21st March 2021

Lent 5


8am                     No Service

10am                   Morning Worship

                             Preacher – Revd Phill 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 28th March

Palm Sunday

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              Tracy Mason

Reading               Mark 11. 1-11

Reader                 Keith Bassett

Intercessor          Marion Colton                                                                                                                                                                                 

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/

National Day of Reflection 23rd March

The Church of England is supporting the National Day of Reflection on 23 March, the first anniversary of the UK lockdown, to commemorate the tragic loss of life and to stand together with everyone who’s grieving. Take a minute’s silence at 12 noon

to show your support for the millions of people who are bereaved and take a moment during the day to connect with someone. You might like to say the prayer on the back of the notice sheet.

Palm Sunday

Next week is Palm Sunday. The fact that we won’t be all together physically means that we can’t give out palm crosses in the usual way. The people who have a service sheet delivered to them by hand each week will get one through their door. They will also be available to collect from the church when it is open for private prayer on Wednesday. Or you could make your own out of paper: https://www.origami-resource-center.com/palm-weaving-simple-cross.html

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. 

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. 

Electoral Roll Revision 2021

We are approaching the time of our annual Electoral Roll revision (21 March to 25 April 2021).  The roll is open to anyone over 16 years old, who is baptised and is either resident in the parish or who regularly attends our services. Being on the roll allows you to attend and vote at the Annual Meeting and, if you are not resident in the parish it gives you certain rights otherwise only given to residents. If you regularly attend our services and are not already on the roll, we would like to encourage you to join the electoral roll. Application forms are available from the Parish Office- tel 01793 812050 or email office@wroughton.com. If for any reason you attend our services, but do not feel able to be on the electoral roll please would you complete just page 1 of the form and return it so we have your consent to hold your details so we can keep in touch with you. All completed forms to be returned to the Parish Office by 25 April.

Heartfelt thanks for gift of Parish Share 2020’ – We have received a letter from Archdeacon Christopher and a certificate from Bishop Viv to thank all of us for our gift of Parish Share (£90,000) in 2020. They recognised that it was a most difficult year and were hugely encouraged that we looked beyond ourselves and continued to support ministry across the Diocese. Our gift helped provide the vital ministry of our clergy and curates across every parish in the diocese, including our own, as well as contributing to the crucial training of new ordinands and diocesan support. Archdeacon Christopher’s prayer for all of us is that we are encouraged in our mission and ministry despite the challenges and find God’s presence and blessing throughout it all. 

A suggestion for Lent
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 

Lynn Hezlett

Just to let you all know I have now moved to 54 Priors Hill, Wroughton, SN4 0RW, and when connected, my new phone number will be 01793798195.  Lynn

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

Going Shopping ….

When you need to buy a large item research it carefully. Think about how long it could last, how much it costs to run, what it is made of, where it is made, can it be recycled at the end of its life. Better quality items often last longer and so cost you less over time. 


The Church will be floodlit on Monday 22nd March by Jean Ford & Ross Fralley in memory of Jean Leo; On Thursday 25th March by Debbie Herring in memory of David Herring on his birthday.  Dave rang the bells for 45 years so floodlighting the tower is a lovely birthday gift to him. 


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

We pray for all who mourn the loss of loved ones.