Churchyard Update

IMG_6313We should like to apologise for any distress caused by recent events in the churchyard. Two events happened to which we needed to respond quickly, giving us no time to communicate with those affected as we would have preferred.

The Diocese of Salisbury, which is responsible for the rules for churchyards, has issued new rules, particularly with regard to what may be placed on graves.  The rules are very specific, allowing only vases or pots which are part of any memorial stone, with anything else not permitted. In the past, vases, pots and ornaments have been tolerated within the churchyard, recognising the comfort that their placement can offer the bereaved.

At almost the same time and at the worst possible moment in the grass growing season, our contractor announced they would no longer be able to mow the churchyard.  They have suffered bad damage to two machines because of hitting objects which should not have been there in the first place.

We were left with two options:-

  1. Remove objects from graves which were not permitted, so that we could organise alternative contractors, to safely resume grass cutting as soon as possible.

Or

  1. Attempt to communicate with everyone with graves via the magazine and noticeboards, inviting removal of the offending objects before resorting to their removal by Churchwardens as above, after a reasonable period and before starting new contractors.

The situation was outlined in the June magazine with the churchyard clean-up introduced as Churchwarden Mike Dunning’s first working party of the year.

Because of the rate of growth of the grass, the Rector and Churchwardens agreed that the first option was most likely to result in a quicker return of the churchyard to its normal state.  We did not consider that a further month of would be the right thing to do.

Of course we are very sorry for the resulting distress caused to relatives.  We are grateful to all those of you who maintain graves regularly, and thank you for all your hard work in helping keep the churchyard in good condition. We hope you will understand that we faced a difficult decision, and that we regret the upset caused.

 

Claire Maxim

Rector

Lent Group 2016 -The Psalms

IMG_5497You are invited to all five sessions of this year’s Lent Group.  We will be learning about the Psalms – which are the “Top 150” of their day – songs which express all sorts of feelings and situations, many of which are familiar to us today.

The sessions will be held in the Church Hall, and will end at about 8.30 pm

(The first session is earlier because we will follow it with the Ash Wednesday service in church)

 

Date Coffee Time Start Time
Wednesday 10th February From 6.30 pm 6.45pm
Wednesday 17th February From 7.15pm 7.30pm
Wednesday 24th February From 7.15pm 7.30 pm
Wednesday 2nd March From 7.15pm 7.30 pm
Wednesday 9th March From 7.15 pm 7.30pm

There is a course booklet available for purchase at £3.50, but it isn’t necessary for you to have a copy to enjoy this course.  However, it would be useful if you bring a Bible with you

If you have any queries, please contact Claire Maxim (Rector) on 01264 393026 or via email rector [at] themaxims.co.uk

Christmas dates

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15 December Castle Primary Carol Service 1.30pm.

16 December Crib Service for Castle Primary School KS 1 10am.

17 December Carols in the Crown and Queens Head starting 7pm in the Crown Pub and Queens Head 7.30pm. (Money raised will be donated to Wilts Air Ambulance Service.)

19 December Carols and Crumpets in the Church Hall 3pm

20 December Carol Service 6pm

24 December Christingle and Crib Service 4pm.

24 December Midnight Mass 11.30pm

25 December  CHRISTMAS DAY Communion 10am

Christmas Tree Festival 2015

IMG_4222The Christmas Tree Festival returns on Friday 11th December (2pm-4pm), Saturday 12th December (10am-4pm) and Sunday 13th December (11.30am-4pm, or during services at 10am and 4pm).

If you want to enter a tree, please contact Claire (rector@themaxims.co.uk).  Note we don’t have any prizes for the trees, we think they are all beautiful!