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Published by , 2018-12-18 06:18:55

01 January 2018

01 January 2018

Greens Norton
For the churches of
St. Augustine, St Bartholomew, Towcester
Easton Neston
St. Lawrence, St. Mary, and
St Michael Bradden

Al-Maghtas ruins on the Jordanian side of the Jordan River are the location for
the Baptism of Jesus and the ministry of John the Baptist.

Photograph by courtesy of the Producer

Price 70p January
Or 2018

£7.00 per year


H appy New Year. Wishing you a relevant and helpful. Can we all say a
Blessed 2018. Thank you for huge THANK YOU to Paul Loveday
reading and subscribing to this who faithfully produces it for us month
magazine; we are so fortunate to have it by month.
as a way of communicating. Please
always send in contributions to make it Ben Phillips, Rector

New Year, New Challenges

One of the great gifts of being alive the Benefice. Building on Tots Own and
is the potential to learn new Little Sprouts we are pushing ahead
things. As a Christian we always have with Messy Church - an all age activity

the chance to learn more about God, at different venues across the Benefice,

and his faithfulness and our call to be trying to hold onto those links once

like him. I have been reading John parents go back to work or children

Knight’s book Rain in a Dry Land, of his start school. Please pray for and

and Jill’s time living through a civil war support this. You are welcome to come.

and persecution, and also through

more normal but equally challenging It is time to give a push for raising funds

times. What comes out is a sense of for the toilet and kitchen facilities in

learning to trust God more with all we Towcester and also to repair the stone-

are and all we have, and finding he is work. God is faithful and does answer

then so much more able to transform our prayers and our commitment to

our lives and the lives of our churches, him when we really trust and give of

even through to practicalities like ourselves to him. It is an exciting

church finances. journey. We will be having a Vision and

Refresh Day on 24th March for

We begin a new year with a new budget members of the Benefice Churches.

set. Last year St Lawrence will almost

certainly have ended in the red using up Please put that in the diary now. More

their small reserves and so that cannot details to come.

be repeated. Across all of our churches

this is a huge challenge. This is a matter

for prayer, preaching and planning, and Ben Phillips, Rector

each of us considering how we respond

again, with prayer and careful

decisions, please. There are also

exciting plans of what we might be

being called to do as a church here in


Benefice Matters

Ben’s Sabbatical

One of the great gifts of Christianity I did have a slightly shortened
is the understanding of a God who sabbatical, living at home in 2007, the
knows us, wants the best for us and summer my son and daughter did their

that, right at the start of the story of his A-levels and GCSEs respectively. My

creative care, comes the gift of the wife and children would not have

Sabbath – a special and holy day and a thanked me for going off and deserting

time to be refreshed. Also there is a them. On that occasion I worked in a

tradition of time away, sometimes in care home as a handyman for a month,

the wilderness, to help you see clearer. had a month’s placement in prison, and

hitch-hiked to Iona and had a week

Vicars are some of the few people who there.

live on the job in the middle of their Plan
parish, so somewhat in a gold-fish

bowl. This is fabulous but at times very
draining, and it can be hard to be off This time I plan to take Sarah with me.

duty, which is why getting away is so We will begin the time treading the soil
important. The church in its wisdom where Jesus trod, reflecting on our
makes Sabbatical leave for 3 months a Lord’s life and where that leads our
possibility every 10 years. A chance to own. We have been asked to help run
study, reflect, read, rest and be two week-long pilgrimages in the Holy
renewed. Land, one based in Jerusalem and one

I will have been here for nearly 6 years by Galilee. These will be relatively slow
and in training and ministry for over 30 weeks, being based largely in one place
years. I am blessed with health and but will no doubt be tiring being
strength, but feel it would be a good available to tend to others needs.

moment to draw breath and review
what has been and allow a look from After this there are 3 main parts to the
afar at how I am going about life before sabbatical:-

continuing forward in, I pray, God’s
Way. To have time to read, walk and To study at a language school for four
reflect, and to stimulate the brain to weeks near Montpellier, with lessons
improve my knowledge of the French each morning.



To walk some of the Camino, starting on Personal journeys

the south coast, from Narbonne near

Montpellier towards the Pyrenees via one of us is ever truly alone, and as
a part of Christ’s body, his family
NCarcassonne ending at Lourdes.
we need to meet each other, meet God
To have time to read and have a holiday. and know ourselves.

Why now? One thing I feel I do not do well enough

This is a good moment in the parish as is to sit down with a good length of time
Revd Paula Challen, the curate in our with each church member to listen, and
Benefice will have one more year of her help each other review where God is
5 year (0.75 time) curacy to run. She leading us.

started in June 2014 and went on I pray 2018 will be a year of deeper
maternity leave 6 weeks later. She plans encounters. Each Electoral Roll member
to finish her curacy when her middle should be able to have an un-rushed
son finishes GCSEs in June 2019. This hour long meeting with a minister this
will give her a good spell covering more year, but to make it happen I will need
responsibility alongside my fabulous your help. Lulu, Paula and myself are
colleague Revd Lulu Pelly. I will also giving the office some ring-fenced slots
endeavour to pass some of my in our diaries and you are invited to ring
responsibilities onto other members of the office and fix a convenient time for
our churches and try to learn that art of you from those. Most will be Tuesday -
enabling others which so often evades Thursday afternoons to start with and
me. we will see how that goes. Some Satur-

I realise I am very fortunate to have this day and evening appointments can be
opportunity but pray it will bring fruit made too. What do you think? This will
and resilience, vision and purpose back take God’s grace to work out but each
with me for the next chapter of life and of our parts too.

ministry, but will also allow different See you soon. You are also always wel-
and good things of God to emerge in come to join us and others at morning
the parishes. or evening prayer or Tuesday and

Ben Phillips, Rector Wednesday midweek Communion at
St Lawrence, that is a good time to

travel together too.

With our prayers, Ben


Sponne Bickerstaffes Charity. elsewhere later in the day to have a
chance to worship and be recharged in
We are looking for a volunteer to our Lord’s love. *BCP means it is the
serve on the church’s behalf with older language of the Book of Common
this very active charity which manages Prayer, but it is all very similar
the wonderful resource of Moorfields whichever service you come to, apart
Alms houses and the needs of the poor from the readings and scintillating
in Towcester. The 12 alms-houses are a sermon (or else ask for your money
fabulous design in good heart and back!).
order with a resident warden. We are
planning in the coming months to The Feast of Epiphany
consider what our vision and purpose
should be on a wider front too. There is This year it is the real thing - the
a monthly meeting on the 3rd actual 6th January at 6pm at Easton
Wednesday of the month. Could this be Neston. St Mary's Church to the south
a use of your gifts? and hidden beyond the big house NN12
7HS. - Incense , Gold standard music ,
Where have all the 8.00 am perhaps no myrrh, but we will celebrate
services gone? The Feast of Epiphany with the
Cotswold Voices singing and leading us
They haven’t gone anywhere! We all, as with gladness...
still have them at least 3 times a
month: William Byrd's 5 part Mass, and two
variations on Light - James MacMillan O
1st Sunday of Month in Towcester radiant dawn and Thomas Tallis' O nata

2nd Sunday at Greens Norton (BCP*) All welcome

3rd Sunday at St Lawrence (BCP*)

As we are short of servers you may find

the Towcester service is sometimes in Fundraising
the Lady Chapel – round the corner and
o not forget, when your home
Dat the far end of church. So if you arrive insurance is up for renewal to

and cannot see anyone, please come consider using Ecclesiastical who will

around the corner. donate £130 to your church when you

take out a policy. Wow.

This is a lovely service and enables Quote TRUST 130.

those who sometimes have to be off


Do you ever shop on line? Why not let wealth of resources and a diversity of

the church benefit from 1 or 2% of your plants and animals. We are asked to

spend, at no additional cost to you? It’s pray for problems of abuse and misuse

easy. Simply set up Easyfundraising as of the natural resources and increasing

your route to all your shopping sites. pollution of habitats.

You can also down load an App from

their site. There will be over 5,000 services taking

place all over the world, with the

Easy peasy – you get the shopping and service being translated into 95

the church gets pudding and pie. languages and 1000 dialects. Everyone is invited to join in the service

which this year will take place at

Under your chosen charities please

select Tove Churches St Bartholomew's Church Greens

Norton at 7 pm on Friday 2nd March

Thank you

Training Morning

FWOMEN'S WORLD DAY OF PRAYER or those of the Benefice who would
like to read or take Intercessions

there will be a training morning on

Saturday 20th January in St Lawrence.

9.30 am for Benefice Readers.

10.00 am for Benefice Intercessors.

All God's Creation is Very Good!

This year the service has been written
by Christian women of Surinam. It is a
country with a vast rainforest and


Benefice Services

St Augustine - Caldecote

Sunday 28th January Epiphany 4

11.15 am Eucharist

St Bartholomew - Greens Norton

Sunday 7th January Baptism of Christ

11.00 am Covenant Communion Service with Methodists

Sunday 14th January Epiphany 2

8.00 am Holy Communion

11.00 am Family Praise

Sunday 21st January Epiphany 3

11.00 am Holy Communion

Saturday 27th January

10.00 am Messy Church for the Benefice (until 12.00pm)

Sunday 28th January Epiphany 4

11.00 am Morning Prayer

St Lawrence - Towcester

Sunday 7th January Baptism of Christ

8.00 am Holy Communion

9.30 am Family Service

Saturday 13th January

2.30 pm Thanksgiving Service for the life of David Linney

Sunday 14th January Epiphany 2

8.00 am Parish Communion

Sunday 21st January Epiphany 3

8.00 am Holy Communion

9.30 am All Age Communion with TowCEPS Year 5

2.30 pm Re-affirmation Baptism of Adeline Frost

Sunday 21st January Epiphany 3

10.30 am The Peterborough Diocesan Guild of Church Bellringers

Sunday 28th January Epiphany 4

9.30 am Holy Communion

St Mary - Easton Neston

Saturday 6th January

6.00 pm Epiphany Service with Cotswold Voices

St Michael - Bradden

Sunday 14th January Epiphany 2

9.30 am Eucharist

Sunday 28th January Epiphany 4

6.00 pm Evening Prayer


Services and Calendar for December 2017

Benefice Calendar

Tuesday 2nd January
Men’s Curry Night. Meet either at The Mill or at the Dilraj

Every Monday
9.30-11.00 am Little Sprouts at Towcester (in term time)

Every Wednesday
9.00-10.30 am Totsown at Greens Norton (in term time)

Second and Fourth Sunday of every month
9.30 am Children’s Church (January 14th & 28th)

Tuesday 9th January
7.30 pm Week One of Christianity explored course (5-week course)

Saturday 13th January
10.00 am Baptism Preparation in Chantry House

Sunday 14th January
4.00 pm Moat Lane Residents Newcomers Party in Chantry House

Saturday 20th January
9.30 am Benefice Readers Training in St Lawrence (for those interested in this role)
10.00 am Benefice Intercessors Training in St Lawrence (for those interested in this role)

Monday 22nd January
7.30 pm St Lawrence Film Night at Silverstone Methodist Church – Brief Encounter

Wednesday 24th January
7.30 pm Benefice Committee Meeting at Chantry House

Wednesday 31st January
7.30 pm Men at the Bull

Join us at St Lawrence for daily prayers for the Benefice and the World

9.00am Monday, and Wednesday to Saturday
5.00pm Monday to Friday
mid week Communions:

Tuesday at 8 am (5th, 12th, 19th, 26th December)
and Wednesdays 10.15 am (6th, 13th, 20th, 27th December)



Holy Baptism.
We are thrilled to welcome new members into the church family.

May they grow in faith and love to take their full part.
We pray for:

28 October Jack Tustian-Goorah St Augustine
18 November
19 November Fife Collins St Lawrence
19 November
26 November Theo Bloomfield St Lawrence
3 December
Poppy Halpin St Lawrence

Ellie Masters St Lawrence

Robyn Ramtell St Lawrence

We commend to God those who have died.
We pray for their loved ones and all who miss them:

17 November Mary Wood St Bartholomew's
20 November Elizabeth Evans St Lawrence
27 November Maisie Cummings St Bartholomew's
28 November Marjorie Barber St Michael’s
1 December John Tustian St Lawrence
6 December Angelica Keers Milton Malsor
13 December Desmond Carter St John the Evangelist



The coming of our Lord

The coming of our Lord opens up heaven’s door,
The coming of our Lord means peace forever more.
No darkness can linger when he brings to us, his light,
Never more apart, for we stand forever in his sight.
We may journey through uncertainty, lost within today,
We may travel through confusion, unable to find our way.
But our Lord will not forget us if we start to shed a tear,
Alone we will never be, for in his heart he holds us near.

The coming of our Lord brings strength when we feel weak.
The coming of our Lord brings the guidance that we seek,
Guiding us through life’s troubles, catching us if we fall,
Giving us his love and always being there when we call.

Jenny M L (07/12/17)

Jenny’s latest book of poems has now
been published. The themes for this
latest book are to do with Christianity and
it is entitled 'The Carpenter’s Son'.

It contains 32 poems (33 if you count the
one on the back cover) and is all about his
life, how he helps us and how we can help
him, as well as a couple on Christmas and
on prayers.

It is on sale at the Benefice Office at
£2.50 per copy, 50p of which goes
directly to ST Lawrence.



Tonga sua! Welcome!

Dear Friends at Towcester and some basic language. It is very much a
Greens Norton, time of listening and learning.

Thank you for your prayers, especially
as we packed up and said our We'll finish here but wanted to give you
goodbyes. We had some special time a taste of our first impressions.

with our children before we left. We In Christ,

travelled safely and well, arriving on the

cathedral compound in Tulear on Toliara Anjely

Wednesday 15th. We received a warm

welcome and they sang the traditional “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good

song for visitors. news of great joy… For unto you is born

this day… a Saviour who is Christ the

This is the start of the hot season and Lord.” Luke 2:10-11

though the temperature hasn't gone Every day we see angels! For in the
too high yet (30 centigrade) it stays hot women’s centre where we are living a
and humid through the night (around small group of local women are turning
27 centigrade). Thankfully we have strips of paper, glue, varnish and
electricity most of the time, so we can infinite patience into angels. They hope
run a ceiling fan and we have a fridge. to sell these before Christmas to

support their families. We have ours,
Tulear is close to the sea and has little proudly displayed in our room, our only
rain. The land where we are staying is outward sign that Christmas is
very sandy. We went to the local village approaching.
to register with the chief and it was like

walking over dunes.

We've been into the town of Tulear

several times - around 3 - 4 miles on a

pousse-pousse (cycle rickshaw). It's

bigger and more developed than we

expected. There is even a supermarket

with French cheeses and baguettes!

The market has a reasonable selection

of fruit and vegetables.

Before we go to a language course in

January we are becoming familiar with Derek and Jane Waller
the Diocese, town etc and learning


David Linney David was taken into hospital with
1942 - 2017 pneumonia but due to his existing
breathing problems he eventually
David was born in Marlborough, went into respiratory distress and
Wiltshire and moved to sadly passed away on 30th November
Towcester on retiring from the RAF in 2017.
the early 1980’s with Lynne and the
two girls. He very quickly got involved David was a big man with a real larger
in the local community and rapidly than life personality and he will be
become known to many people. He missed by many of us. His funeral was
was a staunch member of St held at his home Church in Brewood,
Lawrence and was Churchwarden for Staffordshire on December 22nd.
many years. Many of you will know
him from his involvement with the However there is to be a Thanksgiving
Conservative Club, Towcester Youth for David’s life in St Lawrence Church
Coffee House and the Town Council. Towcester on 13th January 2018 at
David was Mayor three times and 2.30 pm for everyone to come and
helped to raise thousands of pounds pay their respects. As David loved
for a wide variety of charities. Christmas, Lynne and Rachael have
request that Christmas Jumpers or
bright colours are to be worn. “



January 2018

The December meeting of the All members are invited to attend and
Mothers’ Union was celebrated by we look forward to seeing as many of
the Deanery Carol Service, and was you as possible.

thoroughly enjoyed by the members This will be followed by a light lunch
that attended. and good fellowship.

The first meeting of the New Year will All are welcome to join us at any of our
be at 11:15 am on Tuesday 2nd January meetings.
at the Chantry House and will be the

Annual General Meeting Rev’d Peter Hobday


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