Teddy Bears’ Picnic

Save the date for the Teddy Bears’ Picnic at St Marys Chard on July 13th, 2019 from 2 to 4:30pm. There will be crafts, games and activities for the children. Cream teas, music, story telling, and more. You can even give your Teddy the experience of a lifetime and zip wire him/her from the church tower. An event you don’t want to miss.

Overseas – South Sudan

Overseas – South Sudan

Goats, goats and more goats!!

It’s the goat that keeps on giving at Camp Rhino. No kidding!! A simple but effective goat distribution project paid for by Barnabas Fund is helping South Sudanese Christians become self-sufficient at refugee Camp Rhino in neighbouring Uganda.

One female goat is given to a refugee who must then give away its firstborn to someone who is goatless and so on. So, you have a kind of domino effect, except with goats.

Demand for goat meat is high in Uganda and the unused land surrounding Camp Rhino is excellent for the animals to graze.

Self-sustainability programmes are crucial for these Christians at Camp Rhino who fled violence and hunger in South Sudan. For many, returning home is too dangerous, so they must rebuild their lives at the camp.

A total of 800 female goats have been distributed so far in 2019. The average goat produces one to three kids twice a year.

The programme aims to provide long-term sustainability for 2,400 Christian families from 35 congregations in the vast refugee camp.

“May God bless Barnabas Fund,” said Pastor Scopas at the refugee camp. “Our children will have meat and milk. This will contribute to eliminating malnutrition among the children and breast-feeding mothers.

It is amazing that many of our Christians that had lost all their animals in South Sudan have some animals to graze.

O thou, who art the Lion of Judah be thou also the Lion of Africa,

and burst all the chains that still bind our African brothers and sisters

and deliver them from all fear.




We spent part of our May meeting choosing our orders for lunch on July 18th at Ilminster Arts Centre. Hopefully we will not be  arriving in the cold and rain, bit as I write this it doesn’t look too hopeful.

We welcomed a visitor in May – it was good to have Rev. Ann join us and we hope that when she has time in her busy schedule, she will    repeat the experience.

Please, “dear readers”, also feel free to come along to 40 St Mary’s Close on the third Tuesday of the month from 2.00 to 4.00pm. Our occasional lunches out are always detailed in the Chimes or phone Gill on 63978 to check details.

Our best wishes to Beryl – we miss you.

Our meeting in August at no. 40 will involve lively chat, paper games, tea or coffee and cake and friendship. See you there?


Mother’s Union and the Abbey

Mother’s Union and the Abbey

About 18 of us had  a very enjoyable trip to Glastonbury Abbey last month when our friends from Furnham Branch joined us. We received a very warm welcome from the guide in historical costume, who      remembered us from when she came to give a talk and demonstration last year. She took us to see the Arches, Pillars and ancient walls of the remains of what was a vast monastery, with numerous rooms and   chapels. The grounds around are mostly grass with easy paths for   walking. We heard about the history of the Abbey which has legendary status as the earliest Christian monastic site in Britain, and by     Doomsday it was the wealthiest Abbey in England. One of its great   Abbotts, St. Dunstan devised the coronation ceremony still used today, including that for our present Queen. The Abbey featured in the map of the world in 1250 and Kind Arthur’s grave was claimed to have been discovered by the Monks in the 12th Century. We saw the Holy Thorn tree, believed to be descended from the staff of Joseph of Arimathea. The Abbey came to a sad end with the dissolution of the monasteries by King Henry the VIII.

There is an excellent museum with models of how the Abbey might have looked and many artefacts found on the site. We enjoyed some tea and chat afterwards and time for a browse round the excellent gift shop. Thank you very much to Rita for all the organising and to Rev. Georgina for her support. For those unable to come there will be some photos for you to see at our next meeting.

On Tuesday 2nd July there will be a Garden Party with Cream Tea at 7 Brutton Way at 2:30 pm. Husbands, partners and friends are invited. This will be by donations in aid of the Mothers’ Union Summer of Hope Project—supporting families and communities across the world. Please let Heather or Rita know if you would like to come, also if you need a lift.

Get well soon to all members who are unwell at this time.

Best wishes to Daphne our ‘indoor member’

John Writes

John Writes

Dear Friends

During my childhood in the years leading up to the Second World War holidays were different from today both in quantity and in the places where most people spent them.  My father, together with most others, was allowed two weeks holiday with pay at dates negotiated each year, and except in my earliest days this had to coincide with school holiday times (some things don’t change).  In addition there were Bank Holidays, but fewer than we have now.

My parents had a liking for the Kent coast, and early holidays were taken at Broadstairs and Herne Bay, though toward the end of the 1930s they gravitated to Hythe, having found a congenial place there.  I don’t think I’m indulging in selective memory when I say that I remember only one occasion when it rained in the daytime, though I clearly remember a number of times when there was a noisy thunderstorm during the night.  Much of the time was naturally spent on the beach and I have a vivid memory of the local population turning out to help in launching the lifeboat when there was an emergency – sadly this craft was lost during the Dunkirk evacuation and was never replaced.

Bank Holidays in the winter were Christmas Day and Boxing Day only, but in the other seasons they were on the Mondays following Easter Day and Whit Sunday (now known as Pentecost) as well as on the first Monday in August – yes, things have changed in this respect; we now have extra days for New Year and May Day(or rather the first Monday thereafter), while the Late Spring Bank Holiday takes the place of Whit Monday, and the August Bank Holiday has been moved to the last Monday of the month – there’s even a suggestion that we should have more Bank Holidays in order to keep up with Europe!

What I did not realise as a child was that holidays had their origin in Holy Days, which were/are special days in the calendar of the Christian Church during which no work was done.  During my teenage years I encountered the additional concept that holidays were times of re-creation. Some residue of these ideas continues in the secular view of holidays, but in the end holidays are what we make of them, which is inevitably related to the basis on which we live.  So, may your holidays be a time of blessing.

John Castleton (Reader)

Mothers’ Union

Mothers’ Union

At our meeting in May Rev. Georgina Vye led us in a special prayer session, then gave a presentation on her trip in January to the Mathieson School of Music in Calcutta, which was greatly enjoyed by everyone. Georgina showed us pictures of the school and the new building under construction, also the children and staff with their bright eyes and smiling faces.

The pupils are aged four to late teens and receive a good education, mainly taught in English, and of course learn to play a musical instrument. The school has a good foundation and does receive some financial support. The children pay a small fee and the school provides their uniforms and three meals a day. It is a long day for them starting early morning ’til 7 or 8 pm’. However, the very youngest children curl up close together and sleep on the floor while the older ones finish their activities.

Some of the children are very poor and live in extreme poverty in shacks in appalling conditions, which of course affects their health. We saw the children having to wash their own clothes.

Georgina told us about a few of the children she met who faced many problems and great adversity, but were so bright and happy. Music of course plays a big part, either by learning an instrument, or singing and dancing. We saw a video of a school concert with most of them taking part in brightly coloured costumes and to a high standard, it was delightful. Thank you very much Georgina. Donations for the Make a Mother’s day project amounted to £50 which was sent off to our H.Q. at Mary Sumner House in London.

A trip is planned to Glastonbury Abbey.

Get well soon to members who are unwell.


Wish (Women’s Social Hub)

Wish (Women’s Social Hub)

Our June lunch is now booked at Ilminster Arts Centre; we look forward to a tasty meal in the Gallery with the current exhibition displayed on the walls and central tables. We will meet there for a 1 pm lunch on Tuesday June 18th.

After Lunch we will be able to explore the shop, with a variety of gifts made by local artists and craftspeople. There is also a huge range of greeting cards with beautiful photographs and reproductions of paintings and drawings.

We hope that those members who have had a difficult time with illness and other problems have all left those behind and are enjoying the spring weather (?When I started writing this it was glorious sunshine; now it is grey and raining. what would we English find to talk about if we had predictable weather?) Our very best wishes are with you all.

Just a reminder that we meet on the third Tuesday of every month, and except for occasional lunch meetings this if from 2 pm to 4 pm. Our “programme” includes Word search and other paper puzzles for those who enjoy a challenge, lots of friendly chat and laughter, tea or coffee and cake and the chance to plan further meetings around your own wishes.

Everyone is made welcome, just turn up and meet old friends and make new ones.


Ann Writes

Ann Writes

I like the period after Easter. After the emotional intensity and busyness of Holy Week and Easter it is a time for more reflection, particularly on what being resurrection people really means.

We always read from the Acts of the Apostles during this time, which gives us fascinating insight into the struggles of the early Church – or followers of The Way as they were then called.

We then move into the celebration of Ascension and Pentecost, which is followed by Trinity Sunday when we begin the long liturgical period of Trinity or ‘Ordinary Time’ which takes us through the summer months and into the Autumn.

This period is about beginnings. Easter brings its own new beginning with the promise of new life through the resurrection of Jesus. However, after the feast of the Ascension, the emphasis moves from what Jesus has done for us and into what we can now do as followers of Christ and as resurrection people. It is a time for us to rededicate our lives to Christ and look at new ways to follow him

I always think of this time as a time of hope, and nowhere do I see that more than in the natural world. This year as I have been driving around and walking through some of our lovely countryside I have been struck by the beauty and lushness of it all. The abundance of growth among the trees and plants, the newborn lambs and calves we see in the fields and the plethora of birds that visit our gardens at this time of year all speak of new beginnings and new birth. They are a reminder that the cycle of death and new life is a constant one.

This cycle is repeated in our lives, time and time again. Each Easter we carry away with us the promise that wherever there is death, whatever situations are ‘death giving’, there is now always the possibility of new birth, life and hope.

Again, I see that hope reflected in nature – particularly in the lovely greenness with which we are surrounded. I am always astounded at the seemingly infinite shades of green that re appear each spring. Green is the colour of balance and growth the colour of spring, of renewal and rebirth. It renews and restores depleted energy. It is a sanctuary away from the stresses of modern living and can restore us back to a sense of well-being. Spending time in our gardens, or out in the countryside is a wonderful way of restoring some balance and re-connecting us with the cycles of life of which we are all part.

On Trinity Sunday, the liturgical colour of our altar cloths and vestments changes to green and remains green through to the feast of All Souls. It is the longest liturgical period in the church year and I think it is very fitting that we should display green in our churches (and on our clergy!) as a sign that we are people of hope and new life. It is also the time, when, as I said earlier, we can look at new ways of being followers of Christ and people of the resurrection. During Lent, some of us studied the Beatitudes and I want us to go back to these as I believe they contain the blueprint for our Christian living.

So in the ‘green period’ of summer, let us look together to find new ways to follow Christ, the bringer of new life to all of creation, and bring the good news of hope to those who need to hear it.

Thy Kingdom Come

Thy Kingdom Come

May 30th to June 9th

From Ascension to Pentecost we are encouraged to pray for the world, for others and for ourselves.

Please come and join us as we gather together for our prayer and conversation.

Thursday 30th May at 7 pm – Ascension Day Service

Friday 31st May to Saturday 8th June 9:30 am to 10 am Prayer and Sharing

Thursday June 6th 12:30 pm to 1:30 pm Roll and Cheese Lunch with Prayer

There is a labyrinth which you are invited to walk and a Prayer Tree in the church.

Join with us on Pentecost Sunday at Forde Abbey for a picnic beginning at 5 pm.

Blessed are those who count their blessings

Blessed are those who count their blessings

A poem by John Rollings, written as a result of our Lent Studies

The poor in spirit search for God
Those who mourn find oneness
The meek rely on inner strength
Those searching good find wholeness

The merciful receive God’s love
The pure in heard find glory
The peacemakers want peace on earth
and try to change our story

We all try to live in faith
and follow our Lord’s aim
We know He gave his life for us
but would we do the same?

Ruth Writes

Ruth Writes

When you read this we’ll have travelled with Jesus through Lent, Holy Week and celebrated the joys of Easter Day. But as I write this I’m relaxing after a busy day.

I’ve just spent a lovely day in the Yorkshire Dales. A visit to the ruins of Jervaulx Cistercian Abbey, followed by coffee and cake, the cheese factory in Wensleydale, (yes, I did try and buy!) followed by lunch. We had a look around a 13th century church in Hubberholme then a walk around Brimham Rocks, where it was very misty and a bit chilly so coffee to warm up!

I’m spending a few days at the Vicarage in Bishop Monkton, near Ripon, with friends Sheila and Andy. Andy some of you will remember was a former organist at St. Mary’s.

We’ve just folded the Service Sheets for Palm Sunday and Easter Morning. Sheila is Associate Priest for two village churches and, just the same as all those responsible for leading worship, is preparing for the busy Easter period. I was reflecting with her on how comforting it is that wherever you go, whichever church you visit, the life of the Church has a certain familiarity, whatever their history. Annual Meeting notices, times of services, rotas can be seen in most churches, and then, of course, there are all the familiar symbols of our faith for all to see.

It’s very reassuring to know that many, many Christians are joining together through a common thread, and especially at this time of year, giving thanks for a God who was prepared to give His only Son for sacrifice, so that we could know the joys of a resurrection sunrise.

When we cannot see the end of things
When the darkness shines brighter than the sun,
When the wound will not be healed
When we can see no answer to our questions
Fill us with knowing you are there,
For us.

You are the first to weep over shattered lives,
The wounded healer who mends broken hearts,
The first to die and rise,
The holy victim who shouts through the silence,
“It is finished!”
When we are blinded by the power of present things,
Fix our eyes on you,
And break the power of our painful days
With reminders of new and better days still to come,
Your resurrection sunrise,
For us. AMEN

Men’s Shed @ St Mary’s Chard

Men’s Shed @ St Mary’s Chard

Connect, Create, Converse

The Men’s Shed @St. Mary’s, Chard, was conceived after it was realised that although there are many social groups, not only at St. Mary’s, but also in Chard town, men were not attending them.  Therefore, for the purpose of bringing together men who were isolated and alone, the men’s shed idea was formed with the help of a small steering group of five men; Peter Stefanovic, Ian Jones, Jim Lamb, Terry Hackling, John     Rollings  and Robin Bailey. It should be mentioned here that our very own Liz Jones had the same inkling about a Men’s Shed too!

So, what is a Men’s Shed? The concept was developed in Australia. It’s a bit like the shed at the end of your garden where men like to ‘tinker’ with things, but on a much larger scale and in the company of other men. Anecdotally, it was found that interaction of this kind was of great benefit to men’s health and wellbeing.

The steering group agreed that the Men’s Shed should be linked to St. Mary’s church and with that in mind, a proposal was put to the PCC for the Men’s Shed to become a PCC authorised activity. This proposal was agreed unanimously, and the name of the shed was born: Men’s Shed @St. Mary’s, Chard. The next thing to consider was, where would the shed be based?

Ian and Liz Jones graciously offered their barn and workshop facilities at their smallholding on a free to use basis for the shed. This was, of course, a massive help towards the running costs of the shed as there would be no rent to find for the accommodation (we had use of Ian’s tools, too!); the knock-on effect is a low weekly subscriptions fee for the shedders (that’s what the members are called, Shedders) currently at only £3 per week for the two days the shed is open (Wednesday 2pm – 5pm, Thursday 1pm – 5pm).

The offer of the barn and workshop made it a simple choice regarding activities: one day would be allocated to social and the second day to woodworking. The reason for having two types of  activities was to attract as many men as possible; after all, not everyone wants to do woodwork.  Soon, the shed also intends to have allotments so that those who like growing vegetables will also be accommodated.

The next thing to acquire for the shed was funding to help with the set-up costs. We already knew that just the liability insurance alone would cost almost £500 annually. Funding applications were submitted which resulted in donations from the Royal Voluntary Service, Southend Schools Education Trust and the Rotary Club of Chard. There was also one private donation. The Men’s Shed @St. Mary’s is very    grateful for those donations because they were instrumental in getting the shed off the ground and helping the local community.

Having a social day at the club never really took off; when the doors were opened to members, it was obvious that the Shedders wanted to concentrate on woodworking projects. There are men with  different skills, and indeed level of skills, in woodworking, and those more able patiently taught and helped those who have less experience with the more technical aspect of the woodwork craft.

The existence of the shed, and what is provided here has become quite well known in the carers’ community, not only locally bu throughout Somerset. There are instances where men have been referred to the shed by GPs and one, from Honiton Hospital! There have also been requests for the shed to put up displays both locally and as far afield as Bridgwater; but this has put us into a little difficulty.

There are four vulnerable men attending the shed at this time. We would like to take more but unfortunately, for safety reasons, there aren’t enough ‘able-bodied’ men at the shed to manage the vulnerable men who need a one to one ‘buddy’ system. Can you help?

If you are interested in joining the shed, please contact Peter Stefanovic

email: mensshedchard@   gmail.com

Website: www.mensshedchard.com

HAPPY NEW YEAR!     Peter Stefanovic

Chard Chimes 2019……Subscriptions

Chard Chimes 2019……Subscriptions

To all the magazine readers……..

Thank you for continuing to subscribe to Chard Chimes, the      magazine of St. Mary’s Church Chard. If you were able to pay your      subscription to your delivery person this month then Thank you! If not we hope it will be convenient for you to do so when your       February copy is delivered. The amount for the year remains at £4.80.

To all the magazine distributors……

You will be collecting subscriptions for Chard Chimes at varying times and we hope you will find it convenient to choose your own time to pass these to our Treasurer by delivering the total collected to St. Mary’s Parish office. The office is normally open Mondays, Tuesdays and Fridays from 9.30am until 12.30pm. Please mark the envelope ‘Chard Chimes Subscriptions’ and your name.

Freda said ‘Thank you’ to you last month and I would like to repeat that in appreciation of your help in the last phase of our monthly   production of the magazine.


St Marys Electoral Roll

We are required to compile an entirely new Church Electoral Roll once every six years and this is due in 2019.

To be kept in touch with events at St. Mary’s and to be eligible to vote at the annual meeting you need to be on the Electoral Roll, so even if you are on the list at present you will need to complete an application form for the new list.

Please look out for the forms towards the end of this month of    January when the closing date for applications will be displayed. (Late   entries can be added but not until after the APCM)