A Message from Prebendary Mark Ellis, Benefice Associate Priest.
I was so sorry that we were ordered to close all our church buildings, but I think we have a responsibility in setting a good example by following the government advice while this pandemic continues to cause such harm. I must admit that I really miss the opportunity to join with you in worshipping together – especially in the beautiful and greatly loved churches of our Benefice. Let us hope it is not too long before we can ensure those precious buildings ring out with praise once more.
During this long Easter season I have been able to take more time in meditating and studying what the Four Gospels tell us about the Resurrection appearances of Our Lord. One of the most striking features about those accounts, I discover, is that the Risen Lord was found in the most ordinary, everyday, common place situations. Those first disciples were just going about their way of life when they suddenly experienced the presence of the Risen Lord.
A bereaved woman weeping in the garden.
Two of them walking back to their home village of Emmaus.
A group of them meeting in the Upper Room.
Some of them carrying on with their old job of fishing.
In all these routine situations they were made aware that they were not alone because the Risen Lord was with them.
I think we can learn so much from what took place then. For the Good News of the Lord’s Resurrection is for all of us here and now. At what point do we bring the Risen Lord into our lives? Remember Jesus said “ I am with you always, even unto the end of the world.” However difficult we may find life at this moment with the corona pandemic, let us remember that the Risen Lord is with us, not simply as an idea but as a living presence. I think it is well expressed in the well known words of St Patrick’s Breastplate:
Christ be with me, Christ within me,
Christ behind me, Christ before me,
Christ beside me, Christ to win me,
Christ to comfort and restore me,
Christ beneath me, Christ above me,
Christ in quiet, Christ in danger,
Christ in hearts of all that love me,
Christ in mouth of friend and stranger.
Please feel free to call me at any time – I always have callminder on the telephone – sadly our normal parochial visiting is not possible at the present , but we can always have a chat on the phone. I would be particularly glad to hear of any names for my intercessions.
With my prayers and blessing.
Telephone chaplaincy during Covid – 19
The latest edition of the Connect newsletter from the Diocese of Bath and Wells contains information about a new service set up by representatives of all the different faith communities in the Avon and Somerset police area, offering telephone based 1-2-1 pastoral and spiritual support to people of all faiths and none.
The full newsletter is available here.
MESSAGE FROM THE CHURCHWARDENS
23 March 2020
Events are moving so fast it has been difficult to keep you all up to date.
Sadly all services in the church have been abandoned until further notice. However, St. Peter’s church and churchyard will remain open every day for people to have access for private prayer.
We have also taken the difficult decision to cancel the plant sale planned for 23rd May. This function is one of our best fund raisers and a chance to meet socially with friends, neighbours and welcome others to the village. We are sorry to announce this news but we needed to make a decision before too much time and effort had been expended growing flowers and veg for sale. However, Vanessa and I, plus others, will probably have plants ready from time to time that you are welcome to have, in exchange for a donation to the church.
We will send round lists when ready. If you want us to start some seeds for you, please ask.
Anne and I have a selection of homemade marmalade for sale; plain orange, orange plus apple and ginger and orange with prize winning somerset cider. All at £3.00 a jar to church funds.
If you are worried about leaving home or are having to self isolate and you need food or supplies, please contact me or one of the emergency aid group being assembled. We will find someone to help you.
Best wishes and please keep safe and well.
Shepton Montague Church Plant Sale Raffle – 25 May 2019
This note is to register in public our thanks for the support we received from local traders and individuals who gave us such good prizes for the raffle which formed part of the Plant Sale.
Many of those who bought tickets (£1 for a strip of five) said how useful and attractive the prizes were. I list the businesses (and their prizes) here so that people can use their services knowing that they do give back to the community.
Please mention to them that you are aware of their support!
S Morris Ltd, Concrete Products (Pimm’s hamper)
Bruton Motor Services Ltd (free MOT test)
The Montague Inn (£25 voucher)
Phillips Tyres, Castle Cary (£25 fuel voucher)
The Bakehouse Restaurant, Castle Cary (£20 voucher)
At The Chapel, Bruton (£20 voucher for restaurant, bakery or winestore)
Godminster Farm (cheese and chutney)
With thanks also to the 100 or so people who bought tickets!
I have been asked by many people, what is happening at the church? The observant among you will be aware that the tower is clad with scaffolding and builders are busy.
In our last Quinquennial survey of the church in 2015 and in the previous survey in 2010, we were warned that the roof of the tower was showing signs of degradation, the asbestos tiles were beginning to flake and break up and the pointing to the tower was in need of repair. The last major pointing was undertaken in the 1960’s after the fire.
The architect lists all findings in order of priority and the priority of the roof and walls was moving up the list. The top items were tackled and sorted between 2016 – 2017, some jobs done by PCC members and a builder was employed to do more demanding tasks. Having cleared all the jobs high on the priority lists we, as a PCC, decided the time was right to do the repairs to the tower roof and walls.
A survey was carried out to classify the asbestos, ecologists have surveyed for bat activity, with 3 species identified, the architect, Nicola Paxton, drew up a schedule of works, appropriate permissions were sought and granted from the Diocese and tenders were invited for the work. These steps seemed to take ages, we started the process in November 2017. However, in late September 2018 we selected our preferred builders, Minerva Stone, and they started work in late October. The scaffolding is likely to remain until late January, possibly into February depending on the weather.
Today I was shown over the works by Andy, the boss. The roof tiles have been removed and the new rubber membrane already fitted. Areas of damaged stone have been removed and new stone is being fashioned on site to replace the damaged areas. Much of the pointing has been removed from the West and South faces of the tower and most of the west face has been re-pointed. The attention to the detail of stone repair and selection of the right mortar; colour and consistency is truly inspiring. All the crew I have met are keen and enthusiastic about the job they are doing. If you would like to know more, I am sure they would be happy to talk if they have time.
All this work comes at a price. The anticipated costs are around £87,000. Much of this will be met from reserves that the PCC have built up over the past few years and a large chunk will be met by a grant from Shepton Montague Church Trust. Grant applications have been lodged with Somerset Church Trust and All Churches Trust Ltd and the majority of the £14,000 VAT will be reclaimed through the Listed Places of Worship grant scheme.
Our fund-raising activities, the Plant Sale and Fete will continue to help replenish reserves over the coming years. We are also very grateful to a number of parishioners who make regular donations to the church through the gift aids scheme, whereby we can reclaim an additional 25% of any donation back from the government. If you would like to set up a regular donation please contact me or one of the other PCC members.
We will be hosting a fund-raising evening in the new year, so please look out for the invitation and come to join us to celebrate the completed works.
If you have any questions please feel free to contact me.
Jeremy Collyer – Churchwarden 27 November 2018
NOTICE OF CHANGES IN THE LOCAL ORGANISATION OF ANGLICAN PARISHES
The Church Commissioners have approved alterations to the Benefices of Evercreech and of Bruton, and from 1 July 2017 the Parish of Shepton Montague has become part of the newly created Benefice of Bruton, Brewham, Pitcombe and Shepton Montague. The Benefice of Bruton and District, of which we hitherto formed part, has been dissolved. Fr Justin Bailey is appointed our Rector. Patronage is vested in the Bishop of Bath and Wells.
I shall put a copy of the formal notice on the church notice board; it also contains details of the new Benefice of Alham Vale.
Mike Bowman, PCC Secretary
The Church of St. Peter Building
The parish Church of Saint Peter has 13th century origins and has been designated as a Grade II listed building. It was seriously damaged by a fire in 1964 and restored two years later.
King James Bible 400th. anniversary
Published by Robert Barker, ‘printer to the King’s Most Excellent Majesty’, in 1611.
The media is excited with anniversaries, natural or man- made disasters or the life and death of renowned composers, but this coming 400th. anniversary has so far attracted little attention. Here is a reminder as this anniversary year now becomes imminent
The commissioning of this new translation of the bible in 1604 arose out of the great meeting in Hampton Court of the King and representatives of the various sections of the Protestant churches in England. It was intended to help to define the relationship between the Monarch and his Church, to bring greater unity to the Church and to distinguish between it and the Catholic one of Rome. The one new, uniform translation was to replace pre-existing ones, such as the Bishop’s bible, the Geneva and Tyndale’s. It was to be shaped by the learned authority of Oxford and Cambridge, revised by the bishops and finally approved by James himself.
Teams of translators were appointed, allocated a section of the bible to translate from the original Greek and Hebrew texts and rules to control their methods, the aim being to retain a natural harmony of style throughout. In this they were remarkably successful. The author of the preface wrote ‘translation it is that openeth the window, to let in the light, it breaketh the shell so that we may eat the kernel ‘.
The translation lasted until the revision in Victorian times, published in 1885. Further revision took place after the Second World War to produce the New English Bible, the child of committees, translating panels, literary advisers and representatives. It was deemed by T.S.Eliot at the time ‘to astonish in its combination of the vulgar, trivial and the pedantic’.