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Services in September
Please note the new Sunday Service times
|10am Thurs 01Sep16 Droxford (HC CW – said) Giles|
|8 am Sunday 04Sep 16 Droxford (HC BCP) Trinity 15|
|10.30 Sunday 04Sep 16 Meonstoke (Family Eucharist) Gregory|
|3.30 pm Sunday 04Sep 16 Exton Evensong Harvest Festival|
|8.30 am Weds 07Sep 16 Meonstoke (Morning Prayer)|
|10 am Thurs 08Sep16 Droxford (HC CW – said) Birth of BVM|
|8 am Sunday 11Sep16 Meonstoke (HC BCP) Trinity 16|
|10.30 Sunday 11Sep16 Droxford (HC CW)|
|6.30 pm Sunday 11Sep16 Corhampton (Evensong)|
|8.30 am Weds 14Sep 16 Meonstoke (Morning Prayer) Holy Cross Day|
|10 am Thurs 15Sep16 Droxford (HC CW – said) Cyprian|
|8 am Sunday 18Sep16 Exton (HC BCP) Trinity 17|
|09.45 Sunday 18Sep16 Droxford Informal Service Education Sunday
Students, Teachers, School Staff, Governors, Children and Families all especially welcome
|10.30 Sunday 18Sep16 Corhampton (Mattins) Matthew the Evangelist|
|6.30 pm Sunday 18Sep16 Meonstoke (Taizé)|
|8.30 am Weds 21Sep16 Meonstoke (MP) Matthew the Evangelist|
|10 am Thurs 22Sep16 Droxford (HC CW – said)|
|8 am Sunday 25Sep16 Corhampton (HC BCP) Trinity 18|
|09.30 Sunday 25Sep16 Meonstoke (All Age)|
|10.30 Sunday 25Sep16 Exton (HC CW)|
|8.30 am Weds 28Sep16 Meonstoke (MP) Ember Day|
|10 am Thurs 29Sep16 Droxford (HC CW – said) Michael and All Angels|
Lammastide and Harvest
The first of August is Lammas Day and used to be a day to celebrate the harvest. The name comes from the Anglo-Saxon word Hlafmaesse which means Loaf Mass.
The festival of Lammas marked the beginning of the harvest when people went to church to give thanks for the first corn to be cut.
On Lammas Day, farmers made loaves of bread from the new wheat crop and gave them to their local church. They were then used as the Communion bread during a special Mass thanking God for the harvest.
Many years ago, the weeks before the first harvest were very hard for people as there was not much food left from the previous harvest. Lammas Day heralded the new harvest and hopefully a return to plenty of food.
Lammas was also the time for farmers to give their farm workers a present of a pair of gloves. In Exeter, a large white glove was put on the end of a long pole which was decorated with flowers held up high to let people know that the Lammas festival was beginning.
The custom ended during the Reformation and, from Victorian times, was replaced by Harvest Festivals at the end of the Harvest.
As the word ‘Lammas’ (Loaf Mass) suggests, the service is often one of Holy Communion. The Lammas loaf, or part of it, may be used as the bread of the Eucharist, but sometimes the Lammas loaf and the Eucharistic bread may be kept separate.
Exton – 3.30pm Sunday, 4th September
Meonstoke – 10.30 am Sunday, 2nd October
Droxford – 10.30 am Sunday, 9th October
From the Rector
The 3rd September marks the first anniversary of the start of our ministry here in the Meon Bridge Benefice. A great deal seems to have happened during the year and yet the essential character of village life goes on. There have been some very memorable events in each village and some very special services in each of our four wonderful churches. There have been moments of great joy during weddings and baptisms and moments of great sadness at the time of passing of some much-loved residents of the villages. Out of all these events, from our work with our excellent schools, from our plans for the buildings and for new activities arises great hope for the places in, but above all for the people of our benefice.
At the time of writing, the elaborate repairs to St Mary and All Saints, Droxford are well underway and in October we look forward to seeing as many people as possible at a meeting to hear what has happened so far and what is planned next. In short, the work to repair the church structurally, funded by the Heritage Lottery, is approaching completion and other significant repairs have been completed too. The next phase is to make parts of the church even more available and attractive to the congregation, community and visitors, whilst retaining its sacred role and function. This idea would have been very familiar to its mediaeval builders.
Plans are well underway in St Andrew’s, Meonstoke to improve the lighting and heating, which will be very welcome as winter draws closer! Plans for a toilet and a kitchen area at St Peter and St Paul, Exton will enhance our welcome and fellowship there too. Even little Corhampton Church has benefitted from the generosity of its friends and has a lighting conductor and a sink with running water in the vestry! Although, this sounds as though we spend all our time worrying about the buildings, the whole purpose is to make them more accessible, comfortable and welcoming for all.
Since I arrived, a significant number of people have commented that 11 am for the main morning service is far too late and an earlier start would be helpful. With this in mind, all three church councils (PCCs) voted to make the start time earlier. So from the beginning of September, the main morning service will be held at 10.30 am on a trial basis until Christmas. We can then consider whether to stay at that time or to make further adjustments. As a result of this, the early Book of Common Prayer Communion service will now start at 8 am, as it does in almost every other parish in the country.
We do hope that all these changes will help as many people as possible. Change can be challenging and surprising, and can certainly have unexpected consequences: both good and bad.
The consequences of the referendum are still reverberating in the capital cities of the UK, in the countryside, in NATO and for EU nationals working here and ‘Brits’ working in Europe. Whatever, our views on ‘in’ or ‘out’, the increase in ‘hate-crime’ is an ugly manifestation of the dark side of national identity. In times like this, Christians have the duty to be agents of peace. There are good and sensible people on both sides. We may not agree with others, but we’re called not to judge people for their views, rather to seek the common good.
Some may be content about the future, but for others there is a deep sense of loss and fear. We should not dismiss their fears as ridiculous. Whether we are feeling content or in grief, Christians have to remember that God is in control. Although that does not mean that bad things will not happen, Christians are called to trust in God and to seek the pathway for good. Fear of a difficult and challenging path is not a sign of a weakness but of awareness; even Jesus was deeply troubled in Gethsemane. However, like Jesus, we must not allow ourselves to be paralysed, as individuals or as a community, by fear – prayer and action are still needed.
So how should the Church show our neighbours a healthy way to handle change and uncertainty, local, national or international? Love and care for all, empathise with those hurting, trust in God and act for the common good.
Can you Help?
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 Bell Tower 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.