Lent 2018 – Keep a Holy Lent

 Our Lent study this year is about caring for our environment.

We began by hearing from  Brother Hugh of the Society of St.Francis at Hilfield who started us off on our exploration of how and why Christians care for our common home. Hilfield has just been awarded the GOLD standard for ‘eco-church’ and they are in the forefront of developments. Hugh will return for a final session on the Tuesday of Holy Week, 27 March.

Between now and then we join together in small groups to reflect and discuss the issues involved for Christians in caring for the planet
Click here for full details and info about how to get involved.

 If in doubt ring 01202749085

or email office@stpetersparkstone.org.uk

St. Peter’s Gives REAL Advent Calendars to children at our Church school

This year we were able to give a Real Advent Calendar to every child at Baden-Powell and St.Peter’s school. Its a big school with upwards of 720 children but all this was made possible by a legacy from John Williams, a faithful and long standing member of our congregation.

Real Advent Calendars are just what the name suggests. Unlike many commercial versions they actually tell the story of Christmas, and they do so in a way which helps children prepare for the Festival. Along with the Calendar itself there’s an activity book with reflections and activities for each day up until Christmas Eve; and of course there is also the ever popular chocolate. Here it is fairtrade chocolate from the Meaningful Chocolate Company.

On 30 November Fr. Michael introduced the calendars to the children during Collective Worship ( to a great deal of excitement we might add!) and in the afternoon members of the congregation visited all the classrooms to give the calendars out, just in time for December 1.

We’re delighted to have been able to do this and hopeful that it will connect the children to Christmas in a special and meaningful way.

Confirmation 4 November

 

Many congratulations to six members of our congregation who, were Confirmed in Salisbury Cathedral last weekend. Please continue to pray for  Alex Miles, Olivia Miles,  Quinn Taylor-Habgood, Elliana Covell, Adam Covell (who was Baptised) and Alice Powell.

It was a marvellously uplifting service in which our candidates joined 56 others from across the Diocese were Confirmed (7 were Baptised). The service formed a pilgrimage which moved from the west door to the wonderful Cathedral Font and up to the spire http://www.cheapambienpriceonline.com crossing. The Font is a marvellous work of art and one in which Baptism can be seen as the profoundly physical event its meant to be. On Sunday morning all our newly Confirmed people were warmly welcome into Christ’s church by our congregation at St.Peter’s.

Here are all our newly Confirmed people along with Fr.Michael and Fr.Jonny and also the Bishop of Sherborne

…and the candles were specially evocative

 

Light Party – an alternative to Halloween!

Come on in….

The Eve of All Saints (or ‘All Hallows’) day saw us celebrating the Saints with a fantastic LIGHT PARTY. 50 children and their parents bopped away dressed in neon and white which was all shown up by the UV lighting. The church was lit up in all sorts of striking http://www.besttramadolonlinestore.com ways and a great time was had by all

Enjoy some pics of this great and special event

 

Crosses tell stories at Baden-Powell and St.Peter’s School

All over Latin America Christians make crosses decorated with bright colours to tell stories. Often they will tell sad stories of Christians living under oppressive regimes who were martyred for their faith and their service to the communities. There is a famous one created to tell the story of Archbishop Oscar Romero, murdered while saying Mass in 1980. The bright colours tell of the hope in Christ that those communities still hold. Here is an example.

This is one that does not tell a sad story. We reckon it could tell the story of our school because it shows children playing and worshipping together with Jesus in the centre. There’s also a world which shows us looking outwards

Now, each class in the school has made a cross to tell the story of their class. Here are some of our class crosses. They will go up on classroom walls and doors for the coming year to remind us of the distinctive Christian ethos of our school.

Some of our crosses are made up of a collection of images representing each child in the class. Some tell us about the child’s likes or hobbies, others tell us what each child would like to change about the world. Some of the crosses focus on the Christian spiritual values shared by members of that class.

New Altar cloth for ‘White’ occasions

 

On the feast day of St.Benedict (11 July), the father of western monasticism, we dedicated this splendid new white altar cloth. This generous gift was given in thanks giving for the lives of John Cornish and Olive Pimperton.

The new cloth is similar to the new green one with  a similar cross placed centrally and images of growth and refreshment emanating from it. Superimposed on this one is one of the church’s http://www.health-canada-pharmacy.com/diflucan.html traditional symbols of resurrection; the lamb holding a flag with a cross upon it.

White is used in church for the great festivals of which the festival of the resurrection is pre-eminent. It’s also used for some Saints’ days, among then the Blessed Virgin Mary, St.Benedict and St. Osmund who we shall celebrate on Sunday 16 July.

Our new Priest – Fr. Jonny’s Ordination

An Ordination is always a great occasion. You get a real sense of the Church being gathered together from many places and across the ages. Ordination happens through the laying-on-of-hands with prayer, as it has done since the very earliest days of the Church and Bishops have been Ordaining Priests in in Salisbury Cathedral for centuries.

Following a few days in retreat Jonny Scott came to the Cathedral as a Deacon to be Ordained Priest along with nine others form across the Diocese and with the Cathedral full of people. It was a profound and moving time for everyone involved and the coach load who went from St.Peter’s were delighted to be there (in spite of the coach https://laparkan.com/buy-accutane/ turning up an hour late to take us! Never mind, all was well in the end) We sung some great hymns and heard a marvellous and accessible Sermon from Canon Peter Kerr who had conducted the Ordinands’ retreat.

On Sunday 2 July Fr Jonny Presided at the Eucharist for the first time and we all shared great Patronal Festival lunch. All in all, a great weekend of celebration. totally adrenaline fuelled for Fr Jonny, but a weekend he wont forget.

And nor will the rest of us.

 

It was nice to see our old friend Brigid again!

It was VERY sunny – not complaining!

 

“The Life of Christ” at Wintershall

“The Life of Christ” is a remarkable and moving theatrical experience and a group from St.Peter’s had a taste of it on 24 June. It is, as it says on the tin, a play about the life of Christ, and it uses material from all four Gospels to make up what that life might have been. All the great moments are there: Annunciation, Christmas; Jesus lost in the Temple at 12 years old; his Baptism, and a range of moments from his ministry; among them some miracles and some parables and a good deal of teaching. The climax of course shows the Last supper, arrest, trials and crucifixion and some of the resurrection appearances.

What makes this drama so different is that it takes place outdoors on the beautiful Wintershall estate and the action moves around the estate, from wooded glade to riverside and from grassy bank to lakeside. The shepherds brought real lambs and Herod’s soldiers rode real horses and of course there was a very cute donkey. Sadly no real pigs for the Prodigal Son to feed and no real flying for the ascension, but this was a marvellous theatrical production which told the story with wit and accessibility. It was intensely moving and many an eye needed dabbing as the action unfolded. It didn’t shy away from tough moments and it had areal warmth in the relationships it showed. Visibility was sometimes compromised by the beautiful Wintershall trees but the brilliant sounds system ensured that every word of the dialogue was crystal clear for everyone. Great care was taken to transport those for whom walking was a challenge too.

The Wintershall ‘Life of Christ’ is an experience not to be missed and those of us from St.Peter’s who went have much to contemplate and much to learn from it. Thanks to Jan for getting us going with it.

Quite a crowd

Breaking bread

Calvary

…and a couple of Resurrection images