Dear friends

A number of bereavements and two funerals in the Benefice on Monday and Tuesday of this week meant that the first couple of days of spring started bleaker than one would have expected or liked.
But sometimes it is in the dark places that the light can shine brightest – if only fleetingly – and remind us that there are bigger things at play than we can possibly understand.
For me, one of those moments was at midday yesterday.  It had been an inclement, typically spring-like morning, of cloud, rain, spells of sunshine.  I had just finished a funeral, having also heard in the previous 24 hours of the passing of three people that we had been praying for.  Frankly I was quite cross with God.
And it was at that moment, as I opened the car door, that I suddenly felt the warmth of sunshine on my face and, looking up, saw for all of about 2 seconds a pair of vivid yellow Brimstone butterflies flitting past me and into the churchyard.
It was the first Brimstones I have seen this year, and they always bring a smile because so often they are the first of the emerging butterflies and traditionally are seen as a herald of spring.  For many they are a real sign of new life and hope.  For me – they just spoke to me as it were God saying, “it’s ok – I’ve got this…”
From Isaiah 55:8-9:
“For my thoughts are not your thoughts,    neither are your ways my ways,”declares the Lord.”
“As the heavens are higher than the earth,    so are my ways higher than your ways    and my thoughts than your thoughts.”
Saturday 25th March – Wild Church
Wild Church gathers this Saturday at St John’s Tatworth at 3pm.  Vegetables, Flowers and Pancake Towers!  We will be planting some flowers, vegetables to grow to harvest later in the year, enjoying some pancakes, and thinking about the Easter story!  ALL WELCOME!
Sunday 26th March
8am – Said Holy Communion, St John’s, Tatworth; Rev Michelle Butcher
10am – Holy Communion, St Mary’s Thorncombe; Rev Philip Butcher
*6:30pm – Evening Prayer, St Michael & All Angels Chaffcombe; Rev Philip Butcher
6:30pm – Service of Light, St Stephen’s, Winsham; Lay Team
*Evening Prayer at Chaffcombe will follow on from the APCM at 5:30pm.
Tuesday 28th March
9:30am – Morning Prayer (Celtic tradition); St John’s Tatworth.  A simple and quiet service of morning prayer in Lent.
Wednesday 29th March
10:30am – Coffee Morning; St Stephen’s, Winsham
Lent Walks
Thank you to Mary Magdalene’s Cricket Malherbie last week for hosting a lovely walk and providing a wonderful light lunch!  Great fellowship and we look forward to meeting this week at St Michael & All Angels, Chaffcombe.
11am Thursday 23 March – starting from the church.  We will finish the walk with refreshments at the village hall, where there are also facilities.  I promise that tomorrows walk will be a little shorter than last week!
PALM SUNDAY – 2nd April
On Palm Sunday we will have a Benefice Service (with Donkeys for the Palm Procession!) at St Stephen’s, Winsham.  1030am on 2nd April.
Please hold in your prayers all you know who are struggling in any way, in body, mind or spirit.  We are asked to pray by name for:
Dave Boyland; Terri Boyland; Sheila Clement; Wendy Cotton; Jan Knott; Mary Marsh; Tony Taylor; Margaret Bandy; Dorothy White, Tony Meech, Di Nicholls, Hester Down, Stella Hutchison; Oskar Lee; Margaret Shields; Andrew de Pury; Frank Long; Cyril Larcombe; Valerie Palmer, Jane Scott, Nan Austin, Ron Bone; Bob Stacey, Lynn Ranson.
We remember all those whom we love but see no longer; particularly at this time Donald Raddon, Kathleen Lench, Jean Dodd, Hannah Knott, Bob Hendy.
A Collect for the 5th Sunday in Lent:
Gracious Father,you gave up your Sonout of love for the world:lead us to ponder the mysteries of his passion,that we may know eternal peacethrough the shedding of our Saviour’s blood,Jesus Christ our Lord.
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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