, typically run over eleven weeks. Each talk looks at a different question around faith and is designed to create conversation. Alpha is run all around the globe, and everyone is welcome.

A chance to connect

Usually, Alpha starts with a meal together but during this time of social distancing we’ve needed to adapt. Each session still kicks off with a chance to meet new people and connect over video chat!

If you want to know more about Jesus and the Christian faith then please get in touch with us.

Use the contact form below to get in touch OR

Email: united.benefice@outlook.com  or phone 01225 782717

To meet the course leaders and hear more you can watch our YouTube video here:


Online Nativity

We are delighted to have our own online nativity for 2020. One year ago most of us had never heard of Zoom and now we are all experts (well…ok, still learning!) This fun Zoom nativity captures the essence of this strange year and has a gospel message with some fun Zoom moments built in. Hope you enjoy it and share it around it friends and family


Outdoor Church @ St K’s

At St Katharine’s we have been making much more use of our churchyard area to have our all age services, Eco church and Covid safe children’s groups.

Our first outdoor St K’s Together was a day that poured with rain but in this case, rain didn’t stop play! Adults and children all gathered around the campfire…. physically distanced but socially connected….as we celebrated being back together again.

With marshmallows toasting and the fire pit burning, we truly felt connected across the age groups.

Inside the church, similar groups worked on craft projects (physically apart but socially linked!) Using clay and chatting about a wide range of topics, there were times of prayer, laughter and a sense of being the church family together.

Our monthly Eco Church session involved using a Kelly Kettle to provide hot drinks. What a revelation! If you’ve never seen one it’s a real mystery until you know how it works! You’ll have to come along and find out! During this session we had great fun moving leaf mulch from the churchyard to the Coach House to plant daffodils in pots. Meanwhile, another group worked hard to rake the grass in the wildflower areas of the churchyard. Yellow rattle seeds were planted ready for wildflower planting in the¬†Spring.

We are seeking to hear the Holy Spirit in these times and bring scriptural truths naturally into our conversations.  The planting of daffodil bulbs led easily to chatting about how prayers can seem to be unanswered but often God is working in unseen ways.

Looking at the amazing fungus on the decaying tree stumps covered how God has the most efficient recycling system, and His desire for us to care for Creation.

Perhaps most importantly of all, this new way of being church – having fun and even getting soaked – spoke to us all of connection and relationship. Connection with our heavenly Father who loves and delights in us. Relationship with each other, working together, being together, sharing together.¬† This new way of doing church has revealed again something important….WE… the people…are the church.

 


Eco-church news

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I have heard the last months described as the Corona-Coaster: a good description I feel for all of us as we have experienced the ups and downs, twists and turns of our daily lives. For me the one constant was the nurturing I felt within God’s Creation as the seasons unfolded and the grey turned to green, burgeoning with life. We met so many other folk out and about immersing themselves in our wonderful surrounding countryside and there was much talk about this sometimes new-found appreciation continuing and being a positive move in caring for God’s earth. Then the cork burst from the bottle and hoards of people not used to visiting our countryside and beaches came and left their litter with no thoughts of leaving the place as they found it. Now there is a new scourge of discarded blue plastic PPE.

Where does this leave us and what is our role in this connection as Christians in this community?

Over the last couple of years we have managed to gain a bronze Eco Church award. One area of focus is Lifestyle; how has ours been? While we are spending less time in church perhaps this is where our focus should be.

 

In our still accessible grounds at St. Katharine’s we are making strides towards creating a more diverse area for wildlife in the lower churchyard. Chris Flannery and I have been popping down between the heat and rain to dig out the current rough vegetation which Anthony has now mown off. We have promises of a little help but could do with some more so we can be ready to sow wild flowers seeds in the autumn. Thank you to Alan and Joan Cottle for a little garden bench which will soon be ready. We want to create space for anyone to find peace for prayer and contemplation and where they can feel at one with nature.

 

September is the church’s season of Creationtide. As nature around us changes again from summer to autumn, plants produce seed, swallows fly back to warmer climes and animals prepare for winter why not use the time to contemplate God’s role for you in caring for his creation.

 

If you would like to join our gardening team, share your efforts or take a role in furthering this cause please get in contact via Lucy in the office. We look forward eagerly to hearing from you.

Jane Scheuber


Let the work begin…

It is good to be back in church for services, though with social distancing and work having started on the interior of the church, the space that is left to us is severely limited. Our congregation has held up surprisingly well and whilst we have to say, rather than sing, the hymns, we did have music at the beginning and end of the service.

The works so far is largely in the north-west corner of the church, where the font will be. This will mean that people will be able to see the font from the pews, rather than having to turn round and crowd at the back of the church. It also means that we have two Victorian pine pews seeking a welcoming home!

 

 

 


Coach House Garden update

As autumn approaches we see signs of the changing season, colour coming in the acer leaves and cooler mornings with quite heavy dew on some occasions. ¬†Some of you will have in your own gardens, the stately spires of Acanthus Spinosus or to give it its common name bear‚Äôs breeches. It has been noted that bumble bees get trapped once they have entered the flowers and cannot retreat leading to their demise, with this in mind we cut down the flowering spikes a while ago and this autumn plan to eradicate the plants from where they have been spreading at an alarming rate. The phrase ‚Äėgarden thug‚Äô comes to mind. We must protect our bees at all costs.

 

Meanwhile general tidying carries on along with bird feeding. There were some beautiful orange berries on the honeysuckle near the front door recently and I had planned to take a photo on our next visit, however they had all been gobbled up by the blackbirds!

There is a walnut tree surplus to requirements kindly planted in the wrong place by a squirrel, would anyone like to have it later in the season? We continue to enjoy the privilege of this peaceful outdoor space for which we give thanks. Happy gardening…best regards from Lynnette and Arthur


Sunday Services

In St Mary’s and All Saints, we will put back the complete service structure in September. Whatever form the second Sunday service in BG takes, it will have to be in Church as the School hall is not open to us at present.

At St Katharine’s we will reinstate all the 10.30am services, but not the 9am or the evening services at present. Doing two services in one church in one day means Covid cleaning between services. We are also continuing to keep a weekly offering online since we want to cater for those who are not yet able to re-join us in our church buildings, and we want to continue to feed those who have joined us online.¬† To find our online services go to our YouTube channel @Faithinourvillage

We look forward to seeing you in person or online

 


The power of YOUR story

We all have a story to tell of the things that God has been doing in our lives recently. In our services, and online, we have a My Story slot and these testimonies are encouraging and uplifting. Maybe you have one to share, or would like to make the most of meeting with other sin small groups at this time.

Here are some things we can do:

  1. Record a testimony of a way you have noticed God being active in your life. We want to keep posting these online, and there¬†are people connecting with us online who would find your particular testimony helpful. If you want help with the process of making a recording, ask Lucy. A prayer that God has answered, a time when He used you to help someone, a way He’s stepped in and changed things for you or someone you care about all make good testimonies. If you feel God isn’t interacting with you like that, spend time daily looking at a bible passage and start to hear what God is saying to you, pose questions to God (write them down so you don’t forget them) and keep asking till you receive your answer.
  2. Ask God who¬†He wants you to disciple. This is not beyond you. We have the discipleship series online for you to use. You can watch part of it with someone and then talk it over until it’s embedded¬†in their life (and yours!)
  1. Invite someone to do Alpha online. I’m sure we’ve all had a faith conversation with someone in this strange season. If they have some interest in exploring the faith, invite them to start a journey of exploration through Alpha and we’ll put a group together.

If we concentrate on what we can do, when we finally come through this season, our churches will come out stronger, fitter and bigger!

To contact us: email united.benefice@outlook.com

Or connect with us on Facebook, Instagram or YouTube:

Search @Faithinourvillage


Work at St Mary’s

Work is due to start on the church some time next week, but it appears that there is a heavy workload on contractors at the moment, which means that it is unlikely to finish until we are into the spring next year.  Whilst we have most of the money in place, and we have still to hear about one application for a grant that we have made, it has become very apparent that the grants we have received have been considerably lessened by the Covid-19 pandemic. Many charities have been diverting their money to support organisations that have particularly suffered as a result of this. For example the Lottery Heritage Fund, from whom we might normally expected help, recently announced that it had £92 million available Рbut not for capital projects. Because of this, we might have a funding shortfall of between five and ten thousand pounds. If you feel that you can help in some way, please contact Sarah (782241) or Christopher (782509).

 


Home groups meet again

It was with great delight that our Monday afternoon Homegroup in Broughton Gifford met for the first time since lockdown in Julia’s garden. We all had a great deal to share and look forward to meeting again in our gardens during the next few weeks. Nothing quite like being together!