Shepton Beauchamp

In the heart of Cider Country

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church:vicars_letters:july2009mag

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 +====== The wonder of ourselves ======
 +==== By the Vicar ====
 + 
 +St Augustine said: “People travel to wonder at the heights of mountains, at the huge waves of the sea, at the long courses of rivers, at the vast compass of the ocean, at the circular motions of the stars; and they pass by themselves without wondering.” ​  In my ministry – inside and outside of our parishes - I often here the same sentiment; so many people look at churches they visit and see the great things that they do, and come home and completely miss the great achievements of our little parishes. ​   ​
 +
 +Here are some of our wonders, and do remember that there are eight little churches and a population of only two thousand people in total.  ​
 +
 +We hold more than 450 services a year between our parishes. ​  For the Easter services this year we had a total of 270 people attend – 13.5% of the population (when the national church hopes to attract 1%+!). ​  
 +
 +In the three wedding seasons since I have been here we have held 31 weddings and in 4 ½ years we have had 85 baptisms. ​  
 +
 +Chillington church – one of our smallest buildings and villages (population about 66-70) – four years ago nearly closed for want of congregation,​ funds and dilapidation of the building. ​  Now it has a strong congregation from the village and surrounding areas, the church has been fully restored (and there are plans to develop it further for village use), and it raises sufficient funds to manage year on year.   
 +
 +In the weeks leading up to last Christmas, more than a thousand people attended different styles of service at Shepton Beauchamp. ​   ​
 +
 +At Kingstone church in June there was a funeral attended by so many people (well over 250) a loud speaker system had to be installed for those standing in the church yard that couldn’t get into the church.
 +
 +As St Augustine said, “People wonder …… and they pass by themselves without wondering.”\\ ​
 +**Fr Geoff**
 +==== First Sunday at Stocklinch ====
 +
 +David and Sue Tucker invite you to a First Sunday Worship – 10.30am – Sunday 5th July 2009 at Stocklinch Village Hall.  Everyone welcome from all parishes, with bacon rolls, coffee and marmalade: the format is informal, friendly and relaxed.
 +
 +==== Thieves Attack our Churches ====
 +In May thieves attacked the Church in Shepton Beauchamp and stole lead from one of the roofs. ​  This is A VERY REAL THREAT. ​  If you see anyone “working” on the building they are probably stealing… ​  call the Police on 999. Please be vigilant around our little churches.\\ ​
 +At the end of June/early July the tiles on the porch roof at Kingstone Church will be repaired/​replaced – **THIS IS THE ONLY WORK BEING DONE ON ANY OF OUR CHURCHES** ​                                                                         ​
 +==== Alex wondered? ====
 +The Vicar noticed little Alex standing in the nave of the church staring up at a large plaque. It was covered with names and had small Union Flags mounted on either side of it. The six-year old had been staring at the plaque for some time, so the Vicar walked up, stood beside the little boy, and said quietly, 'Good morning Alex.'
 +
 +“Good morning Vicar,” he replied, still focused on the plaque, “what is this?​” ​  The Vicar said, “Well son, it's a memorial to all the young men and women who died in the service”. ​  ​Soberly,​ they just stood together, staring at the large plaque. Finally, little Alex's voice, barely audible and trembling with fear asked, "Which service...the 8:30 or the 10:​30?"​
 +
 +==== Deanery Evensongs ====
 +
 +Once again four village churches in our deanery have very kindly invited us to join them for Evensong. ​ Many of you were able to go to similar services last year – they were lovely summer evenings; the settings were breathtaking,​ and the opportunity to share in this age-old service was very special.  ​
 +
 +|July 19th at 6.30pm|St. Michael and All Angels at Haselbury Plucknett|Beaminster Gallery Choir The Archdeacon of Taunton will preach.|  ​
 +|Sept 13th at 6.30pm|St. Martin Kingsbury Episcopi| To close the season.| ​
 +
 +==== From the Registers ====
 +From the Church Registers:
 +|23rd May|Harry Theobald|Baptized into the faith at Shepton Beauchamp.|
 +|28th May|Edward Brister| of Barrington Cremation service and interment of ashes.|
 +|30th May|John and Sue English|Wedding Blessing at Shepton Beauchamp.|
 +|3rd June|Steve Down| of Kingstone – Cremation and Thanksgiving service.| ​
 +|8th June|Mary Drayton| of Barrington – Cremation at Taunton and interment of ashes.|
 +==== The late Steve Down ====
 +
 +We were all very sorry to hear of the sudden death of Steve Down of Knott Oak Dairy on 21st May, at only 51 years of age.   He had spent his life in agriculture in this area and was a well known, and much respect man, who gave much to his community, family and friends; particularly to Amanda, Edward and Megan - whom he adored. ​  
 +
 +This was clearly reflected at the Thanksgiving Service for his life, held at Kingstone on 3rd June, where well over 250 people attended. ​  ​Leading up to this word had been passed around asking for a bit of help with flowers in the church; such was the response that the church porch was overflowing with donated flowers and arrangements when the “decorators” arrived!
 +
 +Steve was a bit of a dare-devil – many of you will know that he was no angel! – and he always enjoyed a party!! ​  The 50th birthday party that was held for him was probably one of the highlights of a very full life: so it was be no surprise that the Thanksgiving for him was filled with the same degree of laughter and fun that overflowed in his life.   And guess what – there was a great party afterwards ….. what better send off could we give him!
 +** The Vicar **
 +
  
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