~ Sea Sunday ~ Celebration of 160 Years of Sea Sundays
In support of seafarers and their families
Preacher: The Rev’d Canon Anthony Hulbert
~ Corhampton ~ 6.30 pm 10th July 2016
Choral Evensong with The Athanasian Consort
Choral Evensong sung in the beautiful setting of our ancient church, using the language of the 1662 Book of Common Prayer. Led by the wonderful voices of the Athanasian Consort.
~ Droxford ~ 09.45 17th July 2016 All-age Informal Service
“Feeding the 5000”
Coffee in Droxford Church at 9.45,
then moving to the garden of the Old Rectory, weather permitting.
of the Countryside, Pets and Gardens
Thanksgiving for Creation in the Meon Valley
Exton ~ 11 am Sun 31st July 2016
~ An Outdoor Family Service ~
Pets very welcome!
From the Rector
There have been several highlights in the life of the Churches of the Meon Bridge Benefice over the last year and several of these were reported at our three Annual Parochial Church Meetings.
Among them I remember fondly: the contribution of so many children from our two excellent schools to several special events; our Christmas and Easter services – not forgetting two Josephs each with two wives at both the Scratch Nativities; and, and our Thanksgiving Service for the Queen’s 90th Birthday, at which the Cubs were on parade with many other local groups and our guest of honour, David Frere-Cook, a Deputy Lieutenant of Hampshire.
Her Majesty was born on April 21st, 1926 and one might say that her life of service began in 1943 when she joined in the War effort as an ATS officer. On June 2nd, we celebrate the anniversary of her Coronation in 1953, and we are reminded that she asked the people of the Commonwealth to pray for her as she dedicated herself to serving us all, with Jesus as her example. She thanked God for His steadfast love and acknowledged that she has indeed seen His faithfulness. Her faith is strongly but quietly evident in her public and private life.
We have in the Queen, as the Supreme Governor of the Church of England, a guardian of the Church’s freedoms to preach the Word and celebrate the Sacraments, though she herself does not have spiritual authority. We should thank God for those freedoms, whatever our views on faith and politics, freedom to express our beliefs is precious. We would do well to follow her example of putting others before self – she has been our servant Queen in so many ways.
Another institution that has served so many people has been Phoenix Futures (Alpha House) in Droxford. Their leaving our community brings much sadness to us all – we wish the staff and residents every success and happiness in their new locations. We shall miss them.
After Pentecost (Whitsun) in May, the Church enters a time with the uninspiring name of ‘Ordinary Time’ – it is far from ordinary, it is a time for personal and collective spiritual growth and it is no co-incidence that our liturgical colour is green – the colour of new growth at this time of year.
In June and July, the season is punctuated by church and village fetes and the feast day to celebrate the patron saints of Exton Church, Peter and Paul – so please join us at 11 am on 26th June to celebrate them at Holy Communion and bring a picnic and enjoy Peter, Paul and Pimms after the service!
Please also join us on Sea Sunday (Sunday 11th July) at Droxford to celebrate 160 years of the Mission to Seafarers caring for seafarers and their families around the world.
Let’s make the life of our churches one of service in our communities and join us to turn the season into Far-From-Ordinary Time.
Finally, over the months that I have been in the Benefice, I have seen something of the hard work that goes into producing this wonderful magazine. I am sure that you will join me in thanking Mr Norman Bell for his outstanding service as The Bridge Editor. Sadly, Norman feels that it is time for him to hand over this role to a new editor and we are looking for someone to follow in his footsteps. Please have an informal chat with Norman if you think that might be you or if you know someone who could do this vital job.
Droxford Church Community Project
The first phase of the project, the restoration of Droxford Church will start on the 4th of April to be completed by the autumn of this year with funds awarded by the Heritage Lottery Fund. During this phase there will be no access by the West Door, or the Belfry area. The church will remain open and normal services will continue as usual.
From the Rector
We are delighted that the Heritage Lottery Fund has given us this support. The award will enable us to restore this lovely Norman church, but equally important it will enable us to create a community room that can become a focus for social activities as well as heritage exploration. It will support sustainable community development, and enable us to serve our communities better, especially the isolated, the young, and the elderly, in Droxford and the Meon Valley.
Queen Elizabeth’s 90th Birthday
The benefice, country and Commonwealth are also celebrating HM the Queen’s 90th birthday.
From her actual birthday on 21 April through to the official birthday celebrations from 10-12 June 2016, people will be participating in a wide range of events.
We are taking this wonderful opportunity to bring our communities together to say thank you:
thank you to God for a faithful life well lived;
and, thank you to the Queen for her unstinting service to the Church, the nation and the Commonwealth.
Our celebrations began with an ecumenical Service of Thanksgiving on Sunday 24th April 2016 at 11.00 am in St Andrew’s, Meonstoke.
We are grateful to the civil Corhampton and Meonstoke Parish Council for the refreshments served afterwards as part of the celebration
and to David Frere-Cook esq. DL who attended with his wife as guest of honour.