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.
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
Institution, Induction & Installation of New Rector - 27th July 2015
- Written by Tony Gowers
The service for the Institution, Induction and Installation of the Rev'd Richard Warhurst as Rector of our Benefice will be held at St Leonard's Church, Semley, on Monday 27th July 2015 at 7.00 pm.
Refreshments will be served after the service in Semley Primary School.
Please do join us - all are most welcome.
Story†ime - St John's Church, Charlton
- Written by Tony Gowers
Songs – Story - Activity – Play
Story†ime continues to be popular with parents and pre-school children due to its informality and relaxed nature. The songs and stories with actions are geared towards 2—5 year olds but if a child gets bored and wishes to explore the toys at the back of the church instead, nobody minds! The craft activity afterwards is a chance for Mums (and Dads) to chat and have a cup of tea/coffee and slice of cake. So if you have not been, why not come along and give it a try. You can be assured of a warm welcome.
Story†ime is at 4.00 pm on Thursday 7th May 2015, 4th June 2015 and 2nd July 2015 in St John's Church, Charlton (near Ludwell School), where we have plenty of toys, a small kitchen, WC and nappy-changing facilities.
See you there!
For more details please telephone Theresa on 01747 829188.
Calling all Barts Youth Group Members…
- Written by Gerry Purdue
Deanery Summer Camp
You all know there's been a pause in our youth activities since Rev'd Steve and Jemma left us for pastures new, but we hope to get back soon to our regular programme of activities. In the meantime, I'm pleased to be able to invite you to our Deanery Summer Camp*; it will be held at the Girl Guide Centre close to the pretty village of Berwick St. James, between the A36 Wilton Road and the A303 at Winterbourne Stoke. For details of the Girl Guide Centre, click on this URL: http://www.girlguiding-wiltshiresouth.org.uk/index.php/berwick).
The Camp, which is for boys and girls aged between 10 and 17, will run from Friday evening, 10th July 2015 to Sunday afternoon 12th July 2015. Registration will be between 4.30 and 6.00 p.m. and activities will end at 4.30 p.m. on the Sunday. There'll be a barbecue at the close, which your parents are invited to enjoy as well. You can bring your own tent but we'll have enough space for you if you don't have one.
So – what's on offer? Well, you won't be disappointed. It may be your first opportunity to camp in the open air; you'll make new friends; and there'll be a range of activities, including:
- Lasertag (http://www.extremelasertag.co.uk/) on one of the days;
- Camp fires;
- Story telling, which will include a talk by Rev'd Alice Goodall and Dr. Elizabeth Hockney about their recent visit to Cueibet Diocese in South Sudan;
- Group discussions;
- A variety of games;
- ...and we'll all go on a midnight hike.
We are asking you to contribute £25 each, which will include seven meals and the closing BBQ. We expect high demand for the eighty places available this year, so early application is advised; please contact Gerry for a form - telephone 01747 830 419. If you prefer, you can send Gerry an email from this web site - click here to open the contact form for Gerry to send the email. We'd also be pleased to hear from any mums or dads who would like to help. Just let Gerry know; it doesn't have to be for the whole weekend.
*Some of you will have been to last year's camp at Bruce Dunton's Home in Barford St. Martin. Bruce, who is still leading this year's event, has moved it to the 2.5 acre Guide Centre in order to accommodate larger numbers. The site has excellent, modern facilities so you won't be 'roughing it' too much!
Calling All Golfers !!
- Written by Tony Gowers
Are you a golfer living in one of the Parishes of Semley, Sedgehill, East Knoyle, Donhead St. Andrew or Donhead St. Mary with Charlton? If so we'd very much like to hear from you.
A small group of us are trying to organise a Benefice Golf Day at Rushmore Park in the late summer, early autumn of 2015.
The event will be based on teams of four, men and women, with Stableford scoring and with a meal provided at its close. There'll be plenty of fun on the day and the intention behind it all is to raise a significant amount of money which can be distributed amongst our churches for their material benefit.
The starting point is to learn how many golfers we have in the Benefice, good and not quite so good, old and young, who would like to play and are willing to find three others to join them in a team? Our target ideally is to find 18 teams which would then allow us to have the course for ourselves, for the day, with a shotgun start.
So if you are a golfer, even if the clubs are a little dusty currently, do get in touch and think seriously about finding three others, friends, family whatever who would join you. Come on, it'll be really enjoyable and who knows you might win!
For more information or to register, please contact Jonathan on 01747 829076 or Simon on 01747 828503. Alternatively, you can send an email via this web site to the organisers by clicking here - when the new window opens, click on the heading 'Contact Form', and fill in the form to send your message.
2016 Pilgrimage to Greece in The Steps of St Paul
- Written by Tony Gowers
Through Greece With Saint Paul And His Legacy In 2016
Saint Paul landed at Neapolis (modern Kavala) in around 50AD, and with him Christianity made its first hesitant steps into Europe.
In May 2016 I will be leading a group of around 30 on pilgrimage tracing Paul's travels in Greece from Neapolis, through Philippi, Thessalonika, and Berea in the north, and then following him on to Athens and Corinth. In some places we will stand where he stood, and see what he saw. As we journey we will discover something of his legacy in the form of the life, work and worship of the Greek Orthodox Church, as well as the monastic tradition that has grown up in that region (not least when we visit the incredible and amazing Meteora Monasteries perched as high as 400 metres up on cliff-like rock formations . We will also dip into the culture which Paul encountered and the history of the nation.
As with any pilgrimage, we will, of course, enrich our experiences from time to time with appropriate and relevant scripture readings and prayers, and hopefully some spiritual, insights. This can be an interesting and thought provoking sequel to previous visits to the Holy Land, but equally as a stand-alone experience. Our journey begins early on 18th May 2016 and we return late on 27th May 2016.
I will be happy to provide anyone with a brochure and further information. Please get in touch with me by telephone on 01747 853637. Alternatively, you can me an email from this website - click on here and when the new window opens, click on the heading 'Contact Form', and fill in the form to send your message.
Ven. John Holliman
From the Curate - June 2015
- Written by Rev'd Alice Goodall
A Place To Call 'Home'
When my children were small, I used to have a recurring dream that we needed to leave in a hurry. The reason for having to flee would vary, though was usually some form of war or impending natural disaster. There wasn't much time and, as we might never be able to return, I needed to pack all essential items - warm clothing certainly, food, nappies, a torch maybe, matches. Of course. Sunshine Ted and Woody had to come. Would we need our passports and, if so, where had I put them? As I gathered these items into an always too small bag, I had, at the same time, to keep an eye on both children and ensure that they were safe and sound. In the dream, the task was never completed.
I don't have this dream any longer. I guess I no longer feel the same responsibility for my children. They are big enough now to manage perfectly well without me - at least most of the time. But just how awful must it be to live through a scenario like that? At the end of 2013, there were reckoned to be over 33 million internally displaced people (IDPs) in the world, people on the run in their own country because of conflict or violence. A further 15 million had been made homeless through natural disaster. And nearly 17 million were refugees, seeking a safe haven in another country.
Mostly we are protected from such horrors. Crises and disasters come onto our television screens, and flit across Twitter and Facebook. We may make a donation to one of the Aid agencies, and in church we pray for the people involved but each crisis is quickly replaced by another seemingly more urgent one. Yet for each person involved, we know that the impact of the crisis is long lasting. Finding somewhere else that they can call "home', rebuilding their lives, recovering from the emotional scars can take a lifetime.
Just occasionally we glimpse this sort of upheaval closer to home. Someone reluctantly leaves their beloved home - and most of their belongings - to move into a nursing home. Someone is forced to give up their 'forever home' because of a difficult divorce or financial problems. Someone finds all their belongings destroyed in flood or fire.
As Susan Thompson, an Associate Professor at the University of New South Wales writes, 'Home is the familiar, taken-for-granted world where most of us are nurtured, comforted and loved. Home is where we can dream and hope, relax and be ourselves, laugh and cry'. It is a refuge, the centre of important human relationships, a symbol of our personal identity and worth. It is the place where many of our important memories are formed. Somewhere to call 'home' is an important thing.
However, if push comes to shove, I think most of us would say that there were things we valued above the place that we live and above the belongings that we have, things like life, health, relationships, having a purpose, having a sense of worth.
Maybe the plight of those forced to flee their homes should challenge all of us. Challenge us to be thankful for the security that we largely enjoy. Challenge us to be thankful for all the good things, all the good memories associated with our homes. Challenge us to live lightly, remembering that belongings are just belongings. Challenge us to practise valuing the moment, treasuring up the important things in life in our hearts and minds. And yes, challenge us to give, and in a small way help others to find a place to call "home'.