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The Sodbury Vale Benefice Chipping Sodbury, Old Sodbury, Horton & Little Sodbury

O U T LO O K

magazine

www.svbcofe.org.uk

Summer Aspirations?

1 Jane is enrolled as a Companion of the Society of St Francis by Brother Damian. See 1

February 2017


Churchwardens

Contacts Rector

Chipping Sodbury

The Revd. Canon David Bowers 01454 313159, [Day off Monday] email rector@svbcofe.org.uk

Joy Gibson 01454 319288 Jane Jones-Williams 01454 324970

Associate Priest The Revd. Yvonne Brae 01454 325160, [Day off Monday] email yvonne@svbcofe.org.uk

Old Sodbury

Karen Hunter If you would like to know more about the 01454 319903 Christian faith or are thinking about baptism or confirmation please speak with one of the the ministerial team

Little Sodbury Brenda Cordy 01454 316447

Church Office

Open during school term time Mon - Tue - Thu mornings 9.00 - 12.00 Horton Tina Hildick-Smith Administrators: 01454 325160 01454 320380 Michelle Jenkins, Trish Gailey Richard Needs email: office@svbcofe.org.uk 01454 329890 Web Site: www.svbcofe.org.uk

Advertising: Volunteer required

This magazine is brought to you Free by the four churches of the Sodbury Vale Benefice. If you would like to make a small donation towards production costs (about 70p per magazine) that would be most welcome. Thank you.

Editor: Michael Stephenson 01454 314094 email outlook@svbcofe.org.uk

Nominated Person: Mrs Hilary Holder 01454 327118 This is the person to contact if you wish to express concern about suspected abuse of a child or vulnerable adult

March Deadline Can you have all copy to Michelle in the Church Office by Feb 14th at the latest please.

Front Cover- St Kitts and Nevis By Chris Miller An image to brighten the darker months in anticipation of better to come

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FROM THE RECTOR Dear friends Judith and I enjoyed our first Christmas in the Benefice and I hope also that you all had a happy and joyful time. Many thanks to those who organised and came to the Day of Prayer on January 7th, when each of our churches was open for us to pray for the vision and priorities for the next five years. We looked at this in four main areas: 1. Encouraging everyone to be involved in recognising and using their gifts in God’s service and in exploring vocations to particular ministries. This involves finding the “hidden treasure” within each of us. 2. Sharing the good news of Jesus with all in our communities and looking especially at how we relate to children and young families, as well as those who come to us for baptisms, weddings and funerals. 3. Growing together in faith as disciples of Jesus. How each of us can become more confident in the faith we share and in the knowledge of the Bible. 4. Being “salt and light” in our communities. Celebrating the many ways Christians are involved in the life of the parishes and considering how we might encourage this. This also, of course, involves our links with God’s work around the world and how we remember that we are part of a worldwide family. Later this year our Parochial Church Councils will look at how we can take steps to progress in these areas, but in the meantime I would like to invite you to share your own thoughts and dreams for our churches. What would you like to see our churches doing in the next few years? What are your hopes for the future of our Benefice and where would you like us to be in five years’ time? Is there something specific that you identified as you prayed on January 7th? Please continue to pray and reflect on this and feel free to share your thoughts with me or one of the churchwardens. May we look confidently to the future with the Lord as our strength. David Bowers

PRAYER FOR THE MONTH The prayer this month is from a second century Syrian work, the Didache, which contains some of the earliest eucharistic prayers. This prayer reminds us of our unity in Christ as we are brought together in worship. As the ingredients of this bread, once scattered over the mountains, were gathered together and made one, so may your church gather people from the ends of the earth, to become one in your Kingdom. 3


Joshua Harry Febry at St John’s, Old Sodbury on 11 December George Nicholas James Spence at St John’s, Old Sodbury on 11 December

his recollections of his experiences playing church organs. We welcome anyone who would like to join us for our meetings on the fourth Tuesday of the month 2.00 to 4.00 at the Church Centre. Our next meeting will be on the 28th February. If you would like to come but would have transport difficulties please contact Christine Stephens on 01454 314621

Jack Robert Muttram at St James the Elder, Horton on 8 January Marriages: We send our congratulations to:

Principal Service readings February

Baptisms: We welcomed into the Church:

Joel Matthew Knight and Francesca Louise Hildick-Smith at St James the Elder, Horton on 10 December Charles Robert Porter and Kennedy Jenkins at St John’s, Chipping Sodbury on 9 January

February 5th (4th Sunday before Lent) Isaiah 58: 1 - 9a 1 Corinthians 2: 1 - 12 Matthew 5: 13 - 20 Psalm 112

Funerals:We extend our sympathy to the families and friends of:

February 12th (3rd Sunday before Lent) Deuteronomy 30: 15 - end 1 Corinthians 3.1-9 Matthew 5.21-30 Psalm 119: 1 - 8

George James Rogers at St Johns, Chipping Sodbury on 14 December

Tea and Chat

February 19th (Second Sunday before Lent) Genesis 1: 1 - 2: 3 Romans 8.18-25 Matthew 6.25-end Psalm 136 February 26th (Sunday before Lent) Exodus 24: 12 - end 2 Peter 1.16-end Matthew 17.1-9 Psalm 99:

Tea and chat guests and helpers enjoyed Christmas refreshments and carol singing at their December meeting. As in previous years the singing was supported on the piano by Trevor who also amused us with 4


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Sharing our stories in new and different ways: new Life, new look February sees the launch of a new diocesan website. We wanted to make the website simpler to navigate, with more cross-linking between different topics. It can still be found at the www.gloucester.anglican.org address, so let us know what you think. If you have any ideas about how we could improve it, get in touch with our Senior Digital Media Officer, Sam Cavender on scavender@glosdioc.org.uk New diocesan logos will be available to download from the website (See the example at the end of this piece), along with a short guide about how to use them to best effect (look under the parish resources tab). It would be great if you were able to include these on your websites and other publications to show how we all belong together in the Diocese of Gloucester. The diocesan communications team sends out a monthly newsletter called the Bulletin. It provides lots of information, from training opportunities for clergy, to safeguarding updates and messages from Bishop Rachel. You can subscribe on the diocesan website under the news and events tab. From “The Messenger” www.gloucester.anglican.org

of areas to engage with how we live out and share our faith. I believe one of the most exciting of these is Sports Ministry. I am excited because this is an area of engagement which is relevant to groups who are often absent from traditional Church services; children, teenagers, young families, men. I am excited because we as a Diocese are richly blessed with opportunities and resources, PSALMS being prominent amongst them (see the next article). I am excited because this is not a new area of mission, but one with a rich and wide range of thought and practice readily accessible. I am excited because the group of people who have come together to guide this priority are hugely talented, recognised nationally for their excellence. I am excited because I can see how we as a Diocese can come together to develop something truly transformational for our communities. I am excited because I can see it will help deepen the faith of my own children. I am excited because such hopefulness can only come from an outpouring of the Spirit. I hope as you consider and pray for our new vision you will find your own excitement but if you are struggling, take a closer look at sport’s ministry. Diocesan Secretary, Benjamin Preece Smith

Sport as a route to faith

Canon Ian Marsh is the Chairman of PSALMS, a Stroud–based charity that works to engage hundreds of children and young people with church through sport. Living out Christ’s love and He explains some of the latest developments in this rapidly growing hope ministry. Using sport, music and art to build relationships and share “Sports ministry unquestionably provides an excellent vehicle for churches to the Christian faith Our new LIFE vision offers a wide range 6


connect with people in their communities. The more difficult part of sports ministry is how we can effectively build upon those connections to help people come to a personal faith in the Lord Jesus, to take a leadership role within the church.

The Crib Festival Success The Crib Festival was a great success and I would like to express my thanks to everyone who helped and supported it. My thanks to the Committee Members who work so hard and produce crafts, café “goodies” and a great deal of time to helping to set up and dismantle the cribs. I think we should express thanks to Michelle, Trish, Sylvia and Madeleine who work very hard behind the scenes making sure the catalogues are printed and put into the covers. I cannot let this article pass without expressing my thanks to Steve, my husband, who collated all the info and sent it to the office. I really could not do this job and am delighted that he can. This year Sylvia feels she can no longer do the artwork for the leaflets, posters and catalogue covers. I shall miss her input and give my sincere thanks for all she has contributed to the Crib Festival since it was started. Chris Evans has also decided to retire from the Committee and we are so grateful for his enormous contribution and time devoted to the Crib festival. Thank you. We had over 4,500 visitors this year many of whom had not been before but many who feel that it is not to be missed. We hope we shall have some more cribs next year as many of the visitors seemed anxious to offer theirs for 2017. The support from Judith and David, plus their delicious soups, was really appreciated. I wish you all a very Happy New Year. Liz

“Over the 11 years since PSALMS started, this has been our continual challenge. Recently, a strong cohort of nine year elevens, who attended the youth club, showed interest in and commitment to growing in their faith, so we set up a One Year Leadership Academy. “Following a formal interview process, they now meet monthly for an evening of leadership training and a meal together. We have had excellent session leaders including Bishop Rachel. They each have an adult mentor within the church with whom they meet monthly, they have attended various challenging conferences and residentials together and are required to take on leadership roles. It is also tied into the Duke of Edinburgh scheme. “Their growth was reflected in the way that they took on leadership at our second annual PSALMS camp/residential (TRAC). We had 66 people (47 youngsters) from across our area and the Leadership Academy were such a good model for the younger ones.” For more details contact Ian Marsh at ian.marsh@psalms.uk.net Photos from the PSALMS Web Site www,psalms.uk.net

From “The Messenger” www.gloucester.anglican.org

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Engagement through Communication

How often do you enjoy having an engaging conversation? It is rare that something described as 'engaging' is negative: we consider it productive to engage. But encouraging engaging conversation does not come easy. While it may be a natural gift for some it means hard work for others. To be engaging demands two-way communication and good listening. Yet as a church that is what we are called to do and to be. We need to engage our community in meaningful conversations. The apostle Paul well understood this as he addressed this at Mars Hill. He also wrote of being 'all things to all men...' However well we think we are doing with our communication there is always room for improvement. And that is how we feel in the Editorial Committee as we meet monthly to review communication channels in the Benefice. We could do better as we look for ways to get our communities talking about the Gospel and the activities of our churches in meeting their needs.

With this in mind we are holding a half-day workshop on Saturday February 11 at the Church Centre. It will provide a basic introduction to some communication principles, and explore some of the issues we face. We aim to encourage plenty of space for discussion. I shall be facilitating this process. We want it to be practical rather than theoretical and set in process some changes by identifying key action points. We invite you to come and join us, especially if you are interested in writing, taking pictures or value the importance of telling stories. The workshop will start at 11am and finish around 3pm with a halfhour break for lunch (bring your own – tea and coffee will be provided). It should be an interesting time. Contact Frank for further details. (fgray@integralgc.com) Frank Gray 8


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Children’s Society box collection 2016

The Fellowship of Meditation

Your change will bring change to the most vulnerable young people this year This collection for this year is now underway. If I haven’t collected your box yet – I will be with you shortly. I would like to share some information, sent to me by The Children’s Society, which shows just how invaluable your gifts Many of you may have seen on the Sunday Pew Sheets in Church dates of are to this worthwhile charity. Meditation Group meetings and perhaps How you changed children’s have wondered what we do - well, we lives in 2015/16 meditate on God’s word, for thirty to forty 5,600,000 - The number of positive minutes a fortnight. We belong to the changes to children and young people’s Fellowship of Meditation whose residential centre is in Dorchester, Dorset. It is an lives that we contributed to. ecumenical organisation that welcomes 18,164 - Total number of children and anyone who wishes to deepen their young people we worked with. commitment 27 - The number of national and regional to God in their policy changes we brought about. prayer life. We receive helpful 102 - The numbers of Youth at Risk teaching services we ran notes each In the last year: month with Over 250,000 box holders supported us. sentences we Over 88,000 of you gave to our appeals. can use Dorset Residential Centre weekly in our Over 20,000 of you campaigned with own homes us. Over 9,000 of you volunteered with us. and two-weekly in our small group. These sentences hold a key word of life that Over 6,000 of you fund raised with us. stands for an aspect of God’s nature, e.g. Over 300 of you left gifts in their wills. ‘My peace I give unto you’. ‘I am the Light of the World’. ‘In your presence is fullness Thank you for playing a part in of joy’. In addition, we meet with other helping this country’s most groups in retreats and on quiet days. vulnerable children and young There are groups of the Fellowship all over people. the British Isles, in South Africa, Australia If you are not a box holder at present but and New Zealand, so we know we are not would like to be, then please contact me, meditating alone. Should you like to know Hilary Hurley, on 01454 311515 and I will more please contact Mrs Hilary Holder be pleased to arrange for you to have one. on 01454 327118. 10


Bishop Rachel’s Vision for Life. Dear Friend I am delighted to share with you the vision for the life of the Diocese of Gloucester, over the next five years . – Developing our vision In 2012 the diocesan vision statement of ‘Journeying Together’ identified four areas of commitment in our desire to share the transforming gospel of Jesus Christ with people in and around Gloucestershire. The four areas focused on being people who worship together, who share our Christian faith and values, who provide a visible Christian presence in every community and parish, and who serve the wider world. These aspirations and commitments remain unchanged. Since Ascension Day, we have journeyed on through a vision process of prayer and conversation involving approx. 6,000 people. This has led to the emergence of LIFE, our new vision, setting out key priorities for our mission and ministry over the next five years. Context of LIFE The vision priorities have deliberately not named every aspect of our Christian mission and ministry. It is important to note that whilst there is much we need to re-imagine, we also want to celebrate those things, which are being done well. The intention is to turn up the volume on specific things and make purposeful decisions about where we will focus the majority of our time and energy. This will inevitably influence the culture of

our life together and the way we live out our love of God and neighbour. We have important partnerships with the Church across our world and we minister alongside Christians of other denominations. Furthermore, our identified priorities resonate strongly with much of the National Church of England programme of Renewal and Reform. Our vision sits firmly within this broader framework, including a commitment to increasing our number of ordinands by 50 per cent. Furthermore, it is important to underline that our desire for people to know life in all its fullness means that our commitments regarding safeguarding need to continually flow through everything we are and do.

In committing together to these priorities, decisions will have to be made not only by diocesan bodies of governance, but also by local worshipping communities, chaplaincies and schools, about what we need to stop doing and where we will focus our time and resources. Partnerships with key individuals, charities, organisations and institutions will be vital in supporting and resourcing our vision as we seek to celebrate and create community amidst the joy and pain of life. We have many riches in this Diocese: between us we have financial wealth, rich experience and the treasure of many people’s gifts and skills. It is my hope that as we journey on and live these priorities, we will grow in our generosity both

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towards one another and beyond this diocese, as we seek to resource ourselves and others in our continual response to God’s immense generosity. As followers of Jesus Christ on our journey together, may we discover yet more of life in all its abundance as we pray for God’s Kingdom to come on earth as in heaven. And finally……Bringing the LIFE vision alive As we celebrate the start of our journey with the LIFE vision, every worshipping community, school, fresh expression, chaplaincy and individual is invited to think and pray about what the vision might mean for them. There may be a particular theme or priority that resonates with something already happening, which can be further progressed, or it may be that there is something new to be discussed and developed. It would be great to hear about all this – do get in touch! Alongside this, those working on coordinating the vision process across the Diocese are planning to bring groups of people together to network and develop common efforts on the different priorities in our vision. If you think that you might be interested in contributing your time and insights to helping collective work on a particular priority, please do send an expression of interest to vision@glosdioc.org.uk by the end of November 2016. +Rachel

Lent is approaching We don't know much about how the first-century Christians treated the forty days before Resurrection Sunday. The Bible itself mentions nothing about it. But by the second century, the church was starting to use the season before Easter as a time for training new believers about how to rightly think, live, and believe as Christians. (The churchly word for this training is 'the catechumenate'.) This was done, in part, by a collective reliving of the Scriptural accounts of Christ's final days before He was killed. It was done with the whole church community as they, too, relived it, and fasted together. The end of the training period was Holy Week, and Easter would be the day that the new believers would be baptized into the Church. As the Roman world became mostly Christian and more people had already been baptized as children, the season (known in Latin as Quadragesima) began to shift meaning in a way which would be of great value for new and long-time Christians alike. Lent would become a time for looking at the depth of one's own sin, and turning away from them. A time for learning what it means to follow Christ, and to listen to the Spirit. A time for actually going about changing one's ways to be more as Christ would have them be. A season for taking stock of the discipline one needs to be a disciple of Christ. Lent is a time when many people turn their gaze toward Good Friday and ask themselves, 'How dare I force someone who loves me this much to go through something this awful?' Perhaps they see the Cross and ask, 'Lord, what can I do to stop doing this to You? How can I love you better?' Many times in the Gospels, Jesus called on people to repent, to turn away from doing evil. So the first impulse of love

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is to try to do things that Jesus would want of you. But then, we get stuck and gummed up. We fail, as we always do. One of the things we learn in Lent is how inescapable our sin is, how far we are from being complete, how fell is the nature of our divide from God. When we struggle like mad to give some tiny aspect of our lives over to God, we discover how maddeningly out of reach a whole life of godliness is. We can't do anything to fix our relationship with God. We're too far gone. No matter how passionately we might want not to be the cause of Jesus' suffering, we end up driving another nail into Jesus, making Him carry an even bigger burden. (Now, picture us at our less passionate moments....). Even when I'm at my best, I'm still enough by myself to execute the God who loves me. From www.spirithome.com

New Archdeacon of Cheltenham The Revd Canon Phil Andrew Phil comes to us from Surrey, where he is currently the Vicar of Reigate Parish Church. He is married to Sue who is a GP and they have three adult sons, Tom, Dan and Josh. Phil will start his role in March 2017 and is looking forward to getting started. He said: “I am thrilled to be joining the Diocese of Gloucester at this exciting time in its journey, with the new vision, LIFE, taking shape across the Diocese. Phil was born in Kenya, but returned to England to attend secondary school. He studied Mechanical Engineering at Nottingham University, which was followed by 16 years mainly working as a Chartered Engineer in the UK water industry, before he was ordained in 2002.

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Sodbury Vale Benefice Regular Weekly Events Monday

7.30pm

Bell Ringers’ Practice CS

Church Tower, Chipping Sodbury

Tuesday

8.30am

Morning Prayer

Church Centre, Upper Room,Chipping Sodbury

9.15pm

Stor'k'ies

St John's Church, Chipping Sodbury

8.30am

Morning Prayer

St John’s, Chipping Sodbury

730pm

Bell Ringer’s Practice Horton

St James’, Horton

8.30am

Morning Prayer

St John’s, Chipping Sodbury

10.00am

Holy Communion

St John’s, Chipping Sodbury

7.00pm

Benefice Choir Practice

St John’s, Chipping Sodbury

8.30am

Morning Prayer

St John’s, Chipping Sodbury

7.00pm

Youth Club (age 11-18)

Baptist Church Centre

Wednesday

Thursday

Friday

Note: No Morning Prayers on Bank Holidays

Sodbury Vale Benefice Forthcoming Events Sun

9th

July

Afternoon tea and musical Village Hall, Old Sodbury entertainment with ‘Gabriela’ hosted by Friends of Old Sodbury Church

If you don’t see your event in the list above please let me know, once it is on this calendar other people can put it on theirs! All times are subject to change look out for further details closer to the date. Michelle 01454 325160 office@svbcofe.org.uk

Magazine Advertising Organiser Wanted Sylvia Franklin is standing down from the role and we thank her for the great work she has done over the years. As a result the editorial team needs a volunteer who will look after the advertising for the Outlook magazine. The job entails keeping in contact with the advertisers, persuading them to renew their adverts when the time comes and looking for new advertisers in the local community. If you are able to help please initially contact Michelle in the Church Office 01454 325160 or by email at office@svbcofe.org.uk


Sodbury Vale Benefice Calendar February 2017 Wed

1st

7.30pm

Crib Festival Meeting

Church Centre C/S

Thurs

2nd

10.00am

Holy Communion

St John’s C/S

10.45am

Coffee Shop

Church Centre C/S

Sat

4th

Sun 5th Presentation of Christ in the temple

10.00am

Baptism Preparation Morning

Church Centre C/S

8.00am

Holy Communion

St John’s C/S

9.30am

St John’s Praise

St John’s, C/S

11.15am

Mattins

St James’, Horton

11.15am

Family Communion

St John’s O/S

6.00pm

Evensong

St Adeline’s L/S

Tue

7th

9.15am

Storkies

St John’s, C/S

Thurs

9th

10.00am

Holy Communion

St John’s C/S

10.45am

Coffee Shop

Church Centre C/S

Sat

11Th

10.00am

Communications workshop

Church Centre C/S

9.30am

Parish Communion

St John’s C/S

11.15am

Holy Communion {BCP}

St James’, Horton

11.15am

Family Service

St John’s O/S

6.00pm

Evensong {BCP}

St Adeline’s L/S

2.00pm

Mothers’ Union AGM

Church Centre, C/S

Sun 12th Third Sunday before Lent Mon

13th

Tue

14th

Thurs

16th

Sat

18th

Sun 19th Second Sunday before Lent

9.15am

Storkies

St John’s, C/S

3.00pm

Meditation Meeting

Ring 327118 for venue

10.00am

Holy Communion

St John’s C/S

10.45am

Coffee Shop

Church Centre C/S

10.00am

Wedding Preparation Day

Church Centre C/S

9.30am

Family Communion

St John’s C/S

11.15am

Morning Prayer

St James’, Horton

11.15am

Holy Communion

St John’s O/S

6.00pm

Evensong {BCP}

St Adeline’s L/S

Mon

20th

7.30pm

Mission Prayer Group

Church Centre, C/S

Tue

21st

9.15am

Storkies

St John’s, C/S

Thurs

23rd

10.00am

Holy Communion

St John’s C/S

Sun 26th Sunday next before Lent Tue

28th

10.45am

Coffee Shop

Church Centre C/S

9.30am

Parish Communion

St John’s C/S

11.15am

Holy Communion {CW}

St James’ Horton

11.15am

Morning Praise {CW}

St John’s O/S

6.00pm

Holy Communion {BCP}

St Adeline’s L/S

9.15am

Storkies

St John’s, C/S

2.00pm

Tea and Chat

Church Centre C/S

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Silence and Weakness

by denying Christ and trampling on a For a film that is so visually beautiful carved image of the cross. and rich in period detail, an atmosphere In its central figure (though not, it of quintessentially 20th century should be stressed, in all its figures) the totalitarianism hangs around Martin film shows how pain triumphs over Scorsese’s adaptation  of  Shūsaku piety, the body over the mind, and how Endō’s novel Silence. our greatest fear wins out against our This film – an exhaustingly tense and greatest love. penetrating treatment of moral and spiritual pain – is about a series of specific events at a specific time in a specific place, but it is also about something much bigger. As is so often the case, the universal is accessed through the particular. Silence centres on how a Jesuit priest caught up in the persecution of Christians in 17th century Japan deals with the challenge that physical pain – both his own and that of his flock – poses to his faithfulness to God – and the challenge that God’s silence poses to him. But – and here comes the spoiler – he fails. He avoids the martyrdom that he envisaged and the blood that he says is the seed of the church, and he does so

Moreover, it does not try to soften this by an appeal to heaven making it all okay in the end. The idea of ‘paradise’ plays an important role in the film, but it is certainly not redemptive, let alone salvific. What lifts it from unremitting bleakness, however, is the idea that hangs like an ungraspable mist in the background: our betrayal is not the final word because Christ did not betray. The priest’s denial is not ultimate because, before him, Christ, in whom we can somehow live, underwent the same trial to the end. In short, it is precisely the cross that permits the priest to deny the cross. Silence never denies the weakness and failure that haunts and breaks human life. It refuses any cheap consolation or redemption. Indeed, it hardly offers any expensive redemption. But it does pose the question, asked by one of the film’s more obviously flawed characters, “Where is the place of a weak man in a world like this?” And it implies that the final answer to the question lies less in overcoming our weakness than in acknowledging it. Nick Spencer Nick Spencer is Research Director at Theos. Source - London Institute for Contemporary Christianity www.licc.org.uk.

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February Outlook 2017  
February Outlook 2017  

The monthly magazine of the Sodbury Vale Benefice of churches

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