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

and Trinity, Market Lavington


Most of the following items are taken from the April 2017 Edition


      Minister's Musings       

             Revd Gary Gotham







Dear Friends,


How many coincidences does it take before they cease to be coincidences and instead form a pattern, something to be taken note of? It seems that every ‘church’ related monthly publication I have read lately is talking about ‘Lay Leadership’ -


'Reform' magazine asks, ‘The Reformation, what does it mean today?’, offering a plethora of replies, with their common thread being that faith can be accessible to all not simply a select, clerical elite.

'In Gear' magazine challenges with articles such as ‘Church where the people are’, suggesting that Church isn’t about buildings but about meeting the 85% of people who do not attend our ‘Sunday buildings’. Meeting them where they are - at a car boot sale, a farmers’ market, down the pub or in the cafe. I can certainly attest that many faith filled conversations are shared at St Arbucks in Market Lavington and The Southgate Inn in Devizes.


'Root and Branch' speaks of ‘Down to Earth. Bringing people and nature together, promoting Eco-Church as an activity that involves the whole of the church in becoming more sustainable.

And, finally, 'Countryway' dedicates it’s entire January issue to Developing Lay Leaders, with articles from Anglican, Catholic, Methodist and United Reformed Church perspectives.

I particularly enjoyed the piece by Revd Robert Barlow, Priest in Charge of Teme Valley South Churches, who blamed the Victorians for taking worship from what was, a ‘whole church and community’ activity involving the Parish Clerk and local ragbag village band and ‘improving’ it.  This involved the installation of pews to keep the congregation orderly; an organ played by the (supposedly) more controllable vicar’s wife(!!) and the sacking of the band and Clerk.
Worship was organised and performed by the vicar and became a professional service offered to the village by a qualified practitioner.  Churchgoers were no longer participants but consumers.

As Christians we consume: in communion or the Eucharist we eat the bread and drink the wine; in worship we feed on God. But God sets limits on our consumption and our Christian calling is to service. In being part of a church it’s not a question of whether a church is providing what we like. What matters is whether we can be part of a community in which we contribute. Can we, as the pre-Victorians did, have worship which is the offering of the whole community to God? If it’s occasionally a bit scruffy I don’t suppose God will mind.

Lately, whenever I see signs of new growth and vitality in the church, the common thread is that it is no longer minister/priest/vicar dependant.

Cafe worship; Messy Church; Open the Book; PILOTS; Eco-Church; Child Friendly Church; Dementia Friendly Church.

Church, faith, at it’s very best is the work of the whole people of God. Yes, our ministers have a particular calling, training and responsibility within that but they are not the Church. We all are. And only together can we know and share the precious gift of Christ.


May God bless you richly in your common life of loving service together.

Yours in Christ,   








From the Church Secretary



Holy Week and Easter

Through Lent, we have followed the theme 'Look what can happen.........!'  looking at various people whose encounter with Jesus changed their lives. Then on Palm Sunday, we walk beside Jesus as he enters Jerusalem, then we have the opportunity to sit quietly in a week of led meditations as we move towards Good Friday and ultimately the joy of Easter Day.


Mon 10th, Tue 11th, Wed 12th April

7 p.m. Holy Week Meditations in the Church for half an hour.

Maundy Thu 13th April

7pm, an Agapé as we ponder the events of that night

Good Friday 14th April

7 p.m. A Service of Reflection.

Easter Sunday 16th April

8 a.m. Holy Communion, led by Revd Gary Gotham.

8.45 a.m. Easter Breakfast (please sign up for this in the Foyer).

10.30 a.m. Service with Holy Communion, led by Revd Peter Whatton.

6.00 p.m. Service with Holy Communion at Marston Chapel, led by Revd Gary Gotham.

We look forward to sharing some of these services with you.



Marston Chapel

Do you remember the radio programme way, way back, 'Chapel in the Valley'? Marston is that place, to those of us who worship there on Sunday evenings, joining with the faithful few from the village.

Marston Chapel is a part of St. Andrew's Church = we have responsibility for it.

The village is a small community the other side of Worton, some six miles out of Devizes.   The Chapel is on the Green, built on a small piece of the Common over which we have right of way for access.  It is a joy to drive out there during the spring and summer months, to see the hedgerows blossoming and the growing corn in the meadows.  The chapel is beautifully and lovingly cared for, and it is an intimate place to worship in. 

We would welcome you to share worship with us.  The services are at 6pm. If you would like a lift, or wish to find out more, please speak to Beryl Hill, Rodney Duckett or me.  We look forward to seeing you there!! 





Bank Holiday Monday 1st May 2017


Do you have things that are too good to send to the jumble sale but would like to

get rid  of to a good home?

If so, do send it to our Granny's Attic - you would benefit Church funds at the same time. 

The Social and Catering committee are collecting items of jewellery; nearly new bric-a-brac; fashion accessories and plants.

If you have any of these, please get in touch with Trish or bring to church

and we will carefully keep them for this event. 

In addition, we will be collecting donations for the Big Breakfast

sausages; free-range eggs, bacon, baked beans, marmalade.

Please bring these to church and give to any member of the SOCAT team: Trish, Ruth, Viv, Beryl, Pam, Jen Warren, Joyce. We will be pleased to receive these things! This is a fantastic fundraiser for our charities and is a popular event for the community as people come into town on the Bank Holiday Monday.

Do support us!

With many thanks, Trish Lee ( or 01380 723689)





from Jo Parsons (daughter of Jean & Michael Simmonds)


Koncert for Kibera


A repeat performance will be taking place at St Paul's Church, Covingham, Swindon, on Saturday May 13th so watch this space for times and tickets.


I also have a limited number of DVD's for sale at £5 each

(Free for cast members).


Paul Newman




Churches Together in Devizes

Churches working for the environment

Churches Together in Devizes has established a small group of representatives of local churches to work on the Eco Church project organised by Christian environment group Arocha UK.  Churches are well placed to take up the challenge of reducing their environmental impact because the work can reach a wide range of people within and beyond their congregations. Each church has a different set of issues to work on. Some have old and special buildings, some have large churchyards while others have none.  Forms of worship vary from church to church but the desire is still to make the life of the churches, its buildings and use as green as possible.

The programme is a well-designed online survey on which churches can record their achievements and apply for an award. The topics covered range from inclusion of environmental issues in worship and teaching; management of land and buildings; individual actions and reaching out into the wider community at home and abroad. The advantage of the Churches Together group is that local churches can work to support and encourage each other. The sub group meets regularly to discuss progress and any problems they face. Ideas are exchanged and joint projects are being considered. The work is in its early stages but already the Quaker Meeting House has achieved the bronze award and others are not far behind.

The group was pleased to support a road show at St James Church on 25 February, brought by Salisbury Diocese and Arocha, where they were able to meet people from churches outside the town. Any church considering starting on the programme would be welcome to join the group too.


Wednesday 10th May 7.30 pm at Friends Meeting House

Open Meeting – all are welcome


Good Friday


14th April

11.00 a.m.

United Service

in the Market Place

followed by walking the crosses up Roundway Hill




 Holiday Club

for 5 to 11 year olds

Monday 14 to Friday 18 August 9.30 am - 12.30pm

Volunteers needed!

In order for the holiday club to run this year we need at least 15 adult helpers (18+ year olds) for each morning.

The deadline for volunteering is by 30th April.

Please email Sarah on