Up-to-date News from our Vicar

Dear Friends

Well it has been a very busy few days behind the scenes! I hope you are all well at this time.
I cannot recall a time when there has been such a concentration of big national and global issues all happening at the same time, and all at such a time as this. Whether it is the pandemic, politics, racial issues or any number of other things, there has been so much to think about, pray about, soul search about. At a recent meeting our Archdeacon led us in this prayer, and I think it is helpful in these times:

We are not people of fear:
we are people of courage.
We are not people who protect our own safety:
we are people who protect our neighbours’ safety.
We are not people of greed:
we are people of generosity.
We are your people God,
giving and loving,
wherever we are,
whatever it costs
For as long as it takes
wherever you call us. Amen.

Upcoming Worship

Thursday Evening Zoom:

Tonight we have our regular live evening prayer on Zoom. Tonight I will be leading Compline (Night Prayer). ALL welcome:

Evening Worship – 7:30pm 18 June:


Meeting ID: 717 8400 7120

Password: twoshires

Sunday Worship:

Thank you to Judith for leading us in a lovely BCP Morning Worship last Sunday. It was really nice to be reminded of those timeless words and prayers. If you missed it you can still follow the service at https://twoshires.wordpress.com/sunday-service.

This Sunday is Father’s Day. It is not an official ‘church’ festival in the same was as Mothering Sunday, but it is a good opportunity to celebrate those people who have that fatherly role in our lives, past or present!

I will be providing a Live service this Sunday for the first time.

You can join it on Zoom at 9:30am on this link:

Time: Jun 21, 2020 09:30 AM London


Meeting ID: 741 7165 5459

Password: twoshires

I will also record the service as it is broadcast and upload the video as soon as possible afterwards for those unable to join on Zoom to be able to follow. That should be available by no later than 11am on:

Sunday Service

If you are joining on Zoom, don’t worry – you won’t appear in the recorded video!

Opening of churches:

During the past week there have been a number of alterations and clarifications on guidelines for opening of churches for private prayer. There has been a lot of very good and honest discussion about how we as a Benefice should respond to the permission given that we can open churches for individual private prayer, subject to a number of important conditions.

The five churches are working towards opening the churches for individual private prayer from the week beginning 29 June, with each church being open for an hour twice a week. This is due to the need for open churches to be supervised and stewarded and to leave a 72 hour gap between opening.

At this time the pattern will be:

Monday – Cricket Malherbie & Winsham; 11am to 12 noon.
Tuesday – Chaffcombe & Tatworth; 11am to 12 noon.
Wednesday – Thorncombe; 11am to 12 noon.
Thursday – Winsham; 3pm to 4pm
Friday – Cricket Malherbie; 11am-12noon, & Tatworth; 3pm to 4pm
Saturday – Thorncombe & Chaffcombe; 11am to 12 noon.

I must stress that at this time permission has only been given for individual private prayer. We cannot use the churches for general gathering or for leading worship during the open times.

All are very welcome to any of the churches at the times above. When you arrive please fo

If the churches are ready to open sooner than 29 June we will make a decision and communicate that to you. Between now and then the churches are being prepared and necessary cleaning and risk assessments being carried out for your safety.

If you are not in a clinically vulnerable category and feel you would be able to steward sessions in any of our churches then please could you contact me to discuss as soon as possible.

Other News:

I am delighted to be able to announce that Anne Perez has volunteered to become the new editor of the Link Magazine. She already has good experience in this field, also being involved with the Chard parish magazine. Thank you Anne!

In ministry news in the Deanery, Rev’d Katherine Hawksley, until this week the curate at Chard, has been licensed as the Priest in Charge of the Cam Valley Benefice in the Bruton Deanery. We wish her well in her new ministry and in her house move next week.

For your prayers:
· The Sick – All those you know who are ill or struggling in any way. The following are also included by name:
Hannah Knott; Rob Allen; Lynne Applegarth; Phyllis Baker; Margaret Bandy; Sue Bennett; Sue Cheese; Terry Conway; Nick Frankau; Paul Glazier; David Goodwill; Mike Heywood; Joy Howard; Ann Jarvis; Val Joslin; Mark Lindsey; Frank Long; Peter McHugh; Diana Rowlands; Ann Ricketts; Jim Tucker; Rosemary Walley; Rosemary Walton; Vivien Wheaton; Alan Wills, Anna Woodward; Pamala Young ; Hannah (Dennis Hunt’s granddaughter); Milly granddaughter of Jane & Alan Rudkin; Gillian Muggeridge
· For the Bereaved – The family & friends of: Hubert Hutchinson; Roy Frecknell; Dave Woodland; Winifred Bale; Frank Down; Rene Wheadon; Mary Ferris

I was sent this poem by the family of someone who has recently passed away, and I think is quite beautiful in its honesty. The last line is particularly poignant:

Everything is beautiful and I am so sad.
This is how the heart makes a duet of
wonder and grief. The light spraying
through the lace of the fern is as delicate
as the fibers of memory forming their web
around the knot in my throat. The breeze
makes the birds move from branch to branch
as this ache makes me look for those I’ve lost
in the next room, in the next song, in the laugh
of the next stranger. In the very center, under
it all, what we have that no one can take
away and all that we’ve lost face each other.
It is there that I’m adrift, feeling punctured
by a holiness that exists inside everything.
I am so sad and everything is beautiful.
Mark Nepollow instructions as displayed or given to you by a steward.

Collect Prayer for the week ahead (2nd Sunday after Trinity):

Lord, you have taught us
that all our doings without love are nothing worth:
send your Holy Spirit
and pour into our hearts that most excellent gift of love,
the true bond of peace and of all virtues,
without which whoever lives is counted dead before you.
Grant this for your only Son Jesus Christ’s sake,
who is alive and reigns with you,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever.

Scripture for the week

Thursday 18 June – Joshua 23; Luke 12:32-40
Friday 19 June – Joshua 24:1-28; Luke 12:41-48
Saturday 20 June – Joshua 24:29-end; Luke 12:49-end
Sunday 21 June – Genesis 21:8-21; Romans 6:1-11; Matthew 10:24-39
Monday 22 June – Judges 2; Luke 13:1-9
Tuesday 23 June – Judges 4:1-23; Luke 13:10-21
Wednesday 24 June – Isaiah 40:1-11; Luke 1:57-66,80 (Birth of John the Baptist)

With every blessing to you all in these times,


The Reverend Philip Butcher
Rector – Two Shires Benefice (Tatworth, Thorncombe, Winsham, Chaffcombe & Cricket Malherbie)
The Vicarage
3 Home Farm
TA20 2SH
01460 221286

PASTORAL EMAILS – please to: twoshiresrector@gmail.com

HOME PRAYER & WORSHIP: https://twoshires.wordpress.com

Rest Days – Mondays (Tuesdays where following a bank holiday)
For non-urgent enquiries please allow up to a week for responses.
Mornings are best times for phone contact!





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