The Benefice of St. Bartholomew

From the Rector - October 2015

Dear Friends

We are in the time of year when we celebrate Harvest. For our rural communities this is a time when we not only give thanks for what we have and for those who grow, rear, harvest and transport our food and drink, but also a time when we keep these people locally and internationally in our thoughts. For those of you who feel able, I would also ask you to pray for these people and industries at a time of struggle and uncertainty.

It has been a harrowing summer of watching desperation and frustration from dairy farmers' protests to mass migration from war zones. Whatever we feel the correct political solution to these matters is, and there will be many opinions among those who read this, for Christians we are called to be like Christ, who had compassion - 'suffer-with'. We must never forget the human story and cost behind other people's struggles.

Our thanksgiving will turn to remembrance in November. For the church we have the feast of All Saints and the commemoration of All Souls which are quickly followed more widely by Remembrance Sunday and Armistice Day.

On Sunday 1st of November we celebrate All Saints in the morning and at 5.30 in the evening we have a Benefice service for All Souls at East Knoyle. Please come along if you would like to. If you would like us to remember somebody who has died by reading their name during prayers at that service, please add names onto one of the sheets in any of our churches. Alternatively, you can send an email from this website to the Benefice Office with your names - click here and when the new page opens, click on the 'Contact Form' tab to send your message.

Following the All Souls service we switch back to celebrating All Saints, with a party at the Rectory in Semley. This is a 'bring a bottle and a firework (under safe conditions) party'. To help with catering, please sign up on a list in church or email the Benefice Office. Please take care to sign the correct list.

At the risk of confusing things further we are going to introduce a 'benefice prayer list' of names of people to be prayed for during our services. These should be people who are ill (please make sure you have the person's permission) and those who have died. Please contact the Benefice Office to add names - email as above or 01747 830174. Please also let us know when a name can come off the prayer list.

I pray we all have a blessed time of thanksgiving and remembrance.

Yours,
Richard