Weekly Parishes Update – 23rd March

Dear Friends

Welcome to this ‘weekly update’. This will actually be for the next two weeks to include up to and including Easter.

On Friday night I was driving home with James, Florence and Andrew when we were suddenly aware that the car did not sound right. There was a rumbling coming from one of the back wheels. Everything felt fine, but we pulled over and the problem was soon clear. The right back wheel was flat as a pancake.

The kids thought this was incredibly exciting. I didn’t quite share their enthusiasm! Never having had to change a wheel on this car I wasn’t entirely certain where all the necessary bits were. Cue instant self-ticking off for not educating myself when I bought the car 2 years ago… I checked the normal place (in the boot), having first of course had to take everything in the boot out and line it up on the road side. You’ve all seen those cars on the roadside – that was us on Friday. So having done that and lifted the boot floor I discovered…

empty space…

I then did that stupid thing of putting my hand into what was clearly an empty space as if miraculously it was going to find a 17’ wheel that my eyes couldn’t see. Cue second self-ticking off for not checking for the spare wheel before buying the car. ‘Don’t panic!’ I thought. It must be elsewhere. So I looked under the car. I looked under the back seat (where I found some roof bar bits I had lost last summer)… but no spare wheel. I then did the thing that no self-respecting man ever does. I decided to open the manual. Only to read the line you really don’t want to read when stuck on the side of the road with a car full of kids and a puncture. ‘Your car does not have a spare tyre’.

It does however have a ‘motability kit’. Which is in a hidden compartment (see p78 for location). P78 reveals the hidden compartment is under the front seat. It doesn’t say which one. The problem is the childrens’ car seats have ISOFix legs that mean you can’t get to the floor area without taking the seats out. So now we have all our belongings, IsoFix bases, and car seats lined up on the road side, and the kids sitting in the boot. And so under the floor I find a small compartment (that you need to unscrew to access) and inside an electric pump and a can of liquid rubber. Now I’m starting to think this is a hidden camera episode of Crystal Maze.

The instructions tell me to connect the can to the pump, the pump to the tyre, and the lead to the cigarette lighter. Then turn on the engine, turn on the pump, and stand well back ‘in case of explosion’. Great.

Now I have all our belongings, the car seats, most of the car flooring, and three kids on the road side, a car with its engine running and a pump that tells me that it could explode.

I press the switch. There is a loud bang and I am covered in liquid rubber. I hadn’t closed a release valve, but in fairness that wasn’t in the instructions. The valve cover itself has flown several feet down the road, but thankfully James has eyes like a hawk and has seen it. Once refitted, the pump runs and, alleluia, the tyre inflates and holds!

We are on our way again and thankfully got home with no further incident. Taking the car to the garage on Monday, we were amazed to discover a large nail had gone right through the tyre, so credit to the motability kit where it’s due…

However, it did make me wonder, what was wrong with having a spare wheel!! According to my mechanic (Mike at Mototech – very good) it is now very common for modern cars not to have them – to save space apparently. But worse, having used the ‘kit’, even if the tyre was repairable, which ours would have been, you have to replace it because the liquid rubber cannot be removed adequately to allow the repair to hold.

So why this long story? Because in reflection and as we begin the final approach to Easter it is wise to identify where we ourselves might be punctured, and to consider our preparedness for that. And to take the analogy further – what do we carry that we need, and perhaps don’t need? Do you have a spare wheel? If the unexpected happened, do you know how to find your motability kit?

Dare I say that for all of us the very best motability kit is Jesus. He can take the punctures, and when all seems lost, rises and keeps going. That is what we find at Easter. But the question is – do you know where to find Him? What are you carrying that is getting in the way? What are you carrying that helps?

A prayer from Sister Mary Stephen at the beginning of Holy Week:


when we are broken

help us to know

that we are safe in your hands

and that we may ever grow

in confidence and hope.


Holy Week and Easter

Please see attached a ‘flier’ with information on Holy Week and Easter events and services. It is a mixture of online and ‘in church’.

We cannot provide ‘in church’ worship and prayer through Holy Week and Easter as fully as we are used to, and maybe expecting. However, across the Benefice and Online there should be something for everyone and so please do use and engage with things as are right for you.

As we begin to use our church buildings again for gathered worship, please do remember that we are still under social distance restrictions and will be for some time to come.

Easter Gardens

During Holy Week, Easter, and the Easter Season (the 50 days to Pentecost), please do take the opportunity to visit the churchyards at the parish churches. We are aiming to support the environment by including wild flower and garden areas in our churches. Over the season there will also be a large empty Cross to remind us of Jesus’ love for us and His resurrection. Do bring your own living flowers to add to the colour and celebration of new life.

Live Online Worship – Zoom Links for the next fortnight:


TEZ – 7:30pm Thursday 25 March. The 5th Lent Session. ‘The things we carry’.

Maundy Thursday – 7:30pm Thursday 1 April. Online Communion.

Both these can be joined on:


Meeting ID: 761 0841 9112 / Passcode: twoshires

For audio only ‘phone access you can also use your landline as below and with this code: 794587565

0203 481 5240

0203 901 7895

0131 460 1196

0203 051 2874

0203 481 5237

There will be no Thursday Evening Zoom (TEZ) on 8th or 15th April due to Easter Holidays.


Palm Sunday – 10am Sunday 28th March. This will be a family friendly service, during which we will make our own palm crosses together! You will need to have with you a piece of paper (a4 is good), scissors, and sticky tape.

Easter Sunday – 10am Family Service. Live Easter Morning worship aimed at families.

Both of these services can be joined on:


Meeting ID: 759 1823 9934 / Passcode: twoshires

For audio access only from a phone you can use any of the numbers below and with this code: 544471966:

0203 051 2874

0203 481 5237

0203 481 5240

0203 901 7895

0131 460 1196

Pre-recorded services for Good Friday and Holy Week will be available at https://twoshires.wordpress.com/lent


All churches continue to be open during the week for an hour at 11am for private individual prayer.

Wednesdays – Tatworth, Cricket Malherbie at 11am

Thursdays – Chaffcombe & Winsham at 11am

Sundays – Thorncombe at 11am

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; Jan Knott; Hannah Knott; Rob Allen; Lynne and Bruce Applegarth; Phyllis Baker; Margaret Bandy; Sue Bennett; Sue Cheese; Terry Conway; Nick Frankau; David Goodwill; Mike Heywood; Joy Howard; Ann Jarvis; Frank & Celia 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; Brian Griffiths; Peter Hathway; Dorothy Down; Max Woehrle; Michael Mutch; Kelvin Yendell; Winnie Barge; Fi Lillington; Di Nicholls; Izzie Luty-Wells; Tracy; Mary Butler.

We remember all those whom we love but see no longer, and pray for all those bereaved. We remember Les Holloway, Michelle Govier, Yvonne Leese and Winifred Peasdon and hold all their families and friends in our prayers.


For this period I would signpost you to the following as focused Bible readings:

· 24 – 27 March: Luke 1:26-38 (The Annunciation). We are reminded of the Incarnation and the joy and challenge of new life. That Jesus did not come to just be with us, but he came AS us. We think about the humanity of Jesus as we prepare to focus on Holy Week to come.

· Palm Sunday: Mark 11:1-11. The Triumphal Entry. We reflect on the arrival of Jesus in Jerusalem. Place yourself in the crowds as you witness this extraordinary event.

· 29 – 31 March: John 12:20-36. Jesus predicts his death. You can feel the tension mounting, especially in the hindsight of history that we are blessed to see through. Imagine yourself hearing the words Jesus speaks as he begins to prepare those around him for what is to come.

· Maundy Thursday: John 13:1-17. Jesus washes his disciples’ feet. Place yourself in the narrative, perhaps as Peter. Are you prepared to let Jesus wash your feet?

· Good Friday and Holy Saturday: John 18 and 19. The Passion. Journey with the Passion narrative as you need to. Read it carefully. Read it more than once during Friday and Saturday and let the words and verses that need to speak to you speak to you. Don’t read on. Stay at the tomb.

· Easter Sunday and into the following week: John 20:1-18. ‘I have seen the Lord!’ Feel what Mary Magdalene must have felt that Easter morning following the catastrophic events of the previous days. What is it to say, “I have seen the Lord!” Give yourself lots of time to reflect on what the resurrection means to you, now, today, and into tomorrow. How will you respond?

Some words from the great Easter hymn – Thine be the Glory:

Thine be the glory
Risen conquering Son
Endless is the victory
Thou o’er death hast won.

Angels in bright raiment
Rolled the stone away
Kept the folded grave clothes
Where Thy body lay

Lo! Jesus meets us
Risen from the tomb
Lovingly, He greets us
Scatters fear and gloom

Let the church with gladness
Hymns of triumph sing
For her Lord now liveth
Death hath lost its sting

No more we doubt Thee
Glorious Prince of life
Life is naught without Thee
Aid us in our strife

Make us more than conquerors
Through Thy deathless love
Bring us safe through Jordan
To Thy home above



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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