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Christian Aid Prayer for those affected by Cyclone Idai

A prayer for all communities affected.

Shelter in the storm,
light in the darkness,
hope even in a living hell,
God be with our sisters and brothers
in Mozambique, in Malawi, in Zimbabwe.
Behind the numbing numbers are the names of loved ones.
Behind the staggering statistics are life stories still to be told.
God, help us be with our sisters and brothers – gather us close so we open our spirits and share. Your world is our global neighbourhood. Help us forge the rain-driven path together, for only together can we weather the storms. Amen.
To Donate please click here.  More than 2 million people have been affected by Cyclone Idai. Please donate to help provide much-needed emergency assistance to communities in Zimbabwe and Malawi.

Christchurch, New Zealand

We are shocked by the outrageous attack upon the Muslim community in Christchurch, New Zealand, and stand with people of faith everywhere who offer prayers for those most deeply affected. Terror and violence have no place in the peaceable Kingdom of God for which we work and pray, and we join countless people around the world in condemning these attacks and praying for recovery for the wounded and comfort for the bereaved.

God of peace,
we pray for those caught up in the events in New Zealand,
for those killed and wounded,
and for those who mourn.

We pray for the people of the emergency services,
and for community and political leaders and
for faith leaders as they work to heal broken bonds of
previously peaceful co-existence.

Turn the hearts of those who are motivated by hatred
towards the love and peace of Christ and
bring that peace to all your precious people and
especially those in New Zealand at this time.

In Christ’s name. Amen

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

The week commencing:

 24th March ~ 3rd Sunday of Lent

8 am ~ Corhampton ~ Said Holy Communion (BCP)

09.35 am ~ Meonstoke~ The 10 Commandments … unwrapped
(Informal Service)

10.30 am ~ Exton ~ Holy Communion (CW)
The Annuciation

Tuesday 26th March 2019
8.30 am ~ Meonstoke ~ a simple said Morning Prayer service

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

5.00 pm ~ Droxford~ a simple said Evening Prayer service

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

31st March ~ Mothering Sunday (Lent 4)

8 am ~ Meonstoke~ Said Holy Communion (BCP) ~ Lent 4

10.30 am ~ Droxford~ Family Service
followed by optional Holy Communion (CW)

Tuesday 2nd April 2019
8.30 am ~ Meonstoke ~ a simple said Morning Prayer service

Wednesday 3rd April 2019
8.30 am ~ Meonstoke ~ a simple said Morning Prayer service

5.00 pm ~ Droxford~ a simple said Evening Prayer service

Thursday 4th April 2019
10 am ~ Droxford ~ Said Holy Communion (CW)

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.

Pilgrimage to Our Mother Church

The Cathedral Church of St Thomas of Canterbury, Portsmouth

On 30th March, the eve of Mothering Sunday, the Rector and Curate will lead a short pilgrimage along the shore in Portsmouth to our cathedral in time for Choral Evensong as countless pilgrims would have done down the centuries. A free minibus is available. There will be a stop for tea before we go into the Cathedral, so bring a snack tea to eat on the lawns.

If you are considering joining us, please complete the slip overleaf and pass it to Samantha or Tony so suitable routes can be planned with the group in mind – it may be a mile or two, but a drop-off closer to, or even at, the Cathedral is possible if required.

Saturday, 30th March, estimated departure at around 2.00 pm

Estimated time of return 7.00 pm.


to all the couples married in the Bridge Benefice Churches in 2018
and to all those engaged to be married in 2019, including Ellen and Robert to married in April.

Rest in Peace

Dennis Heath RIP

Ian Higgens RIP, passed away very peacefully in the early hours of 28th February.  He is re-united with his beloved brother Nigel.  Ian’s funeral was held on Wednesday, 13th March at 2.30pm in Droxford Church.

Michael Collins RIP. Michael’s funeral will be held on Friday, 29th March at 11:00am in Droxford Church.  Please pray for Ros, Suzie, Emma, Xanthe and Mauve and all those who miss Michael so much.

Admiral Sir Simon Cassels KCB CBE RIP passed away early on 6th March.  Please pray for the repose of his soul and for Jill and their family.  His Service of Thanksgiving will be held in Exton Church on Friday, 5th April at 2.30 pm.

Lady Edith Carver RIP.

Vera Burrows RIP

David Thomas RIP

Dr Alan Hibbert RIP

The Rev’d Canon David Henley RIP


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 those who will host or run a Lent Course and for those who are organising Lent Lunches.
  2. For all those who help at or come to Messy Church and thanks to Meonstoke School for hosting us and making us so welcome.
  3. For many contributions to the services of thanksgiving for David Henley and Edith Carver.
  4. 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.
  5. For all those who cleaned, decorated and arranged flowers in our four churches for Christmas
  6. 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
  7. For all the help at the wonderfully lively ‘Messy Church’, especially to Mother Samantha and all the volunteers.
  8. To all those who supported Benefice Advent Service of Carols and Lessons and for the Mulled Wine and Mince Pies.
  9. For all the toys brought to the Benefice Toy Service & St Andrew’s patronal festival.

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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