The monthly magazine of St Andrew’s, Devizes; Marston Chapel;

and Trinity, Market Lavington

February 2020




Marriage and Relationships - Continuing the Conversation

Recently some folks from St Andrew’s attended an Area meeting at Westbury Methodist Church addressed by Rev Dr Jonathan Pye, Chair of the Bristol Methodist District. He led a discussion on the Methodist Conference’s Marriage and Relationships Task Group 2019 report entitled "God in love unites us".  It looks at how marriage and relationships have changed in recent years and considers how the Methodist church might respond to issues such as same sex marriage.  Churches are encouraged to discuss the proposals and individual Church Councils will feed back their views to Synod prior to the 2020 Methodist Conference.


At the meeting we recognised that these matters are complex, with recent developments both to the understanding of human relationships and to how scripture is interpreted.  Facing these matters together will often be challenging.  For example, within the Methodist Church some people hold to a Biblical interpretation that allows same sex relationships, while others have an interpretation that does not. We noted that a good outcome to discussions is that we understand the issues and respect different approaches.  We need to discover ways of listening well and, where necessary, disagreeing well, recognising that we are all seeking to be faithful to the divine revelation that scripture gives us.


The report concludes with the following thoughts which may be helpful in our deliberations here at St. Andrew’s:


“At the conclusion of our reflections, we have identified three key themes that run through our work. We offer them now as suggestions for how the Methodist people may wish to continue with this work. In summary, we propose the following aims:


Be open and positive about sexuality and relationships.

 We hope to enable the Methodist Church to speak openly, positively, and joyfully as well as wisely about relationships and sexuality as one aspect of God’s gracious goodness and of who God has made us to be.


Value all relationships of grace. We invite the Methodist Church to value all committed faithful loving relationships that bear the marks that we can see in the love of Jesus and are within the law of the land. We encourage the Church actively to offer greater dignity, inclusion and restoration in the community of God’s new creation to those who cohabit, are single, or are developing relationships, irrespective of sexuality and gender.


Widen and justify the understanding of marriage as being between two persons.

We offer to the Methodist Church a theological reflection on marriage as a particular form of ‘gospel’ relationship between two persons and propose that we take steps to enable same-sex couples to get married in the Methodist Church. At the same time, we recognise that not everyone will agree with this and so we ask that the Church seek to protect the differing convictions of those who do not agree.”  This was summed at our meeting as ‘None must but all may’.


We are encouraged to read the report ourselves. Ruth McGregor has a paper copy and it can be found online from the Methodist Church Website: – search for Marriage and Relationships 2019. Other useful information including a video can be found there.


Jenny & Peter Brearley



St Andrews Defibrillator

I hope that by now, everyone has seen our new defibrillator installed on the outside wall of the church. This is for use when someone has suffered cardiac arrest which may threaten life if the appropriate CPR and / or electric shock with a defibrillator is not applied within a short period of time. It is for the use of the church and for public access at any time.

Our unit is an easy to use Fully Automated External Defibrillator (AED) that is small, light, portable and uses its own powerful battery. It is kept in a heated, stainless steel cabinet on the wall.The unit is very user friendly and gives clear audio and visual prompts. It virtually does everything itself.

I am arranging training for 6-12 people. This is to enable them to familiarise themselves with the defibrillator and build confidence to use the unit, if necessary, once it is seen how easy it is. I have made provisional arrangements to supply the training which will take approximately 2-2.5hrs.

If you are interested in attending this training session, please let me know as soon as possible. Please speak to me personally, email me on or telephone 01380 501573.

I assure you that you will enjoy the session.

Bill Thomas.






Monday 24 February - Sunday 8 March

She Deserves a Living Income

It's a scandal that behind the sweet delight of chocolate lies the bitter taste of exploitation. The UK Chocolate industry is worth at least £4 billion a year and yet the average cocoa farmer in Cote d'Ivoir or Ghana, where 60% of the cocoa is grown, earns less than 75p a day. If this wasn't enough to cope with, the climate crisis is wreaking havoc on global food production. Farmers are battling less predictable seasons, more plant diseases and more extreme weather leading to lack of food. They are working longer hours for lower prices. For women it is even more unfair. In Cote d'Ivoir the women carry out two thirds of the labour involved in cocoa farming. They work in the fields, carry water, look after the children and help bring the crops to market and yet they often have fewer rights than men and often earn less than a quarter of the money generated.

That is why the Fairtrade Foundation launched the 'She Deserves a Living Income' campaign last year and is continuing with this theme this year. People do not want poverty and exploitation to be part of the price of their chocolate bars but they are confused by the different 'sustainable' claims and ethical messages around. While 4 million tons of cocoa are produced each year Fairtrade cocoa is only a fraction of this. That is why more people in the UK need to understand the power they have as consumers and choose Fairtrade every time.



World Day of Prayer


Formerly known as Women's Day of Prayer, we now use the title adopted by most of the world, to be more inclusive.  It is still written by, and organised by women, for the whole Christian community.


The service this year is written by the Christian women in Zimbabwe entitled, 'Rise! Take up your mat and walk.'  The local service will be held in our Church, St. Andrew's

10-30 a.m. on Friday 6 March and we hope people from all the Churches in Devizes will join us.

This worldwide, ecumenical service begins at dawn on the Pacific island of Samoa and the voice of prayer continues as each country takes up the service until the sun sets back at the end of the day over the Pacific ocean. And we are part of that!  We invite you to join with us as we share some of the concerns and prayers of the women in Zimbabwe


Ruth McGregor




Marston Methodist Chapel


During the dark winter months, Marston congregation meets every other week.  However dark and cold it is outside, we offer everyone a warm welcome to our services, at 6pm.  See 'Sunday Worship' page for details of preachers.








Anne & Norman Rollin on their Blue Sapphire Anniversary in 2008


The Central Band of the Royal Air Force playing Ron Goodwin's 633 Squadron and H Walford Davies' March Past were part of the service held to remember the life of Wing Commander Norman Rollin.  Norman had been in the Royal Air Force all his working life and was always very smart and dignified in his dress and his demeanour.


Norman would probably be better known by many as the husband of Anne, who was our organist for many years.  Norman supported Anne with this job, bringing her to church and to choir practice.


At one time, in the 1970's Norman was the Chairman of the Property Committee and looked after the premises well.


He was a member of the Bridge Club which meets on our church premises and he also belonged to the U3A and played Bridge there too.  For many years he was an active member of Devizes Probus Club and many will remember him sitting in his 'adopted' chair at the Crown Centre.


Norman lived most of his 97 years very active and interested.  We send our love and sympathy to his two grandchildren James and Josephine.


Eileen Robinson


St Andrew's is an -







Many companies have heeded public concern and cut down on the amount of packaging they were using. Hooray! But sadly that has led to the announcement by a packaging manufacturer of plans to close two factories leading to the loss of about 200 jobs. They blamed "change in demand" for their decision. Similarly, as people follow the advice to only buy what is really necessary, shops are struggling to survive and inevitably manufacturers then follow.

Change is needed but finding the right path is never easy. We must all do whatever we can to help save our wonderful planet. I suggest paper instead of plastic, string instead of Sellotape and cardboard that can be recycled. And keep on praying

Christine Madigan




Thank you for drinking Fairtrade tea and coffee at Church. It is good to know that we are doing our share in supporting the coffee growers directly. 


Kingdom Coffee, whose motto is 'Coffee with a conscience', work closely with coffee growers in the developing world, enabling them to receive a fair price for their produce.  They also work with charities including Tearfund and Toybox, to support and improve the lives of coffee growers' communities.


Every time we order a case of coffee sachets, the company donate £3 to Tearfund - I wonder how many cases we have had!


Thank you for your continued support.




The Testaments Group


10.30am on the 1st and 3rd Thursday of the month (January only, on 2nd & 4th Tuesday)


Come and join this new group starting on 3rd October upstairs at St. Andrew's Church. The Bible Society have come up with a great little 8-session course on the Bible that helps us gain a good understanding of the big story. It includes videos and a copy of the manual for each person (£5 each).  This is a chance to grasp together what the Bible is and how it shows us what really matters.


Please tell Bill Thomas or John Saunders you would like to join the group (so enough copies of the manual can be bought). 



PRAYER FOR FEBRUARY - from The Prayer Group


Great God of the starry host, who unfurls the sky, who leads seekers by a star, who is the life of every living thing, who is my life, I praise you.

You are the God of the universe, yet you hear the cry of the tiniest bird.

You are the mightiest being, yet you care about me.

You hear my cry in the night, you are with me.

You are my God, and I am yours. Praise be!




This book has been given to us for the Church Library by, you could almost say a local author, as Francis has lived in Devizes for some 18 years, following retirement.  Many of you will know him.


The book traces Francis's life in the Anglican ministry for over 60 years. His years in churches in England but also his passion in the work he did in countries in South Africa. He pays tribute to his wife, Jill, who has been with him every step of the way in this ministry.

Even though he retired he continued to support different projects with which he had been involved. One of these was very close to his heart, and many of you will have been involved in the garden parties which he and Jill held at their home in aid of the Bishop Jackson School in Uganda.



The book includes some photographs of these events.

Do sign up and borrow this book and I guarantee you will find it a fascinating read.

Eileen Robinson


'The Winding Road of Faith"

by Francis Chadwick




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