Rector’s Ramblings January 2018

Happy New Year to all our Readers and many grateful thanks for all the help and support that has been given this past year.  Many thanks as well to our News Letter Editors printers and distributors.

As Brexit rumbles on we turn our thoughts to the year ahead.  For any organisation to flourish it needs a structure and that is as true for the church as any other.  In your local church there is the Rector or priest with spiritual and legal responsibilities. Then there are two church wardens, they are not only responsible for the fabric of the local church but as channels of communication between the church people they represent and the priest.  They hold important posts for the smooth running of the church.  They are elected each year by the congregation from the church members and by the church members whose names are on the church electoral role. Elections take place in April, but with Easter on 1st April (yes it isn’t a joke) the congregations need to start thinking about who they want to represent them in the coming year now.  Under the church wardens there is the Parochial Church Council which is a group of people elected by the congregation to help in the running of the church and to represent their wishes. They serve for three years and each year a third of their number is elected. Elections take place at the Annual Parochial Church Meeting (APCM) before the end of April.

I hope many people will take the opportunity to thank the wardens and PCC members for all they have done this past year and consider if God may be calling you to this role in 2018.

This summer I hope that I might take a three month sabbatical or study leave from the Benefice.  Priests are encouraged every seven years to take some time out for self nourishment and study.  At the moment I have permission from our Bishop to take this leave and I am very grateful to the ministry team to help cover the services while I am away so services will continue as usual.  I am awaiting some funding grants and trying to plan who might look after our dog some of the time, as I hope Heather will be able to come with me as well.  On my previous sabbatical I studied pilgrimages from a pilgrims perspective and have been involves in some way with they ever since.  This time I want to explore the effect of pilgrims on the places they visit, both in a religious and non religious context, i.e how has say Lourdes been effected by pilgrims and how have communities in Germany and Poland been effected by those visiting the concentration camp memorials.

Our own churches in their own way are places of pilgrimage, places where people go to find God and visitors can effect those who work and worship there.  I hope to confirm shortly if this will all go ahead.

Cheese and wine with Miss Jones

Please join us at the Old Rectory Hinton-in-the-Hedges on the 28th January 12pm-2.30pm and listen to the Fabulous Miss Jones, Jazz Vocalist. Cheese and Wine and other fine foods will be served.

Tickets £10 (includes one glass of Wine) All proceeds raised go to The Most Holy Trinity Church, Hinton.

Tickets available from: Jeremy- 01280 840017  or Kaye – 07720325979

PAC ~ Praise Activity and Cake

4pm-5pm on Sunday 7th January at Croughton Reading Rooms.

Come and celebrate the Epiphany or the coming of the three kings as we start the New Year with new Sunday family afternoon time.    Enjoy some singing, crafts and cake in the centrally heated  Reading Rooms, parking available behind the venue.          Next to the Black Bird Public house.

Croughton Christmas Tree Festival

My many thanks to all who helped in any way to make our first Christmas Tree festival such a great success. With special thanks to CT Walters Electrical and Mid Counties Co-op for their sponsorship.

Future Dates for your Diaries

4th     February   PAC 4pm Croughton                        12th  February-Lent Bible study starts

13th  February Pancakes at the Rectory, Aynho

4th     March PAC 4pm Croughton                               11th  March-Mothering Sunday

25th  March-Palm Sunday                                           29th  March-Maundy Meal

1st    April-Easter

22nd April-St. George Evenley Patronal Festival

29th April-Joint Service with USAF and Shared lunch

 

Rector’s Ramblings

All I want for Christmas is………..

You may remember the film or the song in which these lines were sung.  But they ask us the question what do we want for Christmas?  You may put world peace up there, a day without Brexit on the news.  For some
people Christmas will pass them by as any other day, a day full of sorrow and sadness, a day where they have no home, a day filled with abuse, a day of cold and hunger. At this time of year our charity focus moves to the work of the Children’s Society, Some people collect for this society all year round with collecting boxes in their homes, if you would like to join them, just let me know and I can get a collecting box round to you for 2018.

We have two events which particularly focus on the Children’s Society, formerly called the Church of
England Children’s Society.  The first event is the Christingle Service which has been used for many years as the flagship for the society. This year our service will be at 4pm on 3rd December at All Saints
Croughton.  Here we will make our Christingles and a collection will be taken for the charity.  This is a lovely
service for all the family,  do come along if you can.  If you cannot make the service and want to make a donation, please drop it off at the Rectory marked ‘Children’s Society’ and I will make sure it gets to them.

Our second event is the “Carol Singing on the Green” or round the Christmas tree at Aynho on Christmas Eve at 5pm, usually followed by mince pies and mulled wine in the village hall.

We support the charity because of the work they do to help tackle child sexual exploitation, they work among the young refugees and migrants, they have an advocacy service that speaks up for the
children in areas such as child protection and government policy. They work with children affected by adult
substance abuse.  They work with and for those who go missing from their homes and families, they work
supporting young people experiencing mental health and emotional wellbeing problems. They also work with post adoption and care services for those who have been adopted and want to trace relatives.

See https://www.childrenssociety.org.uk for more details.

One thing the Children’s Society highlights is our need to be vigilant about caring for or safeguarding
children where ever we may find ourselves.  The church’s commitment to safeguarding children and  vulnerable adults is shown by all PCC members and group leaders attending Safeguarding Awareness courses to help set the standard for our communities and to help protect them.

May I take this opportunity to wish you all a peaceful and Christ filled Christmas and look forward to seeing you at our many events and services over the Christmas time.

God Bless Simon  (Rector)

Croughton Christmas Tree Festival

Come and enjoy the festive decorations from village groups in the first of our new Christmas Tree Festival at Croughton Church. The festival is open

Sunday 10th December 2pm – 5pm, Saturday 16th December 2pm – 5pm, Sunday 17th December 2pm – 5pm Entry £1 for adults, children free          Come and help us judge the best dressed tree.                               The festival will finish with a special Christmas Tree Carols at 4.30pm Sunday 17th December to which everybody is invited and at which the winner of the best dressed tree will be announced.

Mid week viewing for groups can be made by arrangement-please contact Peter on 01869 810023

We are very grateful to CT Walters Electrical Ltd for their support of this event.

 

The Travelling Crib

Each year we have continued a tradition of sending ‘the Holy Family’ on a journey around our villages on their way to ‘the stable’.  This consists of a set of figures to create the nativity scene which we invite people (young or not so young) to host for a night. And hopefully as they visit that the host will receive a blessing in return. At a Special Benefice Service at 10am at Saint Michael Aynho, with help from the BFC, we will be blessing our Christmas Cribs and figures before they start their journeys around our villages on their way to our Christmas Crib services.

If you would like to host the ‘Holy Family’ please let me know (Simon 01869 810903) or have a word with your local church wardens or Carrie O’Regan (01280 702300).  There will also be lists put up in churches later with more information.

All we ask people to do is arrange to pass the crib onto the next family each day.

Church: PAC (Praise, Activities and Cake)

Remember, remember the 5th of November…. …………………Remember me when I am gone away.

We probably all have at one time or another commented on how time appears to go quicker now, especially as we get older.  A recent study suggests that our memory of time is punctuated with the old and the new. The more new experiences we have in our lives the longer time appears, as we have lots to fit in.  When we get older we often have fewer new experiences to mark our time sheets with and so time goes quicker.  Who knows, but one thing I remember from my child hood is the summer holiday club I went to and what I made there.

In our benefice we have had the benefit of over 20 years of summer holiday clubs for children to remember and we are very grateful for all who have helped over that period in so many ways, setting many happy and good memories into children’s and family’s minds.  The only sad part was that it only happened once a year.  But now that is all about to change with PAC.

PAC is a new monthly follow up or extension of the summer holiday club, but for all the family.  It will follow the tried and tested formula of the summer group, starting with a time of praise and story telling, then time for craft activities and then refreshments.  As Holiday Club follow on Group, doesn’t roll off the tongue, we thought we would use a shorter name that does what it says. And hence we have PAC

      PAC stands for :- Praise, Activities & Cake  following on the formula from the summer.

We will be holding a monthly session for one hour on the first Sunday of each month in the Reading

Rooms in Croughton.  We have decided on the Reading Rooms, because of the facilities that they can offer, Heating, Toilets, kitchen and space. There is also car parking available behind them which is a luxury at most of our churches.    Like the summer holiday club PAC is aimed at families with primary age children, but families with younger and older children are welcome as well.  We hope that a regular time and place will help people’s memory and form a brand new habit.  For your diaries here are the dates of the sessions until Easter. Looking forward to seeing you soon.

PAC   4pm-5pm   Croughton Reading Room

November 5th Advent/Light         December 3rd      Christingle                       January 7th Epiphany

February  4th  Pancakes               March      4th       Mothering Sunday

Rector’s Ramblings October 2017

I would like to take this opportunity to say thank you to all who helped at the harvest celebrations with gifts of money and harvest produce and decorating the churches.  Although we make a great effort at this time of year, the people we help need all year round support. So lets not wait until next year to give that helping hand, why not put that extra packet or the BOGOF in the food bank or collection baskets at the supermarket the next time you are out, just to show that you continue to care.

October kicks off our autumn bible study groups which will meet weekly until Advent (December). We will meet in the five villages at various times and locations.  The exact details are being finalised and will be found on the website www.astwickvale.co.uk and will also be published in our weekly electronic Newsletter called Pews News.  If you would like to be included in the latest information send an email to astwickvale.office@gmail.com with Pews News in the subject line and we will add you to the circulation.  You are free to unsubscribe by a link in each email at any time, no questions asked.  Following on from Harvest we will be exploring what the ‘Fruits of the Spirit’ are with the help of a course booklet for £5.  A warm welcome and good company guaranteed.

We will all have heard the phrase, if music be the food of love.. play on, it reminds us of the important place that music plays in our worship.  Over the years the instruments and songs may have changed but music has always been important.  I would like to thank all who play or sing to help enhance our worship in all our churches.  Maybe you would like to join the robed choir at Aynho, or if you would like a different commitment why not join the group of singers known as the BFC (full title Benefice Festival Chorus).  The BFC meet on a Thursday evening from 7:30pm to 9pm either in one of the churches or Aynho village hall when it gets cold. And then they sing at one or two services each term.  This autumn they start to think about Advent and Christmas with possible events on
26th November and 10th December and maybe even on Christmas Eve at Midnight Mass if people’s diaries allow it.  Rehearsals will start in October, no previous experience required, no ability to read music required, although it does help but you can learn by singing along.  No auditions required, just a wish to sing with others.  Look out for more details on the website and Pews News. Come along and bring a friend.

November 1st is All Souls Day when we remember our loved ones departed. Our annual All Souls service this year will take place at Aynho on 29th October at 6pm.  Here we will remember our loved ones and light
candles in their memory.  Everybody is invited to come, but if you cannot attend and would like a candle lit for a loved one, just let me know and I will arrange it for you.  We will also be collecting names in church of those to be remembered.

God Bless you all                   Simon

 

Village Festival

This is an invite for the Village Community clubs and societies to be part of the Village thanksgiving to celebrate Harvest through the provision of either fruit/vegetables/flowers or tinned food, the latter being donated and divided between Brackley food-bank and Katherine House Hospice.

Please take the opportunity to display your gifts in one of the church windows, at the same time perhaps a poster giving some brief details of your club or society. The church is being decorated Saturday morning 30th Sept so just turn up and people will help you.

Of course on Harvest Sunday you are very welcome to join us for the service and the following Bring and Share lunch in the village hall.

Details from Graham Gibbs, Church warden.

Tel: 01869 819727 or e mail aynhogibbs@hotmail.com

Ride and Stride

Ride and stride on Saturday September 9th to help raise funds for Northamptonshire Historical Churches Trust.  Bring out your bike, or walk, to enjoy some quality time in our beautiful county of Northamptonshire!

Participants ride (bicycles – or even horses)  or stride between churches as few or as many as you choose, usually planning your own route and timing.

For information and sponsorship forms please contact:

PAT STUBBS  01869 810695

Christian Holiday Club

Children of primary school age are invited to join us this summer for our Benefice Christian Holiday Club entitled ‘Pyramid Rock’, which is based on the story of Joseph and his brothers.

We will meet in Croughton All Saints Primary School,

Monday 31st July to Friday 4th August from 9.30am to 12.00pm each day.

Doors open at 9.30 and children go straight into the hall.

‘Pyramid Rock’ is designed for children aged 5 to 11 years and will be staffed by registered leaders and helpers from our five parishes.  We are planning a fun week with activities, songs and stories each day, culminating in our Closing Celebrations at 10.00am on Sunday 6th August to which parents, family and friends will be invited to join us in Croughton Church.

There will be no charge for our Holiday Club, but there will be an opportunity throughout the week to make a donation if you so wish.  Drinks and biscuits will be served mid-morning again without charge.

Places are limited, and we will only have 10 places available for children starting school in September and whose 5th birthday is before 31st December 2017, so prior registration is strongly advised to avoid disappointment. To reserve a place please complete a registration form and send it to Sarah Kurze, c/o 45 DeLorean Way, Brackley, Northants, NN13 6BF. Registration forms will only be acknowledged by email.

We look forward to another fun-filled week and do hope your children will join us!

Revd. Simon Dommett and the Holiday Club team

Rector’s Ramblings June 2017

As we look forward to June you may, like me, be looking forward to better weather.  Our winter and spring have been a bit unpredictable this year.  This could be as the result of climate change, I prefer that to the phrase global warming, as the weather can be hotter or colder than usual.  But it does feel different to the weather I remember as a child.  We may well be responsible for this change and should bear that in mind with our use of energy for unnecessary causes.

June is also a time of change for the church.  At the start of June we celebrate the Coming of the Holy Spirit and the change that brought to the early church.  We call this celebration Pentecost but it used to be known as
Whitsun, or White Sunday as people would make a special effort to dress up in white.  It was also a time for
holidays for many of the mills and factories.  Following on from Pentecost, we enter into the season of Trinity, when we celebrate that great mystery of God in three persons, Father, Son and Holy Spirit and yet we still hold true to the first of the Ten Commandments that there is only one God.

St. Patrick is said to have explained the mystery of the Trinity as the three leaves of the shamrock representing God as Father, Son and Holy Spirit, yet all three are one plant.   Others have said it is like a person who is a
father to their children, a husband to their wife and son to their parents; father, husband, son, three people but in one person.  As Christians we see God as the creator of the world, Jesus as the saviour of the world and the Holy Spirit as God’s working in the world today.

To me, complete understanding of this mystery is not important if even possible, for I believe it is beyond us.  But the words often heard at a wedding from St. Paul’s letter to the church in Corinth sum it up very well for me

Now these three remain, faith, hope and love and the greatest of these is love.  I invite you to come and join in our worship to the God of Love, shown in Jesus and alive and well in the world today.

We will be holding a special Patronal service at 10am on 18th June at The Most Holy Trinity church, Hinton-in-the-Hedges which is dedicated to the Trinity, I hope to see you there.

God Bless.  SIMON