The Badminton Benefice

Vicar's Letter December 2016

Dear Friends,

Whilst the rest of the world was commenting upon the advent of the new President-elect of the United states, I was attending a course called ‘Understanding Christianity’, after 28 years in the ministry. About time!

Since becoming a school governor again after 14 years out of the loop, much has changed. The ways in which Church of England schools understand their own distinctiveness has sharpened and the response of the national church to the education of little minds has also crystallised.

The most important change is that ethos and religious affiliation used to be very much a background thing. Now it is in the foreground and values based upon Christianity are named. Things like compassion, hope, dignity, community, forgiveness etc. are spoken of, and taught. This is in my opinion is brilliant. Faith is not just about belief, but about how we live our lives and what our values are.

In a recent stat. Religious Education came out as the worst taught subject, and teaching Christianity as the worst taught part of RE! Isn’t that shocking?

So the national church has hit back with a fantastic course called ‘Understanding Christianity’, which actually teaches Christianity in a structured way.

Christians believe in Creation, Salvation, God, Jesus, the people of God and so forth. And soon children will know what we mean by those words.

We have a way to go, but we can all help, by bringing children to church to experience what our faith is and by talking with children about our beliefs and their implications on the way we live and the values we hold.

With my very best wishes,

Richard

Rev. Richard Thomson, Vicar

Telephone: 01454 219236
E-mail: revrichardthomson@gmail.com

Please contact me for arranging Christenings, Weddings or Confirmation.

Vicar's Letter October 2016

Dear Friends,

Some parishes still have their Harvest Festivals this month, so I hope they are enjoyable. Otherwise, it is the beginning of Autumn for us all and making sure the home fires are well stocked. September brought some sad news from around the parishes with a couple of untimely deaths. It goes without saying that families of the bereaved are always in the prayers of the church. This brings me to All Souls' Day: Every year, Mary Beresford puts on a special service for the bereaved at Hawkesbury on or very near All Souls Day (2nd November). It is worth pencilling it in the diary, and more details will be on the website nearer the time, or by emailing Mary herself or me. It is important to be able to bereave our loved ones, and the church is there to help us come through these life-changing events.

We now know that Alveen is leaving us in January, though we still have to fix the date of her last service. So, we will be organising a leaving bash in which we can thank Alveen for all that she has given to the parishes over the past six years. She is retiring to Dorset and will no doubt be an asset for the local clergy there, as the Vicar of Cerne Abbas has four parishes, I believe to cover.

The good news is that Chris Andrew was Licensed as a Reader in this Benefice on 25th Sept. This means we will be well-staffed for once.

With my very best wishes,

Richard

Rev. Richard Thomson, Vicar

Telephone: 01454 219236
E-mail: revrichardthomson@gmail.com

Please contact me for arranging Christenings, Weddings or Confirmation.

Vicar's Letter September 2016

Dear Friends,

I hope you have had a bit of a rest over the Summer and are ready to celebrate the Harvest Festival. There are services in all the villages to thank God for the abundance of nature and to get together for this annual village gathering. I hope very much you will make an effort to come together with others and sing the old favourites in church and to help celebrate the traditions of village life. Most celebrations include an element of social relaxing with a few drinks and eats. So don’t miss this traditional aspect of country living.

You may find yourself on a mailing list which I have been hard at work over the Summer putting together. It means that I may be sending you the odd pertinent email which may interest you. If I do not have your email address, then I can not include you in the mailing. So, do please feel free to send me your email address if you do not receive anything over the next few months!

As you know it is for me a great privilege to serve you as your Parish Priest and am happy to call round for a coffee if you wish to have a chat at any time. My email address is below and is the easiest way of making contact.

With my very best wishes,

Richard

Rev. Richard Thomson, Vicar

Telephone: 01454 219236
E-mail: revrichardthomson@gmail.com

Please contact me for arranging Christenings, Weddings or Confirmation.

Vicar's Letter August 2016

Dear Friends,

If you have time and interest there is a feast of liturgical music at Tewkesbury Abbey in the first week of August organised by the Prayer Book Society. The Bishop is preaching at the final service on Sunday 7th August at 6pm Solemn Evensong with Benediction. Other services include Festal Eucharist at 11am on Tuesday, Wednesday and Sunday, Solemn Matins at 11am on Saturday, Choral evensong at 7pm on Monday and 5.30pm on Thursday. There is a rendition of the Requiem Mass by Durufle at 7.30pm on the Saturday.

I am sure many of you will be on holiday this month, so may I wish you a very happy time with your family/friends and a good rest.

Best wishes,

Richard

Rev. Richard Thomson, Vicar

Telephone: 01454 219236
E-mail: revrichardthomson@gmail.com

Please contact me for arranging Christenings, Weddings or Confirmation.

Vicar's Letter July 2016

Dear Friends,

This month I would like to continue on my round of telling you about our churches, and it is time to tell you of a very precious jewel of a church in our Benefice - St. Mary's, Boxwell.

This is a 13th century parish church, with a 14th century north aisle. This extra aisle in which the organ (and only heater) is situated, gives the little church a feeling of spaciousness.

The Royal arms painted over the chancel arch are very splendid and well worth seeing. They are the arms of William III after the death of Mary, but the initials and date have been overpainted to read 'A.R. 1702'. I am not quite sure why these arms are here, but I am sure a member of the Huntley family could tell us.

The chancel, which was rebuilt in the 20th century, has a timber panelled ceiling, but the chancel rail is much older, early 17th century.

The font has a fabulous pedigree and in the west end of the nave is a marble memorial to Rev. RICHARD HUNTLEY, MA, died 1831, by Cook of Gloucester. It has an obelisk ground and shrouded urn. There are many other memorials to enjoy and wonder over. The church stands in a very secluded position adjacent to Boxwell Court. These are private grounds, so best to either come to a service to see the church or to ring the Huntley family.

It is a lovely little church and we hold services there on the 5th Sundays of the month in decent weather (next one on July 31st at 9.30 BCP HC). Evening prayer is said there on most Tuesdays at 4.30pm. Best to check first.

Best wishes,

Richard

Rev. Richard Thomson, Vicar

Telephone: 01454 219236
E-mail: revrichardthomson@gmail.com

Please contact me for arranging Christenings, Weddings or Confirmation.