The ancient office
Did you know that the office of Churchwarden was recognised in law as early as the 12th Century? Two churchwardens are elected every year by a meeting at which every adult parishioner is eligible to vote, not just those on the church electoral roll. Your churchwardens are responsible for all your parish business, and their office gives them authority as both guardians of parish morals, and trustees for your church’s property and goods. This is one reason why churchwardens are sworn in every year by a senior member of the clergy – normally the Archdeacon, but occasionally the Bishop. This service is called the “Visitation” and the churchwardens for the coming year are asked to take an oath, and are then admitted to their office. This year’s visitation service for our Archdeaconry is at Dorchester Abbey on Thursday (8th June) at 7.30pm. Do pray for, and give thanks for, your churchwardens as they take up their role of service and leadership for your church community.
Worship Services for Sunday 11th June
9.30am Morning Prayer at St John’s, Stoke Row with Canon Kevin Davies
11am Holy Communion at St Peter and Paul, Checkendon with Canon Kevin Davies
Midweek zoom service: Wednesday Evensong at 5.00pm 410 935 129
All of our churches benefit from the gifts and skills of dedicated and enthusiastic flower arrangers. But how do we reduce the carbon footprint and environmental impact of our displays and decorations? Is it even possible to live without oasis? Checkendon Church are hosting a demonstration by the founder of the local company “Green and Gorgeous” who will be sharing ideas and tips for creating arrangements that are not only wonderful to look at, but also kinder to the natural world. This event is at 11am on Wednesday 14th June, in the church, and will also include a light lunch. Tickets are £15 from Jane Sheppard on 07813 565309, and everyone across the Team area is very welcome.
On the natural theme – the dry weather continues, and brings out the watering can on those young plants, just settling in after being planted out. Squash, courgettes, outdoor cucumbers. The gooseberries are getting fat, and the strawberries have had their fortress erected around them. (The annual battle with Mr Squirrel and his ever increasing dependents begins….) A pied wagtail, all formal in black and white, has taken a lodging somewhere nearby and has begun visiting the bird bath for a drink twice a day, reminding us to change the water frequently. He steps primly and elegantly across the stones in the water, tail wagging up and down, drinks, and swoops away in looping flight. Food may be abundant for the birds at this time, but water is just as vital.
In your prayers, please remember Ukraine, and any locally hosted refugees known to you. Pray for the work of the British Army Chaplains department, helping to train Orthodox clergy to serve as chaplains to the Ukrainian forces. Currently there are just over a hundred chaplains in the Ukrainian army – it is calculated that about seven times that number are needed. At times when things are full stretch, questions of faith become even more important.
May the Lord bless you and keep you.
Your Rector, Revd Kevin.