The Vicar writes…

An Assistant Curate Writes…


  1. With the Pewsheet this week you’ll find a special colour supplement with details about this year’s Lent projects. Each year we support two projects, one overseas and one closer to home. The two projects this year are the Pilsdon Community near Bridport and our link Church of St Saviour’s, Riga, in Latvia. Please do take the colour supplement with you, as it describes the work of these two excellent communities and gives information as to how we can support them, especially through Lent. Alongside our practical support, please do also keep them in your prayers.


  1. On the note of the Lent projects, next Sunday (26 February) we are holding The Shrove Lunch in the Digby Memorial Church Hall at 12.30 pm for 1.00 pm. Tickets are available from the Parish Office at £8.00 each or £4.00 for those aged 15 or under. The menu is Shepherd’s pie (or vegetarian alternative) and trifle or fresh fruit. Prizes for the raffle may be left in the Parish Office. Buying tickets in advance is tremendously helpful for those who are kindly offering their catering skills, and all are welcome.


The lunch is a good opportunity to chat to other folks from the Parish, and of course offers a chance to hear a little more about the projects themselves. In particular, we will be joined by Michael Deegan and Kathy Pinsent from the Pilsdon Community, and our own Revd Guntars Reboks will be happy to tell you more about St Saviour’s.


  1. We have been invited to share with all the Churches in our Diocese in a simple rhythm of prayer for Lent. Next Sunday we will be giving out a free booklet of Daily Devotions for Lent that has been created for our Diocese of Salisbury. The booklets contain a short prayer and reflection for each day, and ideas for things we can do to put our faith into practice. You’re free to use the book in any way that you choose (or of course not at all, as it’s not compulsory), but through prayer, the idea is to connect us with the wider community of the Diocese. It is one way of joining in prayer with some 20,000 others around the Diocesan vision of ‘Renewing Hope’, and the threefold vocation to ‘pray, serve,’ and ‘grow’.


The book is also available as an app, which can be found at or you could just google “Salisbury Diocese Praying Together 2017”.


  1. Alongside this, there is a slightly more extended book of Daily Reflections for Lent available for £1.50 from the Abbey bookshop. These will be familiar to many folks, and can work well with the Diocesan book.


On a slightly different track, we have about 20 copies of Rachel Boulding’s reflection on Facing Death, which offer short and deeply personal meditations of passages of Scripture from someone experiencing terminal illness. The sales of this honest and thoughtful booklet will go to the author.


I’ll aim to offer one or two more recommendations next week.


  1. Following the theme of putting our faith into practice in Lent, do consider signing up for one of the Churches Together Ecumenical Lent groups. These groups will follow a study of the letter of James, which has quite a bit to say about putting faith into practice. You can sign up in each Church to a group that meets at a good time for you, and they will begin to meet in the week beginning March 6th.  Alongside this, we will continue our Lenten tradition of singing Compline every Monday night in Lent, preceded by an address on the letter of James. These begin in the Abbey on Monday 6th March at 8.00 pm.


  1. Beginning on 21st February (this coming Tuesday), St Paul’s are running a series called Big Questions that will explore some of the most challenging issues for faith today. The first session will explore what we can say about the existence of God, and subsequent evenings will look at science and faith, suffering, and the resurrection. The series takes place at St Paul’s Church every other week from Tuesday 21st, 7.30 pm to 9.00 pm. Each evening will include a presentation and time to discuss the questions raised.


  1. Finally just a quick reminder about the Open the Book meeting on Monday 27th February at 2pm in the Griffiths Room. Open the Book is a fantastic way of bringing Bible stories to life for local Primary School children. It would be lovely to see you, or if you can’t make it then, do call The Revd Lesley McCreadie on 01963 210548 for more information.


8.  Even more finally, but quite importantly, can I ask that if you have any palm crosses left at home, please would you bring them in to the Parish Office asap? Each year they are burnt to make the ash used for our Ash Wednesday service, so if you could bring any in during the next week, that would be most helpful.