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THE SHIRWELL MISSION COMMUNITY

A Mission Community in the Diocese of Exeter

St. Peter's Anglican-Methodist Church, Bratton Fleming


Recent News & Events


Rev Robert Manning Writes . . .

Dear Friends

 

We visited Cornwall after Easter and walked around some of the abandoned mine buildings on the North Coast between Sennen and St Ives. These empty towers of stone were heaved up by hard labour and a little help from a steam engine or two. It's hard to imagine those beautiful places wreathed in smoke and filled with noise and people. They built to last and last they have, after all has fallen silent. 

 

Other older stones can be found across Cornwall and parts of Devon too. I am thinking of the standing Celtic Crosses, with their ornate carvings. We can imagine the joy of those early Christians staking their place in the heart of the landscape. Fresh stone raised up for a freshly expressed faith. How extraordinary and novel it must have seemed at the time, the source of much wonderment and many questions in the minds of local people. 

 

The carvings have blurred with time and although they were an object of some beauty once, they are not what they were. The setting of the Easter message in stone is no guarantee of its permanence within the minds of each successive generation, a fact to which many an empty Church building testifies. 

 

Later this month we will celebrate Pentecost, that supreme moment when the Spirit of God was made known in a way that had not been seen before and the Church, from a weak and faltering start got going. What Peter had to say that day moved thousands to become Christians. In the time before Pentecost Peter kept the faith. Even in the face of the same evil that killed Jesus, he kept the faith

It leaves us with a challenge, is our faith as certain as it was when we first came to know Jesus as Lord? 

 

Mine remains so, it's richer in part and some things that were important seem less so now, but the miracle of that God loves each of us is a reason to live every day in the best possible way. 

 


Robert Manning


Prayer Walk


A series of Prayer Walks have again been arranged as part of the national wave of prayer.

 

Unlike in past years when we walked from church to church, this year the walks will be held within each parish, with walks starting or finishing at the church. This will mean that the walks will be shorter and therefore more family friendly and accessible for more people.

 

The walk in Bratton Fleming, on Wednesday 16 May will start at 10.30am, after Celtic Prayer.

Archdeacon's Visitation


Mention was made last month that this year’s Archdeacons’s Visitation will be on Thursday 17 May.  We can now confirm that this will be at St Philip and St Jame’s Church, Ilfracombe.

Agape


Despite fewer people than usual attending this years Agape, those who attended found the evening very  emotional and thought provoking.

 

As always the evening featured Holy Communion, in the context of a meal as we remembered Jesus’ last evening with his disciples in the upper room.   

Annual Meetings


At the Annual Meeting Daphne and Terry were re-elected as Churchwardens for the coming year. Rosie thanked them for all their work and support.

 

all the members of the ECC were re-elected, together with Kay Neale who filled the vacancy. 

Sadly three Sidespeople had decided to step down through the year, for various reasons. Barbara Cawker and Lynne Bawden had previously indicated that they would be willing to stand, and were appointed alongside Audrey Dever, Eveline Bayard, Hugh Rolfe and Sue Squire.

 

Val presented the accounts which showed the finances were in good order.

 

Rosie thanked everyone for all their work and dedication to St Peters throughout the year.

 

Copies of the 2017 Annual Report are still available in church for anyone who has not picked up a copy.

Snow Interrupts Pray


The snow at the beginning of March had little effect on us here at St Peter’s, although there were a few people who couldn’t make it through the snowdrifts.  Other churches were less fortunate, and had to cancel services.

 

The second fall of snow two weeks later was very different however. Contingency plans were made on the Saturday evening in case Margaret wasn’t able to play the organ, and Rev John Kendall wasn’t able to travel from Combe Martin. These plans were based on a light/medium fall of snow.

 

On the Sunday morning however it was very clear that it was not a light snowfall. An exchange of emails between Rev Rosie and the churchwardens resulted in all services being cancelled. 

 

It was decided however to continue with Messy Church Cafe, with the children having fun in the snow while their parents chatted in the Wesley Suite. This proved to be the right decision, with 20 parents & children attending.

 

We are grateful to Maria and Archie for their work in ensuring everything went smoothly, and everyone who came along.

The Easter Experience


After the heavy snowfall the previous weekend, the weather on Palm Sunday was glorious, with clear blue skies as we gathered at Arlington Court for this year’s Easter Experience. 

 

Photographs of this year’s event are also included elsewhere in this magazine.

We are very grateful to everyone who took part in the drama depicting the events of Holy Week, together with helpers and those who acted as stewards.

 

This year’s Easter Experience also featured on the news page of the diocesan website, 

http://exeter.anglican.org/shirwell-tells-easter-story/

and on the diocesan Facebook page.

I Never Knew That!


The calling of three sets of Banns within as many months at St Peters has resulted in the question being asked as to why it is called Banns, when the last thing we want to do is to ban them from marrying.

 

Banns of Marriage were introduced in 1215, the word coming from ‘bans’ or ‘baenz’ meaning proclamation. 

Until that time there was no formal procedure, and people could get married almost right away, but there were stricter regulations on who could marry who. Banns were introduced to enable people who knew the couple to object if they felt it inappropriate for them to marry.  At that time it was even considered to be too close a family connection if each shared great, great, great, great, great grandfather.