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

and Trinity, Market Lavington

January 2018


      Minister's Musings       

             Revd Gary Gotham








Dear Friends,


Recently, both the Methodist and United Reformed Churches have been  re-emphasising discipleship as something critical to the health and well-being of every Christian.  As an example, the covers of the excellent Christian magazine, Reform (see me for a sample copy) have asked a series of questions of late...

  • How can the church engage with the under 30s?

  • Are all welcome?

  • Walking the way - what makes a disciple?

All of these questions seek to stretch us in our understanding of what faith is and how it relates to those around us.  It is only as we are stretched that we stay supple - and the same is true with faith - we need to be challenged, to think, to risk, to explore. Does that sound like effort and hard work? Maybe, but the rewards are health and well-being.

BUT, we do all this together...with one another and with God - never alone.

And to that end, a plug, a plea, a New Years resolution come early…

Save the date!  Saturday 27 January, 10am – 4pm, Toothill Methodist Church.

The churches of our area and Swindon are being led by David Lawrence, from the London Institute for Contemporary Christianity. He will be helping us to focus on what it means to be a disciple of Jesus today - please, please, please put the day in your diary and let’s explore what makes a disciple together!


(See further information below)

God is good,




'Walking the Way' is the umbrella term for the United Reformed Church's focus on lifelong Christian discipleship and mission.


Put simply, 'Walking the Way' seeks to deepen our understanding of what being a Christian disciple truly means - how we can live as disciples when we are in church and, perhaps more importantly, when we are not.


The Greek word for 'disciple' is mathetes; Andrew Roberts, author of Holy Habits¹   says, 'It is often said to mean either a follower or a learner.  The literal meaning is "one who learns as they follow".


'Walking the Way' explores what it means to actively follow and learn from - and to be eventually transformed by - Christ.  It's for everyone at any stage of the Christian journey - whoever you are, whatever your existing relationship with Jesus Christ and the Church is, whatever your personal circumstances.  It's for you whether you have been following Jesus for five days or five decades.


And while there's nothing new about being a disciple  of Christ, we're confident that there is something new about 'Walking the Way' in its accessible approach and in the wide range of supporting resources produced and planned.


'Walking the Way' is not about picking up yet another book, it's about being Christ-centred and seeing our discipleship lived out every day.


¹   Malcolm Down Publishing ISBN 9781910786154


 Why now?


 The people of God have walked, stumbled and

 sometimes skipped this path throughout the centuries.  

 The way we're walking may be familiar but the

 landscape has changed dramatically in recent years.

 Advance in technology, evolving work patterns and

 rapidly changing politics have all had an impact on our

 life and communities.


 We are called to proclaim and embody God's Kingdom,

 yet, sometimes it seems as if the Church has been

 side-tracked, over-concerned about maintaining our

 buildings and institutions, or organising the coffee rota,

 rather than focusing on the teachings of Jesus and

 working out what they mean for each of us as we try to

 live the Jesus way of extravagant love, scandalous grace

 and radical actions.


 It's time for change.  It's time to walk the way.


It's for you whether you have been following Jesus for five days or five decades.





Message from the Church Secretary

I wish you all blessings for the upcoming year.  We have celebrated Christmas in our churches and, I hope, have been blessed through the readings and carols that we have enjoyed.

I want to thank Pauline and the other organists who have led the music, often in candlelight.  And a thank you to Carol and her flower arrangers for once again enhancing our church with wonderful creations.  To all who have contributed to our celebrations - thank you.

In January we celebrate our Church Anniversary - the anniversary of the two denominations coming together as one congregation.

7 January will include the Covenant Service as well as our Anniversary, led by our Minister, Gary.

21 January we join with all the other churches in Devizes at the Corn Exchange for a United Service during the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity.  Look out for other events during that week.

Happy New Year to you all.




Tools for Self-Reliance

Do you have tools you no longer use or want (including sewing machines)? Tools for Self-reliance is an organisation that makes up tool kits to send abroad to help give people in poorer countries the opportunity to earn a living for themselves and their families.  

The URC Church in Holt has a team of men who clean, repair, sharpen tools and make up the boxes ready to go abroad -  either for a carpenter, a gardener, seamstress, or other trades that may be asked for.

I have taken many tools there myself, ready to be used, and I am willing to collect and deliver any that you may want to get rid of.  Anything that is not suitable for use abroad is taken to a car boot sale to help pay for transport costs

Please speak to me if you want to know more.

Neil McGregor



CO2 Emissions


                A report by scientists from Exeter University states that 22 countries have decreased their CO2 emissions in 2017 but, partly due to the US and China burning significantly more coal, the total for 2017 is predicted to be 2% higher than the previous 3 years, when greenhouse gases remained steady.


Twenty five years ago the report warmed that disregarding the planet's resources would cause "vast human misery" but the latest report states that most threats outlined then "are getting far worse".  It states that in the past 25 years, there is now 26% less fresh water per head available; 470,000 sq miles of forestland has been lost and there has been a drop of 29% in the total number of mammals, reptiles, amphibians, birds and fish.


Now for some good news!  Across the world, renewable energy production has increased at 14% a year over the last five years.  We should all watch our use.  The recommended inside temperature during winter is 18 - 21C.  Don't forget to switch off plugs at the socket and maybe wear more layers.


How about ordering a St Andrew's sweatshirt for £15?  Many colours available.  Orders can be taken at any time through me on 829529.  (See 'News & Notices' page of this website).


Christine Madagan






At the beginning of a New Year - another page turns and it seems an appropriate time to give thanks.  So - a huge THANK YOU to the dedicated team of lovely people who work so diligently to ensure everything runs smoothly and efficiently, not only on Sundays but every day of the week as well.


St Andrew's is a handsome building - but it is the people that make it the welcoming, friendly church it is.


Wishing everyone a Healthy & Peaceful 2018


Joy Spencer




Many thanks to all the pastoral visitors for buying, wrapping and delivering Christmas gifts and for all they do throughout the year.  Thank you for the messages of appreciation we have received from happy recipients.


Jennifer Brearley (Pastoral Secretary)




We want to say a big thank you for your kind donation to our Harvest Appeal.  Your support this autumn means that we are able to continue to provide vital food and supplies to people in crisis over the coming months.


By also supporting us with monetary donations you are helping to cover the cost of storing and distributing supplies, which is just as vital as food itself.


This year we are pleased to announce we received 3,346 kg of food and £1,530 in donations.  You made a donation of £510.00.


Once again thank you for your continued support.


Devizes Food Bank






I would like to open a Jigsaw Library.

I have several puzzles I would be pleased to lend to anyone, and wonder if there are other puzzlers who could do the same.   

Please contact me if this interests you.

Hilary Burn

01380 724063







Breakfast@St Arbucks Coffee House

with Les & Janice

1 Church Street, Market Lavington, SN10 4DT




9.00 a.m. - 1.00 p.m.

Saturday  13 January

Saturday    3 February

Saturday    3 March

Saturday    7 April





The Lighthouse NetCast

Christian Internet Radio Station


Since 2014, Lighthouse NetCast has been running 24/7 from a small studio in Sheep Street Baptist Church. It is an internet radio station that aims to bridge the gap between Christian radio and more mainstream commercial radio. You’ll hear plenty of songs by Christian artists mixed with some of the more positive songs you might hear on Heart or Radio 2. The Lighthouse NetCast is Positively Christian Radio but not exclusive to Christians.

Over the last three years, we’ve grown a global audience with listeners regularly logging on from over forty different countries. Our playlist is not only unique but very well received by Christians and non-Christians alike. It offers a positive Christian experience without scaring non-Christians away! While not as heavy as other Christian broadcasters, the songs chosen to be part of our playlist maintain a respectful integrity.

We’ve been fortunate to have a wide variety of guests in the studio and callers on-air from several different countries talking about the charity work that they are involved in and sharing a wealth of positive experiences, often out of seamlessly hopeless situations. And where their faith has been a part of this expe rience we’re not afraid to explore that part of their journey. It’s led to some fascinating and inspiring conversations. We want to do much more of this on-air!






Throughout the autumn, Lighthouse NetCast will be running mostly on automation – but our unique playlist continues to attract listeners from far and wide. Perhaps you’ll join them? You’ll be in excellent company. During this time, we are developing the station behind the scenes ready for an updated and refreshed on-air sound for 2018.


Although we are blessed with an audience from around the world, we need more help right here in Devizes! Lighthouse NetCast is a platform for all of us to share our faith with a local, regional, national and international audience. We’re looking for people to help in a number of ways. Would you like to share your testimony? Could you regularly script and record a Thought of the Day? Could you help develop our Social Media presence? Could we interview you about your positive experiences relating to your work, studies or other activities and how your faith has impacted this? Would you like to promote something or advertise on the station? Or do you fancy presenting your own live show? (We’ll help with training.)

Interested? We’re planning an Open Day at Sheep Street for anyone who wants to learn more about the station and perhaps how you could be involved. We’ll announce a date for this shortly but if you would like more details, please email


You can read more about us and listen to the station by visiting and please do look us up on Facebook

(not forgetting to like the page!).




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