Weekly Parishes Update – 28th July

Dear Friends

At the end of this week I will be on leave for our summer break for a fortnight, and so there will be no weekly email next week or the week after!  Perhaps that is welcome news!

Yesterday we went to the bright lights of Honiton to take the children to the shoe shop to have their feet measured.  This is often a stressful trip, mainly because visiting shoe shops with little children is very rarely cheap.  Children’s shoes cost just as much as adult shoes, if not more, and they outgrow them almost before you’ve got out of the store.  And so it was with some relief that only one of them needed new shoes this time round. 

Feet are fascinating.  In relative terms to the rest of our bodies they are not big.  In Bethany’s case they are absolutely tiny!  And yet, they are able to support our entire mass (my feet must be very superior) and carry out constant tiny adjustments to keep us upright, moving, jumping etc…  But for all that wonder, we often view them as the bits of us that are embarrassing…  Our feet can make us feel vulnerable.  They somehow have the ability to expose our core of our being.

I think it is for this reason that Jesus so often speaks of feet, or uses feet in his ministry.  In particular we might be reminded of him washing Peter’s feet at the Passover.  Today, when we repeat this ritual on Maundy Thursday, it is a very powerful and moving moment that just wouldn’t be the same if it were not the feet. 

Our feet are uniquely ours.  Each footstep we take is ours and is instantly the witness to the past, present and future of our own timeline.  Hence the old adage, ‘if you want to understand someone, walk a mile in their shoes’. 

Jesus of course fully understands us.  He is the one person who is always present with us, now, in the past, and in the future.  He knows us now, he will know us tomorrow, and he knew us before we were born.  “For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb.” Psalm 139:13

As we were driving home from Honiton we went past where I used to live.  I pointed it out to Andrew and Michelle said, “that’s where Daddy lived before you were even born” To which Andrew replied in the disarming way only a 3-year-old can;

“But I was still me!”

Exactly.  Wonderfully and perfectly made, whoever we are and without exception, from the top of our heads to our footprints on the ground.




Church based:

Wednesday 28th July

11am St John’s, Tatworth – Holy Communion (this is a change to the previous rota)


Sunday 1st August

8am Forde Abbey – Holy Communion (Book of Common Prayer) (Rev Philip)

10am St John’s, Tatworth – Morning Worship (Mary Dewar)

10am St Stephen’s, Winsham – Holy Communion (Rev Philip)

6:30pm St Mary Magdalene, Cricket Malherbie – Holy Communion (Rev Philip)


Wednesday 4th August

11am St Mary’s, Thorncombe – Holy Communion (this is a change to the previous rota) (Rev Terri)


Sunday 8th August

10am St Michael’s, Chaffcombe – Holy Communion (Rev Judith)

10am St Mary’s, Thorncombe – Morning Worship (Lay led)


Wednesday 11th August

11am St Michael’s, Chaffcombe – Holy Communion (Rev Judith)


Sunday 15th August

10am St John’s, Tatworth – Holy Communion (Rev Judith)

St Stephen’s, Winsham on a trip!


Wednesday 18th August

11am St Mary Magdalene, Cricket Malherbie – Holy Communion (Rev Judith)



TEZ is on a break during the summer holiday and will return from Thursday 9th September

Sunday 8th August

There will be an online service available to watch at any time on Sunday 8th August on the theme of the Transfiguration.  The video link will be at https://twoshires.wordpress.com/sunday-service



I am pleased to announce that there will be a Confirmation service in Wells Cathedral on 13th November at 2pm.  If you are not Confirmed in the Church of England and would like to be, or would just like to know some more about it, then please do get in touch with me.  There is no age limit!  Once I know who may be interested we will put together some preparation material.

You may already be Confirmed but would like the opportunity to think about what it is to be Confirmed!



From September we will be launching a new expression of church in the Benefice, which will be a monthly outdoors church focused on the natural environment and creation.  We are calling it ‘Wild Church’ and it will be on a Saturday afternoon at 3pm, monthly from 18th September.  Think of a cross between Forest School and Messy Church and you won’t be far away!  Each month will be a different ‘theme’.  We will alternate each month between being outside at St John’s and going on a visit to a different place – such as a farm visit or coast visit.  It is intended to be a fully inclusive expression of church for all ages with activities, fellowship and food.

Reverend Michelle is taking the lead on this, but we would love to build a team of helpers – particularly if you are outdoors orientated!  We will be inviting helpers to an induction and planning session towards the end of August, but please do let us know if this is something you may be interested in being involved with.

Whilst it will be primarily based in Tatworth – this is a Benefice initiative and ALL are welcome.



Further to Churchwardens and PCC meetings over the past couple of weeks I am now preparing a new service rota for Sundays and Midweek services.  This will be from September and, the unexpected aside, is intended to be something we can adopt as a long-term framework that is sustainable and hopefully provides a balanced level of services across the Benefice with something for most people.  I have had a lot of helpful feedback on what we have been able to do to date, and am trying to incorporate as many of those adjustments as possible!

May I take this opportunity to thank you all so much for your forbearance with the temporary rotas we have had to operate on and off through the pandemic.  We can’t return to the quantity of services we had prior to the pandemic in each parish, but will try to provide the best range possible.  Please do remember that we are a family of 5 churches and everyone is very welcome to attend at any church!





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 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; Millie (granddaughter of Jane & Alan Rudkin); Gillian Muggeridge; Chris Gould; Brian Griffiths; Dorothy Down; Max Woehrle; Michael Mutch; Kelvin Yendell; Izzie Luty-Wells; Tracy; Mary Butler; Mary Marsh; Diana Kershaw; Dave Roughton; Reg & Barbara Fawcett; Jill Bishop


We remember all those whom we love but see no longer, and pray for all those bereaved.  We remember Peter Hathway and Winnie Barge at this time.  Winnie’s funeral will be in St John’s, Tatworth, on 29th July at 1200.




Please pray for these couples getting married in the Benefice during August:


Carl Sheehan & Karen Boyland

Olivia Bale & Sebastian Rowland

Lindsay Blackshaw & James Spurdle




Congratulations to Harry Rattew on his Baptism in St John’s on Sunday!  It was a lovely day and I much enjoyed realising that a toy digger had joined my shell in the font!  ‘You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy!’ Psalm 16:11





Luke 9:28-36 – The Transfiguration


28 About eight days after Jesus said this, he took Peter, John and James with him and went up onto a mountain to pray. 29 As he was praying, the appearance of his face changed, and his clothes became as bright as a flash of lightning. 30 Two men, Moses and Elijah, appeared in glorious splendour, talking with Jesus. 31 They spoke about his departure, which he was about to bring to fulfilment at Jerusalem. 32 Peter and his companions were very sleepy, but when they became fully awake, they saw his glory and the two men standing with him. 33 As the men were leaving Jesus, Peter said to him, “Master, it is good for us to be here. Let us put up three shelters—one for you, one for Moses and one for Elijah.” (He did not know what he was saying.)

34 While he was speaking, a cloud appeared and covered them, and they were afraid as they entered the cloud. 35 A voice came from the cloud, saying, “This is my Son, whom I have chosen; listen to him.” 36 When the voice had spoken, they found that Jesus was alone. The disciples kept this to themselves and did not tell anyone at that time what they had seen.


A poem from Malcolm Guite – Transfiguration:

For that one moment, ‘in and out of time’,

On that one mountain where all moments meet,

The daily veil that covers the sublime

In darkling glass fell dazzled at his feet.

There were no angels full of eyes and wings

Just living glory full of truth and grace.

The Love that dances at the heart of things

Shone out upon us from a human face

And to that light the light in us leaped up,

We felt it quicken somewhere deep within,

A sudden blaze of long-extinguished hope

Trembled and tingled through the tender skin.

Nor can this blackened sky, this darkened scar

Eclipse that glimpse of how things really are.







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
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