Greenways Group of Churches
St. Nicholas News
The Rt Rev Maurice Wood (1916-2007)
Bishop Maurice Wood's prayer seems appropriate for Hardenhuish:
“Make us like a city set on a hill whose light cannot be hidden; so that men and women and children may find Christ as the light of the world, and his church as the family of the redeemed, and eternal life as the gift of God, through Jesus Christ our Lord”
In light of Governmental guidance around non-essential contact, the Church of England has suspended all public worship until further notice. The building may be closed but there is much still going on in the Benefice. You can stay in touch with us and with what is going on through this site, and our Facebook and YouTube pages. We offer daily thoughts (Mon-Fri) around 10am and a live, weekly Sunday Morning Service from 0955. All of these are on St Paul's Church Chippenham's Facebook page and are uploaded to St Paul’s YouTube channel soon after.
Do join us, we’d love to connect with you. We also offer support for those who may need assistance with shopping or just someone to talk to.
If you require any further information please contact:
Rev Si Dunn on 01249 324944 or email@example.com or
Rev Tom Hunton on 07464505800 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Psalm 28 – a reflection through the church window
There have been several services at St Nicholas Hardenhuish where I have looked through the window at somebody stood by a grave and been shocked by the sharp contrast between church-building and church-yard. The sharp contrast between the hope and life and joy celebrated inside the glass windows and the death and the cold stone and the silence outside.
That sharp contrast is part and parcel of faith. That sharp contrast is evident in many of the psalms. Let’s take Psalm 28 for example. The psalmist starts by saying:
1 To you, O Lord, I
my rock, do not refuse to hear me,
for if you are silent to me,
I shall be like those who go down to the Pit.
2 Hear the voice of my supplication,
as I cry to you for help,
as I lift up my hands
toward your most holy sanctuary.
3 Do not drag me away with
with those who are workers of evil,
who speak peace with their neighbours,
while mischief is in their hearts.
The psalmist is calling out to God, desperate for some sign that it will be ok. Most of us can relate to that feeling, most of us have been through, or are going through, times when we wonder whether God is going to answer our prayers and bring us the relief we need.
Sometimes God answers us, and we get the sort of joy that we sing about inside the church-building but, if we are honest, we often get no positive response.
We get grief. We get unanswered questions. We get stone-cold silence.
Living with that reality is one aspect of having a faith.
But Psalm 28 has two parts and there is a sharp contrast like that glass window. Like the boundary between solemn church-yard and joyful church-building, at verse 6 we see another aspect of faith.
Even though God may not be immediately answering our calls for help the psalmist reassures us that God hears every word:
6 Blessed be the Lord,
for he has heard the sound of my pleadings.
7 The Lord is my strength and my shield;
in him my heart trusts;
so I am helped, and my heart exults,
and with my song I give thanks to him.
8 The Lord is the
strength of his people;
he is the saving refuge of his anointed.
Sometimes what helps us most in life is not words or actions, but just having somebody who is listening to us.
The hope we have as we stand outside the window is a hope that we might be stood out in the cold right now but there is a God who will welcome us with joy into his house forever one day.
Rev Dr Tom Hunton
Christian Aid Week
are no door-to-door collections this year. You can donate directly to Christian
Aid via their web page at www.caweek.org better still
Sponsor Bishop Lee on his virtual bike ride!
Bishop of Swindon back in the saddle and raising money for Christian Aid
On Sunday 10 May, the Bishop of Swindon began a
120 mile cycle ride that he completed over this Christian Aid Week 10 - 16 May
Three months after a serious cycling accident, Bishop Lee is returning to ministry in the Diocese of Bristol and marking this by raising funds for Christian Aid which will be used to support the world's poorest communities such as those in Eastern Africa now facing threats from coronavirus in addition to climate crisis, conflict and locust swarms.'
As part of his continuing physiotherapy, the Bishop got on his bike again, this time a stationary one in his garage, in order to cycle around the Diocese of Bristol.
The route was a virtual one - and passed by the Cathedral, the Bishop of Bristol's House and through each of the seven deaneries. The total distance was around 120 miles cycled over Christian Aid Week
Bishop Lee shared the route online each day and raised a significant amount for Christian Aid, a charity which is world-facing and does so much for the poorest and has set up an online giving page
Big Take up for innovative new giving options
New initiatives to encourage generosity are having a significant and positive impact, as church services continue to take place online.
We recently reported the news of the Parish Giving Scheme’s new phoneline, where new donors can sign up to direct debit online. In the first 18 days of phone lines going live, there were 554 new donors, giving a total of £57k donations, including 18 donors from our own Diocese. There have been 55 new registrations of churches in lockdown, and several churches in the Bristol Diocese are in the process of registering.
Hundreds of churches have now downloaded the new giving animation, to encourage people to give to their church during lockdown. These videos have been enormously popular and the National team now has several more in the pipeline.
The new SumUp/GiveaLittle online giving platform on Parish Buying was launched on the 27th of April, and in the last three weeks over 200 new SumUp accounts have been set up which are enabling churches to facilitiate giving and stewardship at this time. This week’s SumUp and Givealittle report show a rolling 30-day figure of £82,850 worth of transactions being processed. This is a significant increase (of over 500%) on the same figure for the week ended 23rd of April with a rolling 30-day figure of just over £13k.
It is encouraging to see online giving making a difference, supporting parishes during lockdown, and also introducing giving facilities which will be of real benefit after lockdown too.
church webinars on online giving have
been so popular, they’ve now added a few more dates, click the link to find one
Stewardship also have a free treasurer dial-in; they’ve produced some really useful articles for churches during the crisis.
To get the very latest news, keep checking our special ‘stewardship during a time of isolation’ page, which we update very regularly, whenever we hear of something important and useful.
Despite the effects
of the pandemic Musician and Composer finds a new connection with God
Roger Bolton studied music at Bath Spa University then worked for Peter Gabriel's music technology company 'Syco' in London. It was there that he met Hans Zimmer and became a 'ghost writer' on Zimmer's first Hollywood film soundtrack. This started Roger's career as a television and film composer which has included the theme for the BBC's '999' series, 'The Story of Painting' with Sister Wendy Beckett, and, 'The Lost Gods of Easter Island' with Sir David Attenborough.
Roger is deeply grateful for opportunities that presented during a diverse career, and, in his own words ‘it has been an honour and privilege to work with some of the most amazing people on the planet’. Roger returned to his country of birth, and, spent five years in the war zone in Northern Uganda.
He was deeply impacted by his experiences in Africa, and, also from the two years he worked as a Police Special Constable. This season has brought to all of us uncertainty. Yet, Roger has carved out time to re-examine his faith and encouraged by his church Thomas a Becket in Box, has re- imagined our weekly Collects by producing ‘The Collect Project Series’ a music and spoken word resource.
You will find the videos for Easter 5 and 6 and Ascension below. These short pieces, with visual images, can also be used in a variety of contexts; Easter 5 is particularly relevant to our shared life today. For such a time as this, Roger has successfully built on the contribution of our rich liturgy.
Easter 5 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eXruswi8ljI
Easter 6 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zNE9T_okLfw
Priest in Charge, Revd. Simon Dunn T: 324944 email@example.com
Associate Minister, Revd. David Kilmister T: 01249 326209
Curate, Revd Tom Hunton T: 07464 505800 firstname.lastname@example.org
Some of our Lay Ministers
Barbara Wood Tel: 655413 email@example.com
Sheppard Tel: 721451 firstname.lastname@example.org
or Dick Wood Tel: 655413 email@example.com