Dear All,“The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light, those who lived in a land of deep darkness – on them a light has shined” Isaiah 9:2I wonder if you have ever been for a really early morning walk, and watched the first glimpses of the sun coming up? Have you watched the subtle changes in the sky, as it begins to slowly change colour, or heard the very first birds begin to sing their song? Have you been amazed by the brightness and wonder of the sun creeping over the horizon, changing everything as it brings its light?Today is Advent Sunday – the beginning of our journey together through the season of Advent. As we begin our journey through this special season together, we are called to seek this light. As with the dawning of the sun, we need to watch and listen, looking for those little glimpses of life that tell us something amazing is about to happen. We need to be prepared for the impact of that amazing light – for it will chase away all the darkness, and bring a warmth that nothing else can give. The moment that we find that light, shining from the poverty of a stable, from the innocence and helplessness of a baby, we will see the face of God and we will truly understand these words from Isaiah.As we travel together through this season of Advent, we must ask ourselves this question – how can we make our hearts ready for the coming of the Christ Child? Our God came down from heaven to meet with us, how can we be ready to welcome him in?I came across this meditation in the Northumberland Celtic Prayer book, and I wanted to share it with you now.Making our hearts readyWe make our hearts readyfor the king of Glory to come in.Through the doors of our heart,though they are made of only the simplest wood.We make our hearts readyfor the king of glory to come in.We open these doors now,fully and completelywith all of our will and all of our strength.with all our uncertainty and all of our weakness we pray,come dwell among us and be our peace today.Amen.Over the coming weeks, we have a number of extra services and Christmas celebrations going on around the Benefice. We thought it would be helpful to put these all in one place, so that you can see what is going on.Advent Zoom

On Thursday evenings in Advent I will be holding an online Zoom service at 7:30pm, link below.  This will be a service following the ancient monastic spiritual exercise of Lectio Divina (Divine Reading), and will journey through the major themes of Advent.  The service will last about 20-25 minutes and we will keep the link open afterwards for any catching up!
Passcode (if needed):  twoshires

Christmas Trees and Christmas lights

Sunday 4th Dec 4.30pm: St John’s Tatworth – Carol singing and Christmas lights switch on. This marks the start of our Christmas tree festival in church.  
Sunday 4th Dec 6pm:  Winsham – Carol singing and lighting of Christmas TreeCarol ServicesThursday 1st Dec 2:00pm – Women’s Institute Carol Service, St John’s Tatworth.
Tuesday 13th Dec 6.30pm – St Mary’s Thorncombe – village carol serviceSunday 18th Dec 6.30pm – St Stephen’s Winsham – service of nine lessons and carolsTuesday 20th Dec 6.30pm – St Michael and All Angels Chaffcombe – service of nine lessons and carolsChristmas Eve 6pm – Forde Abbey CarolsChristingles and Nativity ServicesSunday 18th Dec 11.15: St Marys Thorncombe – Christingel Service with the Open the Book team.Christmas Eve 4pm:  St Johns Tatworth – Family Nativity and Christingle serviceChristmas Communion ServicesChristmas Eve 7pm – St Mary Magdalene Cricket Malherbie – Family Carols and CommunionChristmas Eve 11.30pm – St John’s Church Tatworth Midnight MassChristmas Eve 11.30pm – St Mary’s Church Thorncombe Midnight MassChristmas Morning 8am – Forde Abbey Holy Communion (BCP)Christmas Morning 10am – St Michael and All Angels Chaffcombe Holy CommunionChristmas Morning 10am – St Stephen’s Winsham Holy CommunionChristmas Morning 10am- St Mary’s Thorncombe family carolsWild ChurchOur Wild Church Christmas celebration is taking place at 3pm on Saturday 3rd December at St Johns Tatworth. We will be going a journey through Christmas through story, crafts, and sharing refreshments together. Everyone is welcome.St John’s Community Kitchen – Christmas appealSince September, St John’s Church in Tatworth has been running a community garden kitchen – a place where people can come and take the food they need during this time of real economic hardship. The garden kitchen has been widely used by people from across our community, and we know that it has made a real difference to some. However, we rely heavily on donations from people who are able to buy a little extra food (maybe a bag of pasta, or a tin of soup) when they do their own shopping. We would really love to be able to keep this going over Christmas and throughout the winter, so please please, if you are able, do pop in and drop off any donations that you have. Thank you so much.With every blessing this Advent,


The Reverend Michelle Butcher
Associate Rector – Two Shires Benefice (Tatworth, Thorncombe, Winsham, Chaffcombe & Cricket Malherbie)
The Vicarage
3 Home Farm
TA20 2SH
01460 221286

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