14th February 2021

Sunday before Lent

Ash Wednesday 

For almost 2,000 years Christians have observed a time of spiritual preparation during the six weeks leading up to the celebration of Jesus’ resurrection on Easter Sunday. Ash Wednesday marks the beginning of this season of prayer and abstinence.

The traditional Ash Wednesday service is an opportunity for believers to confess their sins and profess their devotion to God. During the service, ashes are placed on a worshiper’s forehead in the shape of a cross, with the ashes symbolising repentance and mourning, while the cross shape is a reminder that we belong to Jesus, who gave his life for us.

Different Christian traditions and Christian faith communities around the world are united by the symbol of the cross as the one key and central sign of a shared faith. This universal cross has at the same time been interpreted, designed and adapted to reflect local expressions of that same faith. With each cross comes a particular story of how each community experiences God’s love and puts it into action.

As we begin the season of Lent, we reflect on the extent to which our own actions witness to the love of God, who ‘so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but may have eternal life.’ (Jn 3:16)


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 21st February

Lent 1 

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 Barbara Abrey

Reading               1 Peter 3. 18-22

Reader                 Ann Richards

Intercessor          John Henderson                                                                                                                  

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.

Wednesday 17th February

Ash Wednesday Prayer Service 

Our Ash Wednesday prayer service marks the beginning of Lent, the season during which we prepare ourselves spiritually to meet with the resurrected Christ on Easter Day. This years’ service will take place at 7:30pm on Wednesday 17th February. The church building is closed, so we will meet on Zoom:


Meeting ID: 973 0195 1741

Passcode: 869624

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.

A suggestion for Lent.
Have you counted recently how many copies of the Bible, including electronic  versions, you have in your home? We take for granted  the easy access we have to the scriptures, but there are many people in the world who long to own one in their own language. The Bible Society normally has many outlets in 88 countries to help meet this need, but because of the pandemic these have had to close, leaving the staff in very difficult financial circumstances, since they have no help from their governments.

As part of your Lent discipline, can you please consider making a donation to the Bible Society’s ‘Rescue and Recovery fund’ in order that they can continue to meet the basic needs of their staff abroad? You could perhaps put aside an amount every time you read the Bible during Lent, or donate the price that we would pay for a Bible, or even give £1 for every version of scripture you own. Details of how to donate will follow shortly. Thank you.

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

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.

Wood chippings

The next phase of tree works has begun in the churchyard, pruning and removing dead branches on a number of trees as well as removal of a dead tree on the bank down to the lower churchyard. There is a pile of wood chippings at the front of the Legge House car-park – free to any gardeners who might want to mulch their beds before spring… (help yourself!)

Wroughton Methodist Church

It is with great sadness that we report that Wroughton Methodist Church has decided to close. There have been close ties between our two churches over many years, both through Wroughton Churches Together and through shared events and services. Our Lay Ministers have also appeared regularly on their preaching rota. We are exploring ways in which we might extend hospitality to any Methodist Members who would like to join us in the Parish church. Please pray for them.

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.


The Church will be floodlit on Tuesday 23rd by Helena, Holly and family, in love and memory of Pete Thomas, on the first anniversary of his death. 


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