CHURCHES TOGETHER

We welcome information from churches in the surrounding areas for our Churches Together page.  Email: admin@marnhullandgillinghamrc.org.uk

It’s amazing how time flies, isn’t it: just two Fridays left before Holy Week, so two more gatherings in the Methodist Church at noon for a reflection, sometimes followed by a Lent lunch. All welcome:

1st April: Charity;  8th April: The Crucifixion.  Last Friday the Lenten Lunch made £90 for Christian Aid.

Last Friday, Jacinta Bowe gave the reflection. This time it was on the subject of Compassion. She invited us to reflect on the full meaning of compassion as evoked by Jesus in his Sermon on the Plain, especially Luke 6: 37-38: “Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned…”

Jesus’ notion of compassion goes to the root meaning of the word – sharing suffering – and is thus very challenging. It involves going with people to the place where they are hurting: mourning with the lonely, becoming vulnerable with those who are vulnerable. So sympathy and empathy are not enough; we have to stand in the shoes of the other; suffer with them; set aside any desire for power or dominance. Contrary to those who see such compassion as sadomasochism, Jesus shows us that it is through being compassionate that our humanity grows to its fullest expression.

Jacinta shared the insights of of contemporary Christian writers on mental qualities which can lead us to true compassion: Self awareness; trying to be fully present to the other; conscious of our human tendency to label people; not content with good intentions, but prepared to act. The spiritual qualities which bring compassion within our grasp include: Do not judge; be ready to turn the other cheek; forgive; mindfulness.

Jacinta also reminded us that effective Christian action is never a one-person show; we can and should draw strength for deep compassion from prayer and the support of our Christian community.  About 20 people listened to Jacinta and appreciated the work she put into her reflection. The photo shows some of them. Many then shared very tasty soup, cheese and bread, taking the opportunity to get to know our fellow Christians better.

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Lenten Talks

Our Lady's will be taking part in the 2022 Churches Together Lent Talks. This year the talks will focus on the themes of Forgiveness and Compassion, two challenging virtues to practise, particularly in these unsettled times which are giving witness to a rise in questionable behaviours. Jacintha Bowe, former Head of RE at Saint Mary's RC school Shaftesbury, will give two talks on behalf of Our Lady's: the first on 4th March, the second on 25th March and everyone is welcome to attend.

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The Prodigal Son, by Fr. Sieger Köder

Churches Together in Marnhull meet for prayer once a month. Please come along and enjoy this reflective half hour. Here is the revised schedule for the next few months. We begin at noon.

Friday 11th February:   St Gregory's

Friday 13th May:           Our Lady's

Friday 10th June:          Methodist Church

Friday 8th July:             St Gregory's

During Lent, we meet in the Methodist Church on Fridays at noon for a reflection, sometimes* followed by a Lent lunch:

Friday 4th March:     Forgiveness

Friday 11th March:   Forgiveness

Friday 18th March:   Compassion

Friday 25th March:   Compassion

Friday  1st April:       Charity

Friday  8th April:      The Crucifixion  

Image by Daniel Vogel

Octave of prayer for Christian Unity begins on Tuesday 18th February.

In Gillingham there will be prayers and discussion at noon on the following days:

Tuesday St. Benedict’s;   Wednesday Methodist Church;   Thursday St. Mary’s C of E;   Friday Community Church

Also in Gillingham, on Sunday 23rd January, there will be a Service at 3 p.m. in the Methodist Church.

"We saw his Star in the East"

The Vale Pantry, Sturminster Newton, has asked us to join them in a ‘Reverse Advent Calender’, to raise food for Christmas for local people in poverty. We’re asked to pop an item of suitable food into a box at home, each day of November, (or as many days as we can), then drop the box into the Pantry or the Medical Centre in Stur, at the beginning of December, bringing a ray of sunshine to those less well off than us! If you can’t get the box to them, Tony Moore will collect it from you and deliver it. 01963 365848
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Let's do what we can to help the refugees who have fled to our shores.

Care For Calais are collecting clothes which can be dropped off at various places around the country.  Click on:  https://care4calais.org/thedropoffmap  to see the nearest place for you.  Currently there are places in Wincanton and Blandford.

If anyone knows of any other collection points or organisations, please let us know as we would be happy to put details on here.

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Marnhull Advent Service and Unveiling of the Weathervane.

The Churches Together Advent Service was held at St Gregory’s Church on Sunday 27 November.  The new weathervane was dedicated,  and unveiled  by the Lord Lieutenant's deputy Mrs Antonio Bueno, with a count down from the congregation and balloons released from the top of the tower.  This was followed by a beautiful and friendly service led by the three priests of the village, Canon Tony Wilds, Rev Paul Arnold and Fr Martin Budge entitled 'Looking for the light'. There was music from the choirs of St Gregory's and Our Lady's and readings by Anglicans, Catholics and Methodists.

The weathervane is in the form of gilded cockerel, traditional amongst many churches.  Canon Tony Wilds told us that a cockerel is the symbol of St Peter and it was significant that it was Pope St Gregory who is the patron saint of the church. This particular weather vane (originating in 1745) has belonged to St Gregory's for some time but laid unused and rusting in a corner until recently rediscovered and re-gilded in honour of our queen's jubilee.  

Marnhull Village Harvest Supper 

An evening of 'Pie, Peas and Poems’  - with cider and soft drinks - in the Village Hall on Thursday 29 September.  The idea was to select a favourite poem before leaving home and drop it in the box on arrival.  Various poems were then read out when they were drawn out of the box.

HARVEST SUPPER:  Everyone had a wonderful time at the Harvest supper, the food was delicious (thanks Adrian), and ably and beautifully presented. The poems were both amusing and poignant and the cider flowed generously.  A good evening attended by all the churches.  Here are some photos (apologies for the quality).....

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