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Our upcoming Sunday and weekday services,
together with any ferial, festal or seasonal services are listed below:

The week commencing:

17th February ~ Septuagesima

~ 3rd Sunday Before Lent  ~ Proper III

8am ~ Exton ~ Said Holy Communion (BCP)
10am ~ Droxford ~ Informal Intergenerational Service
10.30am ~ Corhampton ~ Mattins (BCP)

Tuesday 19th February 2019
8.30 am ~ Exton ~ a simple said Morning Prayer

Wednesday 20th February 2019
8.30 am ~ Meonstoke ~ a simple said Morning Prayer service

Thursday 21st February 2019
10 am ~ Droxford ~ Said Holy Communion (CW)

24th February ~ 2nd Sunday Before Lent ~ Sexagesima ~ Proper IV

8am ~ Corhampton ~ Said Holy Communion (BCP)
10.30am ~ Exton ~ Sung Eucharist (CW)

Tuesday 26th February 2019
8.30 am ~ Exton ~ a simple said Morning Prayer

Wednesday 27th February 2019
8.30 am ~ Meonstoke ~ a simple said Morning Prayer service

Thursday 28th February 2019
10 am ~ Droxford ~ Said Holy Communion (CW)

Friday, 1st March 2019
2 pm ~ St Barnabas, Swanmore

The World Day of Prayer (used to be Women’s World Day of Prayer) is going to be held at St Barnabas Church, Swanmore this year. Everyone is welcome. If there are any keen singers in the congregations there will be a one hour’s practice on Tuesday 26 February at 11am at St Barnabas.

3rd March ~ the Sunday Next Before Lent ~ Quinquagesima ~ Proper V

8am ~ Droxford ~ Said Holy Communion (BCP)
10.30am ~ Meonstoke ~ Sung Family Eucharist (CW)
6.30 pm ~ Exton ~ Choral Evensong

Tuesday 5th March 2019 ~ Shrove Tuesday
8.30 am ~ Exton ~ a simple said Morning Prayer
3.30 pm ~ Droxford ~ Pancake Races and Pancakes to eat!

Wednesday 6th March 2019 ~ Ash Wednesday
8.30 am ~ Meonstoke ~ a simple said Morning Prayer service
7pm ~ Corhampton ~ Sung Eucharist with ‘Ashing’

Thursday 7th March 2019
10 am ~ Droxford ~ Said Holy Communion (CW)

10th March ~ 1st Sunday of Lent

8am ~ Meonstoke ~ Said Holy Communion (BCP)

10.30am ~ Droxford ~ Sung Eucharist
followed by a Lent Lunch

Tuesday 12th March 2019
8.30 am ~ Exton ~ a simple said Morning Prayer

Wednesday 13th March 2019
8.30 am ~ Meonstoke ~ a simple said Morning Prayer service

Thursday 14th March 2019
10 am ~ Droxford ~ Said Holy Communion (CW)

Other Lent Lunches
Thursday 28th March at 12.30 pm in St. Andrew’s Church Meonstoke
Wednesday 4th April, 12 noon to 2 pm at ‘Reflections’, Exton.

Rest in Peace

Lady Edith Carver RIP. Edith, the beloved wife of the late FM Lord Carver, died at home in Meonstoke on 11th February 2019 aged 95. There will be a Service of Thanksgiving at St. Andrew’s, Meonstoke on 1st March at 2 p.m. Please pray for the repose of her soul and for Susanna, Andrew, Alice and John, her children, and for Gordon, Ginger, Alexander, Tessa, Harry, Emma and Mark her grandchildren.

The Rev’d Canon David Henley died on Monday, 10th December at 1.20 pm at home with Liz his first wife after fighting against his cancer with such courage for so long.

David’s funeral service took place in Broad Chalke parish church on Thursday, 20th December and his well-attended Service of Thanksgiving took place on 16th February at 2.30 pm in Droxford Church. Please pray for David’s family, not least his grandchildren, and his many friends and former parishioners.


to all the couples married in the Bridge Benefice Churches in 2018
and to all those engaged to be married in 2019.

GDPR arrived on 25th May

Please click here for our PRIVACY NOTICE
Please click here for our CONSENT FORM
Please click here for our guidance for PCCs



Well Done and Thank You

Thank you to all those who contributed to, helped organise or attended our recent events:

  1. For all those who attended Alan’s funeral and especially the organist (John Martin), the violinist (Cathy Mathews) and the choir – the music was so uplifting.
  2. For all those who cleaned, decorated and arranged flowers in our four churches for Christmas
  3. For the CHRISTMAS TREES and the 2018 Big Christmas Thank You to everyone who helps to support our Communities and Churches! …And not least, Nell in the Corhampton and Meonstoke Post Office and Village Stores for sourcing the trees and to Becky Evans for organising the event and to all those who have decorated trees. For all those who organised, ran or supported the Exton Pre-Christmas Sale on 24th November 2018
  4. For all the help at the wonderfully lively ‘Messy Church’, especially to Mother Samantha and all the volunteers.
  5. To all those who supported Benefice Advent Service of Carols and Lessons and for the Mulled Wine and Mince Pies.
  6. For all the toys brought to the Benefice Toy Service & St Andrew’s patronal festival.
  7. For the beautiful decoration of the churches for Remembrance and huge participation in the services.
  8. To Mother Samantha and all those who support the ‘Light Party’ on 3rd November.
  9. All those who help clear the Churchyard in Droxford on 3rd November
  10. All those braving the elements on Saturday 13th October for the Meonstoke & Corhampton Churchyard Clear-ups and for walking in witness on the St Wilfrid Trail to East Meon
  11. For all those who prepared our churches for Harvest so beautifully.

From the Rector

Pieter Brueghel the Elder (1526/1530–1569): The Fight Between Carnival and Lent
from the Kunsthistorisches Museum Vienna web-gallery of art. The image is in the public domain.

Brazil, the land of Carnival, elected a new president who took office in January amid great public celebration, although many commenters are not celebrating his world-view. Soon the familiar sights of gold, green and purple costumes and raucous processions through the streets of many cities, and not least Rio, will be in full swing too, culminating with Mardi Gras celebrations on 5th March; the last day before Ash Wednesday and the season of Lent. So why the contrast between the exuberance of Carnival and the restraint of Lent – the fight between Carnival and Lent?

In 1559, Pieter Bruegel the Elder painted his marvellous representation of the contrast in his ‘The Fight Between Carnival and Lent’. In the foreground of the painting, Carnival and Lent joust. King Carnival, on the left-hand side, is rolled along astride a large barrel of beer.

His lance is a spit laden with meat and he has a pie on his head as a crown. The term Carnival itself is probably derived from the Latin for meat or flesh, like incarnation, and perhaps because lots of feasting on meat occurred during the festivities.

On the right ‘Lady Lent’ is a gaunt nun pulled along by a friar and a devout woman.

Her lance is a long wooden paddle with fish, and her head is crowned with a beehive, a symbol for the Church. Order and restraint are juxtaposed with the chaos and debauchery; Carnival with Lent. Perhaps Bruegel has captured something of the totality of human experience in this picture. Carnival may be appealing, but human pleasure cannot last forever. For Christians, the fruit of Lent is eternal. Excess often gives rise to regret and even sickness as the picture shows for one character.

Bruegel’s intention seems not to denounce Carnival, nor would many Christians – Carnival is still prevalent among many deeply faithful communities. Few would sensibly suggest that Lent is the better than Carnival. Carnival and Lent are opposite poles of human experience; each with its own proper realm and season. Life contains both.

Look for the husband and wife, in the centre of the painting, they seem to belong neither to Lent or Carnival, perhaps they represent moderation in the face of the human extremes.

Are they what we should strive for in life, being neither stricken by self-imposed austerity and abstinence nor given to overindulgence? Take another look, their path is not particularly narrow (Matthew 7:14), and the jester leading them seems to be drifting towards Carnival. Is that the human tendency?

Traditionally, Carnival begun on Quinquagesima Sunday, the Sunday before Ash Wednesday, and had its high point on Mardi Gras (Fat Tuesday). In the UK, the day is known as Shrove Tuesday. ‘Shrove’ is an old English word for ‘to write’. It seems to have the idea of confession, because the priest would write out the penance of the person confessing his sins. So, Shrove Tuesday emphasised the fact that people are to enter Lent having confessed their sins and being shriven by a priest, serving to introduce a note of seriousness as the revellers were about to enter the season of Lent. After the excess of Carnival, Lent gave mediaeval revellers the opportunity to contemplate in a sombre way the limits of the transitory, and to reflect on the eternal truths of heaven, hell, death and judgement. If, for Carnival, we now read worldly priorities and a tendency to want to have more rather than to be more, then Lent can still serve as a time of reflection on whether our lives are becoming too materialistic and are beginning to drift off our objective of pursuing the greater good. Lent can serve to remind us that the only true joy comes from knowing that God loves us, from loving God with all our hearts, and from serving our neighbours.

In Lent we may ‘give up’ little indulgences as a token of our turning away from material pleasures, but, as importantly, we should ‘take up’ some self-discipline. For Christians that might well be doing Bible study, refreshing one’s prayer life, helping others in need or giving to charity and, perhaps, some abstinence too. These disciplines remind us that it is only when we are spiritually healthy that we are fully whole.


Meon Valley Food Bank – PLEASE HELP

Thank you so much for all your kind donations.

Follow MVFB on twitter @MeonValleyFB or at


Hackney and Bishop’s Waltham Deaneries Link

For many years the Deanery has collected food and clothes for a variety of church needs in Hackney to be taken up in December. Earlier this year our friends in Hackney told us that they now have built up their local contacts including food collections in their local Waitrose and several Schools so that they no longer need distance support. They have asked us to convey their warm thanks for our help over the years. Because of this there will be no collection of food and clothes for Hackney this Autumn. We shall still be grateful for any gifts of money which can be made payable to Bishop’s Waltham Deanery and will support our seven partners including the Winter Night Shelter.

Upcoming events...

Church Fête

July 6, 2019

Do please join us to show your support for the annual Meonstoke, Corhampton and Exton Church Fête; this year to be held…

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