Christmas Eve 2020 Crib Service - St John's Church, Charlton

NativityThe Christmas Eve Crib Service, starting at 3.00 pm, is going to have to be very different this year. We can't have the wonderful chaos of small children wandering all over the church and it is going to be more difficult to organise costumes and props. We just have to adapt to changed circumstances. I expect much of the action to be brought into church with Zoom so that for the most part the congregation will watch on the screen what others see on line.

I have compiled a simple script which splits the story up into several scenes. My hope is that our main families with children will each take care of one scene from the story. You could pre-record your contribution on a phone and send it to me to screen in the service, You could broadcast live on Zoom from home on Christmas Eve.

Your scene could be acted in makeshift costume, done with simple stick puppets or with figures from a crib set, or could simply be a family story time with all of you sitting on the sofa and reading.

All the details and any technical support can be ironed out in the next week or so, but I just need to know if you will be willing and able to take part. With the pre-record option you don't even have to be free on Christmas Eve!

There will also be simple roles for a couple of families in the church if you don't fancy taking on part of the story.

Please, please let me know asap if you are up for this. I can then finalise the script depending on the forces I have available. To send me an email, click here and when the new page opens, click on the ‘Contact Form’ tab to send me your message.

Finally, the number of seats available for those attending the service will be limited in order to maintain social distancing. If you plan to come to the service, please contact the Churchwarden, Tony Gowers, to book your places. To send Tony an email, click here and when the new page opens, click on the ‘Contact Form’ tab to send him your message. Seats will be allocated on first-come first-served basis.


The Zoom details for this service are as follows: Meeting ID: 287 295 5220   Passcode: 175430

The service sheet for the service can be downloaded and/or printed by clicking here.

Bob Thackray

Palm Sunday at St John's Church, Charlton - 10th April 2022

hossanahossana 1

The churches in the Benefice will be coming together on 10th April 2022 at St John's Church, Charlton, to celebrate Palm Sunday, Once again, we are marking the occasion by walking from Ludwell Primary School to St John's Church with a donkey. The procession and telling of the Palm Sunday story will start on the school field. The celebration will begin at Ludwell School at 10.00 am.

Children (of any age) are invited to dress up for the occasion. We will have a small supply of costume bits and pieces to lend if needed. Something to wave would be good, perhaps streamers or a flag, and children are welcome to bring percussion instruments. Anything that can be banged or shaken in time with the music would be great, and 'home made' is encouraged. It should be fun!

The procession will be followed by a Family Service in the church. After the service, there will be refreshments (coffee, tea, juice and biscuits) and time for a chat in the church.

Extra parking will be available at the New Remembrance Hall on the other side of the A30 from the church.

All are very welcome - please do come and join us !

palm sunday

St John’s Church, Charlton - Faculty Petition - Repairs To Brick Burial Chamber

The roof of a burial chamber in the south part of churchyard at St John’s Church, Charlton has partially collapsed. The Donhead St Mary with Charlton Parochial Church Council (PCC) is applying to the Consistory Court of the Diocese of Salisbury for permission to carry out the following works relating to this damage:

To attend to the partially collapsed brick burial chamber to make safe, protect the burials, infill with hardcore and make good in accordance with the RLM Architects Specification.

The papers associated with the application are as follows; click on the title of each document to view it.

If you wish to object to any of the works or proposals, you should send a letter or an email stating the grounds of your objection to:

The Diocesan Registrar at 42/44 Castle Street, Salisbury, Wiltshire, SP1 3TX
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

so that your letter/email reaches the registrar not later than 20th July 2021.

You may not object anonymously.

Donhead St Mary, Charlton, Ludwell and the Coombes Harvest Festival - 2nd/3rd October 2021


Donhead St Mary, Charlton, Ludwell & the Combes

Harvest Festival

A celebration for the whole community at St John's Church, Charlton

Preparations and Contributions

Saturday 2nd October 2021 from 10.00 am to 12 noon at St John's Church

Please bring fresh fruit, vegetables and flowers to decorate the church, and tinned and dry goods for the food bank.

(Harvest gifts can also be brought to the service on Sunday.)

The kettle will be on; why not stay for a coffee.


Join us for the

Harvest Festival Service

Sunday 3rd October 2021 at 10.00 am at St John's Church

• A child friendly service for the whole community
• Collection for the work of Christian Aid in Malawi.
• Coffee and cake after the service
• Guest speaker: Stuart Asbury
• Sale of produce in aid of charity (please bring your own bag).
Everything left will be taken to the Gillingham Food Bank and to the Open Fridge in Shaftesbury.

New Venture – Pop Up Café in Charlton Church

cup of tea scoffeeMany of us over the past 18 months have lived fairly socially isolated lives, so, in order to ease ourselves back in to society, we are planning to hold a Pop Up Café on the second Wednesday of the month (the second Tuesday of the month from December 2021) from 10.30am to 12.00 in St John’s Church, Charlton SP7 9LZ, just off the A30 in Coronation Close.

Coffee, tea, biscuits and cakes will be available at no charge, although we would appreciate a small donation towards the cost of heating if you feel able.

Why not forget the chores that morning and join us on:

  • Tuesday 14th December 2021
  • Tuesday 11th January 2022
  • Tuesday 8th February 2022
  • Tuesday 8th March 2022

We look forward to seeing you there. Contact Theresa on 01747 829188 for more details.

Christmas Fair, Charlton Church - 20th November 2021

christmas decorationsmince pies


Christmas Fair

Kick off the Festive Season!

Raising money for Crisis

Saturday 20th November 2021
10.00 am till 12.00 noon

at St John’s Church, Charlton, SP7 9LZ

Christmas Hamper Raffle
Gift Stall - Cake Stall
Pop-Up Cafe
serving coffees and teas and Mince Pies

Family Eucharist Service Streamed Over the Internet - Easter Sunday 12th April 2020

empty tombI do hope that you will be able to join us for our Easter Family Service on Zoom. You can join live at 10.00 am, or the service will be available via the Benefice Facebook page (the link to the Facebook page is in the left hand margin of this website). We are only allowed 100 participants at the live service which we may exceed in which case you might not get admitted. Facebook later in the day will then be your only option.

This service will be a little bit different because it will be a Family Eucharist Service with Richard celebrating. Click here to download and/or print a copy of the service sheet. Alternatively, words of hymns and communal prayers will appear on screen during the service.

We start the service with a visit to the tomb, and we declare three times that ‘Christ is risen indeed’. It is the tradition in some churches, after the third repetition, to make a great deal of noise. I thought that it might bring us all together if everyone could have a noise maker for that moment – bells, whistles, football rattles, saucepan and wooden spoons, all will do very well. If all else fails then you could always clap.

Details for Zoom:

Topic: Easter Sunday Service
Time: Apr 12, 2020 10:00 AM

Join Zoom Meeting by pasting this link in your browser:

or log into Zoom and use this ID, in which case you will also be asked for the password:

Meeting ID: 287 295 5220
Password: 175430

You will then be placed in a ‘waiting room’ and will be let in at about 9.55 am.

Please pass these details on to others who may be interested.

Click here for guidance on how to join a Zoom meeting. If you need more assistance, please email Bob before Easter Sunday and he will help. To email Bob, click here and when the new window opens, select the 'Contact Form' tab to send Bob your message.

Bob Thackray

Christmas Eve 2021 Crib Service - St John's Church, Charlton

A Crib Service

will be held at

St John's Church, Charlton


Christmas Eve (Friday 24th December 2021) at 3.00 pm


'The Christmas story told for everyone who is still a child at heart.'

You are very warmly invited to join us for this service.
Children might like to come dressed as shepherds, kings, animals or angels.
We will also have some simple costume bits and pieces to lend.
This service will be live-streamed on Zoom. The Zoom login details are as follows:
Meeting ID: 287 295 5220, Passcode: 175430

Collection for the Children's Society

tea@thechurch, Charlton - Most Mondays

cup of teaslice of cake

tea@thechurch Is cancelled until further notice due to the coronavirus outbreak

By the time you read this, the new season of tea@thechurch will be in full swing and hopefully many of those who come will have enjoyed a pleasant day out at Swanage in September.

If you are new to the area or just not sure what tea@thechurch is all about, let me assure you that, although the word ‘church’ appears in its title, the event has nothing to do with church and does not require you to be a member of any particular church or even to have any sort of faith. We just use the church building as a suitable venue for an opportunity to meet new people, chat and socialise over a sandwich, piece of cake and cup of tea, although coffee is also on offer if requested. So, with the evenings drawing in and the weather less good for just sitting outside, why not come along and ‘give it a go’!

We always meet in St John’s Church, Charlton just off the A30 between 2.30 pm and 4.30 pm on a Monday. If you do not know where the church is, click here to see a map showing its location.

The afternoons are entirely free of charge but if you feel like making a small donation to cover heating costs, then it is always much appreciated but certainly not compulsory. Hope to see you there! If you would like more details or would like someone to accompany you, please call Theresa on 01747 829188.

Our forthcoming dates are as follows (all Mondays):

January 2020: 6th, 13th, 20th and 27th
February 2020: 3rd, 10th and 24th
March 2020: 2nd, 9th, 16th, 23rd and 30th

St. John’s Church, Charlton - St John’s Patronal Family Communion - Bishop Nicholas’ Visit - 20th June 2021

(written on Sunday 20th June 2021)

bishop sal visit 1 sbishop sal visit 2 sTomorrow is mid-summer day, the Summer Solstice, but today was wet, cold and windy!  Despite the weather nothing could dampen our spirits at St. John's Church, Charlton, where the atmosphere was one of joy and positivity as Bishop Nicholas (the Bishop of Salisbury) joined us to lead our worship.

As everyone arrived we were greeted with the offer of refreshments, served at the Church door and consumed outside; the children especially loved the chocolate bars and fruit juice! People, all suitably masked, chatted freely, many thrilled to be in church for the first time in months, whilst online we were joined by those who still needed to Zoom in to be part of our worship.

The Bishop’s theme reminded us of the message of St John the Baptist, “Repent!” He reminded us that John’s message was not always comfortable, not always welcome, but always the right message, the reminder that we all need to turn and see God, to turn and follow His Ways. Bishop Nicholas pointed out how much both the Church and the world had had to adapt over the past eighteen months, and emphasised that many of these changes would be with us, probably for ever. We have all learnt a great deal in this time, and we need to make sure that good lessons are retained.

bishop sal visit 3 sHe assured us that he could feel the determination to make things work at St John’s and praised the efforts of the wardens and worship leaders over this time.

bishop sal visit 4 sOur worship was enlivened by a superb choice of hymns, safely delivered online of course, from a variety of sources, and, in his final farewell, he thanked us that in our choice of the last hymn, 'Hark! a thrilling voice is sounding', he had been taken back to the very beginning of his ministry, such a wonderful way to travel full circle and end a joyful, albeit sad, occasion.

June Lane

Editor’s note: larger versions of the photographs in this article can be found on the Benefice Facebook page here.

KidzClub@St.John’s - Charlton


This event Is cancelled until further notice due to the coronavirus outbreak

 KidzClub Logo

An exciting new venture meeting on
the third Tuesday of the month from 3.15pm to 4.30pm in St John's Church, Charlton.
All children up to and including the age of 10 are welcome as long as they are accompanied by a responsible adult.
Come for fun, craft, a drink and a snack.
Dates are:
19th November 2019
17th December 2019
21st January 2020
18th February 2020
17th March 2020

 For more details, please speak to Jocelyn at the Ludwell School gate.

Click here for a map showing the location of St John’s Church.