Weekly Parishes Update

Dear Friends

Welcome to this week’s update, and the peace of the Lord be with you.

I am taking some time off next week and so there will not be a circular.  The next update after this will come out during the week beginning 26 July.  Similarly there will not be a Thursday Evening Zoom service next week.  You are very welcome to join me later today as normal though!  See details below.

On Wednesday 22nd July we celebrate Mary Magdalene.  This is particularly important in this Benefice as our church in Cricket Malherbie is dedicated to her.  Therefore, on Wednesday, please do hold the parish and people of Cricket Malherbie and Knowle St Giles in your prayers.


Here is the Collect for Mary Magdalene:


Almighty God,

whose Son restored Mary Magdalene to health of mind and body

and called her to be a witness to his resurrection:

forgive our sins and heal us by your grace,

that we may serve you in the power of his risen life;

who is alive and reigns with you,

in the unity of the Holy Spirit,

one God, now and forever.




Our Worship this week:

Thursday Evening Zoom – 7:30pm

Join us on the link below for the regular Thursday evening worship.  Tonight we will be returning to a contemplative service of Compline.  To join Zoom Service tonight at 7:30pm:


Meeting ID: 717 4519 2963

Passcode: twoshires


19 July Sunday Service – Led by Rev’d Judith:

Join us for our Sunday Worship this week by going to https://twoshires.wordpress.com/sunday-service where you will find our service for you to follow. 

A message from Judith for you as you prepare for that worship:

“At the service on Sunday morning we will be having some reflective prayers using a stone that I hope we will all be able to find and have ready to hold in the hand when the time comes.


It can be any stone that fits your hand, which I hope you will be able to find quite easily for yourself, and maybe also deliver one to a neighbour if you know they wouldn’t be able to go out and find one.


Blessings!  Revd Judith”


Our Worship next week (20-26 July):

There will not be a Thursday Evening Zoom service next week due to leave.  It will resume the following week.

26 July Sunday Service – Led by Rev’d Philip:

A live Zoom service at 9:30am on 26 July.  Link details below:


Meeting ID: 728 1248 5772

Passcode: twoshires


Worship from 2nd August:

From Sunday 2nd August we will be hoping to re-integrate church-based worship into our expressions of faith.  A team of representatives and I have been working on going through the practical, pastoral and safety issues involved and have produced a proposal.  I am now seeking PCC approval from each parish.  I will send a separate communication on dates and times of worship to you all once it is finalized for the whole of August.

Worship in our church buildings will be less frequent for each church than we have been used to before the pandemic, and by necessity will be quite different.  There will be a service of Holy Communion in the Benefice each Sunday, and generally there will be an act of worship in each church on alternate weeks, with between 2 and 3 available services in the Benefice each Sunday.  There will also be a service of Holy Communion midweek each week in the Benefice. 

Online worship will continue every other week on a Sunday and each week on a Thursday night. 

Re-integrating church worship is a very delicate task and needs to balance a number of complex pastoral and practical considerations.  I am conscious that these steps, whilst subject to change at all times given the fluidity of the current climate, are also significant in that they could be the first steps into what a ‘new normal’ may be.  And so it is with one eye on the present and an eye on the possible future that I/we have planned, and whilst there is a degree of apprehension, what we are working on does fill me with some excitement.


Churches have continued to be open for private prayer during the week, twice a week, and it has been nice to see continued and increased use of those opportunities.  

You are very welcome to continue to use those spaces as you need for your personal and private prayer.  Between now and 1st August those times are as follows.  Please note as we near August those times do start to change to make way for the necessary 72-hour quarantine periods around Sunday services:

Mondays 20 & 27 July – Cricket Malherbie & Winsham; 11am to 12 noon.

Tuesdays 21 & 28 July – Chaffcombe & Tatworth; 11am to 12 noon.

Wednesdays 22 & 29 July – Thorncombe; 11am to 12 noon.

Thursday 23 July – Winsham; 3pm to 4pm

Friday 24 July – Cricket Malherbie; 11am-12noon, Tatworth 3pm-4pm

Saturday 25 July & 1 August – Thorncombe & Chaffcombe; 11am to 12 noon.

Friday 31 July – Cricket Malherbie; 11am -12noon.

From the week beginning 2nd August (TBC):

Wednesdays – Tatworth, Cricket Malherbie & Winsham at 11am

Thursdays – Chaffcombe & Thorncombe at 11am



We are at the end of term in all three schools in the Benefice at the moment.  Please do keep the children and staff of Tatworth, Thorncombe and Winsham in your thoughts and prayers at the end of what has been an exceptionally hard year.  There have been a total of 46 Year 6 leavers this year and it has been nice that we have been able to give each of those leavers a personal ‘moving on’ book, pastoral letter and information about the TCYC youth group.  All three schools have been able to weather these unprecedented times with remarkable tenacity and creativity, which is great thanks to the wonderful staff and children of those places. 

Community Scrapbooks

We have launched an all age initiative called ‘Our Big Community Scrapbook’.  Last week I sent around all the details.  Please do engage with that – it is for everyone – not just children!  Further information on the link below:



I invite you to hold the following in your prayers this week.  As always, please do let me know of any additions or changes needed:

·       The schools, their staff and pupils, as they embark on their breaks in need of refreshment but uncertain as to what next term looks like.


·       The parishes and people of Cricket Malherbie & Knowle St Giles as their patronal festival date comes next week.  Please pray for the churchwardens there, Audrey Hinkins and Jane Helliar.


·       All those finding it difficult to pray and find God in these times.  That they know they are never alone and God is in the midst with them always.

·       All those planning and preparing for an unknown future, in their own lives, their church lives, or in any other way.


·       We pray for those we know who are sick, and those we don’t know, including those we are asked to pray by name for:


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; Chris Gould


·       For the Bereaved – The family & friends of: Kathy Bostock-Smith, Ian Mcdonald.


Scripture for this week and next

Thursday 16th July:              Isa 26:7-9,16-19; Matt 11:28-end

Friday 17th July:                    Isa 38:1-6, 21-22, 7-8; Matt 12:1-8

Saturday 18th July:               Mic 2:1-5; Matt 12:14-21

Sunday 19th July:                  Gen 28:10-19; Matt 13:24-30, 36-43

Monday 20th July:                Mic 6:1-4; Matt 12:38-42

Tuesday 21st July:                 Mic 7:14-15, 18-20; Matt 12:46-end

Wednesday 22nd July:          Song of Sol. 3:1-4; John 20:1-2, 11-18 (Mary Magdalene)

Thursday 23 July:                 Jer 2:1-3, 7-8, 12-13; Matt 13:10-17

Friday 24 July:                      Jer 3:14-17; Matt 13:18-23

Saturday 25 July:                  Acts 11:27-12:2; Matt 20:20-28 (St James)

Sunday 26 July:                    Gen 29:15-28; Matt 13:31-33, 44-52

Monday: 27 July:                  Jer 13:1-11; Matt 13:31-35

Tuesday 28 July:                   Jer 14:17-end; Matt 13:36-43

Wednesday 29 July:             Isa 25:6-9; John 12:1-8 (Mary, Martha & Lazarus)



A Prayer for the journey:


The vitality of God be mine this day

The vitality of the God of life.

The passion of Christ be mine this day

The passion of the Christ of love.

The wakefulness of the Spirit be mine this day

The wakefulness of the Spirit of justice.

The vitality and passion and wakefulness of God be mine

That I may be fully alive this day

The vitality an passion and wakefulness of God

That I may be fully alive.





Blessings to you all,





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: twoshiresalert@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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