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"Dear friends since God so loved us,
we also ought to love one another"
1 John 4:11


News from around the Diocese and Benefice,
Projects, Reviews & Cartoons



Daffodils and the word 'Mum' painted on pebblesActivities for Mothering Sunday 

There willl be a Farm Club Service for Mother's Day on Saturday 25th March from 2-4 p.m.  at Watershed RDA stables. Coates

Please call Liz Collins for info on 07919 062116.


Please see the Calendar for other  Mothering Sunday services


Pussy WillowPalm Sunday
9th April 2017

On Palm sunday there will be short prayer services at both All Saint's Kemble and All Saint's Somerford Keynes starting at 10 a.m.

At 10.15 a.m. we will walk across the footpaths to St. Michael and All Angels,
Poole Keynes for a short service in the church at 11.30 a.m. followed by a Bring and Shard lunch in Poole Keynes Village Hall at 12 noon.

Suitable for families and dog walkers.

Return transport to Somerford Keynes and Kemble will be available.

Food for the shared meal can be dropped at Poole Keynes church from 9.30 a.m.

Come for all or part of the morning.


The only other service in the Benefice on that day will be the 'Liturgy of Palms' at

St. Peter, Rodmarton at 11 a.m.



Kemble Musician Robin Bigwood

Robin Bigwood and his Harpsichord

On the morning of 18th March in Kemble Church, over 30 people were enthralled by a charity concert given by local professional musician, Robin Bigwood, playing his harpsichord.

The first half of his programme included “Fantasia” written by W Byrd, Barafostus’ Dream by T Tomkins and Lord Lumley’s Pavan & Galliard by J Bull.

During the refreshments interval Robin explained the working s of the harpsichord to those wanting to know more, including the tuning system he used.

The second half of the programme was a series of Prelude & Fugues by JS Bach.


As well as Robin’s superb playing of the music, he made the concert even more interesting by explaining the history and structure of each piece he was about to play and his interpretation of the music.


The retiring collection raised £300 for Mind Song, a Gloucestershire charity that works in care homes and day centres using music therapists and volunteer singing groups to bring music into the lives of people with dementia.




The word 'Fiesta' held up by coloured balloons


 On Saturday 17 June at Trewsbury Farm, Trewsbury Road, Coates (with kind permission from Kuldip and Jacqueline Dhillon) 1 - 5pm – Fete and Dog Show followed by an evening with Asado (Argentinian BBQ)  and music from 6-10pm 

In aid of  Watershed RDA, St Matthew’s Church and Coates Community


A magazine for rural ChristiansCountry Ways Magazine Cover

Some countryside magazines seem to be written for urban people contemplating the rural dream. But Country Way is about real people in the real countryside, and the inspiring Christian work that is going on there.

You will find Country Way of interest if you enjoy stories of farming, the rural church, the environment and rural communities; as well as thoughts and reflections, and information on Christian resources and events. It comes out three times per year (January, June and October). The managing editor, Canon Dr Jill Hopkinson, is the National Rural Officer for the Church of England.

More details: http://countryway.org.uk/






Christian Resources Exhibition logo

CRE goes back to Sandown

Under new management that looks very familiar, the Christian Resources Exhibition will return to Sandown Park in Surrey next year (October 17-19, 2017). The largest annual exhibition of its kind in Europe, CRE is now owned by Stephen Goddard, its media consultant for more than 25 years.

‘In May, the Bible Society decided to focus on its core mission of offering the Bible to the world and purposed to find a new home for CRE or close it down,’ said Goddard. ‘The event has served thousands of churches for more than three decades and is still a strategic event in the ecclesiastical calendar. I have therefore pulled together a team with vast experience of running the exhibition successfully.’

‘We are working hard to put together an exhibition which builds on the experience of the past yet will present new ideas, products and suppliers to church leaders and members.’ There are tentative plans to take CRE back to regional cities. Since 1985 it has been held in places afar apart as Exeter and Edinburgh, Belfast and Bristol.





Waving from a Distance

By Tim Lenton, CreateSpace, £7.14

Tim Lenton, who was a former chief sub-editor on the Eastern Daily Press in Norwich and since then has become an award-winning poet, has just published his most recent book of poems. Called Waving from a Distance, it contains poems written (more or less) one a day during Lent 2016 and might therefore be interesting to anyone thinking of what to meditate on during Lent 2017! It’s available on Amazon. Moving and thoughtful – James Knox Whittet. Poetry that sinks deep into the soul – Joy McCall.


Tell It Together - 50 tell-together Bible stories to share

By Renita Boyle, BRF, £8.99

Storytelling is a vital skill for everyone in ministry of any kind. Everything we are and everything we do revolves around the big story of God's love for us and how we respond to it. Tell It Together combines stories that have been written to read well aloud with tools for groups to share them effectively. The stories can be used on their own, to enhance a theme or Bible passage, or alongside other activities as the basis for clubs or creative worship gatherings and festivals.

The Old Testament stories include: Name this day - The story of creation;
The basket baby - Moses is born; Grumble, grump and groan - Wandering in the desert; and David's giant problem - David and Goliath.

The New Testament stories include: How not to worry - Jesus teaches about trust; Hushabye lake - Jesus calms the storm; Clippity cloppity - Jesus rides into Jerusalem; and Come early to the tomb - Jesus is risen.


Called by God - exploring our identity in Christ

By Derek Tidball, BRF, £7.99

The book examines 12 key NT texts which speak of the Christian's calling. In days when much is spoken about vocation, this draws us back to see how the Bible speaks about the nature of Christian vocation. Each chapter will end with reflections and discussion material.


40 Days with the Celtic Saints - devotional readings for a time of preparation

By David Cole, BRF, £7.99

The life stories of the Celtic saints are inspirational. They demonstrate great and unassuming faith, often in the face of insurmountable difficulties. In 40 Days with the Celtic Saints David Cole draws us to relate our own life journey and developing relationship with God into the life story of the Celtic saint of the day. A corresponding biblical text and blessing encourages and motivates us to transform our lives for today's world in the light of such historic faith.

The 40 Saints include Aidan, Bede, Cadfan, David, Finbarr,
Gildas, Herbert, Illtyd, John Scotus Eriugena, Kentigern, Melangell, Ninian, Oswald, Patrick, Samson, Teilo and Wilfrid.


Give the Best Away - The story of one of Britain's most generous philanthropists

By Murray Watts, LionHudson, £14.99

Rosemary Lancaster grew up in a poor family in the North West of England, at the end of the Second World War. Struggling for survival in the era of ration books and austerity, she was destined for something astonishing and inspiring, far beyond even her wildest dreams.

John Lancaster, whom she married, left school without qualifications, but had an amazing ability to fix machines and invent things. He would go on to corner the market in conservatory roofing systems; his company became a world leader, floating on the stock market for £136 million. They were multi-millionaires.

The pair, both committed Christians, set about giving away their astonishing fortune, starting with their employees. They set up the Lancaster Foundation, with Rosemary in charge, offering medical and practical support to the suffering, disadvantaged and marginalized people throughout the UK and Africa.

Rosemary immersed herself in the work of the charity, which purchased an emergency plane for Mission Aviation Fellowship, and started the first village for destitute AIDS victims in South Africa. Rosemary even found herself rescuing children from the rubbish tips of Kenya. Additionally the foundation has sponsored arts initiatives and major inner city regeneration projects in Manchester, and is committed to numerous on-going local and national youth and community projects. Rosemary and John continue to be among Britain’s most generous philanthropists.


Belonging and Becoming - Creating a Thriving Family

By Mark Scandrette and Lisa Scandrette, LionHudson, £9.99

Many of us feel overwhelmed about the prospect of raising children, especially if we’re in demanding jobs or having to deal with the pressures and stresses from everyday lives. Reflecting on difficulties from our own families of origin can increase our doubt and insecurity about being a good parent. And positive examples of family life can seem few and far between.

This book offers a compelling vision of what the family can be. The authors share wisdom from the joys and struggles of their own life, and practical guidance for creating a healthy and deeply rooted family culture. Whether you’ve been a parent for some time, you're just starting out, or you're only starting to think about it, this book will inspire you to take new steps towards a thriving family.


The Axe and the Tree - How bloody persecution sowed the seeds of new life in Zimbabwe

By Stephen Griffiths, LionHudson, £9.99

This is a powerful account of British missionaries, Peter and Brenda Griffiths, who played a critical role in the development of the Elim church in the aftermath of the Vumba massacre. Peter and Brenda Griffiths, Stephen's parents, and their team had set up a superb secondary school, only for guerrillas to slaughter almost all the staff. After their funerals Peter maintained that forgiveness for the attackers was the Christian thing to do. This is an inspiring story of Peter and Brenda’s courage, sacrifice, and faithfulness in God, who despite the atrocities, continues to build His church in Zimbabwe.


The Way of Christ-Likeness - Being Transformed by the Liturgies of Lent, Holy Week and Easter

By Michael Perham, Canterbury Press, £16.99

The seasonal liturgies at the heart of the Christian year have the ability to touch individuals and whole church communities in a way that changes lives.

This practical and theological companion to Lent, Holy Week and Easter offers advice on creatively using the church's most dramatic and transformative liturgies. It explores how commemorating Jesus' death and resurrection is more than a reminder of the essentials of our faith, but also enables us to enter the familiar stories and discover their power to make us more Christ-like in the painful events of life.

Written principally for those who celebrate the liturgy - clergy, readers, local ministry teams, ordinands and others, it stretches from the beginning of Lent to the end of the Great Fifty Days, with a particular focus on Holy Week.


Hanging by a Thread - The Challenge of the Cross

By Samuel Wells, Canterbury Press, £8.99

Sam Wells reflects on the challenges to our understanding of Christ's crucifixion that arise today. Exploring contemporary ideas in history, biblical studies and philosophy, he asks:

- Does the possibility that elements of the story did not actually happen leave our Christian heritage hanging by thread?
- Does the history of persecution that flowed from the classical belief that the Jews were responsible for Jesus' death leave our morality hanging by a thread?
- Does the improbability of one event having significance for everything, everywhere for all time leave our faith hanging by a thread?

Sam Wells reflects on six biblical stories and discovers that in the face of these challenges, the Cross has an enduring power to shape how we live, how we relate to one another and how we allow ourselves to become enfolded in God's story.


Wilderness Taunts - Revealing Your Light

By Ian Adams, Canterbury Press, £8.99

The poet, artist and priest Ian Adams offers a series of meditations with photographic images that draw on the Gospel accounts of the 40-day testing and temptation of Jesus in the wilderness.

It sees those temptations as taunts meant to throw Jesus off balance, and explores the taunts that assault us when we are confronted by the darkness in external events and by the shadows within ourselves - the critical inner voice that tells us we are alone, trapped and powerless, or the self-interested voice that tempts us to think we are in control, it's all about us.

Striking, immediate and fresh, these meditations look beyond temptation as an urge to do something wrong and recognise the deeper questions that are being asked of us about life, love and faith. Ian writes that in the desert, 'wild beasts may come, but angels may come too'.


Revelations of Glory

By David Adam, Kevin Mayhew, £24.99

Saints are not set apart as perfect or sinless, for they have the same weaknesses as all humans, but they are who God has called them to be and in being themselves, they reveal God’s glory. This book is to introduce you to some of the people who are heroes of the Church and are revelations of God’s glory.

Each celebration of a saint follows the same format: a short introduction to the saint’s life, the Scripture readings for the saint’s day, which are taken mainly from the Common Worship Lectionary, an opening prayer, intercessions, the peace and a blessing.

Together with its companion volume Icons of Glory, this book will encourage you to explore the common union to which we all belong and to discover God’s call to you, which is unique. This is a call to be a fellow worker with God and to reveal His glory in your life.




Photo used under licence from Fotolia 

Cartoon used by permission of Cartoon Church

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