St Andrew’s, Devizes; Marston Chapel;
Trinity, Market Lavington
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.
report concludes with the following thoughts which may be helpful in our
deliberations here at St. Andrew’s:
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:
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.
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.
and justify the understanding of marriage as being between two persons.
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
are encouraged to read the report ourselves. Ruth McGregor has a paper
copy and it can be found online from the Methodist Church Website: www.methodist.org.uk – search for Marriage and
Relationships 2019. Other useful information including a video can be
& Peter Brearley
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.
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
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
you are interested in attending this training session, please let me
know as soon as possible. Please speak to me personally, email me on email@example.com or telephone 01380 501573.
assure you that you will enjoy the session.
24 February - Sunday 8 March
Deserves a Living Income
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
& Norman Rollin on their Blue Sapphire Anniversary in 2008
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.
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.
one time, in the 1970's Norman was the Chairman of the Property
Committee and looked after the premises well.
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.
lived most of his 97 years very active and interested. We send
our love and sympathy to his two grandchildren James and Josephine.
Andrew's is an -
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.
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
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
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.
time we order a case of coffee sachets, the company donate £3 to
Tearfund - I wonder how many cases we have had!
you for your continued support.
10.30am on the 1st and 3rd
Thursday of the month (January only, on 2nd & 4th Tuesday)
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.
tell Bill Thomas or John Saunders you would like to join the group
(so enough copies of the manual can be bought).
FOR FEBRUARY - from The Prayer Group
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
are the God of the universe, yet you hear the cry of the tiniest
are the mightiest being, yet you care about me.
hear my cry in the night, you are with me.
are my God, and I am yours. Praise be!
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.
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.
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
book includes some photographs of these events.
sign up and borrow this book and I guarantee you will find it a
Winding Road of Faith"
for February TURNING POINT news