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The Sodbury Vale Benefice


Chipping Sodbury, Old Sodbury, Horton & Little Sodbury

Horton bells ring again




Mrs Mary Bliss, Tina Hildick-Smith, The Venerable Geoffrey Sidaway, Canon Jane Kenchington and Mrs Mary Edwards at the re-dedication service of Horton bells – story page 4

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Contacts Rector The Rev. Canon Jane Kenchington, 01454 313159 email Assistant Curate The Rev Val Bexon, 01453 521417

Church Wardens Chipping Sodbury Paul Jones-Williams 1 Meadow Mead, Yate 01454 324970 Keith Stanley 132 Harescombe, Yate 01454 319467

Old Sodbury

Val Walker 16A Melrose Avenue, Yate 01454 318286 Sunday 9.00am Breakfast Club Church Centre Chipping Sodbury Sandra Witherden 48 Coopers Drive, Yate 11.00am Brunch Bunch, Church Centre Chipping Sodbury 01454 326743 Monday 8.45am Morning Prayer, St John’s Chipping Sodbury Little Sodbury Michael Stephenson 7.30pm Bell Ringers’ practice Church Tower Chipping Sodbury 11, The Dingle, Yate 01454 314094 Wednesday 8.30am Morning Prayer, St John’s Chipping Sodbury Nancy Nagle Winchcombe Cottage,Little Sodbury End Thursday 8.45am Morning Prayer, St John’s Chipping Sodbury 01454 319798 7.00pm Choir Practice, St Johns’s Chipping Sodbury Horton Tina Hildick-Smith Friday 10.00am Tubbie Tots Church Centre Chipping Sodbury Kirrin House, King Lane, Horton 01454 320380 7.00pm Youth Club (age 1-18) Judith Blakeney The Cottage, Horton Court 01454 323846

Regular Weekly Events

Mothers Day

Everybody has a mum so Please join us for our special Mothering Sunday Celebration in our all age St John's Praise Service At 9.30am Sunday 3rd April 2011. St John's Church, Wickwar Road, Chipping Sodbury. (Which will leave lots of time for a special lunch afterwards!)

Church Office Open during term time Monday, Tuesday & Thursday mornings 9.00 - 12.00

01454 325160 Email Web Site Advertising Sylvia Franklin St. John’s Church Centre 2 07788 111 726

Dear all... My Lent journey seems to have had an early and enforced start – I fell down the stairs, broke a bone in my left foot and tore a ligament in my right ankle! This has stopped me frenetically rushing around and brought a halt to other things I use to distract myself from spiritual or emotional discomfort (have you ever tried shopping on crutches!!) I think most of us have learned to use good, God given, things as a way of actually avoiding God. We use them to numb our senses; push down our anxieties and avoid issues we don’t feel we have the strength to face up to - it’s as if we don’t trust God enough to help us deal with whatever we’re avoiding – so instead we immerse ourselves in comfort eating, alcohol, busyness, disconnected sex or zoning out in front of the TV or the computer. These things make us spiritually dull and harden our hearts towards the Holy Spirit’s prompting's. My hope is that this Lent we’ll all have the courage to allow these distractions to be stripped away, so that by the time we reach Easter we’ll have a greater openness and vulnerability that will allow us to hear the accounts of Easter in a fresh way, which will lead to a deeper revelation of God’s forgiving love. Perhaps then we’ll have the courage to admit that we’re not so very different from the crowds who welcomed Jesus on Palm Sunday, only to then quickly turn their back on him. We might also more readily acknowledge our failure to live up to the high demands of the Maundy Thursday mandate to love one another as Christ loves us. By Good Friday we’ll most probably be painfully aware of how locked into a fallen condition we are and how utterly incapable we are of finding our way out of it. But will we have the courage to face the reality of the distress and suffering that took place on that day for our sake? On Holy Saturday how will our own love for Christ stand alongside that shown by Nicodemus and Joseph as they tenderly prepared His body for burial? Will we have courage to linger with them in this place of death and imagine a world without the resurrection - as presumably these men anticipated? Will we allow ourselves to reflect in this way or will we try to jump across the ‘valley of death,’ leaping from Palm Sunday to the Resurrection on Easter Sunday? If we take this shortcut I believe we deprive ourselves of a deeper revelation of the joy and triumph of Easter morning. I’d encourage you this year to take the time to walk the entire Easter journey and to encourage those you love to journey with you. Love and Blessings

Rev Val Bexon, Assistant Curate. 3

Sadly Revd Edwards died and never witnessed the fruits of his faith. The project though was carried forward by the PCC and a small committee of parishioners who continued to receive support from many individuals and trusts including the Heritage Lottery Fund. The family trust of the late Dr. Edwards has Over 100 years of silence was broken on provided invaluable help and critical March 20th when the bells of St James's backing to the project which was really church Horton rang out again - and a appreciated. When a Faculty is granted, grandmothers dream came true. an engraved plaque will be displayed in the porch to as testament to Gordon's In 2003 Helen Panes last wish was that the bells at Horton should ring when her lasting contribution to the project. granddaughters got married and the challenge was taken up by her daughter During a service of dedication the Tina Hildick-Smith, now church warden. Venerable Geoffrey Sidaway, Archdeacon of Gloucester, praised the The whole project would not have seen perseverance of the parish and completion without the total dedication suggested that the sound of the bells, and perseverance of the late Revd. Dr. Gordon H Edwards who took the project ringing out over the area will be saying "Go Tell, Go Tell" - an audible and on and launched an appeal on the 24th June 2007 with a target of £150,000 and encouraging way of 'gossiping the Gospel'. a completion date by Christmas 2008.

Horton bells ring out....


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Down to earth 'Reader'

We are the 'Champions'

Smallholder David Frith is in his second year of training to be a Reader and has chosen to do his placement at St John's so you will seeing him and his wife Jenny during the months of May,June and July.

(Photo courtesy Gloucester Citizen) We all knew it, but now it's confirmed Paul & Jenny Lucas are 'Champions' having been presented with a framed 'Champions' certificate each by Bishop Michael at the 'Into Top Gear' awards recently in recognition for their work with children and young people in our Benefice. They were the only husband and wife team to win - well done you two!

If 'pressed' he will talk about apples, especially when they end up as cider or tell you how he was called, what he has been doing at St Mary's Berkeley for the past 14 years. We welcome them both to our church and wish him well with his continued studies at WEMTC.

Cliff Hanger? Remember Cliff Richard's "The Young Ones"? - well the young folk at St John's are getting together to share in a host of activities. Walks, cycling, horse riding, and even climbing are planned as the 20's and 30's get together during the week and at weekends this year.And guess what, it all starts with Eve - and she can be contacted for more information on


Open The Book The Barber Shop Roger Franklin 07855 887671

Paul Franklin 07772 789210

83 Broad Street Chipping Sodbury Bristol BS37 6AD

On Tuesday mornings a team of volunteers visits Old Sodbury school at assembly time. This started in 2006 and is now in its 5th year. Through "Open the Book" we aim to present the Bible to children in an accessible and enjoyable way. We also hope to contribute to their religious, spiritual and moral education.

Opening Hours Monday-Friday: 9:30 am-5:00pm Saturday: 9:00am-3:00pm

"The Lion Storyteller Bible" written by Bob Hartman helps us to tell God's story from the Creation to the Ascension. We are always warmly welcomed and in particular by the pupils who eagerly ask if it is their turn to help. Each year group in turn is invited to take part in presenting the story. The children are enthusiastic to dress up and be involved. At the end they are rewarded by a sticker which says "I helped today with Open the Book".

For a lovely selection of Cards for Mothering Sunday and Easter

There are at present 5 members in our team and we enjoy this wonderful opportunity to tell Bible Stories in our local school.

Sodbury Cards Cards • Giftwrap • Balloons

Fauré's Requiem Pavanne and the Cantique de Jean Racine. Organist Ashley Grote, BBC Chorister of the year Laurence Kilsby, the Bristol Ensemble and the St Cecilia Singers. Saturday 2 April, 7.30pm

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St Mary's Church, Wotton-Under-Edge. 01453 843144 to book.

Mission on the move

with both local and global perspectives and studied how to develop frameworks for evangelism throughout the region. Bishop John and Andrew Braddock were joined with students from the Methodist, Baptist, Salvation Army and Anglican churches. Stuart Bexon represents our Benefice. If you want to know more about the next MSM course and other activities please talk to Stuart.

Summer Fete Over twenty five people have gathered from across the Diocese are taking part in the Mission Shaped Ministry course run ecumenically by our Missioner Andrew Braddock. At a recent residential weekend at Glenfall House, they heard a variety of speakers tell about Fresh Expressions

Saturday July 2nd is the day when St John's Church, CS will be joining our church school, St John's Mead, to hold a summer fete in the school grounds. We need to start planning what we want to do soon, so if you have new ideas for stalls, games or other activities, please let Paul Jones-Williams or Christine Stephens know.

WELCOME TO THE MODA HOUSE Whether you're looking for a relaxing weekend break away, celebrating that special occasion or perhaps just visiting the area on business we can accommodate your individual requirements. Ÿ Bed and Breakfast Ÿ 11 individually styled rooms Ÿ Excellent breakfast using fresh local produce Ÿ FREE parking and FREE WiFi Ÿ Within easy reach of the M4 and M5 Ÿ Meeting room To make a reservation or for more details simply email or telephone 01454 312135 1 High Street, Chipping Sodbury, South7 Glos. BS37 6BA.


Wednesday Thursday Saturday

Monday Tuesday Thursday Saturday



Tuesday Thursday Saturday

Wednesday Thursday Saturday


Who Cares For The Curate? The new electric wheelchair was in service at the Lent service at Old Sodbury when churchwarden Val assisted Val our curate to aid her mobility following a recent fall and

DOGS Welcome To Browse

Easter Treats James Wellbeloved

her broken foot. The chair is supplied to help those with mobility needs to ascend the long and uphill pathway to the church - and this was proof that it works!

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Only 269 days until Christmas

45 Rounceval Street Chipping Sodbury

St John's church, Chipping Sodbury, is planning to hold a Nativity Crib Exhibition at the end of November. We're hoping that this is going to be a fantastic event with lots of different cribs - from this country and from other countries - on display in the church. We want to bring the church to life and involve the whole community in this venture. We hope that this venture will enable us to tell the Christmas story in fresh ways. If you have a crib that you could lend us - please will you let us know? If you are going on holiday and see an interesting crib that is not too expensive, please bring it back home with you! Please talk about this with your friends and neighbours - you never know, they might have a crib they can lend us.


Greener pastures?

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Hello - "my name is Teasel and they said if I didn't complain when it snowed that I could be in the procession at Chipping Sodbury on Palm Sunday April 17th and also at Old Sodbury on the same day please come along to witness and take part in this moving event". PS: I will soon be homeless and my 'mum' is looking for an acre of land around Horton for me to spend my time - if you can help please call Ros Farrell on 01454 325336 or 0777 200 3880

Coaches & Holidays

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"And now for something completely different" We're planning to hold a different style of service once a month from May. This will be on a three-month trial period to start with at St John's Chipping Sodbury. The details: 7pm on Sunday 15 May, Sunday 26 June & Sunday17 July The service will include contemporary worship songs, watching a DVD followed by discussion groups and a time of prayer.

Gary Davies 07802 311 992 10

Do come along and try it!

we do not live by bread alone………

the l'ght d'et the entrance of your word brings light

We launched "the Light Diet" in January to encourage people to take up bible reading. More than 70 went out the first month, and it has now settled down at about 35. Feedback has been uniformly warm and positive: “I've found myself reading parts of the bible I never read before. I read it every night when I go to bed. Good to get into a routine.” “Easy to follow. Reading the extra passages has shown me so much in the Old Testament that relates to the New. really refreshing and easy to use…. exactly what it says on the label, so

straightforward, but at the same time, informative and takes you deeper into the Bible without losing you!” So well done everyone for keeping going! If you haven't started yet but would like to, just contact me and I'll let you have the back numbers - you can start it whenever you like. The fourth month - taking us up to Easter is available in churches now, or by contacting me. David Parsons.

Please pray….. For Peter & Alison who are starting the procedure to adopt children. They are childless themselves and want to offer a safe, secure and loving home to a child but as Christians they know of the prejudice that surrounds their efforts. They are not from this Benefice but have strong links into our church family.

Matthew Featherstone - Flute Daniel Swaine - Piano Supported By The Countess Of Munster Recital Scheme

at Chipping Sodbury Town Hall on Tuesday 12 April 2011 at 7:30 pm Tickets available on the door Adults £12, School-age children FREE For further information contact: Patrick - 01454 325071 11 or Rita - 01454 312561

To be or not to be?

to debate and then send back their views to the General Synod.

The Church of England is at present debating whether now is the right time to allow women to be bishops. General Synod agreed in 2005 that theologically, it believed that it was right "to remove the legal obstacles to women's ordination to the episcopate."

In February, Wotton Deanery Synod, debated the Measure. Canon Jane Kenchington spoke for the Measure whilst Dr Kevin Brown spoke in opposition. Jane continually stressed that the safeguards were legally binding and that a woman bishop would be obliged to implement the Code of Practice or she would face on official complaint being made against her and the Clergy Discipline Measure would swing into action.

The problem is that there are some members of the Church of England who are opposed to women being ordained priests and bishops. Some from the catholic wing of the Church believe that since the Roman Catholic Church won't ordain women, the Church of England has no right to do so. Others on the evangelical wing of the Church refer to scripture and cite two verses from St Paul's epistles to support their argument that women shouldn't exercise leadership. So General Synod has spent the last six years trying to formulate legislation that allows women to be bishops on the same footing as male bishops whilst at the same time ensuring that there are safeguards written into the legislation that will protect those parishes which do not want the ministry of women priests or bishops to be able to have a male bishop or priest ministering to them. Agreeing to the current draft legislation that is on the table now represents for them a huge compromise. But for the sake of Church Unity, they are prepared to make that compromise. For those who oppose the ordination of women, there is a very real fear that the safeguards in the legislation and the Code of Practice will not give them enough protection.

The Deanery Synod members were invited to split into groups and formulate questions for the speakers to answer. Very few questions were asked. The general feeling was that of puzzlement as to why the Church wasn't just going ahead and ordaining women as bishops.

We wish Wills & Kate every happiness on their wedding day April 29th and for their life together Come and watch the wedding of Prince William and Kate on a large screen in the Nave of Gloucester Cathedral.

General Synod has sent down the draft legislation "Women in the Episcopate: Bishops and Priests (Consecration and Ordination of Women) Measure" to Deanery Synods and Diocesan Synods 12

Admission free

Steve Abbott: 40th Anniversary of Ordination

All sorts Of Easter Goodies!

Steve Abbott, who with his wife Val has been attending St. John's since August last year, celebrated the 40th anniversary of his ordination to the priesthood on Sunday 20th February. He marked the occasion by presiding at the Parish Communion at St James, Mangotsfield, where he was Priest-incharge until his retirement last July. Steve was ordained at the age of 27 in Canterbury Cathedral, and served as curate in the parish of St. Leonard's, Deal, in Kent. His work since then has taken him to Cambridge, where he was Chaplain of King's College, and Bristol, as a University Chaplain. There he met and married Val, and together they planted a student church, the Fellowship of the King. Val was ordained in 2000.

Mothers Union Coffee Morning & Plant Sale May 14th 10 am– 12 noon at the Church Centre Chipping Sodbury.


29 High Street, Chipping Sodbury Tel: 01454 325124 Fax 01454 326611

And finally we should strive for distinctiveness: He suggested that this is not about preaching at the unconverted, or upholding some moral code but simply about loving others. To put the needs of others before ourselves, to serve others in such a way that they become intrigued and want to know what makes us tick.

Local boy comes 'home' Visiting St John's for the Candlemass Benefice Service on 30th January, The Venerable Roger Morris, Archdeacon of Worcester, talked passionately about his home town of Chipping Sodbury and his early days at church and thinking to himself what has changed?.

He praised the work of Street Pastors as he considered it epitomised the Christian faith, caring, loving, supporting, and listening to those in distress. He suggested that St John's was 'work in progress' and that we will all need to willing to be distinctive, to be salt and light. "This town needs this church and if this is true then this church needs to change, and we always changing so that it may be effective in reaching out to the people"

And he quickly admitted that talking about change in the Anglican context was a dangerous thing to do. However, he reminded us that Candlemass was about Jesus being presented at the Temple - an indication that God was starting to reveal something different, a new era in the history of the world.

However, some things never change, Roger is still Bristol Rovers biggest fan

He then went on to suggest that we should develop three qualities to cope with change. Firstly we should be discontent as he believes that God wants us to be dissatisfied with the way things are suggesting that too many churches focus only on function and on doing the activities of the church and not on the fact that at their heart churches are meant to be spiritual communities in which people form a relationship with, and experience God. Secondly we need devotion: He posed the question - why did the early church grow from 25,000 members to a staggering 27 million in just 200 years and suggested that the church members we read about in the Acts of the Apostles devoted themselves to the teachings, to fellowship, to prayers and the breaking of bread. There was nothing half-heated in their living out of the Christian faith and that is we are being asked to do.

Sacred Light:

Until 5 May, Sacred Light A major exhibition of stained glass, paintings, woodcut prints, stone carving and bronze sculpture by local artist Greg Tricker, Gloucester Cathedral. Admission free. 14

Street Pastors

Richard Kenchington Domestic Structural Engineer

There will be a Commissioning Service for the 20 volunteers who have trained to be Street Pastors on Sunday 17 April, 2011 at 6.30pm at Chipping Sodbury Baptist Church. The speaker will be Adrian Slade, the Director of Social Responsibility from the Diocese of Gloucester; there will also be input from the Police and Ascension Trust - the organisation responsible for the Street Pastor initiative. Please come along to find out more about this venture and to show your support and solidarity to these individuals who are committed to showing God’s love in a tangible way to the people who are out in Chipping Sodbury and Yate in the evening.

Baptisms: 27 February at St James', Horton: Emma Sophia Grace Standerwick 6 March at St John's, Chipping Sodbury: Joseph Nicholas Roberts


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The Health Shop A Selection Of

16 February at St John's, Chipping Sodbury: Kathleen (Kate) Winifred Spearman 22 February at St John's, Chipping Sodbury: Harriett Agnes Ellen Bartlett 1 March at St John's, Chipping Sodbury: Elizabeth (Beth) Emily Hatherell 7 March at St John's, Chipping Sodbury: Joyce Maisie Brownlie

“Fair Trade” Easter Eggs, Dairy Free From Green & Black And Divine. Also Cassia Oil For Your Easter Biscuits (Free Recipe Provided)

Interments: 23 February at Old Sodbury: Irene Seaman 24 February at Chipping Sodbury: Dennis Palmer

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April 2011 - Sodbury Vale Benefice  

News of the churches of St John the Baptist, Chipping Sodbury, St John the Baptist, Old Sodbury, St Adeline, Little Sodbury, and St James th...