Friday, 10 July 2020

August 2020 News & Notes

Learning to crawl before we walk would be a good description of bringing church buildings into use for private prayer, said worship, small weddings, and small funerals. Each place is different, and the people involved are finding the right pace to work through risk assessments, sorting out Covid 19 etiquette, and publicity. Some have misunderstood national media and assume that all church buildings are open and we can carry on as if there was no pandemic ~ that is definitely not the case.

To find out the latest position click on https://www.facebook.com/canon.tim.west and also check local publicity

Our Funeral Directors do a grand job helping families with small scale thanksgiving services. At the moment 10 is still the maximum attendance, although any number can watch online. It's great to see that Sam Wilding has been included in the Thank You painted on the side of a Portland van.

The Lay Worship Leaders [LWL] course has started online with nearly 20 taking part. There are two [Gloucester and Cheshire] who have local connections but are having to live away.

Getting Church Rooms, and Community Rooms
 open is a different challenge to hosting private prayer or said worship. The principle is taking a slow steady space so people feel welcome and safe. Mid July flags up Covid 19 infections as 6 in a 1,000; we cannot be complacent. Signage and risk assessments are coming on nicely.






Wednesday, 10 June 2020

July 2020 News & Notes

Churches are open Sundays & Wednesdays for private prayer from 10.00am until 5.00pm, with everyone responsible for Covid 19 etiquette. You are asked to wear a mask, sanitise hands on entry and exit, place a pebble where you have sat down, and to avoid touching things. We begin gradually and cautiously. Other days the buildings will be looked so that any virus dies away.


Meanwhile many are involved with Church life through Facebook posts as canon.tim.west, Youtube by Philip Elliott, and any number of contributors with comments, recommendations, or generating their own posts. After all worship is with body, mind, spirit, and strength 24/7, not just on Sundays in Church buildings.

The Lay Worship Leaders [LWL] course for the borough begin this month with a taster session on Zoom. Successful candidates will be commissioned by Bishop Karen in March.

Baptisms and weddings have all been postponed, most into next year. Everyone has been very understanding in spite of so many arrangements having to be changed.

Most children are connected via the internet to schools, grandparents, friends, and neighbours. Canon Tim has converted the traditional battleships game into a railway theme, as below. A jpg file can be downloaded from his Facebook page.




Thursday, 7 May 2020

June 2020 Worship, news, & notes

Much has changed in a short time from a delightful wedding blessing for Stephen and Claire Dorsey, where everyone was beginning the social distancing dance, to all public buildings including Churches being locked shut.

Worship has not been stopped by the Coronavirus Challenge; in fact there may be more involved with Church life through Facebook posts as canon.tim.west, Youtube by Philip Elliott, and any number of contributors with comments, recommendations, or generating their own posts. After all worship is with body, mind, spirit, and strength 24/7, not just on Sundays. Many found the meditations on the Easter Cross unusually powerful.

Baptisms and weddings are postponed, most into next year. Everyone has been very understanding in spite of so many arrangements having to be changed. Our safety comes first.

How do we evolve? We will start on a small scale, perhaps watching an Alpha Course session. As we work out practicalities we can make more events available. What is certain is that it will be different, but relishing the unchanging truths of God's Good News story.

The Lay Worship Leaders [LWL] course for the borough will begin with a taster session on Zoom. If you're interested have a chat with one of the clergy. Successful candidates will be commissioned in January by Bishop Karen.

Sadly there have been many funerals and the crematorium has moved from 45 to 30 minute services in order to cope. Canon Tim has kept in touch with funeral directors for mutual support, in this case enjoying delicious home-made flapjacks at Cottons.


Friday, 6 March 2020

April 2020 News & Notes

Alpha course is back and all are welcome. It's a great opportunity to asked questions about God, faith and doubts. The setting is relaxed coffee bar.

Does your Church have a Parish Eco-Warrior [PEW] who will make sure that our responsibilities towards nature feature highly? This is just one of the recommendations made by the teamwide Lent course, which concludes 7.30pm on 1 and 8 April at St Francis. Even if you've not been yet there's much to inspire, so just turn up.

Congratulations to St Andrew's School for good+ Ofsted result, which was well warranted. The inspectors were thorough, courteous, and enjoyed themselves. They recognised that the school is improving and heading towards being outstanding. Our thanks to chair of governors Marcia Headon, and headteacher Sarah Patterson for such clear leadership.


Coronavirus means Church greetings should be as safe as possible, so here are some suggestions to replace handshakes: foot or elbow touch, nod, bow, or invent non-contact exchanges.

Bishop Karen launched a vision
for Weymouth & Portland deanery at the last synod. It included imagination, training, giving, serving and engaging with communities served by the Church. The synod also talked about how to become carbon-neutral by 2030.

A Lay Worship Leaders [LWL] course for the borough begins with a taster session on 6 May. If you're interested have a chat with one of the clergy. Successful candidates will be commissioned in January by Bishop Karen.

Canon Tim retired as ATC padre after 22 years visiting 1606 Air Training Corps Squadron on The Nothe. He was presented with an engraved mounted glass memorial, soon nick-named the Tim-stone! Fortunately he is still alive and kicking.

Wednesday, 8 January 2020

March 2020 News & Note

No Alpha course this month because St Andrew have Annual Parish Meetings. Normal service resumes in Church Rooms on 10.00am 19 April, and then every third Sunday in the month. Each session stands alone, so don't worry if you've missed one.

A Teamwide Lent course on green issues runs 7.30pm every Wednesday in March at St Francis. Sessions fit together, with each evening focusing on one area.

Anthea Jayne O'Beirne was baptised at St Andrew's, with her older brother Arlo looking on. She was as good as gold and took everything in her stride.

Shortlisting of St Francis Team Vicar candidates takes place on 11 March with interviewing and visits on 30/31 March. We hope to appoint first time around, but the most important thing is to find the right person. Do continue to remember all involved in your prayers.

Messy Church made Christingles to help remember that Jesus is the Light of the World. Each workstation had a theme, and family groups moved around getting involved in different craft work. The session ended with a meal together. All welcome to join at 3.30pm in Church Rooms on third Sundays in the month.

A Lay Worship Leaders [LWL] course for the borough is going to run on first and third Wednesdays in the month, from May until December. If you're interested have a chat with one of the clergy.

St Andrew's School uses imagination and invited reception children back one evening to gaze up at the stars. Some dynamic software flagged up what to look for, and even imposed classical images of artwork depicting various constellations.

Wednesday, 4 December 2019

January 2020 News & Notes

Our local Women's Refuge thanks us for our support. They provide a vital service for families facing domestic abuse, and are careful to respect their privacy.

St Francis Church hosted confirmation of 7 candidates, and was beautifully led by Bishop Karen. Because the night was still she invited those just confirmed to take their candles [or light-sabres as suggested in her sermon] to shine God's love in the darkness. Our thanks to all involved.

Samaritans do a cracking job especially this time of year when many become depressed by a number of factors: short daylight, post Christmas, and cold. We give them regular support.

Worship at St Andrew's School takes many forms, and is led by a number of different people. Fantastic displays around the school illustrate particular topics. The link between St Andrew and Christmas has been explored. He was the first to understand that Jesus was the Messiah, and told his brother Peter to follow him. He understood Jesus as both human and divine, a bit like using 3D glasses to get a better depth of vision.

The Kelly bequest to the Mission Hall is much appreciated, and the Trust is thinking how best to improve facilities. Rev'd Kelly lived for some time in Sevenacres Road but retired to Bridport. His ashes were laid to rest with his parents' grave in St Andrew's churchyard.

Alice Davison-James was baptised at St Andrew's, and afterwards her mother Anna posed with John and Norah Tallon who taught her at the Church School.

Interviews for our new Team Vicar take place at the end of March, with shortlisting on 11 March. As part of this process we will need to complete our Team Constitution which will need to be signed off at our 2020 APMs. Do pray for all involved, and for those keeping things going at St Francis meantime.

A working lego model of a church bell can now be used to demonstrate how the rope turns the bell right over, and how timing is changed by pulling harder to slow down or softer to speed up. If you're interested in ringing do join a practice night at Preston or Upwey.











Wednesday, 6 November 2019

December 2019 News & Notes

Join in any service any time but particularly over Christmas. There's a huge range published in the Register or on www.ridgeway.org.uk ; and a very Happy Christmas to you an yours.

We love taking weddings and each is different according to the couple's tastes. Here Christopher Comben & Stacey (nee Hodge) celebrate in glorious sunshine outside St Andrew, Preston.


What's Carol holding? It featured in St Osmund's harvest display, and was noticed by the congregation when they walked around the church as part of their prayers for thanks. It's a lotus flower seed head, just part of one imaginative display. Thanks to 'Flower Power' for all their time and skills in our seven sister Churches.

Sometime soon wedding registration will change and about time too. At the moment only fathers' details are recorded, so mothers will feature in the revamp. The method allowing church weddings to take place will change too, with computer records coming to the fore. Church of England ministers act as registrars, so we make sure everything is decent and legal!