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This page updated 22nd January 2018

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Probably lots of other events have taken place but no reports have been received! 

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SUNDAY 21st JANUARY AT HOLWELL RECTORY

To get away from "the after Christmas blues", the Reverend Richard Kirlew and his wife Liz, opened their Rectory at Holwell for

a Summer Cream Tea party!

This event was held in aid of Benefice Funds.

 

Rectory Tea Rooms

 The Reverend Richard Kirlew writes:

What happens when you can’t organise an afternoon of cream teas in the summer because you run out of time?  Well, you organise it in winter and make it an antidote for the winter blues!

That is exactly what happened at Holwell Rectory on Sunday 21st January; we turned the Rectory into a Tea Room and had light lunches, cream teas, ice cream cones, with bunting and all!  The “staff” were staggered and the waiter and waitresses, courtesy of the Team Vicar’s family and friends, served 57 covers during the day and managed to raise just over £400 for Benefice funds as well.  Thanks to Liz who masterminded it all and to folk who donated cakes and raffle prizes.

Many people thought it was a superb afternoon and plans are being made for next year….!!

 

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Plough Sunday – 14th January 2018 at Caundle Marsh Church

Almost 50 people gathered in tiny Caundle Marsh Church to celebrate Plough Sunday.

Not only did we come together to give thanks for the farming community and the crops that they will grow, but also to remember what a plough does.  Ploughs of course, do two major things:  to aerate the soil by lifting up the paddled and dead land, and also to bury the rubbish left from a previous harvest.

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The Revd Richard Kirlew, Team Vicar responsible for rural and farming matters, led the Service.  In his talk he highlighted the two tasks of the plough and likened it to what God does in our daily lives if we let him.  God will always freshen up our lives by aerating our hearts to let air get to new growth that will occur.  Also, God buries the rubbish that we carry in our lives.  This, of course, is not wasted, as it turned into fertiliser to make the new growth happen!

The Service was fortunate to have not one, but two ploughs!  The first belonged to James Hiscock of West Hayes Farm in Caundle Marsh.  The second plough, a beautiful model of a horse-drawn plough made by General Edward Cowan was placed on the much larger one and both were Blessed!  Afterwards, everybody went back to Edward and Janet Cowan’s house for a wonderful lunch.

A good time was had by all!

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SUNDAY 7th JANUARY 2018

ST MARY'S CHURCH, BRADFORD ABBAS

The Barn Choir, under the direction of Richard Hall, came to celebrate the feast of the Epiphany with readings and music at Bradford Abbas. A varied programme with music ranging from 16th - 20th c was sung with excellent diction and interspersed with well read extracts of prose and poetry. David Bruce-Payne played the organ. Particularly enjoyable were 3 old carols, one using a well known tune from Bizet's "L'Arlesienne" and also an excellent piece "Entry of the Three Kings" by John Gardner with oboe obligato.

 

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FRIDAY 22nd DECEMBER 

ST ANDREW'S CHURCH, YETMINSTER

Lots of people were treated to a first-class concert tonight in St Andrew's Church at Yetminster. The Fieri Consort, who have given two concerts already in the church this year, returned to perform music in praise of Mary - folksong to 20th c.

A fuller report will follow but this was a wonderful way to start the Christmas weekend and we are very grateful to our Assistant Curate, the Reverend John Summers, for arranging it.

The interval was enhanced with a wine-tasting from Palmers of Dorchester and a small but interesting exhibition of beautiful pictures (paintings and embroidery) from local artist, Suzy Wright.

 

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Carol service at St. Michael’s Church, Beer Hackett,

Thursday 21st December.

 

A dry and mild December evening welcomed visitors up the candle lit path into our warmed

and beautifully decorated church. Many candles in all the windows and the Advent ring candles

helped create a warm feeling of anticipation for a congregation (70+) which almost filled the church.

 

Revd. Tony Gilbert conducted the service and our organist Richard Mentern led us expertly as usual in our singing of eight carols.

 

Eddie Upton and eight singers from Folk South West sang “Hark what Music”, a 19th century Cornish carol and “Joy to the World”, an uplifting song of praise written by an uneducated but gifted agricultural worker from Martock in the 19th century.  

 

There were six bible readings of the unfolding Christmas story with five young readers:  

Arthur Newton, Lily and Daniel Yeatman and Sharon and Charlotte Bartlett who all read beautifully.

 

After Tony Gilbert had concluded the service, Eddie and his singers taught us a traditional

tune for “God Rest ye Merry Gentleman”, which we sang unaccompanied as mulled wine, mulled cider and mince pies were served.

This was another impromptu touch which Eddie brought and which everyone appreciated.

 

It was a joy to have the church nearly full and with such hearty singing – fit to raise the roof!

 

Our special thanks go to Eddie and Folk South West, Richard, our young and adult readers, our clergy and all the ladies who decorated the church so beautifully and to everyone who gave mince pies and refreshments.

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SUNDAY 10th DECEMBER, the Second Sunday of Advent

ST ANDREW’S CHURCH, YETMINSTER

 

The Sunday morning service was a Christingle Service, led by the Reverend John Summers. The church was nicely full with lots of families and some oldies too!

 

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Lighting two candles on the Advent wreath for the second Sunday of Advent. The new stand was dedicated last Sunday.

Two members of the Holland family lit two candles of the Advent wreath at the beginning of the service.

John had planned the service very carefully arranging for children and parents to be able to make the Christingles in the Chancel. He explained the significance of the Christingle – the orange for the world, the red ribbon for the Sacrifice of Christ, the four cocktail sticks for the four seasons holding the fruits of the four seasons (sweets…) and the candle in the top for the light of Christ.

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Showing the beautifully made Christingles!

 

The service had special Christingle songs with unfamiliar words sung to familiar tunes. Simon Eadon played the organ with great panache. A group of young recorder players also played some carols most beautifully.

Afterwards there were refreshments in the Jubilee Hall.

 

 

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 The four musicians of Suono Dolce

In the afternoon, in spite of the dreadful weather, the church was again nicely full for an excellent concert by Suono Dolce. This is a group of four young musicians, recorder players, trained by Amy Whittlesea who lives in the village. All the youngsters have passed their Grade VIII recorder exams with Distinction and the audience was treated to a marvellous selection of ensemble, duo and solo work beautifully accompanied by Mrs Sydenham on a keyboard mostly in harpsichord mode. Felicity Lennard, Faelan Sydenham, Genevieve Baker and Bee Thomas all hope to enter the National Pro Corda Chamber Music Competition and part of the proceeds of the concert went towards this and the rest to St Andrew’s. The music ranged from Farnaby, Telemann and Bach to Gershwin and Gordon Jacob and was played on the whole range of recorders, from sopranino to bass. Afterwards there was a very good tea, with cakes made by the multi-talented musicians.

 

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 Amy Whittlesea being thanked and presented with flowers at the end of the concert

 

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ST HIPPOLYTUS' CHURCH, RYME INTRINSECA

CAROL SERVICE

SUNDAY 10TH DECEMBER

A candlelit and beautifully decorated RymeChurch was filled to capacity on Sunday evening, 10th. December, to celebrate the birth of Christ with music and readings from the time of Thomas Hardy.

Hardy had a great love of Church music, liturgy and the King James Bible.  In the  time of writing most of his novels music accompaniment was played by a village band rather than an organ.  On Sunday that music was provided by Eddie Upton and the Leigh band comprising squeeze box, mouth organ, recorder and keyboard with a small choir drawn from the same village  Among the carols sung lustily by the congregation Eddie gave us a solo rendering of 'The Cherry Tree Carol'. a traditional folk song proffering imagery about the Virgin birth, and the choir sang the anthem 'Joy to the world' composed by Thomas Sheol, a farm labourer from Montecute, in 1839, the year before Hardy's birth.  We were introduced by Eddie  to a new tune, one of 500(!) we were told, composed  for 'While shepherds watched', and to the original tune for 'Little town of Bethlehem' published in 1833 by 'Sandys Christmas'.

All six lessons were read by residents of Ryme from the King James Bible.  In addition, T.S.Eliot's 'Journey of the Magi' was read to enhance the Biblical reading of the Wise Men.  The poem was written in 1927, the year before Hardy died, and was most likely shown to him as he and Eliot were near neighbours.

The Service, using BCP liturgy was led by John Strover who, in his address, recalled Hardy's meaningful poem 'The Oxen' which augmented the readings we had heard from Isaiah and St. John's Gospel that only through Jesus can we be led from darkness into the light.

Altogether it was a joyous occasion enjoyed all the more after the final 'Grace' by mulled wine and mince pies.

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FRIDAY 10th NOVEMBER 7.30pm
 
ST ANDREW'S CHURCH, YETMINSTER

 

 

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 Just received 22:15 10th November: Waiting for the concert to begin!

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Yetminster St Andrew in a new light!
 

Celia Brayfield writes:

Guitarist Jo Burt rocked Yetminster at a sell-out concert on Friday November 10.  Accompanied by his wife Antonia and their friend Kathy Lynne Samuel, Jo gave a candlelit concert in St Andrew’s Church, helping to raise money for St Andrew’s Restoration.   He played songs from his own albums, many of which had a local inspiration, such as Ring the Changes, which he wrote after hearing the bells of Sherborne Abbey while walking one evening in the town’s riverside meadows.

 Jo and Antonia’s honeymoon, when the found themselves in a restaurant where every other diner was on a mobile phone, prompted a song called Under The Radar and the audience got the chance to sing the chorus in Clean And Dry, recalling an incident when he was pulled over by a traffic cop.   Some rock classics were in the programme too, from The Beatles’ Love Me Do to Freddy Mercury’s Crazy Little Thing Called Love.   And the evening ended in great rock’n’roll tradition with a rehearsed, but sincerely demanded, encore.

Jo, who lives in Sherborne, is a guitarist who has played with many of the most famous bands and artists of the 80s and 90s.  He started a band with Tom Robinson, toured with Black Sabbath and worked with Freddy Mercury, among many others, and between songs he told many stories of his eventful career.   He reminisced too about growing up in a home where his parents were both in showbusiness and Bruce Forsyth was among the many stars who dropped in for a chat.   We’re hoping to welcome Jo and Antonia back to Yetminster again next year.   

For those who missed th e concert, there are some pictures on St Andrew’s Restoration Facebook page, at      https://www.facebook.com/YetminsterChurchRestoration/

[Some are reproduced above].

 
From  Jo Burt: Thank you Yetminster for being such a wonderful audience on Friday evening for Jo Burt's Acoustic by Candlelight concert. We loved every minute and hope that we can come back again next year!
And you helped raise over £850 for the church restoration fund!  
 
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Jo Burt performed an acoustic set by candlelight.

 

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WINE AND CHIMES!

PARTY AT YETMINSTER ST ANDREW

FRIDAY 27th OCTOBER 2017

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 Lanterns lighting the church path

More than 100 people came to celebrate the return of the church clock at the Wine & Chimes evening at St Andrew’s church in Yetminster on October 27.  To mark the occasion the ancient stone staircase in the turret was opened and people were able to climb up and see the clock in action.  The less adventurous enjoyed a glass of wine and admired the beautiful interior of the church with the benefit of the new lighting and heating which was installed this year.  Among the guests was Les Partridge, who has lived in Yetminster for 70 years and, before the clock was electrified in 1986, used to climb the turret to wind the mechanism.

The clock, which was made by Thomas Bartholomew of Sherborne and installed in 1682, had fallen silent in 2015 and restoration was a long and expensive process.   Michael Windridge, a prominent member of The Yetminster History Society for many years, explained that the clock was at the cutting edge of technology when it was made and is one of the very earliest pendulum clocks in England.   It has no face, as many of the people who originally relied on it were unable to tell the time.    Churchwarden David Gould announced that St Andrew’s will be raising money over the next two years to help further restore and improve the building, and then the Rector, the Reverend Tony Gilbert,  talked about the evolution in church use over the centuries before rededicating the clock.

As well as striking the hours, the clock plays the national anthem eight times a day.   The Victorian carillon, the generous gift of Mr and Mrs Arthur Williams, first played to celebrate Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee in 1897.  At that time there were only five bells, (a sixth was added later) so it is a note short but nonetheless those who will be coming to the concert by guitarist Jo Burt on November 10 are promised the opportunity to sing along when it strikes. 

 

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People queuing to go up the tower to see the clock mechanism

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 Michael Windrige talking about the clock

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 A good time was had by all!

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SUNDAY 15th OCTOBER

The Season of Harvest Festivals!

YETMINSTER ST ANDREW celebrated with a Harvest Communion Service. It was "Choir Sunday" so the choir sang an anthem by Andrew Carter. Tony Gilbert officiated at the service and there was a jolly Harvest light lunch with excellent home-made soups, bread and delicious cheeses and a choice of Autumny puddings.

The church looked splendid.

Many thanks to all the organisers. 

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On SATURDAY 14th OCTOBER, the Wriggle Valley Branch of the Mothers' Union held a coffee morning at THE METHODIST CHURCH in Yetminster in aid of MU charities, locally and abroad. Nearly £150 was raised.  A very pleasant morning was spent enjoying tea, coffee, biscuits and home-made brownies and lots of chat!  Thank you to all those people who came and supported us.

Also on Saturday  14th October morning, (it was a busy morning with people preparing for Harvest too!) representatives from parishes within the Benefice visited the Old Vicarage Leigh for coffee and cake and also to collect bags of bulbs which have been donated to each of the 17 churches. The Old Vicarage  raised £300 in the summer at a 1950's party and has bought spring flowering bulbs with the proceeds. This is a most generous gift which is much appreciated.

 

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On SUNDAY 8th OCTOBER there was an excellent concert in  St Andrew’s Church, Yetminster 
 

"The Courtesan’s Gaze" which was a concert of music by Barbara Strozzi (1619 – 1677) and her circle.

 
 

 

 Barbara Strozzi

Barbara Strozzi (pictured) lived a life of high musical achievement and scandal in the Venice of the seventeenth century. A prolific and successful published composer in her own time, she was also said to have acted as courtesan at musical and intellectual meetings where “clothes were optional”. This concert of duets composed by Strozzi and her contemporaries, Monteverdi and Cavalli,explored her reception and whether the scandal surrounding her was justified.

Sung by sopranos Hannah Ely and Lucy Cox of the Fieri Consort with music on Baroque guitar and theorbo (Toby Carr) and harp (Aileen Henry) 

 

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On Thursday 28th September Yetminster St Andrew was the venue for an excellent illustrated talk by Graham Welstead (formerly Director of Art at Bancroft's School, Essex).

Graham spoke about the beautiful and very important painting "St Francis" by Giovanni Bellini which is in the Frick Collection in New York.

About 50 people attended and enjoyed wine and nibbles. Graham gave us a good understanding of the picture, its design, the problems which it poses and his understanding of what Bellini wanted to achieve in this seminal work.

Once again we must thank the Reverend John Summers, Assistant Curate, for organising this delightful evening and making use of our church in this way.

 

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The weekend of 16th and 17th August was a musical feast in the Benefice with concerts at Yetminster and Glanvilles Wootton.

Celia Brayfield has written about both concerts:

AUTUMN CONCERT IN YETMINSTER Saturday 16th September 2017

The internationally renowned organist and composer David Bednall, who was born in Yetminster, returned to the village on September 16th to give a concert in aid of the St Andrew’s Church Restoration Fund.  This was the third time  (in recent years) that David, with his friends Emily Huish and Tom Williams, have visited, performing a captivating programme that began in Venice with Vivaldi’s Gloria and ended on the streets of New York with a medley from Leonard Bernstein’s West Side Story.  Three songs by Herbert Howells, Merry MargaretThe Goat Paths and Under the Greenwood Tree were a rare and charming treat, from an early song cycle composed between 1915 and 1928, setting a collection of poems on a pastoral theme for a “high voice.”

St Andrew’s organ was stretched to its full potential for a glorious performance of Bach’s G Minor Fugue, after which the programme ranged through deservedly well-loved melodies that displayed the wonderful range of the singers’ voices. Tom Williams gave a resonant rendering of the Welsh military anthem Men of Harlech, after which Emily took centre stage for two languorous arias from Bizet’s Carmen.   Next was Arthur Sullivan’s The Lost Chord; with its bouncy rhymes and gentle humour, it isnow considered a classic Victorian parlour song although it was originally written to amuse Sullivan’s brother in his last illness. Finally Emily brought out the suggestive fun in Cole Porter’s The Physician before the West Side Story medley concluded the programme.

Emily is getting ready to sing in La Traviata with Opera in a Box next year, while continuing her legal career.  Tom “retired” from his singing career to concentrate on choral conducting with his early music group, the Erebus Ensemble. He is also Assistant Director of Music at St Martin-in-the-Fields in London, and the Director of the Clifton International Festival of Music in Bristol. David, apart from his distinguished composing career, is Teaching Fellow and Organist at the University of Bristol, Sub-Organist at Bristol Cathedral and conductor of the University Singers. Yetminster is deeply grateful that, despite being so much in demand, these superbly gifted musicians found the time to re-visit the village.

RARE GIFTS IN GLANVILLE WOOTTON Sunday 17th September 2017

The violins made by the Stradivarius family in Cremona in the seventeenth and eighteenth century produce such an exquisite sound that many of the 650 instruments still in existence are in the world’s most important museums and only one is currently played in Britain. That precious instrument visited the church of St Mary The Virgin in Glanvilles Wootton on September 17th and was, played in magnificent style by its owner, Andrew Bernardi.

Andrew warmed up with some movements from the Sonatas and Partitas for Unaccompanied Violin by J.S. Bach and then played the three lushly charming pieces by Sir Edward Elgar, Chanson du MatinChanson de Nuit and Salut d’Amore. Sharing the programme was Amelia Kelly-Slogrove, whose superb young voice was enchantingly matched with first by Vaughan Williams love song Silent Worship and then his Linden Lea.  Amelia, currently studying for her GCSEs at The Gryphon School in Sherborne, hopes to become a professional singer and the delighted audience were predicting a great future for her. Her mother, Amanda Slogrove, familiar to many from her performances in Sherborne, accompanied both soloists.

Vaughan Williams’ The Lark Ascending has come in at No 1 in the Classic FM Hall of Fame eight times, yet Andrew played this notoriously demanding piece so sublimely that it was if it had never been heard before. Before the glorious melody soared to roof beams, he read the poem by George Meredith that had inspired it. Amelia returned, bravely tackling two musical classics, Over the Rainbow and Summertime and then Andrew concluded the programme with a tour de force, two electrifying virtuoso pieces by Fritz Kreisler. Whereupon the audience rose in a standing ovation. 

 

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Saturday 9th September 2017
 
Ride+Stride
 

It was a day of HEAVY showers but this didn't deter the brave cyclists and walkers who visited many of Dorset's superb churches in order to raise money, through sponsorship, for the Dorset Historic Churches Trust. Half the money raised is returned to a  church nominated by the rider, so the more riders and the more sponsors, the better!
 
The Team Rector rode round many of his churches with James Johnson from Beer Hackett. They got soaked! Many churches were manned and it was interesting to meet lots of partakers: elderly, young families and whole groups out for the day.
 
Thank you to everyone who took part and supported in any way.
 
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The Reverend Tony Gilbert (on the right)  and friends from local villages signing in at St Andrew's Yetminster
on their way to visit lots of other churches
 
 
Alex Mitchell, Parish Organiser for Yetminster writes:

Many thanks to everyone who has supported this year's Dorset Historic Churches Trust 'Ride and Stride'. This is an annual event which raises much needed funds for Dorset's beautiful old churches. The 2017  'Team Yetminster', saw Bill Duggan striding, the Greenwood family (on horse back?!) and Simon Eadon and Alex Mitchell cycling. 50% of all money raised by riders and striders, is returned to their nominated church. The rest is used by the DHCT to provide grants for the repair, modernisation and maintenance of Dorset's churches - so this is an excellent way to help your local church as well as churches Dorset wide.

Anyone still wishing to donate, or to hand in sponsorship money, should contact their local Parish Organiser by the end of September. The Parish Organiser for Yetminster is Alex Mitchell  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 
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On Sunday September 3rd the Barn Choir came to St Peter's church, Chetnole to sing during the BCP Evensong. The church was nicely full and the singing was greatly appreciated:
Smith Responses, Canticles in a setting by John Blow, and an anthem by Munday. The Barn Choir was directed by Richard Hall who is the Director of the Dorset Rural Music School and the organ was played by David Bruce-Payne.
 
The Reverend John Summers led the service.
 
Afterwards the congregation and singers were treated to a glass of wine.
 
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On Sunday August 27th (Bank Holiday Sunday - and a glorious hot, sunny day!)  about 40 people met  in Glanvilles Wootton Village Hall for a special service devised to thank everyone who helps in any way to keep the 17 churches in this Benefice open and welcoming.
 
The Reverend Anne Budgell is officially retiring as an assistant priest. She has looked after the White Hart Vale area of the Benefice which great support from her husband Keith. Luckily she will still be helping as a retired priest! It was a good opportunity to thank her and Keith for all their very hard work so a presentation of flowers, tokens and gifts were made during the service.
 
Afterwards some of the congregation drove to Middlemarsh where the Reverend Michael Anderson welcomed them to picnic in his beautiful garden.
 
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John Bingham writes:

Beer Hackett held its annual Wine & Cheese Party on the evening of Friday 11th August.


The event was once again kindly hosted by Alastair and Cecilia Goodlad at Church Farm.


There was a very good attendance by residents, friends and visitors from neighbouring villages.


A great time was had by all and over £300 was raised to support

St Michael’s Church at Beer Hackett.


Thank you to all who attended or contributed.

 

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The Mothers' Union members celebrated Mary Sumner Day on Wednesday 9th August by hosting a family fun morning at Leigh Church in conjunction with the Living Churchyard Project. The morning started with a lovely service which welcomed two new members to the Mothers' Union followed by activities led by the members and Philippa. We were not deterred by the weather, and everyone enjoyed collecting fir cones and sticks for the bugs to find happy homes in their new bug hotel and at the end of the nature trail sweet treats provided everyone with lots of energy to continue building the bug hotel or create some great pieces of artwork in the creative zone. The morning ended with an indoor picnic where everyone enjoyed a nice natter and catch-up with friends.

Thank you to all the members of the MU and Leigh Church who contributed their time and talents to the morning. 


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 What an amazing week in the Three Valleys Team Benefice!
 
Not only did Bishops Caundle have their first Confirmation service for about 50 years but our curate, the Reverend John Summers, was ordained priest by the Bishop in Salisbury Cathedral on Saturday 1st July at a marvellous and uplifting service.
 
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A coach-load of friends from the Three Valleys Team Benefice were at the Cathedral to support John
 

And, on Sunday 2nd July, John celebrated the Holy Eucharist, for the first time, in Holwell church. It was a glorious day. The church looked wonderful (with beautiful flowers) and was very full. The St Andrew’s choir led the singing under the baton of David Price and Huw Ridgway from Bradford Abbas played the organ. Readings were given by the Team Rector, the Reverend Tony Gilbert, the Reverend Richard Kirlew and the Reverend Anne Budgell. Brother Sam SSF preached most inspiringly. During the communion the choir sang Pearsall’s “Ave Verum”  and Attwood’s  “Teach me O Lord”. Afterwards many members of the congregation went to the village hall at Bishops Caundle for a delicious Bring and Share lunch, organized by Liz Kirlew. John Summers wore one of his new chasubles. These have been provided by the Parish of Yetminster who have emptied the Ball Curate Fund which was specifically set-up in the 18th c to provide help for curates!

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 John's first Eucharist at  beautiful Holwell church

Also in the Benefice this weekend there was the Pulham Fete and the Open Weekend at Leigh. Anne Budgell has sent this about Pulham Fete and we hope to hear about Leigh's Open Weekend as well!

 

Anne Budgell writes:

Pulham Fete 1st July 2017

"Some of us went to the Cathedral on July 1st for John Summers’ priesting; and some of us went to Pulham Fete. I hope John had strawberries and cream. We did. And ice cream, hot dogs with onions, big burgers and Pimms. Cakes and cakes and cakes and…. the Raffle. There were plants galore; smart and beautiful dogs to show (not eat), rides on a pony, trips into the woods, a fairy in the grove and digging for dinosaurs. Then there was the Skittle Alley, Shying for Coconuts and Welly Throwing. Not many of us could turn water into wine, but Hoop-La was easier. There was live music all afternoon and an auction. More cake with cups of tea in the shade was busy with custom. All this was in the beautiful garden of Nick and Gilly Elliott at the Old Rectory. Thank you both for having us. Perhaps next year John can join us……………………" 

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ST ANDREW’S CHURCH, LEIGH

"Even the sparrow finds a home and the swallow a nest for herself, where she may lay her young"   (Psalm 84 verse 3)

Jo Barlow-Poole writes:

We have always had swallows successfully nesting in our porch and we love to see them.  This year they came as usual, but on the very hot weekend in June two baby birds were found dead on the floor.  We presumed the mother had turned them out because of the heat.  A day later two more birds were found alive on the floor of the porch and were rescued.  Someone had left their very cosy jacket on a bench in the porch, so they were placed on this, and we waited to see what happened.  Amazingly the babies were fed by the parents and we noticed them getting bigger and stronger.  They were very vulnerable as they were only about 18 inches off the ground, but a notice was placed by them asking for them not to be disturbed, but we were worried about cats, dogs, foxes etc.  Today the 28th June one fledged early in the morning!  We were all so thankful and the other one (photo) decided to stay out of the rain, but has now flown!   We hope they return again next year and we don’t have a heat wave at that time!

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 The fledgling swallow perched in Leigh St Andrew's porch!

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The Wednesday Club Annual Open Afternoon and 30th Birthday party

On June 21st The Wednesday Club held its annual Open Afternoon but what was special this year was that we were celebrating its 30th Birthday. Honor Ward, Tessa Hill and several others came together in 1987 to form an interdenominational Bible Club for children. The Headmistress at the time said they could hold it in St Andrew's School and it has been meeting there ever since. Friends and families came to watch the children act out the story of "The Kind Stranger" (based on parable of the Good Samaritan) and the Reverend Nigel Thomas came and spoke to them afterwards about the parable and to hand out leaving presents to Emily Newton, Lille Potter and Valentine Zwiebel who were leaving the school and going on to The Gryphon School in Sherborne. There was a birthday cake made and everyone there sang Happy Birthday and the afternoon finished with songs and prayers. Thank you to all those who came that afternoon and also to all those who over the years have helped The Wednesday Club in so many ways.

Anne Reason

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The Reverends Nigel Thomas and  Tony Gilbert            Maggie Henry and other helpers and visitors 
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 Singing and music                                               Anne Reason (who leads the Wednesday Club now) was
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Monday 19th June:
 
After a really hot weekend, St Andrew's Singers (SAS - "who dares, sings" with singers from Ryme, Yetminster, Leigh and further afield) visited the Old Vicarage at Leigh in the morning and St Margaret's Hospice in the afternoon to sing some light (and some serious) summer music. The highlight was Esther Robotham singing the solo soprano in Mozart's Laudate Dominum with the choir and Simon Eadon (piano) accompanying. But the medley of songs from South Pacific and a piano duet from My Fair Lady  were very enjoyable as were the readings, poems and other songs. The choir ended with "We do like to be beside the seaside" which seems very appropriate in this weather!
 
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David Price and Simon Eadon enjoying a joke  at the Old Vicarage Care Home before we went outside to practice in welcome shade
 
 
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Esther Robotham, our superb solist, and other members of the choir. The last picture was taken at the local Hospice where we all melted! 
 
 
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Saturday and Sunday 17th and 18th June

A busy weekend was had throughout the Benefice in sweltering heat!
 
On Saturday 17th June, the Old Vicarage at Leigh held a delightful Victorian Tea Party in the beautiful grounds. A magnificent tea was on offer and many interesting stalls were there to be explored. Ann Gould of Cerne Abbas showed her doll's houses and miniatures including tiny knitted garments; there was a collection of interesting memorabilia and  two excellent quizzes asking the use of various (some rather gruesome!) instruments of the farm and the kitchen. The quizzes were both won by residents of the Old Vicarage. A "Songs of Praise" was led by the Reverend John Summers with the Reverend Tony Durkin playing the keyboard. £300 was made to help churches throughout the Benefice.
 
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The Old Vicarage, Leigh, Victorian Tea Party with Songs of Praise 
 
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Buck and Dorothy Bailey awaiting tea, with Caroline Birdsell
 
On Sunday 18th June "Community Spirit" at St Andrew's, Leigh was attended by old and young and the theme was being part of the Body of Christ. There are lovely photos of children with a skeleton as well as older people sitting reading the newspaper after the service! Lot of fun, chat and a summer lunch!
 
The St Andrew's Singers sang at their regular service of Holy Communion in Ryme as Yetminster Church is still closed for maintenance. A nicely full church welcomed the Reverend Canon Charles Mitchell-Innes who took the service and preached. Wesley's "Lead me Lord" was sung as the anthem during the Communion.
 
In the afternoon many members of the Benefice visited the Friary at Hilfield where the legendary Cream Teas were of offer in aid of Batcombe Church. It was very hot but still, lots of people came and enjoyed the wonderful scones and cakes. Beautiful plants were on sale too. More than £800 was raised!
 
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It was SO hot that everyone crowded into the shade!
 
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Beer Hackett Village Tea Party, Sunday 11thJune

 

John BIngham writes:

 

After days of wet and windy weather, the sun finally came out.  Although the wind was still strong and gusty it was warm and didn’t spoil things.

 

The party held in the church grounds and church was well attended and enjoyed by everyone.

 

John Derrick’s Wriggle Valley Jazz Band provided a light hearted and jolly atmosphere.

 

Many people helped in different ways, the food given was delicious – thanks to all for a good community effort.

 

The 1903 OS maps of the area in the exhibition of local memorabilia were interesting but the millennium album photographs of residents in year 2000 were the star exhibit.

 

This album was created by the late Kelly Wingfield Digby and late Col. Mark Chirnside, both churchwardens here for many years.

 

 

 

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We are very grateful for the support which Brotherwoods give to us each year by supplying and erecting the marquee, gazebo, chairs and tables.

 
 
 
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THORNFORD FETE!
 
3rd June 2017
 
The Reverend Tony Gilbert writes:
 

"Despite variable weather conditions Thornford held its annual village fete on 3rd June.  This was a little later in the year than normal but despite the change it was well supported and everyone who attended had a good afternoon out.  All in all the day was a successful one with many different stalls and stands to browse. 

I am pleased to say that I won a coconut with my first ball at the coconut shy. 

Our curate John Summers learned the full range of what it means to be a vicar by spending the afternoon enticing people to participate in the Whisky draw!  There were several food outlets varying from roast pork rolls, ice creams for the children to teas in the hall which were up to their usual very high standard with a plentiful supply of great cakes.

Two highlights for the day stick in my mind.  One was the majorettes from Castle Cary who performed well in rather blustery and showery conditions and the other was the dog show with its valiant attempts on the part of many of the dog owners to get their happy and care-free charges to do what the judges required of them.  The dogs always looked as if they were greatly enjoying themselves even if their owners did not always give that impression."

 
 
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Rogation Sunday at Beer Hackett 21st May

 

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John Bingham writes:

 

"On 21st May we celebrated Rogation Sunday with friends from Thornford and Bradford Abbas.

 

Revd. Tony Gilbert and Revd. John Summers led us in a special liturgy comprising a bible reading,

prayers and a hymn on different themes in different places.

 

Richard Mentern expertly led our singing and kept us in tune.

 

We began in church, celebrating the new day and our risen Lord.

 

Next we moved to the churchyard on the theme of the village, parish and its people.

 

Across the field and by the stream – the blessings of our fields, pastures and the beauty of creation.

 

Outside Higher Farm – all who work on land and sea and the harvests on which we depend.

 

In the middle of the wood – we thanked God for our life giving earth and the beauty of the natural world.

 

Back in the churchyard – we remembered all who have passed before and the gift of our church.

 

Approximately twenty people (and two dogs) shared a lovely walk in warm dry weather, followed by a tasty brunch in church.

 

We should thank especially for this, the loyal ladies who always generously work to make everyone so welcome."

 

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YETMINSTER ALL-AGE SERVICE
 
Sunday 14th May
 
As St Andrew's Church Yetminster is closed for re-wiring, this service took place in the Trim Room, Yetminster Jubilee Hall.
 
Clare Lindsay writes:
"A happy and lively All Ages Service took place on Sunday 14th May, with 14 adults and 10 children attending.  The Reverend John Summers, Amy Mitchell and Gemma Perrin lead us in an enthusiastic celebration of Rogation, explaining to the children through tactile means.
 
Slabs and  pebbles represented the stony ground, and compost the fertile land, with courgette seeds to plant for everyone. 
 
We all enjoyed getting our hands dirty, and came home with a small pot to plant.  Amy and Gemma accompanied the singing with their beautiful flute and guitar, and afterwards we all enjoyed coffee and cake in the sunshine.  A happy time was had by all!"
 
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Celebrations for Easter Day in the Three Valleys Team Benefice

HAPPY EASTER!

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Different churches celebrated the joy of Easter in different ways.

The Reverend John Summers led a Family Service in Ryme in the morning and one at Hilfield church in the afternoon. Valerie Rowsell, who attended both services as organist/keyboard player, writes: 

"Ryme - Beautifully decorated, 30 adults, 5 children. and 3 three day old fluffy chicks!
Easter cross decorated with flowers by the children during the lovely service, sermon based on the Gospel.
Easter egg hunt took place in a sunny churchyard after the service.

Hilfield - The little church looked very beautiful with flowers, small wooden crosses and many candles, also an Easter egg tree with a variety of eggs.  An Easter egg hunt took place in the churchyard after a lovely service.
32 adults and five children, great singing as always at Hilfield.  This was followed by refreshments in the church."

Family Communions were held in many other churches.

Leigh held their second Community Spirit Sunday starting with a Holy Communion service and continuing with crafts, chat and a delicious chicken casserole. Over 70 adults and children came with 40 staying for lunch.  The Easter crafts for the children included an Easter trail plus creating Easter Gardens.  A new Easter Banner created by Caroline Birdsell was blessed at the service.

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A similar number attended Choral Holy Communion at Yetminster enjoying the beautiful flowers and music and an excellent sermon by our Team Rector, the Reverend Tony Gilbert. Lower Covey Toddlers’ Group had made an Easter Garden where the stone had been rolled away from the tomb to show the white linen left by the risen Christ.

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 Lower Covey Toddlers' Easter Garden - the stone is rolled away showing the white linen neatly folded!

Simon Eadon played the refurbished organ, under polythene wraps in preparation for the great maintenance works about to start in the church. The choir started the service with Richard Sheppard’s “Sing Choirs”.  During the Communion Jane Robotham conducted her daughter, Esther, who sang the solo most beautifully in Mozart’s “Laudate Dominum”, accompanied by the St Andrew’s Singers and Simon Eadon on the organ. This was followed by Bruckner’s motet “Locus Iste”. The service finished, after rousing hymns and a voluntary played with great panache by Simon. This was a fitting, happy service in the beautiful church which is now to be closed for re-wiring

Holy Saturday

Churches throughout the Benefice decorated the churches ready for Easter.

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Holnest church held a vigil on Saturday Evening.

Good Friday

Many different services of meditation and devotion were held throughout the Three Valleys Team.

Beer Hackett held its traditional Good Friday walk.

The Good Friday Way of the Cross Walk

James Johnsen writes:

"Twenty-five of us, aged from late eighties to just two years old, gathered in bright and brisk weather at Beer Hackett to ascend Knighton Hill and contemplate the various stations in Jesus's last journey, a traditional part of Holy Week. 

We were most fortunate to be led by John Summers who had prepared a beautifully conceived series of six 'stations' entitled" Betrayal, Judgement, Friendship, Suffering, Paradise and It is Finished, each one providing some interesting analysis or thought-provoking ideas drawn from incidents in the well-known story. 

As the clouds rolled in, our Cross was finally planted atop Knighton Hill from where contemplated our own Calgaries in a moment of peace as we drank in the breathtaking views across the beneficence before descending to the barn at Manor Farm where Alice Johnsen kindly provided tea and hot cross buns."

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Yetminster and many other churches had  quiet, contemplative services considering the last words of Jesus on the Cross.

 

Maundy Thursday

Seder Meal

People from different parts of the Benefice met to share the Seder Meal in the Jubiliee Hall in Yetminster. This is a re-enactment of the Passover Meal, the last supper which Jesus Christ shared with his disciples and is followed by a simple Holy Communion service. Sarah Hedin arranged the catering. There were about 30 people and everyone said that, as well as superb food, the whole evening "flowed" and there was a marvellous atmosphere!

 

Palm Sunday 9th April

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Yetminster has invested in some new palms!

 

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SHARES (Sherborne Area Refugee Support)

arranged a collection of warm clothes and bedding for refugees.

During the week beginning 20th March,  St Andrew's church, Yetminster, was open from 9-6 to receive donations of warm clothes/food etc. The response was amazing: the church was full of bags and boxes:

lots of people helped to sort and we thank 

Katie Hawnt for her brilliant organsation!

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Children and families are trying to survive in basic shelters in refugee camps.

Donations are being sent to refugees in Greece, Lebanon, Syria and other countries.

If you can offer more help or want to find out more about this great project please visit

http://refugeeaidfromtaunton.org.uk/get-involved/

 

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 For reports on events happening earlier, please look at the Archival Material page which goes back to 2014.