Shepton Beauchamp

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October 2007 - Sense of humour

Did Jesus have a sense of humour?

Rev’d Geoff Wade

When we study the Gospels we can often read between the lines and find moments of real emotion in Jesus life and ministry. When he drove the money-changers from the Temple he sat down first and plaited a whip and then drove them out: premeditated and real anger. Jesus wept at the grave of Lazarus his friend; real grief and heart-ache.

In his dealings with Peter we see disappointment and frustration when the latter tried to persuade Jesus the take the easy road to glory (“Get thee behind me Satan”). Before his arrest, we feel the pain that Jesus knows Peter will suffer, when he warns his disciple that he will betray him three times before the cock grows. What emotion can we see at the Last supper, when Jesus gives Judas permission to go and betray him?

But in all of this we never see Jesus and his disciples sharing a joke; no teasing or mickey-taking; no falling about with laughter. In our lives we all laugh with others at their mistakes; we share jokes and funny stories; we re-tell funny stories from our past and we use humour to diffuse difficult or sad situations. Yet none of this is mentioned in the Gospel stories of the three years that Jesus spent with his followers and friends; but there must have been times of laughter – mustn’t there?

I passionately believe that Jesus has a sense of humour – after all he chose me to be a vicar – doesn’t that prove it!! I also believe that we should have humour and laughter as part of our worship and prayer – in both public and private devotions – at the appropriate times.
Fr. Geoff

From the Registers


1st September Rebecca England at Barrington

1st September Barry & Evie Grace Marshall at Shepton Beauchamp

15th September William Wrangham at Shepton


14th September Peter Labbe; service and burial at Stocklinch

15th September Betty Bland, Beryl and Fred Halsey; ashes interred at Shepton

19th September Bert Blundell; from Kingstone parish at Taunton Crematorium

Life in the 1500’s

A few more facts about the 1500s

Houses had thatched roofs-thick straw-piled high, with no wood underneath. It was the only place for animals to get warm, so all the cats and other small animals (mice, bugs) lived in the roof. When it rained it became slippery and sometimes the animals would slip and fall off the roof. Hence the saying: it's raining cats and dogs.

There was nothing to stop things from falling into the house. This posed a real problem in the bedroom where bugs and other droppings could mess up your nice clean bed. Hence, a bed with big posts and a sheet hung over the top afforded some protection. That's how canopy beds came into existence.

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Foot and Mouth – we remember our Farmers

This is the time of year for Harvest Festivals, yet our farmers are again faced with another outbreak of Foot and Mouth Disease and the restrictions this brings. It’s a good moment to think about them and all they have to put up with, as they work to feed us:

Lord of All, we pray for livestock farmers during yet another time of difficulty.

We cry with them “Not again, Lord” and we ask for your blessing on those whose harvest this year will be grief and sorrow.

We pray that our farmers will know the loving and willing support of the communities amongst them.

Grant them the endurance and strength to see them through this time and restore their faith, and hope in the future.

We ask this in Jesus’ name.


Just a thought….

My daugher won a church competition with this little thought when she was 8 (she is now 28!):

  • 'Every time I see a church, I always pay a visit; so that one day when I die, God won't say WHO IS IT?'

Jill Clifton

What Love means

Words from the mouths of babes.

  1. “When my grandmother got arthritis, she couldn't bend over and paint her toenails anymore. So my grandfather does it for her all the time, even when his hands got arthritis too. That's love.“ Rebecca- age 8
  2. “When someone loves you, the way they say your name is different. You just know that your name is safe in their mouth.” Billy - age 4
  3. “Love is when a girl puts on perfume and a boy puts on aftershave and they go out and smell each other.” Karl - age 5

Friends of Manjushree Vidyapith school & orphanage

Part 2 Continued from last month Website:

In February this year, I received this wonderful news from Lama Thupten: “Today I am very happy to be informing you that the boys hostel has been completed fully, wiring and piping of the building have been completed. Every furniture including, doubled bunk made of iron, blankets, mattress foams, pillows, bed sheets are newly purchased, and everything is ready to be used.

The hostel is due to be opened in March. One of the ministers of the area will inaugurate the new hostel. I wish you and members of FMVSO were present to witness and bless the occasion. After the inauguration, the boys will be shifted to the new hostel.

However, I must acknowledge the fact that without all the support we received and FMVSO’s generous funding, the completion of this hostel would not have been possible: I proudly put the whole credential on FMVSO member’s effort to fund this project.”

The boys moved into their new dorm in March. A charity in the US has funded the solar water heating system. The boys can now have hot showers. The girls’ dorm has a new wooden floor and each child now has his or her very own bed.

Classroom space has been improved now that the boys have moved into the new dorm. However, a new education block is urgently needed and this is now being addressed. About £12,000 has been pledged by a local philanthropist to start the education block project.

Work will hopefully begin in the next couple of months. FMVSO are already supporting this project as well as allocating funds to support further education, and continuing to finance the oldest boy, Mani, through University in Delhi. We hope to be able to offer the same opportunity to more children, either in the academic or vocational field.

FMVSO sends on average £500 every 3 months to support general expenditure – we hope to be able to sustain this figure.

Lama Thupten e-mails me regularly and keeps me up to date with developments. For the month of October, I will be living and working at the orphanage. On my return I will be writing the third part of this series for the December Web. My sincere thanks for your continued interest and support. With your help we are making a difference.

Di Gallagher FMVSO Trustee

The “8 Parishes” Barrington

In mediaeval times the parish church was the sole instrument of local government. The church records from Elizabethan times survive and give an excellent account of how the civil affairs of the parish were wisely and compassionately administered by the Church Wardens including the regulation, policing, welfare, education and local taxation of communities: this responsibility was finally transferred to Civil Councils in about 1890.

However, in a few areas Church Parish boundaries defer markedly from those of the current Civil Parish: Barrington is a very fine example of this. Reflecting the mediaeval emphasis on an agricultural economy, Barrington church parish has areas of land which technically belong to it, outside the normally accepted boundaries.

There is a small area of about ten acres of osiers (reed beds) between Kinsgbury and Hambridge (reeds for house roofs). Also the area known as “Barrington Hill”, between Broadway and Bickenhall, is in fact nearly two thirds of the size of Barrington Civil Parish!

The Church itself is very ancient and in design is similar to that of South Petherton; I always like to think that the Petherton folk copied our design! The central octagonal tower is now a very rare feature.

The first written record of a “chapel” in Barrington dates from 1175 when the parish was a part of the royal manor of South Petherton and the whole area was given to the Prior of Bruton by Henry II under whose jurisdiction it remained until the reign of Henry VIII, when it was given to the infant Diocese of Bristol, where it stayed until rescued by the Coles family in 1885.

On at least one occasion, through these long centuries, Barrington tried to become an independent parish: the foundations of the current church were laid during the 13th century but it remained a chapel rather than a church.

The church today is well attended and enjoys tremendous support from the villagers. Fund-raising is done bi-annually at “Barrington Day”, which just about provides for the running and maintenance costs of the building for the next two years.

Monies for other projects and regular denotations to charities, are raised by other small scale fund-raising events. The past few years have seen good support of charities where local people have been involved, so that we can be sure that the money goes where it is need: some examples are; School Fees for Gloria in Tanzania who was being taught by Linda Eastgate, a long term resident and member of St. Mary’s; Yeovil Hospice appeal in 2003; Taunton Hospital League of Friends; Nephrotic Syndrome Research Appeal because of Tim Cook’s son, in 2005; Wateraid was chosen in 2006 and this year Hope and Homes for Children, a charity with local origins, but which also helps abroad and is strongly supported by Anne Wilkins, who lives in the village.

2006 Expenditure:

  • Paid to the Diocese of Bath & Wells £7086
  • Vicar’s Expenses £760
  • Minor Church Expenses £1694
  • Building/Graveyard Maintenance £1958
church/vicars_letters/october_2007.txt · Last modified: d/m/Y H:M (external edit)