Welcome to Holy Week!
No-one thought last year that we would again be entering Holy Week through the confines of COVID restrictions. Unlike in 2020 however where we were at the front end of the Pandemic; we hope and pray that this Easter we are very much in recovery mode.
Holy Week is an incredibly important part of the Easter story. We cannot really fully appreciate the power and depth of meaning of Jesus’ glorious resurrection on Easter morning without first understanding the events that lead to it. I invite you this week to engage in those events in whatever way you can – spend the week in the company of the disciples and the crowds of Jerusalem as you follow Jesus to the Cross… and beyond.
The Resurrection perhaps carries more impact this year than in a very long time. We are all travelling through a very difficult time of challenges, pain and loss. We crave comfort, re-establishment, a sense of joy, and new beginnings like many have never known before. In our faith this is what the Resurrection represents. Hope and light destroying emptiness and darkness. It is hard to underestimate what the woman realising the tomb was empty must have felt.
Here are the details of what is available in the Benefice this week to you to help you travel through Holy Week. If there is something not here that you would really value then please do have a look on the websites further below. There is a great amount available from our neighbouring parishes too!
Compline is a short, quiet, service of Night Prayer that can be used throughout the year, but we often use during Holy Week. I have put together an online version for this week:
Do visit your parish churchyard this week. You will find a cross that you can spend some time at, and enjoy that nature that is so abundant in those places. Each church has an outside Easter Garden for you to visit and bring your own additions, maybe a flowering plant, a decorated stone, whatever you want! These will be in place for the whole of Easter Season, which runs to Pentecost on May 23.
There will be stations of the Cross that you can use outside in Winsham churchyard from Good Friday onwards.
We will have a Communion Service on Zoom at 7:30pm. This is on the normal TEZ link and is below:
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
If you would like to share in the breaking of bread then please have some bread or similar with you.
Rev Judith will be leading a service of reflection for Good Friday at 10am in St Mary’s Thorncombe.
St John’s Toddler group has a COVID secure Hot Cross Bun Picnic at 10:30
on the grass outside the church hall. You have to book to attend this as we are legally limited on numbers. Bookings are being taken by Rev Michelle. Please see https://twoshires.wordpress.com/lent
for more details.
Holy Saturday – Quiet Day:
Holy Saturday is in many ways a day between days. When we are fully entered into the journey of the week it is the day as Christians when we have lost everything. Jesus has died and is not yet risen. It is a transitional space, a liminal space, a really valuable space. It is a time to just ‘be’. It is a time for waiting when you don’t know what you are waiting for.
Allow Holy Saturday to be to you whatever it needs to be.
If you would like to follow a loose structure for a quiet day
wherever you are, then there will be something you can download and follow at https://twoshires.wordpress.com/lent
later in the week.
The following ‘in church’ services are available on Easter Sunday.
8am BCP – Forde Abbey (Rev Judith)
10am Communion – Winsham (Rev Terri)
10am Worship (Service of Resurrection) – Thorncombe (Lay led)
10am Easter Worship – Tatworth (Lay led)
10am Communion – Chaffcombe (Rev Judith)
6:30pm Communion – Cricket Malherbie (Rev Philip)
Pastoral Letter and Reflections
Reverend Judith and I have prepared a letter, and Judith has written a set of reflections, for all those people who we are aware of that are not online and we suspect may not get to a church on Easter Sunday. These are attached to this email – which you are also welcome to use, but also to get to those who may need them. We would rather they received them twice than not at all! Very many thanks to Judith for her writings.
I absolutely love this poem from R S Thomas and am often drawn to it at Easter and Advent.
The Coming – R S Thomas
And God held in his hand
A small globe. Look he said.
The son looked. Far off,
As through water, he saw
A scorched land of fierce
Colour. The light burned
There; crusted buildings
Cast their shadows: a bright
Serpent, a river
Uncoiled itself, radiant
On a bare
Hill a bare tree saddened
The sky. Many People
Held out their thin arms
To it, as though waiting
For a vanished April
To return to its crossed
Boughs. The son watched
Them. Let me go there, he said.
Have a blessed Holy Week,
The Reverend Philip Butcher
Rector – Two Shires Benefice (Tatworth, Thorncombe, Winsham, Chaffcombe & Cricket Malherbie)
3 Home Farm
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!