The Benefice of St. Bartholomew
Welcome to the website for the Benefice of St Bartholomew
- Written by Tony Gowers
The Benefice of St Bartholomew covers almost 30 square miles in the south west corner of Wiltshire. Most of the Benefice lies within the Cranborne Chase and West Wiltshire Downs Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty with its exceptional landscapes and superb scenery. The Benefice includes the following parishes: Donhead St Mary with Charlton, Donhead St Andrew, East Knoyle, Semley and Sedgehill.
This site will tell you about our six Churches: St. John the Baptist Church in Charlton, St. Andrew's Church in Donhead St. Andrew, St Mary's Church in Donhead St. Mary, St. Mary's Church in East Knoyle, St. Catherine's Church in Sedgehill and St Leonard's Church in Semley.
The site also describes:
- The services and events which have been arranged for the whole Benefice.
- The activities organised for children and younger people in the Benefice.
You can also find us on Facebook - www.facebook.com/beneficeofstbartholomew
If you have an item that you would like to be included on this website or have suggestions on how we can improve the site, please click here.
Latest News And Forthcoming Services & Events
Advent and Christmas Services in the Benefice - 2016
- Written by Tony Gowers
Advent and Christmas will be celebrated at services in Churches throughout the Benefice as follows:
Sunday 27th November - Advent Sunday
6.00 pm: Advent Carols - St Leonard's, Semley
Sunday 4th December
6.00 pm: Advent Praise - St Mary's, East Knoyle
Sunday 18th December
11.00 am: Carols in the Morning - St Mary's, Donhead St Mary
4.00 pm: Carols - St Catherine's, Sedgehill
4.30 pm: Service of Nine Lessons with Carols - St Andrew's, Donhead St Andrew. Click here for more information about this service.
6.30 pm: Carol Service - St Mary's, East Knoyle
Saturday 24th December - Christmas Eve
3.00 pm: Crib Service - St John's, Charlton
6.00 pm: Carols with Lanterns - St Leonard's, Semley
11.30 pm: Midnight Mass - St Mary's, Donhead St Mary
Sunday 25th December - Christmas Day
9.30 am: Morning Service - St Catherine's, Sedgehill
9.30 am: Sung Eucharist - St Leonard's, Semley
11.00 am: Sung Eucharist - St Andrew's, Donhead St Andrew
11.00 am: Sung Eucharist - St Mary's, East Knoyle
All are most welcome - please do come and join us.
tea@thechurch, Charlton - In Its Fourth Year !
- Written by Tony Gowers
*** Please note the new start time - 2.30 pm instead of 2.00 pm ***
Coming up at tea@thechurch:
- now in its fourth year and as popular as ever!
tea@thechurch will meet as usual on
Mondays 2.30 pm to 4.30 pm at St John's Church, Charlton
on the following dates:
September 12th, 19th and 26th
October 3rd, 10th, 24th and 31st
November 7th, 14th and 28th
December 5th, 12th and 19th - see below for the special events on these dates
Special Events During December 2016:
On 5th December, there will be a Bring And Buy Sale in aid of the Red Cross. Come along for a drink and find Christmas edibles and small gifts on offer.
On 12th December, we will have our annual and much enjoyed Christmas Party.
On 19th December, tea will finish at 3.00pm and will be followed by our popular short Carol Service to which all are invited regardless of whether you usually come to tea@thechurch.
If you are new to the area, it can be a bit daunting walking in to a strange building, but you can be assured of a warm welcome if you do take the plunge!
We hope to see you there for a cuppa, a slice or two of home-made cake and some good conversation.
Do come along - you're guaranteed a warm welcome !
PS. If you are small, we have some pretty good toys too.
From the Rector - November 2016
- Written by Rev'd Richard Warhurst
*** IMPORTANT NEWS ***
This month I would like to use my letter to tell you about two changes that we are making across the Benefice. In recent months we have recruited and trained a group of people to be a Lay Pastoral Visiting Team. They are available across the Benefice. If you would like a visit from one of the team then please let us know in the Benefice office on 830174. If you think someone else would beneﬁt from this service please try to discuss this with them before you ask us to visit, as we will need their consent. If you would prefer to see someone from outside your community or would prefer to see someone of a specific gender then we are very happy to try to pair you with someone most suited to you. This does not mean that I am not happy to visit. I enjoy visiting and if you specifically would like to see me I would be happy to visit. If you need a specific kind of visit such as Home Communion please do ask and we will be very happy to arrange it.
Changes to the pattern of services from January 2017:
From the first week of my taking office I have been asked how I am going to change the pattern of services. I requested at Parochial Church Councils that I had some time to get to know how things work here. The background to this is that in recent years the Benefice has gone from having three full time members of staff to having one (me). The pattern of services when I arrived had regular services at 8.30, 9.30 for 10, 9.45, 10, 10.30, 11 and 6pm. On one of our Sundays there are three services at 9.45 and one at 10.30. This means on that Sunday we need at least four different people to be available and willing to take these services every month. In January I asked each PCC to appoint four people to meet and discuss the needs of their own church and community and also to think how all services work across the Benefice. In May we came together as one large group to think how we could go forward. We decided to change all (bar one) main service time to 9.30 and 11 and retain an 8.30 and 6pm. We have worked very hard to try to make sure that there are a range of services available each Sunday and that they are less in competition with each other than they are at the moment. This means that if there are five services a Sunday, which usually there are, l am able to do 8.30, a 9.30 an 11 and a 6pm. The gap between 9.30 and 11 means that there is a gap of 30 minutes which means I have 10 minutes to say goodbye, 10 minutes to drive to the next church and 10 minutes to prepare. The 15 minutes at the moment is not very satisfactory. Each week there is a Sung Eucharist at 9.30 and in time it is envisioned that this will have a Sunday School/Children's Church and a small choir attached to it that will move around the churches. Please study the new pattern carefully so you know what to expect. l hope you will find the new arrangements helpful.
PS. Click here to print and/or download a copy of the new pattern of services.