Parishes Weekly Update from our Vicar

Dear Friends

Blessings and grace to all of you, wherever this reaches you.

After such a long period of hot and dry weather, August seems to have redressed the balance somewhat, and certainly in the last week or so we have experienced some dramatic climatic conditions to say the least.

My olive tree (the one that appeared in my online sermon a few weeks ago) sits in a large terracotta pot on the patio and yesterday afternoon, in a huge gust of wind, to it was blown clean over.  Now, it is some effort for one person to lift that pot, so to see it lying on its side in a bed of broken pottery was yes, worrying, but also frankly quite amazing.

Quick trip to the garden centre and the tree is now repotted, and in fairness, we had been planning to repot it soon anyway.  So now it is in fresh soil and a bigger pot, so with the exception of the cost of the pot, the net result is an improvement.

In stormy weather I am often reminded of Sir Ranulph Fiennes’ words when asked about how he copes in terrible conditions on his expeditions.  He once said, “there is no such thing as bad weather, just bad clothing”.  And this is very true.

Whether we are facing storms of the meteorological kind, of the analogous kind, or even of the spiritual kind, the way to cope with them is to be properly equipped.  In the case of the olive tree, even that wasn’t enough, but someone was there to pick it up and keep it safe. 

In our faith lives we can do all can to meet the storms, and maybe even learn to embrace them for the awe and wonder they are.  But the best bit is that even if things do seem to overwhelm, God is there to pick us up and fix the pot.

Here is a poem from R S Thomas which speaks of that awesomeness of God:


It is alive. It is you,

God. Looking out I can see

no death. The earth moves, the

sea moves, the wind goes

on its exuberant

journeys. Many creatures

reflect you, the flowers

your colour, the tides the precision

of your calculations. There

is nothing too ample

for you to overflow, nothing

so small that your workmanship

is not revealed. I listen

and it is you speaking.

I find the place where you lay

warm. At night, if I waken,

there are the sleepless conurbations

of the stars. The darkness

is the deepening shadow

of your presence; the silence a

process in the metabolism

of the being of love.






Thursday Evening Zoom – 7:30pm – 27th August – The Transfiguration

Join us on the link below for the regular Thursday evening worship.  This week we will be praying Compline and thinking about Augustine.

Join Zoom Service at 7:30pm:

Meeting ID: 717 4519 2963

Passcode: twoshires


Sunday 30th August

The sermon and readings from the Benefice service at Cricket Malherbie will be available to listen to at from Sunday morning. 

Our next live online Sunday service will be on September 13th



Worship Sunday 30th August:

Holy Communion –             8am St John’s, Tatworth


Outdoor Benefice Service – 10am, St Mary Magdalene, Cricket Malherbie.  Please bring your own chair if you need to be seated.  The service will take place in the churchyard.  It will be an informal eucharist where we will share the bread together.


Midweek Holy Communion:

Wednesday 2nd September 11am at Cricket Malherbie.

Thursday 10th September 11am at Chaffcombe.


Harvest Festival Season starts in September!  We hope to celebrate Harvest in each of the churches over the coming couple of months.  So far I can confirm the following:

Chaffcombe – 10am Sunday 13th September

Cricket Malherbie – 6:30pm Sunday 20th September

Winsham – 10am Sunday 4th October (joint service with the URC)



All churches will continue to be open during the week for private individual prayer.  To maintain safe quarantine times around Sunday services, to keep our buildings as safe as possible, prayer times will now be on Wednesdays or Thursdays as following:

Wednesdays – Tatworth, Cricket Malherbie & Thorncombe at 11am

Thursdays – Chaffcombe & Winsham at 11am

We are currently reviewing arrangements to see if we can extend opening times safely.  Any changes will be communicated.


Thank you for the care and attention people have been showing in using the church buildings.  It is greatly appreciated.  There are no changes to report at this time, so please carry on doing what you have been doing!


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:


·       Schools as they prepare for a new year.  Children and staff returning to school, or starting in new education. 

·       Farmers as we move into harvest time.

·       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:


Bishop Peter Hancock; 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; Milly granddaughter of Jane & Alan Rudkin; Gillian Muggeridge; Chris Gould


·       For the Bereaved – The family & friends of: Tony White.



Wed 26th August – 2 Thess 3:6-10; Matt 23:27-32

Thur 27th August – 1 Cor 1:1-9; Matt 24:42-end

Fri 28th August – 1 Cor 1:17-25; Matt 25:1-13

Sat 29th August – 1 Cor 1:26-end; Matt 25:14-30

Sun 30th August – Rom 12:9-end; Matt 16:21-end

Mon 31st August – 1 Cor 2:1-5; Luke 4:16-30

Tues 1 Sept – 1 Cor 2:10b-end; Luke 4:31-37

Wed 2 Sept – 1 Cor 3:1-9; Luke 4:38-end




You speak to us in all things, O God,

In the rising of the sun and its setting,

In dreams of the night and encounters of the day.

Let us know you in the whole of life,

In both the blessings and the betrayals of our lives.

Heal our hurts and open our hearts

That as families and nations we may be faithful to one another.




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
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