News

28th September 2021

 

Weddings and Blessings

 

After so much uncertainty, it's been a busy summer for weddings in the Benefice, and continues into the autumn, with three weddings in the next week.

And it's not just weddings.  Some couples, unable to have the type of wedding they wanted, had settled for a much smaller ceremony either in church or a civil ceremony in one of Dorset's licensed venues.  So, it's been wonderful to be able to celebrate these couples' marriages with a wedding blessing. 

 

Kathleen and Alan Todd had their marriage blessed at a ceremony in St Saviour's Dottery on the 13th August.  The photograph is reproduced here by kind permission of the couple.

If you are interesting in having your marriage blessed in one of our beautiful churches, please visit our weddings page here, or contact admin@unitedbenefice.net for further information.

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The Reverend Gregory Page-Turner

 

The Reverend Gregory Page-Turner passed away on the 19th September, peacefully listening to Wagner.  Rev Chris has sent condolences on behalf of this Benefice to his family, saying how much he was loved in the Benefice and is still fondly talked about by many of you.  It is looking like his funeral will be arranged for the latter part of October, so keep an eye on the Pews News for further information.

If you would like to receive a copy of the weekly Pews News, please email admin@unitedbenefice.net

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May Gregory rest in peace

And rise in glory

Amen

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Details of our next monthly café, Cake, are below.

Arranged jointly with our friends at Uploders Chapel, everyone in the Benefice, plus friends and neighbours, will be warmly welcomed.  Come and try!

 

                                  Date:        Tuesday 5th October

                                  Time:       2.30pm – 4pm

                                  Venue:     Uploders Chapel

                                  Theme:    Encouragement

 

For details, please call Liz Guard on 01308 485463

7th August 2021

Celebrating Harvest 2021

Symondsbury: 26th September 11am

North Poorton: 26th September 6.30pm

Loders - 3rd October 11am

Eype - 3rd October 6.30pm

Askerswell - 10th October 11am

Broadoak - 17th October 6.30pm

Dottery - 24th October 9.30am

Powerstock - 29th October, time TBC

More details to follow....

A bit about Harvest...

Harvest Festival used to be celebrated at the beginning of the Harvest season and was called Lammas, meaning 'loaf Mass'. Farmers made loaves of bread from the new wheat crop and gave them to their local church. They were then used as the Communion bread during a special mass thanking God for the harvest. The custom ended when Henry VIII broke away from the Catholic Church, and nowadays we have harvest festivals at the end of the season.

At the start of the harvest, communities would appoint a strong and respected man of the village as their 'Lord of the Harvest'. He would be responsible for negotiating the harvest wages and organising the fieldworkers.

The end of the harvest was celebrated with a big meal called a Harvest Supper, eaten on Michaelmas Day. The 'Lord of the Harvest' sat at the head of the table. A goose stuffed with apples was eaten along with a variety of vegetables. Goose Fairs were and still are held in English towns at this time of year.

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16th July 2021

Local Businesses and 'Freedom Day'

Many of our local businesses have opted to continue with the Covid restrictions after Monday - the so-called 'freedom day'.  

July 19th will see all legal limits on social contact removed, restrictions on large scale events lifted, and hospitality venues which have remained closed - such as nightclubs - can reopen.

Bridport South and West Bay currently has 15 cases of Covid-19 - with a rolling rate of 270.2 case per 100,000 people - whilst Bridport North has reported 23 cases - a rolling rate of 351.2 per 100,000 people.

Both North and South Bridport currently have less than three cases each. Many local businesses have declared they will not be 'returning to normal' and will stick with some safety restrictions.

With a lot of visitors expected to flood the area from next week, this will help to keep us all safe.  You can read about the decision to maintain restrictions from local businesses here.

Welcoming Rev Lorna Johnson

25th June 2021

We look forward to welcoming Reverend Lorna Johnson from the Bridport Team, who will be joining the Benefice for the month of July.  She will be accompanying Rev Chris, as well as officiating at some services.  

Rev Lorna was ordained in February of this year.

Fourth time a success!

25th June 2021

Janet and Jeffery finally got married at St Mary the Virgin, Powerstock on Saturday 12th June!  Due to the pandemic, their wedding had been postponed no less than three times, but perseverance certainly paid off.

Nothing was going to stop this wedding - even when the vicar due to take the ceremony was taken into hospital a couple of days before, Rev. Deb Smith stepped in to save the day!

Congratulations to Janet and Jeffery, pictured here with Rev Deb. (Thank you Rev Deb for rearranging your life to help us out!)

27th May 2021

Having navigated the country lane, making note of each passing spot,  you are rewarded with the beautiful 19th century church of St Mary Magdalene at North Poorton.

Nestled in the fields, the church was built in 1861 by local men as a replacement for an older church.  It was designed by renowned architect John Hicks, built in local stone and has a minaret tower.  You can read more about the church on their dedicated page here.

Early records from 1381 mention a Chapel at Poorton dedicated to St. Nicholas, but it seems from 1405 onward there has been a church here dedicated to St. Peter. The adjacent burial ground was declared full and closed in 1768. Thomas Sanctuary had been Rector for over ten years when he commissioned the new church for Poorton because the old church was “dilapidated and inadequate.”

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24th May 2021

Thursday 3rd May is Corpus Christi;  the day of thanksgiving for the institution of Holy Communion, and this year there will be a service at  the lovely St John's Church in West Bay at 6pm.


Enjoy coming together for this service, led by Rev Philip Ringer, and a lovely fish and chip supper afterwards.

You then, who truly and earnestly repent of your sins,

and are in love and charity with your neighbours,

and intend to lead a new life, following the commandments of God,

and walking from this day forward in his holy ways:

draw near with faith, and take this holy sacrament to your comfort;

and make your humble confession to almighty God.

 

15th May 2021

On 4th May 2021 the new Civil Partnerships, Marriages and Deaths (Registration) Act became law.

 

For us, this means a change in the way we have been registering marriages since 1837.  All the registers in the Church safes have been gathered up and officially closed (by fixing a modest little label to the front covers).  These registers will be taken to the Dorset History Centre.

 

In place of the registers, the registering of a marriage now involves a Marriage Document, signed by the couple, witnesses and the vicar and which is later sent to the Register Office in Dorchester to be entered into the online registers.  Marriage certificates are sent to couples from the Register Office following their ceremony.

 

Our first wedding using the new system is next week –

watch this space!

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7th May 2021

Powerstock Castle - a motte and bailey castle dating from the 11th century.  The motte is an irregular oval 150 feet by 140 feet and now about 19 foot above the ditch.

Motte and bailey castles are mediaeval fortifications introduced to Britain by the Normans. Powerstock Castle formed part of Poorstock and was acquired by King John in 1205.  King John is known to have stayed here at least four or five times, and Henry III stayed in 1230.

Both the baileys and mott have been subject to quarrying and partial excavations in 1840 revealed a midden which produced pottery, animal bones, a spur and a horseshoe!

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23rd April 2021

Wedding Preparation Morning

Several couples marrying this year in the Benefice met up with Rev Chris on Saturday 17th April for our annual Wedding Preparation Morning. On a beautifully sunny morning, we were able to meet outside in the churchyard and share in the meaning of marriage.  We shared God's gift of love, our experience of living together, as well as our reasons for marrying in church.  Practicalities such as reading of the banns and qualifying connections.  The couples enjoyed meeting each other and sharing their hopes and worries.

We were joined by Rev Lorna Johnson from the Bridport Team who led the concluding act of worship.  Rev Lorna will be taking some of our wedding services this year and we welcome her.

This year, for the first time since 1837, the way England and Wales register marriages is changing, and this was explained to the couples.

We wish them all long and happy lives together.

16th April 2021

Visitors

From Monday 12th April, visitors could take a self-catering break and enjoy the wonderful countryside and fresh air and judging by the traffic coming into Dorset, many decided that's exactly what they would do after so long at home.

However, our length of coastline is not the benign photographic backdrop that it may appear to be, and last week saw the largest cliff fall for 60 years in the whole of the UK, just down the road at Seatown.  

The 300 metre stretch of cliff deposited 4,000 tonnes of rock and even the odd tree right across the beach below and into the sea.  The Council warn that now that the ground is drying out there is a danger of more rockfalls, and have advised that for our own safety we should avoid the cliff tops and bases when out and about.  

Be careful, and make sure your visiting friends and relatives are aware of the dangers along our coast.

Photo by James Loveridge (https://www.jamesloveridgephotography.co.uk/)

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12th April 2021

Welcome back!

From Good Friday we welcomed back the congregation to our Churches.

Some services will continue to be streamed and a schedule of services can be found here.

A downloadable word document of services in all our churches over the next couple of months is available via the link to services on the home page.

Covid restrictions continue to apply, and in the event that services need to be cancelled, please continue to check our services page for the latest information.

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26th March 2021

Stations of the Cross

Download the leaflet, produced by the Bridport Team, which helps us make this Good Friday journey.  You can make your journey anywhere, even in your imagination. 
 

"Each resting place - or station – has a focus. Words which could be read out loud; an action, and a prayer.  You walk with others in this community today – and you walk with Christ. Some of the story is sad and is about death, but at the end it is about life.


Take your time, and remember that even in the sad moments, this is a story of hope."

Good Friday Stations Leaflet

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14th March 2021

How can we contribute to
Vaccination Equity Campaigns?

 

If you want to give thanks for receiving your vaccination or donate to charities who are helping to ensure that every community is supported, here are some suggestions:

 

The Church of England helped to bring about the https://www.vaccinaid.org/ campaign with Unicef and Crowdfunder, which seeks to help provide more than 2.5 billion vaccines worldwide

 

Christian Aid’s Give Thanks  Campaign focuses on humanitarian support including food, water and healthcare in areas where the vaccine is currently not available.

 

The Church of England has worked with yourneighbour.org on the

Give Hope  Campaign which works to target misinformation and encourage everyone to take up the offer of a vaccination.

11th March 2021

Light an Online Candle

As our churches open to congregations, many still prefer to stay at home, and the Church of England has launched 'Light an Online Candle', remembering someone special and thanking God for their lives.

You can light an online candle for someone you remember, here.

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10th March 2021

Census 2021

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10th March 2021
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Don't forget that March 2021 sees the 10-year Census of all households in England and Wales.  With the exception of 1941 this survey has been carried out since 1801!  This time, it is going to be run predominantly online, accessible via a code which is being posted to households. Those residents who are unable to complete the Census digitally will be supported by a phone helpline, a network of Census Support Centres or by ordering a paper Census.

Census day is 21st March 2021 and whilst the data is used for many purposes, our personal records will be locked away for 100 years, when future generations can research all about us! This means that the 1921 census should soon be available for us to research and discover where our grandparents/parents (and even great grandparents) were a hundred years ago.

For more information visit census.gov.uk, follow @CensusDorset on Twitter 

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The Night Sky from Askerswell

 

Many thanks to William Harding of Askerswell for sharing his wonderful images of the night sky taken from the grounds of St Michael and All Angels

12th February 2021

The Church of St Michael & All Angels, Askerswell

A virtual organ recital given by our organist, Paul Cheater

Click here to enjoy the recital

Paul begins his recital with a Prelude and Fugue in D minor, originally thought to have been composed by J S Bach. New research suggests that in fact it was in all likelihood by one of Bach’s pupils, possibly Johann Krebs. Whoever the composer was wrote a particularly ‘catchy’ fugue subject and it is quite fun to count the number of times the theme appears!

We travel to 17th century Italy for two sections from ‘Canzona dopo l’Epistola’, by Girolamo Frescobaldi (1583 – 1643), composed to be played after the Epistle in a Communion service.

Paul then plays two contrasting pieces by the German composer, Siegfried Karg-Elert (1877 – 1933). The first, ‘Am abend’ or ‘In the evening’ is quiet and reflective, despite being almost avant-garde in its chordal structure. The second piece is the triumphant chorale prelude on ‘Nun danket alle Gott’ (‘Now thank we all our God’), which is now one of the most celebrated and widely-recognised pieces in the organ repertoire.

The recital concludes with the spectacular grandeur of J S Bach’s Prelude in D major (BWV 532), composed while Bach was living in Weimar, after being hired by the Duke of Weimar as organist and member of the court orchestra. During this time Bach’s fame grew rapidly and many students of the organ came to hear him play and learn from his remarkable technique.

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The organ was built by organ builder, Ernest Lifford in 1919. It acts as a memorial 
In memory of the men of the village who laid down their lives in the 1914-1918 Great War
serving their King and Country
If you enjoy the concert, please consider donating to St Michael and All Angels by clicking here
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20th December 2020

Aerial Photographs of Loders Church

A big thank you to Simon Willmott for sharing his  photographs of the church as we've never seen it before.  

And if you want to visit for private prayer, with your feet firmly on terra firma, the Church is open until dusk daily.  Check out the Church page HERE.