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

and Trinity, Market Lavington

November/December 2018

Minister's Musings


Revd Gary Gotham



Dear Friends,


'They devoted themselves to the apostles' teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer.'  Acts 2:42

Here's the question ... well a series, a jumble, a ball of wool with loose threads ... of questions if I'm honest.


Breaking bread, what's it all about?  We have so many names for it, each with their own preconceptions ... (Holy) Communion, The Lord's Supper, Agape, Breaking Bread, The Eucharist, The (Holy) Mass and probably several I have overlooked.  I'm going to use the word 'communion' from now on but you substitute whichever term you are comfortable with.


Some say that at Communion, the person 'presiding' says some particular words and at that moment the bread and wine literally becomes Christ's body and blood.


Some say that at Communion, the person 'presiding' says some particular words and at that moment we are 'transported' back to that first supper in the upper room with Christ on the night when he was betrayed.


Some say that at Communion, the person 'presiding' says some particular words and at that moment, at one and the same time, it is both bread and wine and the body and blood of Christ.


Some say that at Communion, the person 'presiding' says some particular words and at that moment we, re-enact, remember, that first supper.

All this begs other questions - what do YOU think/feel happens when we break bread?  And what does this say to those with no prior experience of Christianity?


Let me share a story with you.  Some churches hold that a child cannot receive communion until they are of a certain age, or have completed a certain course.  But here's the thing ... my Aunt was born with brain damage.  She is now in her 60's ... but she has an intellectual age of a 2 year old.  Would you allow her to receive communion if she worshipped with you?  And if a 2 year old was present could they receive communion?


As we break bread together may God bless the world through you.

God Bless






Reflections on the First World War



During the summer, a small group formed to plan a concert to be performed at St Andrew’s on 3rd November. We were motivated by the strong desire to perform a work that would be a fitting way to mark the centenary of the Armistice that brought World War 1 to a close. We also wished it to be a way to honour the memory of those who sacrificed their lives in the conflict, particularly those who came from Devizes and the surrounding area.


It soon became a team effort with the small steering committee consisting of Jen Warren, Colin Thomas, Margaret Craig, Brenda Thomas and John Craig all contributing to formulating a script that just needed some talented performers to bring it to life. Pam Payne was an original committee member but sadly she had to withdrawn at an early stage due to the demands upon her in caring for Tony.

In addition to those already mentioned, the additional talent was provided by Revd Gary Gotham, Colin Crocker, Peter and Jennifer Brearley, Janine Fanshawe, Beryl Hill, Enid Allinson, Christine Madigan and Janet Tanner.


We were sorry to lose Terry Collier from the team as our pianist due to ill health but we were delighted that Susan Braunton stepped in to provide the vital musical direction. To complete the musical support, Kelvin Nash from Devizes Town Band very kindly agreed to be our trumpeter for the sounding of Last Post and Reveille.


On the day the church filled to capacity and those attending proved to be a very appreciative audience. The programme was a blend of music from the era and war poetry linked by an informative and interesting narrative.


The feedback from the audience has proved beyond doubt that the concert achieved the aim. This can be summarised by the comment heard from a lady as she departed the concert, “I feel I have marked remembrance appropriately. I need attend nothing else because nothing will top that (our concert).” 



(See 'Home' page for more photos and recording.  Also 'Church Events' page)






Margaret Fulker


Margaret, originally from Salisbury, came from Potterne to live in Devizes with her husband.  They lived in Sudweeks Court where they had great support from other residents.  Her husband became ill very soon afterwards and went into care, so it was lovely that after he died she was already with people with whom she'd made friends.


She had transferred her membership to St Andrew's and became part of the fellowship, joining in as much as she could.  She was a musician in her own right and had played the violin in an orchestra in Salisbury and other places where they had lived.  She enjoyed various concerts which took place in Devizes, particularly those organised by the Devizes Arts Festival.


She had some twelve years at Sudweeks Court and enjoyed the activities which took place.  In later years she hadn't been able to get to church but always took a great interest in what was happening.


We send our sympathy to Cheryl, her daughter.


Eileen Robinson



Holy Habits : Breaking the Bread


It is important to remember that none of the ten Holy Habits which we are exploring are stand-alone.  All of the Habits are inter-related.  Together they enable us to follow in Jesus' footsteps to lead our life in the way He did and become better Christians.


The Habit to be explored in November is 'Breaking Bread'.  This Habit works on the broad understanding that it includes the practice of Holy Communion but also includes breaking bread in other ways and contexts - ways that also make Jesus known.  it is thought that the unity of these two aspects is part of the ideal picture of the earliest church.  At that time Breaking Bread may have been as part of a meal sometimes as Holy Communion.  Sometimes both.  On all occasions the breaking of bread would remind people of Jesus and help to recognise His presence with them.


Early Christians found God in every aspect of life as they gathered together to share their lives as a community.  They found something so special in sharing this experience that they tried to follow Christ's example.


Our challenge is also to adopt this lifestyle and make these Habits become a natural part of the rhythm of our lives.  We too are invited to gather and take bread thanking God for it, breaking it, sharing it and eating it.  Above all our prayer is that this Habit helps us deepen our trust, knowing ourselves loved by God and challenging us to offer God our love individually, as a church and as a community living alongside others.


                                                                                     Bill Thomas





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Snippets of Information from the Pastoral Secretary


Help with Allergy Concerns

Allergy UK provide a range of information to help people who live with allergies.  This includes useful downloadable fact sheets, allergy recipes and a helpline: 01322 619898.  Website


Lost Property

If you have lost something in the town, ask at the Library on Sheep Street.  They may have it or will be able to report it to the police for you.


Devizes Children's Choir

On Wednesdays from 4.30 p.m. to 5.30 p.m. the Devizes Children's Choir takes place at the Baptist Church Hall, Sheep Street.  This is a children's community choir for children from Year 1 upwards.  They have been running for just under a year and their aim is to sing for fun and to go out and about in the community.  The team sings at local events in the community and at places like care homes.  There are currently 24 children but would like to increase their numbers into their second year.  For more information or to get involved call Heather Flower on 01380 722013.


Contact the Elderly

A national charity dedicated to tackling loneliness and social isolation amongst older people living in the United Kingdom.  Supported by a nationwide network of over 11,000 volunteers, Contact the Elderly organises free monthly sodical events for small groups of isolated older people.  The groups operate at weekends when most community services for older people are not available.  Sunday has been highlighted to us by our older guests as being a particularly lonely day of the week.  Groups are kept purposely small and they meet in the welcoming environment of someone's home.


Locally there are tea parties for people 75 and over on Sunday afternoons once a month.  First point of contact for making enquiries is by getting in touch with Suzan Hyland: 0207 881 2361, or 



Jenny Brearley

Information taken from website: 






                     Do you like peanut butter ? How about fish and chips? Increasingly palm oil is used for frying, in processed foods and in cleaning, personal hygiene and cosmetics products; also in biofuels for transport. It is cheaper to produce than rapeseed and sunflower oil because it produces more oil per acre and in Indonesia  and Malaysia where it is mostly grown, labour is cheap. Sadly this means the destruction of irreplaceable virgin rainforest and peat lands which leads to a release of massive amounts of carbon that increases global warming.

                     Products should be labelled with all ingredients but it is not always done, so how can we avoid this terrible destruction of rainforests? There are some cooperatives that insist on sustainable use of rainforest territories but it is not easy to find out which companies do this. Ask questions, do some research and where possible avoid products containing palm oil.


Christine Madigan



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