The Badminton Benefice

Vicar's Letter July 2015

Dear Friends,

‘The twain shall become one’

I have some good news for those who think that no one cares about Marriage any longer!  This month, we have a wedding on every single Saturday and one on a Friday.  How is that for a small country Benefice with only 3000 parishioners! And over the course of the year we have twenty couples getting married in this Benefice.

Of course, not every couple lives here, or has lived here.  But they all have a connection to the parish and will continue to have for quite some time, we hope.

Finally, Baptisms (or Chistenings as they are commonly called) are flying in. We have had half a dozen and another half a dozen or so booked. So, that is wonderful too.

Another piece of good news:  Earlier in the year, I was warning about the lack of money in the church.  It seems that parishioners here respond when asked, and we have raised almost £1,000 per month, overall. We still have way to go, but I am proud that many of you are heeding the call and wish to preserve the church in these villages. 

To really cap it all, church attendance is pretty good and at Oldbury in May, we saw lots of little children in the pews. So thank you to those of you who care about the life of the church, and are willing to put prioritise your care for God and be part of his witnessing community in our part of the globe. We all need to show God that we care. And worshipping God is a vital part of that.

Best wishes for a happy July,

Richard

Rev. Richard Thomson Vicar

E-mail: r.thomson@live.co.uk
Telephone: 01454 219236

Please contact me for arranging Christenings, weddings or Confirmation.

Vicar's Letter June 2015

Dear Friends,

'The world is filled with the grandeur of God'. Thus wrote Gerard Manley Hopkins.

If one were to choose any one month that displays this grandeur more than most, then it must be the month of June. As the flowers bloom and the fields are carpeted with a rich green hue, the English countryside in June is at its most glorious.

And the summer sports of tennis, racing, boating, cricket and croquet float across our TV screens, the back pages of our papers and the consciousness of our fellow countrymen.

With the events of the Horse Trials, General Election, the birth of a Royal baby, and not to be outdone, our Benefice Raffle - all now in the past, we can settle down to enjoying the summer. Perhaps I could at this point, just thank those of you who helped make the Benefice Raffle a success, our congratulations to the winners of the fabulous prizes: A case of Wine (generously donated by Nigel Savage of Cotswolds Wines), a day at The Beaufort Polo Club, The Enchanted Christmas at the Arboretum, and a tour of Highgrove Gardens with champagne and Tea.

Part of the enjoyment of spending the Summer in this beautiful part of the country, must include the occasional traditional Sunday morning. When we are free to attend one of these glorious little country churches, worship God and hear a (hopefully) short and enriching sermon!

May we remember to put God first this Summer, and then as our Lord said: ‘all things shall be added unto you’. It could be a great deal harder to obey than it is for us in these lovely, sacred places.

Best wishes,

Richard

Rev. Richard Thomson
Vicar

E-mail: r.thomson@live.co.uk
Telephone: 01454 219236

Please contact me for arranging Christenings, weddings or Confirmation.

Vicar's Letter May 2015

Dear All,

Once again the Badminton Horse Trials Championships are almost upon us. The Bishop of Tewkesbury, (Rt. Rev. Martyn Snow) will be preaching at the service on the Sunday at 10am.

If weather is fine, we will be parking our cars in the field to the right of the drive leading up to the church. If ground is wet, then parking will be at the Village hall. Cars must not  be left in the field/village hall after the Service therefore anyone wishing to spend some time on the Showground should park in main car parks and buy a ticket and walk down to the Church.

We are also doing the ‘Chapel’ again as last year, as this was a great success. We are planning to run it from 10:30am - 4:30pm, Thursday to Saturday, and then 12:30pm-3:30pm on Sunday. You can find ‘The Chapel’ marquee on Somerset Way next to the Media and TV area, and the ‘Lost People' area! To see the site plan, please click here.

We will have short acts of prayer around 11am , 12:30pm and 3:30pm, which I will advertise and people can attend.  Coffee and tea will be available all day for free, (Donations welcome) and a friendly face ready to greet you.

The reason we are doing this is that Christians have a duty to share their faith and remind people of Jesus. St. Francis said ‘preach the faith, and if you must, use words!’

Offering refreshment and friendship is a reminder that God loves everyone. No matter what we bring, there is a cup of coffee or tea for anyone who needs to sit down for a moment and catch their breath. Or indeed for anyone who wishes to talk about God, life or horses!

Best wishes,

Richard

Rev. Richard Thomson
Vicar

E-mail: r.thomson@live.co.uk
Telephone: 01454 219236

P.S.: See your PCC treasurer about regularly supporting the church.

Vicar's Letter April 2015

Dear All,

We are told that ten per cent of all children in school today are Muslim. If we want this country to keep its Christian heritage, we need to be more active.

Most Muslims take the discipline of their religion seriously and bring their children up with a good understanding of the faith. On the whole this helps to build a life-long respect and love for Islam. What worries me is that Christians have taken the church for granted for so long, and are so relaxed about instilling their religion, that the future looks pretty bleak for the church.

All of us bear a responsibility for this.  We all know it can be boring for children to sit in a pew for 45 minutes but it teaches a child that both parents and grandparents take their religion seriously. It also reinforces the religious teaching and ethos learnt at school!

Also in the home a child can be taught to pray. Prayers said before a family meal and at bedtime are simple things to do and very effective. Our grandparents would have sat around the fire hearing the Bible read.

What can we do to help us retain the traditions we had handed down to us? I do hope you will come and celebrate Easter. There will be Easter Egg hunts for little children, in the churchyard of most of the churches during the sermon!

Richard

Rev. Richard Thomson
Vicar

E-mail: r.thomson@live.co.uk
Telephone: 01454 219236

P.S.: See your PCC treasurer about regularly supporting the church.

Vicar's Letter March 2015

Dear Friends,

Many of you love the church and the fact that your village has a church and a congregation that goes with it. I just wonder what it would be like if in one hundred years’ time, every village still had a church but without anyone using it!

Your great-grandchild might show your great-great-grandchilden around the church and say:

"This is where your Great-Grandfather used to come and join with other villagers and say his prayers. It is where he got married and christened your Grandparents. Now it’s just an empty building. Look, there is his name in the Baptism register, and there is where he was buried!"

I expect some churches would become community centres or turned into homes. Would we be happy for the Christian faith to die? Are we people that is, who do not value the Christian message? I hope many of us would be horrified at such a prospect.

I have been very busy asking people to support the work of the church to avoid that eventuality. I do not want to see the churches become simply buildings of special historical interest. I believe passionately that the church must be a living community, not just a building. But I need you to help me. Both in terms of sharing your money, but also your time.

Hope to see you in church during Lent,

Richard

Rev. Richard Thomson
Vicar

E-mail: r.thomson@live.co.uk
Telephone: 01454 219236

P.S.: See your PCC treasurer about regularly supporting the church.