Shepton Beauchamp

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church:vicars_letters:oct2009mag

Fun in Church - revisited!

By Fr. Goeff

Last month I wrote about how some of our time in church is about enjoying ourselves and this month I want to follow on from that – somewhat! At Weddings and Baptisms (Christenings) there can be no doubt that families and friends all come together to enjoy themselves and to celebrate.

But it has become quite noticeable (to me at least) that those visitors who are not regular church-goers are sometimes “reluctant” to go into church (especially if they arrive by themselves) and often aren’t sure what to do or say when they get in.

Regular churchgoers just go in, sit or kneel to say a prayer, and then sit or talk quietly with their neighbour whilst waiting for the service to start. However, it seems that many visitors quite nervous about the whole “being in church thing” and I think this is a great pity, because it is so easy to overcome, indeed, much of the time people will leave a Wedding or Baptism much more relaxed and having enjoyed the experience.

I think that part of the problem is that people don’t generally visit churches: this is more so in towns and cities, but probably less so in villages where the church is more “obvious” and more involved in village life.

When I was at school in the Midlands, we all went to the town’s Minster Church regularly as a school; we had a Clergyman who was the RE Teacher, and RE and Assembly had a Christian focus, with other world faiths being taught in addition to Christianity.

So essentially we were brought up knowing what the church was about. In the intervening years we have lost this and many people do not have any experience of being in church.

Consequently, I think it is vitally important that we help people overcome any nervousness or fright or ignorance: church is a good place to be. This is why I put so much effort into our village schools: by bringing our children into church for assemblies and services, they can explore and touch and walk around and discover that it is full of the history of our communities, there are lots of strange and wonderful things and there is a lot to learn and lots of fun to be had doing so.

Similarly I try very hard to make Weddings and Baptisms, relaxed and informative, so that the spiritual side of the service can be experienced, but also so that un-churched people don’t feel excluded, rather they feel that they have understood and been a part of the worship and they feel that they can come back for more, with less apprehension. Fr. Geoff

From the Church Registers

22nd AugustAlexander St John Wright and Caroline Appleton entered into Holy MatrimonyShepton Beauchamp.
22nd AugustTimothy Vinney and Joanna Hards entered into Holy MatrimonyBarrington.
28th AugustPeter Parsons and Frances Orme, civil wedding followed by marriage blessingStocklinch Church.
29th AugustBuchan Dennis and Jessica Budd entered into Holy Matrimony Shepton Beauchamp.
12th SeptemberJessica and Emily Bergin, baptisedBarrington.
12th SeptemberSimon Kempster and Clare Ashford entered into Holy MatrimonyShepton Beauchamp.

Visual Demonstration

A Vicar decided that a visual demonstration would add emphasis to his Sunday sermon. Four worms were placed into four separate jars. The first worm was put into a container of alcohol. The second worm was put into a container of cigarette smoke. The third worm was put into a container of chocolate syrup. The fourth worm was put into a container of good clean soil.

At the conclusion of the sermon, the Minister reported the following results: first worm in alcohol - dead. Second worm in cigarette smoke – dead. Third worm in chocolate syrup – dead. Fourth worm in good clean soil - alive. So the Vicar asked the congregation, “What did you learn from this demonstration?”

Maisie was sitting in the back, quickly raised her hand and said, “As long as you drink, smoke and eat chocolate, you won't have worms!” That pretty much ended the service. (Sent in by Rob Allen)

1st Sunday at Stocklinch

David and Sue Tucker invite you to First Sunday Worship – 10.30am – Sunday 4th October 2009 Stocklinch Village Hall

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