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Team Ministry in West Dorset

Melbury Matters July 2015

Posted: 28th June 2015

Summer Fruits

In a sporting calendar bursting with motion : Wimbledon; the Tour de France; Silverstone; the Ashes; the St.Andrew’s Open and the Special Olympics (“Through the power of sports, people with intellectual disabilities discover new strengths and abilities, skills and success”). In gardens brimming with flowers, foliage & new growth; fruit trees & shrubs heavy with raspberries, strawberries, currants & cherries. Step into a Melbury Church and you will discover a cornucopia of fruit to feed us in running the race of life. Following St.Paul’s lead, we’re learning what it means to be Christian community, walking in the footsteps of Jesus and displaying his character of goodness (5th July); faithfulness (12th July); gentleness (19th July); self-control (26th July). A concluding reflection takes us into the first Sunday of August.

It’s Not Fayre

There is a bustle of liveliness in the Melbury villages. June saw Cattistock celebrate their Festival (Open gardens … church … studios … kennels plus Hymns & Pimms); Corscombe deliver their second ‘Fest’ (with music & food in abundance!); and Evershot repeat their ever-popular Country Faire (Fayre?). July & August offer similar opportunities to gather outdoors and fundraise while enjoying good company; entertainment; demonstrations; food & drink; purchases. Or even, to join in with the set-up, manning and tidy-up!

It’s Not Fair

Discussions & debates around money are a perennial part of our Christian life here in Melbury, particularly as we preserve historic buildings in each village. That’s not to forget that much of our expenditure is for ‘ministry’, contributing our part to the cost of clergy & Diocesan resources. April & May included the 5-week period of counting church members to determine what the Diocesan Share for each parish will be in 2016. These numbers are calculated on a rolling average over 3 years and work on a ratio of 130 members/paid clergy – so the Melbury Team requires a membership of 261 for its overall category to stay level. Though Maiden Newton saw its numbers increase, our total membership as a Team will have fallen slightly and the consequence of this is that there will be a c.7.5% increase for each Parish. Please be aware of this in your PCC discussions and in your budget planning for next year, remembering; “All things come from You, and of Your own do we give you”.

Celebrate God Times!

Several churches mark special events this month, notably Halstock & Corscombe. On Sunday 12th July at 11am, we gather in Halstock to remember the legend of Juthware (‘Grant us the grace to be as steadfast as Juthware in all good thoughts and deeds so that our village of Halstock may be truly called a Holy Place’). The Very Reverend June Osborne (Dean of Salisbury Cathedral) will be our guest speaker. During the week following, numerous events take place in Corscombe to mark the 700th Anniversary of the first named vicar here (Rev’d Ralph Fernham). These culminate on Sunday 19th July, with a sponsored Abseil down St.Mary’s Church tower (c.3.30pm) and a Celebration Service (6pm) – Bishop Nicholas Holtam will be our guest abseiler and preacher!

Re-tyred …

I’d like to name publicly two retired priests who bless us with their presence, support & wisdom on a regular basis. Rev’d John Walton was a mainstay during my illness and an invaluable help to Graham Perryman. This month he again steps into the breach, leading two acts of worship most Sundays. Ditto Rev’d Terry Low whose enthusiasm for Jesus and love of the Melbury Team know no bounds!

Licensing of Graham Perryman

Graham Perryman will be licensed as Priest-in-charge of the Upper Stour Parish on 22nd July at 7pm. The service will be held at St. George’s, Bourton (SP8 5BW), off the A303, just past Wincanton. Some invitations have been issued, but this is a public service, and all are welcome. Graham & Jackie would love to see some familiar faces in this new setting, and refreshments will be served afterwards in the school next door, where there are also ‘the necessary facilities’ (let the reader understand).

And its goodnight from him!

* So what if I can’t spell Armageddon—it isn’t the end of the world.

* What kind of man was Boaz before he got married? Ruthless.

* How do we know Moses wore a wig? Because sometimes he was seen with Aaron, sometimes he wasn’t.

* How do we know Samson was a comedian? Because he was the only biblical character to bring the house down.

* Why didn’t they play cards on the Ark? Because Noah was standing on the deck.

Rev’d David Harknett