14th March 2021

Mothering Sunday, Lent 4


8am                     No Service 

10am                   Morning Worship

                             Preacher – Mark Tubey

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 March

Lent 5

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 Phill Harrison

Reading               John 12. 20-33

Reader                 Karen Harrison

Intercessor          Helen Toomer                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         

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.

The Prayer Course

Our Lent course ‘The Prayer Course’ continues on Zoom each Tuesday evening until 13th April (two weeks after the end of Lent!).  All of the material is available for free online, so you can catch up on any missed sessions when convenient. As a reminder, you will need these two links to take part:

The session videos: https://prayercourse.org/sessions/

Church Closure

As you will be aware, the Government chose not to require all places of worship to close during this period of Covid-19 lockdown. The decision about whether or not to keep our church buildings open is being taken by PCCs at local parish level.

Our PCC met on 4th March to review the decision it took in February not to hold services in the church building and to decide whether the building should now be re-opened. 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).

The PCC had a full discussion during which a range of views were shared from members of the congregation and by PCC members themselves. The PCC cautiously welcomed the progress of the vaccination programme and falling Covid-19 infection rates. However, Swindon is currently above the national average and whilst rates have dropped substantially we are still only at similar levels to those experienced in December; infection rates remain significantly above September levels. It was widely thought that it was still too early to re-open the church building in light of the continued national lockdown and number of cases currently in Swindon. There was a feeling that we might be encouraging people to come together too soon, notwithstanding the risk mitigations planned.

We very much hope that we might be able to open the church building for worship on Easter Day, possibly as a one-off. The PCC will meet again on 31st March to make a decision about this. The impacts of the schools re-opening and the vaccination programme will both be better understood by then.

Churchyard Update

Our Churchyard has served as the parish burial ground since the church was founded, sometime before 956 A.D. However, visitors to the churchyard will have noticed that after 1,100 years there is now limited space for new graves; we estimate that the remaining space will be exhausted in around 18 months. When a churchyard becomes full it needs to be formally closed by order of the Privy Council. As you may imagine, this is not something that happens very quickly… We are therefore beginning the process now, in anticipation that it may be completed by the time the space runs out. One consequence of closure is that the PCC will pass responsibility for maintenance to the Local Authority and we have already engaged with Swindon Borough Council and Wroughton Parish Council about this. It is important to note that closure of the churchyard will not prevent further burials in existing family plots, only the creation of new graves. If you have any questions or concerns about this then do please speak to me. Revd Phill.

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.

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.

Please put your donation in an envelope indicating what it is for and place in the church letterbox in the Church Hall. If you prefer to give by bank transfer, please let our secretary Janet Burchell know so that the money is sent to the right place. Thank you.

Spring Harvest Home 2021 (4th-8th April)

In a year when we could all do with things to uplift and inspire us, why not join us for Spring Harvest Home, from the evening of 4th April (Easter Sunday) to 8th April? The theme this year is “Unrivalled – why we worship”. Like last year, you’ll be able to watch all the content from the comfort of your own sofa, and throughout the week we’ll be connecting with each other via group chats and Zoom to share with each other what we’ve been watching (or possibly even meet in person, depending on Covid restrictions at the time). This year you will need to buy a ticket to be able to access the content (£55 for up to two devices, £75 for up to 3 devices; discounts available to those on benefits). The link for buying tickets and more information about the event can be found at https://springharvest.org/springharvesthome21 ).

If you’re planning to join in, do let me know (karenlindaharrison@gmail.com) so I can add you to our Messenger or WhatsApp chat.  Karen Harrison 

Thank you

To those of you who dialled in for our World Day of Prayer service on Friday 5th March, which was prepared by the Christian woman of Vanuatu. Thank you also to those who have made donations for the work of the World Day of Prayer Organisation who support projects worldwide.

It’s not too late if you would like to make a donation

This can be done via the website www.WWDP.org.uk

Or by post to World Day of Prayer, Commercial Road, Tunbridge Wells, TN1 2RR

Or by text to 70085 using the phrase 2021WDP and then the amount eg 2021WDP 5.

Thank you. Janet Henderson 

Church Hall roof

The Church Hall roof has reached the stage where it needs to be replaced. Whilst we do this necessary work, it makes sense to take the opportunity make some improvements to that will also reduce the environmental impact of our building. This includes things like insulation (not a priority for the Victorians!) as well as thinking about rainwater drainage and using the roof to capture energy from the Sun. We are delighted to announce that the Wiltshire Community Foundation have awarded us a grant of £20,000 towards the cost of installing solar panels on the Church Hall and installing sustainable drainage to create a “rain garden”. This is great news. The grant money, which is linked to the nearby Wroughton Solar Park, will fund a substantial part of the upcoming eco renovations to the building. 

Eco Top Tips – practical ways to take better care of God’s creation

Going Shopping ….

Reduce your impact on the environment by buying second hand when you can. Ebay and charity shops are good sources of reused items.

Parish Administrator – Janet

Just to let you know that I will be on holiday from Monday 15th to Wednesday 17th March.  I will be back taking calls and emails from Thursday 18th March.  Janet


We commend to God’s care and keeping those who have died recently especially Josh Jubb, Glenn Mills,

Betty Leighfield and Bill Burlison. We pray for all who mourn the loss of loved ones.