7th February 2021

2nd Sunday before Lent


8am                     No Service 

10am                   Morning Worship

                             Preacher – Revd Phil Harrison

Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, there will be no service in the church building. You can join us in one of two ways:

– On the Telephone (Phone: 03300 945 940;
Room number: 60527473#; PIN: 2656#)

– Live on our YouTube channel                                                          
(search for ‘Wroughton and Wichelstowe Parish Church’)

4pm                     Church at 4 via Zoom

Join the Church at 4 group on our Facebook page for the meeting invite and password


Sunday 14th February

The Sunday before Lent

10am                   Morning Worship

Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, there will be no service in the church building. You can join us in one of two ways:

– On the Telephone (Phone: 03300 945 940; Room number: 60527473#; PIN: 2656#)

– Live on our YouTube channel (search for ‘Wroughton and Wichelstowe Parish Church’)

Preacher              Revd Phil Harrison

Reading               Mark 9. 2-9

Reader                 Tiffany Weighell

Intercessor          Dr John  Godfree                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              4pm                     Church at 4 via Zoom

Join the Church at 4 group on our Facebook page for the meeting invite and password.

Private Prayer – Wednesday lunchtime

During the current lockdown, the church building will be open for private prayer between 12pm and 1:30pm on Wednesdays.

Church closure

Unlike the last lock-down, the Government has chosen not to dictate a general closure of all places of worship in England. This reflects the fact that there have been very few cases of Covid-19 transmission in places of worship and also the importance of corporate worship to the general wellbeing and morale of people of faith. In the Church of England, the decision about whether or not to remain open is being taken at local parish level.

The PCC met on 1st February to review the Standing Committee’s decision not to hold services in the church building during January and to decide whether it should now be re-opened. After some discussion, it was unanimously decided that it is not yet the right time for us to meet in person. The church building will therefore remain closed for Sunday Worship (but open for private prayer each Wednesday lunchtime).

We are thankful to God that the Coivid-19 case rate in Wroughton, and in Swindon more generally, has fallen significantly and that we are now below the UK average. However the situation remains serious and it was felt that by opening the church building we would be sending the wrong message. There was also a concern that by opening the building we would be indirectly encouraging people to gather together. It is natural to want to stop and say hello to friends and neighbours when we see them and there was some concern about the possibility of people talking in the car-park before and after services. It was also noted that during lockdown the majority of people seem to be content with our online and telephone offerings.

The PCC will meet again on Thursday 4th March to review this decision. It is hoped that by that time the vaccine roll-out will be further advanced and the government will have indicated what they intend to do after the anticipated end of lockdown on 8th March. 

10am Telephone service

  • To join the Sunday service first dial this number: 03300 945 940.
  • When prompted, enter the room number, followed by # on your telephone keypad: 60527473 #
  • Finally, enter the guest PIN: 2656 #
  • You may have to listen to some announcements, but you will then be automatically joined to the conference call. Join in with the responses in the liturgy as you would normally.

Calls to ‘03’ numbers are charged at the standard national rate and are included in your ‘free minutes’ if you have a call-plan.

Live streaming the 10am service

The 10am service will be live streamed on You Tube. As well as getting video, the sound quality should be better than the phone. However, unlike the telephone option, you will not be able to interact with other people or to be heard in the service. We don’t recommend trying to use both You Tube and the phone at the same time as this could cause an echo on the phone line, there is also a delay of about 30 seconds which is very off-putting. Please visit our YouTube Channel on https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCc6wnuTqXBYTixq-NpQgeLQ and press the ‘subscribe’ button.

Lent course

We plan to run a lent course as usual this year. Current restrictions around meeting together mean that this will be delivered over Zoom. The first session will be at 7:30pm on Tuesday 23rd February and run for the following 6 to 8 weeks.

World Day of Prayer Friday 5th March 2021

Due to the current Coronavirus restrictions we are not holding a live service in any of the Wroughton churches this year. However, there are various ways that you can be involved on the day.

We have the orders of service which have been prepared by the Christian women of Vanuatu. If you would like to have one delivered to you please contact Janet Henderson (singingjan@icloud.com or 525856) and we will get it to you.

Then you will have several options: You could-

1)   Read through it in your own time at home.
2)  Go to the World Day of Prayer website www.wwdp.org.uk and find the list of       anywhere holding a Livestream or Zoom service that you can watch.
3)  Since last March the Parish church has been offering a telephone conference for our Sunday morning service. We would like to offer this for a shortened version of the WDP service at 11am on Friday 5th March.

You can join in our telephone service by dialling 03300945940.

Then when prompted the room number 60527473# and finally the guest PIN 2656# This is a free number on call plans. This service would be about 30 minutes long and you will have the opportunity to join in prayers and responses but sadly singing hymns doesn’t work.

4) Whatever you decide to do please consider making  a donation as the Day of Prayer is the organisation’s only source of income. This can be done through the website www.wwdp.org.uk, by post direct to World Day of Prayer, Commercial Road, Tunbridge Wells, TN1 2RR or by text to 70085 using the phrase 2021WDP and then adding the amount eg 2021WDP 5

Bible Studies

If you are finding time hanging heavily during the week after the excitement of the Sunday phone service, why not make a good start and join our Monday morning Bible Studies? These are also over the phone, using the same conference numbers. We start at 10.30 am and keep to just under an hour. Currently we are looking at the readings on our service sheet and considering how these can impact our daily lives. You will be very welcome to join us.    Margaret Penfound

The Children’s Society

Just over £200 was donated to The Children’s Society by those taking part in the virtual Christingle service in December. Many thanks to all concerned. Donations can of course still be made to The Children’s Society by visiting their website or by  phoning 0300 303 7000

Update on The Deanery and Kingfisher schools

As most of you will know, we are lucky to have two Church of England schools in our parish, both located in Wichelstowe. There has been lot going on over the last few months, so an update is over-due…

The Deanery secondary school welcomed its second intake of year 7 students in September 2020. The initial intake of 150 students in 2019 have therefore now been joined by 210 year 7s, more than doubling the size of the school and the teaching staff. Going forward, the school will now grow at a rate of 210 new students each year. The pandemic has made it difficult for the school to receive external visitors, but Revd Phill did visit a number of times before the current lock-down and was impressed by the positive attitude and behaviour of the students.  Sadly Linda Culling, the school Principal, resigned in December after a period of absence.  Peter Scutt is currently Acting Principal and is doing a great job, particularly given the pressure that the pandemic has put on schools. The process of recruiting a new Principal to guide the school through the next phase of its life will begin shortly. We wish Linda well and our thoughts and prayers are with her at this time. Our parish has six Foundation Member places on the schools’ governing body, plus the vicar. We currently have one vacancy.

The Kingfisher Primary school building was completed last year (next door to The Deanery), however lack of progress on the Middle Wichel housing development saw the building moth-balled. Swindon Borough Council have now entered into a joint venture with the house builders in order to get the housing delivered and you will have noticed significant progress on this over the last six months. This means that The Kingfisher can now plan to open in September this year, albeit with a much reduced cohort of reception pupils. We also hope to open a pre-school in the building. The Kingfisher will operate separately from The Deanery, however there will be strong links between the two, with many shared facilities (catering and IT for example) and the teaching staff will work closely together to support the transition from primary to secondary school. Both schools are part of DBAT (Diocese of Bristol Academies Trust), who employ the all staff and run both schools. The Kingfisher’s governing body hasn’t yet been established, but our parish will have two Foundation Member places, plus the vicar.

Prayer is fundamental to the foundation of our Christian schools, without it they will lose their Christian distinctiveness. Please do remember both schools regularly in your prayers and consider joining us at 9am every Monday during term-time (currently online).  If you are interested in exploring other ways in which you might be able to support either of our C of E schools, whether as a governor, occasional visitor/volunteer, mentor or sports coach(!) then please do speak to Revd Phill. We have been blessed with a unique opportunity to invest in the next generation; we need to make the most of it.

Living in Love and Faith (LLF)

In November last year the Church of England began a new process of discernment and decision making on questions of identity, sexuality, relationships and marriage. It has published some resources that have been designed to help people come together to learn about and discuss matters of human identity and sexuality, an area that the Church of England has found difficult for a number of years. In the Diocese of Bristol we will be engaging with these resources during 2021 and the learning from each diocese will then flow into national discernment processes and come before General Synod in 2022.

Two half-day conferences have been arranged in May to formally begin our collective engagement with LLF as a diocese. These will be led by the Revd Dr Eeva John, the Church of England’s Enabling Officer for LLF, and her team and be open to the whole people of God, not restricted to clergy or those holding other responsibility in the Church. Each conference will have similar format and content, and we anticipate them taking place online, even if Covid measures have been relaxed. The dates are as follows:

  • Saturday 8 May: 9.30am – 1.30pm
  • Saturday 22 May: 9.30am – 1.30pm

We very much hope that holding the conferences on a Saturday and offering two dates will enable greater participation. For this process to be properly representative we need involvement from people from a variety of ages and backgrounds. Please do consider joining on one of the dates. Booking is free and can be done through Eventbrite via https://bristoldiocese.eventbrite.co.uk.

The church in the wider world

While in this country we continue to live through the difficulties caused by COVID-19, it can be easy to lose sight of the dramatic effect on societies in other countries where there are still harsh restrictions but no easy access to health facilities and no financial help from governments. The Bible Society operates shops and teaching resources in places like the Middle East and Africa, where their facilities have had to close, severely restricting income for their staff. Please pray:

  • for Bible Society staff struggling to cope financially
  • for their literacy classes for women in Malawi to be able to continue online
  • for new ways to reach the many people still to hear the good news of Jesus.

Knitting for Mission to Seafarers.

Just before Christmas I received a parcel, from someone who has moved away from Wroughton, which contained 6 x 100g balls of Double Knitting yarn. There are two each of red, blue and burgundy. If you want to knit but have run out of wool please email or phone me saying what you would like and I will bring it round for you. Thank you for all the knitwear I have received in the last few months. Janet Henderson 525856.

Church Defibrillator

This vital piece of life saving equipment is now available in the cabinet in the church porch. It has been registered with the ambulance service so that they can direct members of the public to find it in an emergency.


Please remember the friends and family of Edith Collins, Margaret Ellis and Violet Phillips.