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

 


Successful 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 the read on and get in touch 🙂

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.

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


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 – but 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!


Discipleship 101

For some time the Benefice of Broughton Gifford, Great Chalfield and Holt has been looking at how to provide excellent resources that help everyone continue their journey of faith development. Alongside this the Rector, Canon Andrew Evans, had a clear vision to help everyone share their faith in simple ways, understand how to listen to God and know how much they are loved by their heavenly Father. The lockdown time propelled the Benefice into producing online services and, most recently, the Discipleship Series (also known as Discipleship 101). It was also the catalyst for putting together a new website that reflects the unity of three villages and the diversity of their congregations.  The rather long Benefice name was crystallised into a website name that encompassed all villages and was easy to remember; namely Faith in our Village. Now the website, Facebook page, Instagram feed and YouTube channel all link with the same name and logo across them all. It was interesting to see that the day of the name change immediately resulted in more Facebook page likes and YouTube subscribers as people connected with the friendly and unified nature of the new name.

The Discipleship Series is continuing to be produced alongside a gentle return to in-church services and there is now a growing bank of easily accessible resources on the YouTube channel. Each week’s playlist includes:

Talks explaining the topic

My Stories from members of the three churches where real testimonies of God’s goodness are shared

Worship songs recorded by the music group

Prayers relevant to the topic.

The playlist approach has been chosen so that different elements of each session could be used in home groups, in church services, as a follow up group for those who have completed Alpha and even as a reflective tool for prayer meetings. The possibilities for using these Discipleship sessions are endless.

As well as developing a wonderful resource which will be available freely to anyone who wishes to make use of it, the process has brought out from members of the congregations some previously hidden skills! From those who have provided video editing, those who have been laying down music tracks, those bravely going in front of the camera and those who have courageously shared their stories, we have seen all ages pull together to produce a superb set of resources.

To access the Discipleship series and other services, follow this link and do take a look through the playlists and different sessions. Let us know if you use the Discipleship series and how helpful you find it.  For more information contact united.benefice@outlook.com


St Mary’s news

St Mary’s church has re-opened for private prayer twice a week. From 10am on Sundays and 11am on Wednesdays.  There are some restriction s in place to ensure everyone is kept safe, and it is a delight to be able to offer a quiet space for prayer again.

To keep everyone safe please abide by the following guidelines:

If you have a high temperature or any symptoms, we kindly ask that you do not come in to church

Please use the hand sanitiser as you enter the church and again when you leave

Please maintain a physical distance of 2 metres between you and other people

There are no prayer books or bibles available in the church at this time so please bring your own

For details of our online services please email united.benefice@outlook.com

Contact details for further information:

Church warden Anthony Matthew 782082, Sarah Chandler 7822451, Rev Ann Fielden 782509

Photo credit Alan Miles Tyghe

 


Alpha Online

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.

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


Life in Lockdown – view from the Bible

I’ve been reading of folk isolating

From accounts in God’s wonderful Book

It’s been an interesting discovery

I recommend you take a look

 

In great fear Moses isolated himself

Elijah became thoroughly depressed

2 Emmaus walkers in deep disappointment

And Jonah in rebelliousness.

John was forced onto Patmos,

Daniel used his time to pray

The exiles in Babylon couldn’t sing

They just did not want to stay.

 

But Moses met God in the burning bush

Elijah encountered God’s care

Jesus himself joined the travellers

and Jonah repented in prayer.

John glimpsed something of heaven

Daniel was protected from harm

God kept His promise to the exiles

in His time He brought them back home

 

So how are we doing in lockdown?

Is this isolation really so bad?

Are we fearful, depressed, disappointed,

feeling angry, deprived or sad?

These people weren’t perfect or patient

or positive and prayerful throughout

But God knew each detail about them

and met them in all of their doubt.

 

Let’s not lock Him out of our Lock-down

We might miss something special from Him.

A vision, encounter, experience, prayer,

a scripture or words of a hymn.

Let Lock-down be changed to Look-up

seek His presence, His purpose, His way

Let’s trust Him, His plans and His timing

and live life to the full every day.

 

Rachael Loescher


Resources

This is a time in which we might have a little more time than usual to be able to hear God and grow in our walk with Him. These are all wonderful resources that can help us with that journey, whether you have just a very small window of time, or a longer period to spend in prayer, worship and study.

Resources that deal specifically with this time:

John and Lisa Bevere from Messenger International have done two very helpful videos (also available in podcast form), the first looks at God’s promises of protection in Psalm 91 and also gives some healthy perspectives (https://youtu.be/ZRKEDEAxKdI) and the second looks at the very exciting future of the church and how God is using this hardship for good (https://youtu.be/58zYp35-ias).

Bill Johnson has also unpacked Psalm 91 in this brilliant full length talk that you can find here or where you listen to podcasts (https://www.bethel.tv/en/podcasts/sermons/episodes/557).

Also worth a watch is Craig Groeschel’s message on Faith not fear that is packed full of Bible verses that you can use in this time (https://youtu.be/HANQASntcww), Nicky Gumbel’s message on the same topic (https://youtu.be/j1QemxVqZ1U) , and Shawn Bolz who has done a message for young people that is really helpful for them as they face all this too (https://youtu.be/XvatF29e6KM).

 

The lovely Becky Waterman has been sharing helpful thoughts from Uganda and has a playlist of them (https://bit.ly/3aoJTnY).

We have created playlists of worship to help you at home which you can find on our YouTube channel (https://bit.ly/34OLl1H). So far we have one to help families with some easy songs with fantastic words, one full of Joy for remembering that the joy of the Lord is your strength and for dancing around the kitchen, one called Hope with will build you up in God’s truth and one called Peace that is so peaceful that it may make you sleepy.

Resources to grow:

It is beautiful to see the church’s response to this crisis, working hard to build faith and being generous in sharing. Messenger International have made all their courses free for 30 days for anyone that want them, these are brilliant, accessible, scriptural courses with lots on there for anyone (https://www.messengercourses.com/).

Spring Harvest, who would usually be hosting events at this time have put a lot of brilliant content online for free as part of the Spring Harvest Home event (https://springharvest.org/spring-harvest-home/).

There are a number of free and very helpful apps for you to download. This Bible app allows you to read the Bible wherever you are and is full of great Bible reading plans that you can read alone or with friends (like this one that unpacks Psalm 91 https://bit.ly/3anTKuj or this one on hearing God’s voice https://bit.ly/2RNL0He). A brilliant app for this time is the One Minute Pause app based on John Eldridge’s new book (https://www.pauseapp.com/), this simple app is a really helpful way to hand over things to God in prayer and keep your peace. You could also try the Christian meditation app called Soultime (https://www.soultime.com/) which, although you can pay a monthly subscriptions for, has lots of free resources for processing with God and to help you receive His peace. The Lectio 365 app is part of the 24/7 prayer movement and is a way to meet with God and pray powerfully every day (https://www.24-7prayer.com/dailydevotional).