3rd Sunday before Lent
8am HOLY COMMUNION in Church
10am HOLY COMMUNION in Church and on YouTube
2pm to 4pm WARM SPACE ON SUNDAYS in the Church Hall
6pm EVENSONG in Church
Tuesday 7th February 9.00am Morning Prayer in Church
Thursday 9th February 9.00am Morning Prayer in Church
12noon Funeral Service for Sr John Fallows
at North Wilts Crematorium
SUNDAY 12TH FEBRUARY 2023
2nd SUNDAY BEFORE LENT
8am HOLY COMMUNION in Church
Preacher: Dr John Godfree
Sidesperson: Ron & Joan Reader
10am MORNING WORSHIP in Church and on YouTube.
Preacher: Dr John Godfree
Intercessor: Mark Tubey
Reading: Nehemiah 2. 1-6, 11-20
Reader: Clive Parker
Sidespersons: Lillian Wicks and Ross Fralley
If you would like to join a small group, please contact the leaders of the groups below and find out where there is space. We would love to have everyone involved in a small group.
|22 Kellsborough Avenue||Mondays 10am-11.30
|12 Artis Avenue||Tuesdays at 7.30pm||Carolyn Kirk|
|Church Hall||Alternate Tuesday evenings||Nick Orman|
|The Vicarage||Wednesday evenings during term time.||Karen & Phill Harrison|
|Church Hall||Saturday men’s breakfast||Mike Mason|
Live streaming the 10am service
The 10am service will be live streamed on You Tube. Please visit our YouTube Channel on https://www.youtube.com/@WroughtonWichelstoweParChurch (or search for Wroughton and Wichelstowe Parish church) and press the ‘subscribe’ button.
Warm Space on Sundays in the Church Hall
From January we will be opening up the Church Hall as a Warm Space between 2pm and 4pm on Sunday afternoons. The hope is that this will provide a social place for people to drop in and chat, have a cup of tea and maybe some cake. There might be board games and jigsaws for those that want to use them, but all very informal. Everyone is welcome, regardless of how warm your home actually is and whether you are a churchgoer or not. There will be a short voluntary act of worship at 4pm, but there is no pressure or obligation to stay for this.
Pancake Races 18th February
On Saturday 18th February we will be having Pancake Races.
We will have races for all ages in Willow Brook Gardens at 11.30 am
followed by fellowship and pancake eating in the Church Hall
from about midday.
Do encourage your friends and neighbours to come
(bring your own frying pan if you want to race)
and speak to Barbara if you can help with pancake cooking.
Proposal to General Synod regarding same-sex relationships
There has been a flurry of press interest in the outcome of the recent meeting of the Church of England’s House of Bishops to discuss same sex relationships. The bishops have produced a draft proposal that will be debated by the General Synod when it meets from 6th-9th February. If adopted, the House of Bishop’s proposal will allow clergy to offer services of prayer and blessing for same-sex couples, but will not change the traditional understanding of Christian marriage as being between one man and one woman. Bishop Viv has issued a statement setting out her own personal view and the reasons for it; you can find a copy of this here: https://www.bristol.anglican.org/news/bishop-of-bristols-statement-on-the-proposal-regarding-same-sex-relationships.php
As a local church, we had an opportunity to discuss and debate some of the issues through the Living in Love and Faith process that we engaged with in February last year. Living in Love and Faith is a five session video based course designed to enable churches to learn and pray together about matters of identity, sexuality, relationships and marriage. It is not about changing anyone’s point of view, but it is about helping people of potentially differing opinions to explore the pastoral and theological issues and to understand one another better. A relatively small number of people chose to engage with this at the time, perhaps because the prospect of any changes to Church of England policy seemed so distant! Things are now starting to move quite quickly, so if you think that this course would be beneficial, or you would like explore these issues further, please speak to one of the clergy.
As we consider these complex and sometimes divisive issues, I am reminded that Jesus’ last prayer for his disciples before he was arrested was a prayer for unity: ‘that they may be one as we [i.e. Jesus and the Father] are one’ John 17:11. Revd Phill.
Swindon Deanery Synod
Deanery Synod is part of the local decision making apparatus of the Church of England. Deanery Synod members are elected by parishes, and they in turn elect the members of the General Synod (who will be debating the bishop’s proposal on same-sex relationships in February). The next meeting of Swindon Deanery Synod will be at 7pm on Thursday 9th February in St John’s Haydon Wick SN25 1QQ. Deanery Synod will thinking about the next phase of Transforming Church Together, when we are beginning to look at how we can implement the new strategy across the diocese, from parishes upwards. Archdeacon Christopher will be joining us to help our discussions about this. This is an open meeting and everyone is welcome to attend, whether you are a member of the Synod or not. Further information about the new strategy can be found here: https://www.bristol.anglican.org/visionandpriorities/transforming-church/
Joint Choral Evensong with Christ Church
Our choir will be joining with the choir of Christ Church for a service of choral evensong on Sunday 19th February at 6:30pm in Christ Church, Old Town. Revd Phill will be preaching. We hope be able to invite the Christ Church choir back to Wroughton in the near future.
SALOS are performing ‘Godspell’ in Christ Church on Friday 31st March 7.30pm and Saturday 1st April 2.30pm and 7.30pm. Tickets – Adult £15; Child £10. www.SALOS.org / 07731 183857
Ash Wednesday service
Our Ash Wednesday service will be at 7:30pm on Wednesday 22nd February. This will be shorter more contemplative type of service to mark the beginning of the season of lent and will include the imposition of ashes. We will sit together in the choir stalls.
Regular giving – Weekly and Monthly Envelope schemes
From Sunday 5th February new books of envelopes, for the scheme year starting March 2023, are available in church for collection from the church chest.
Parish Weekend at Home – date for your diary!
After the restrictions of the last couple of years, it is great to be able to plan for another Parish Weekend ‘at home’, which will take place on the weekend of our patronal festival – 24th and 25th June. This will be a joint event with Discovery Church. By joining together we have been able to book a great speaker for the Saturday morning (we will also get an opportunity to be ‘nosey’ and see inside their new church building on Markham Road…). Further details will be made available nearer the time, but for now please put the date in your diaries.
The Filling Station – Sandwiches, Thursday 16th February
Our church will be supplying sandwiches etc. for the homeless via the Filling Station on Thursday, 16th February. If you would be willing to prepare a loaf of sandwiches or supply something else, please add your name to the signup sheet on the church chest and take a reminder card. Please note that the food needs to be taken to
11 Blenheim Road (Alan and Kathy Gregory’s).
Some of you will be aware that very sadly Traidcraft have gone in to administration. I have sold items from this company including Christmas cards and Easter eggs for many years and our coffee and tea also came from Traidcraft as we are a Fairtrade Church and I am very sad to see them go.
I have created an account with another Fairtrade company called Kingdom coffee, recommended by someone in our congregation, and we will be able to try this soon. I will look for a charity that sell Christmas cards for later in the year. Sally Parker
Soup ~ Bread ~ Cheese
Tea Or Coffee
Every Friday during Lent at St Joseph’s Parish Centre, Devizes Road, Wroughton
From Friday 24th February, 12noon to 12.45pm – Donations for Christian Aid/Cafod
The Children’s Society
If you are a children’s society box holder and would like your box to be emptied, please can you bring it to church within the next two or three weeks. Alternatively I can collect your box, just let me know on 07596 001716. Many thanks, Carolyn Kirk
Nehemiah sermon serries
We aren’t planning to pick up a particular ‘lent course’ this year, but we will be working through an eight part sermon series looking at the book of Nehemiah and as part of this we will provide some questions for further study and reflection each week by small groups. There is more information on the back page.
Nehemiah questions for reflection this week:
- The book of Nehemiah is one of Revd Phill’s favourite bits of the Old Testament. What is one of your favourite bits? Can you describe where this fits into the bigger story of the Old Testament?
- 1:1-3. The walls are broken … all security is gone. And it’s winter (Kislev). Like Nehemiah, we have to start from our present reality. To name where we are, owning it and recognising our need for God: this is challenging but perhaps also liberating. What is our reality as a Church? (What is your personal reality?)
- 1:6. Here Nehemiah does something quite interesting: he confesses not just his own sins, but the sins of his entire nation before God. To what extent is Nehemiah personally responsible for the sins that he confesses? Can one person represent an entire group of people in this way? Is there a moder parallel here in the way that we deal with historic links to slavery or discrimation against particulate groups in society?
- What is the objective of Nehemiah’s prayer (5-11)? – you may need to read ahead into chapter 2. What do you think motivates him?
- Nehemiah’s grief at the state of Jersusalem leads him first to prayer and then to action. Looking back at your answers to question 2. How might we apply this pattern to our reality?
Knitting for Charity
I am pleased to tell you that in 2022 we managed to send 10 blankets to Brighter Futures at Great Western Hospital. These are offered to patients in the end of life unit and their family can then take the blanket home after their loved one has gone. We have enough squares to get started on the first one for 2023 but please keep on knitting. Thank you so much for all your hard work.
Please remember squares should be in double knitting wool (no glitter) and 6inches(15cm) square. Please thread ends in before putting them in the box in church (near the choir vestry curtains).
We have also been able to send two boxes of hats and scarves to Mission to Seafarers after a long gap due to Covid restrictions. If you would like to knit hats and scarves they also can be left in the box in church, where you can also find patterns, and any donations of double knitting wool are gratefully received. Further details from Janet Henderson 525856.
Eco Top Tips – practical ways to take better care of God’s creation
February – Get to grips with your bills
- Get to grips with your energy bills. The information on a typical energy bill can be confusing. But understanding it can go a long way to helping you get to grips with your energy use. energysavingtrust.org.uk/home-energy-efficiency/energy-saving-quick-wins
- Switch your electricity supplier so that you support renewable electricity generation rather than electricity made by burning fossil fuels. You could use the Green Journey price comparison site http://greenjourney.switchgasandelectric.com/
I will be changing my day off next week to Thursday 9th February. Janet Burchell
We commend to God’s care and keeping those who have, died recently St John Fallows.
We pray for all those who mourn the loss of a loved one.
The Church will be floodlit on Thursday 9th February by Susan Schofield in memory of Lucy Ray.
|The Parish Office, Priors Hill, Wroughton, SN4 0RT Open Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday 9am to 1.30pm
01793 812050 email@example.com
Revd Phill Harrison – Vicar 01793 812301 firstname.lastname@example.org
Revd Chris Hunter – Curate 01793 814987 email@example.com
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Late our late winter/lent 2023 sermon series will be focusing on the Old Testament story of Nehemiah. This will be accompanied by questions for discussion by small groups, which will be printed on the notice sheet each week.
We will introduce the Old Testament book of Nehemiah and the bigger story of Israel’s exile and return (which is the context for the prophetic books like Isaiah and Jeremiah). We will reflect on the importance of this bigger story for the Jews and the Jewish background of Jesus as a historical character.
We strongly recommend that everyone reads Nehemiah from beginning to end; it will take you about an hour (skip Coronation Street two nights this week…?!). By reading the whole thing you will be able to digest the complete story, rather than picking and choosing bits from a buffet.
This is a story about courage, re-building, hard work and the importance of prayer AND action ‘praction’!
|1||05-02-23||Nehemiah 1||John 1: 29-42||Introduction to the book of Nehemiah||Phill Harrison|
|2||12-02-23||Nehemiah 2: 1-6, 11-20||Matthew 6: 25-end||Setting a goal and encountering opposition||Phill Harrison|
|3||19-02-23||Nehemiah 3: 1-2, 28-32||Luke 9: 1-6||Working together||Barbara Abrey|
|4||26-02-23||Nehemiah 4: 1-9||Matthew 4: 1-11||Responding to opposition: We prayed and we set a guard||Chris Hunter|
|5||05-03-23||Nehemiah 5: 6-13||John 3: 1-17||Economic justice (Nehemiah is practical about the building but also practical about helping the people)|
|6||12-03-23||Nehemiah 6: 1-9||Luke 11: 5-13||Nehemiah perseveres with the work|
|7||19-03-23||Nehemiah 8: 1-12||Matthew 5: 1-12||The people recommit themselves to God|
|8||26-03-23||Nehemiah 12: 27, 43-47||John 11: 38-45||A Happy Ending|