Category Archives: Parish News

St.Mary’s Church, Chard to receive £13,700 from second round of the Government’s Culture Recovery Fund

St. Mary’s Church, Chard to receive £13,700 from second round of the Government’s Culture Recovery Fund

  • Mary’s Church among more than 2,700 recipients to benefit from the latest round of awards from the £1.57 billion Culture Recovery Fund 
  • This award will help make the church more attractive and will go some way to replacing out of date equipment and effecting minor building repairs necessary after a year of disuse. 

St.Mary’s Church in Chard has received a grant of £13,700 from the Government’s £1.57 billion Culture Recovery Fund to help the church recover and reopen. 

Nearly £400 million has been awarded to thousands of cultural organisations across the country including St.Mary’s Church in the latest round of support from the Culture Recovery Fund, the Culture Secretary announced today.

National Lottery Community FundSt.Mary’s dates from 1400 in its present form and like all old buildings, needs constant attention and upgrades and minor facelift work to make it an attractive proposition to anyone thinking of visiting after a year of neglect due to the pandemic. Some of the money for instance, will be spent on new toys and a climbing frame for the mothers and toddlers group. There will also be a new screen and projector which will not only be used during services but also to show films for community events which are being planned to make the church more welcoming to the community at large, not just church-goers. 

Over £800 million in grants and loans has already been awarded to support almost 3,800 cinemas, performance venues, museums, heritage sites and other cultural organisations dealing with the immediate challenges of the coronavirus pandemic.

This brings the Government’s total investment across grants, capital and repayable finance from the Culture Recovery Fund so far to more than £1.2 billion across over 5,000 individual cultural and heritage organisations and sites.

The second round of awards made today will help organisations to look ahead to the spring and summer and plan for reopening and recovery. After months of closures and cancellations to contain the virus and save lives, this funding will be a much-needed helping hand for organisations transitioning back to normal in the months ahead. 

Culture Secretary, Oliver Dowden, said:

“Our record breaking Culture Recovery Fund has already helped thousands of culture and heritage organisations across the country survive the biggest crisis they’ve ever faced.

Now we’re staying by their side as they prepare to welcome the public back through their doors – helping our cultural gems plan for reopening and thrive in the better times ahead.”

 Robin Bailey, Parish Church Secretary said: This is brilliant news! It will enable us to make some improvements to church facilities which will also benefit the wider community as increasingly we welcome members of the public to join us in events other than worship. This has come at a time when the church income is at a low ebb due to the pandemic so this a much appreciated initiative by the Culture Secretary and the money will be well spent.  A detailed plan has already been drawn up by myself and the two church wardens. 

 Ros Kerslake, CEO of The National Lottery Heritage Fund, said:

 “Spring is definitely here, bringing not only sunshine but that sense of optimism and             hope for the future. We are all looking forward to heritage places and other visitor            attractions reopening and I am very pleased that we have been able to support                                DCMS in delivering this vital funding to ensure the UK’s heritage sector can rebuild        and thrive, boosting local economies, creating jobs and supporting personal                             wellbeing.” 

 Duncan Wilson, Chief Executive of Historic England, said:

 “The value of our heritage sites and the people who run them has been amply                         demonstrated, as they have provided an anchor for so many of us through the dark    days of the last year. Vital grants from the Culture Recovery Fund have helped them     survive and will now help them recover, as the places we all cherish start to reopen                in the months ahead.”

The funding awarded today is from a £400 million pot which was held back last year to ensure the Culture Recovery Fund could continue to help organisations in need as the public health picture changed. The funding has been awarded by the National Lottery Heritage Fund and Historic England as well as the British Film Institute and Arts Council England 

Notes to Editors

At the Budget, the Chancellor announced the £1.57 billion Culture Recovery Fund would be boosted with a further £300 million investment. Details of this third round of funding will be announced soon. 

About The National Lottery Heritage Fund 

 Using money raised by the National Lottery, we Inspire, lead and resource the UK’s heritage to create positive and lasting change for people and communities, now and in the future.  Follow @HeritageFundUK on TwitterFacebook and Instagram and use #NationalLotteryHeritageFund   

About Historic England

We are Historic England, the public body that helps people care for, enjoy and celebrate England’s spectacular historic environment, from beaches and battlefields to parks and pie shops. We protect, champion and save the places that define who we are and where we’ve come from as a nation. We care passionately about the stories they tell, the ideas they represent and the people who live, work and play among them. Working with communities and specialists we share our passion, knowledge and skills to inspire interest, care and conservation, so everyone can keep enjoying and looking after the history that surrounds us all.


August 22nd Benefice Newsletter

Benefice of Chard, Combe St Nicholas, Wambrook and Whitestaunton

22nd August, 2021 Trinity 12

Welcome to our Benefice news.

Readings for the week: Ephesians 6: 10 – 20 and John 6: 56 – 69


Wednesdays in August there will be a prayer meeting at 6pm at Forefront Community Centre, to support Tom Tame. Tom and his team were well received as they went out to meet Chard’s young people in the parks last week, and they rely on the support of our prayers. 

August 22nd – 10:30am Benefice Service Combe

August 29th – Benefice Breakfast and Holy Communion at Chard


August 25th – 9:45am Holy Communion

August 26th – The Lady Killers on the big screen at St Mary’s beginning at 2pm

September 4th – Abseil the Tower at St. Mary’s Chard, with stalls, raffle and refreshments. Abseil booking details on our Facebook page and website. Why not use it to raise money for your church? (£20 fee payable) Sponsor forms available.

Every Thursday at 7pm St Mary’s Christian Meditation Group meets in St Mary’s Church (for more details contact Robin Bailey)

If you have any notices please email the  or call Anne during office hours (01460 67867). The deadline is Tuesday each week for the following Sunday.

Trinity Eight 25th July 2021

Hi everyone,

Rev Ann and myself worked out yesterday that we have written between us 68 weekly letters since we went into lockdown, we trust they have been in some small measure a fruitful resource, they have certainly seen us through some interesting times.

I am about to go on my Sabbatical which will last from 1st August until 1st Nov so this seemed a good moment to move from weekly to monthly letters, plus more of you will hopefully feel able to return slowly but surely to Church.

A Sabbatical, is part of the church’s provision for ongoing learning and theological reflection. It is not an extended holiday but rather a period of time away from the parishes, thereby creating a space in which the aim is to achieve a balance of rest, travel, study and reflection, it is an opportunity to discover fresh vision, to be surprised, I hope and to come back refreshed and sustained. I am going to spend time exploring Celtic spirituality in more depth and visiting some of our Celtic heritage islands to connect physically and spiritually with our forefathers in Christ, plus there will be spinning, and knitting involved too. I will continue to think and pray for you while I am away and look forward to sharing some of my experience with you on my return.

This Sunday we are hoping weather permitting to hold our Prayer and Praise Picnic in the field up at Ham, kindly given for the event by Mark Edwards.

When we organised it for this Sunday the reading from John wasn’t a factor in the date, so there is a certain parallel or symbolism in coming together, in sitting on the side of a hill, sharing bread and food together, hearing God’s word and praising him. We will not find ourselves short of food, for that we should be thankful, I hope that some of the earnestness that brought people to sit and hear Jesus will be with us, but each of us will bring that in our own unique way of journeying with Christ.

The Gospel talks about the feeding of the five thousand men plus all the women and children as well, this is a truly magnificent occurrence in the lives of those present and a miracle we have spent much time pondering upon down through the ages. The crowd were following Jesus looking for more outpourings of the many healings they had seen and received. They have begun to focus on proclaiming him a prophet, Jesus needs after the meal to go away, to be aside so they cannot achieve the short-sighted gain of making him a king on earth. He spends the time away alone, and returns after dark to the disciples walking across the water to the boat. It is such an awesome story of one day in the life of Jesus, it must have been such a privilege to travel with him whilst being the most scary and tiring experience too.

And yet we do travel with him, he is present amongst us, he will be there on the hillside, he will be present as we break bread, and eat, and talk, as we sustain each other in prayer, and comfort, and hope. Not just on the hillside but each day of our lives, when we meet in Church or over the gate, at the shops, on a walk. The bread of life sustaining and keeping us expectant of God’s love to be amongst us all, Jesus leaving the Lord’s prayer enabling and inviting us to look for the needs of the day, not tomorrow and only enough for the day, something we often forget to focus on.

When we see the way that Jesus treated people, one thing is clear. He liked them. He had compassion on them and cared for them. There were some people he had problems with, but only because they were religious hypocrites and thought better of themselves than everybody else, Jesus gave people time and effort and energy.

I love the beginning of our reading from Ephesians and leave it here as a prayer offering for us all.

I bow my knees before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth takes its name. I pray that, according to the riches of his glory, he may grant that you may be strengthened in your inner being with power through his Spirit, and that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith, as you are being rooted and grounded in love.   

Be Blessed Rev Georgina

Trinity Seven. 18th July 2021

Dear Friends
It seems we are now enjoying some lovely summer weather and we are looking
forward to Monday and the new freedoms it will bring us, even although they
may be cautious ones. One great joy will be singing in church again.
We have been living through a long winter, both physically and in our hearts and
will we know what to do with this summer season? Summer usually brings
vitality, connectedness, rest. The opposite of winter—where God and friends feel
distant and death and darkness close at hand—in the summer of the heart, God
and others draw intimately near, light and life surround us. The heart in summer
is a taste of the kingdom of God, a savoury morsel of heaven, sweet and brief,
where God, fully present, shines light day and night, and that light affects and
blesses all those it touches.
The prophet Zechariah describes the summer of the heart as a city, Jerusalem.
He was writing to a people who are returning and rebuilding their lives after
decades in exile, prisoners of war, and so we too are rebuilding our lives after
what seems like an exile, and long also for a new summer of the heart.
As I said, summer is a foretaste of the feast to come, a kingdom that is now but
not yet. That’s summer. What are we to do, when we are blessed to find
ourselves in it?
1. Do enjoy: play, rest, enjoy God and others, without reserve and without
apology. Many of us carry a residue of Protestant angst, that makes us feel guilty
when we really enjoy ourselves, yet, we have a Saviour whose first miracle was
to turn water into wine for no greater reason than that the party might go on.
2. Don’t rush: Kingdom living is not hurried. Some of us may feel the pressure
to rush around now arranging reunions and weddings and parties and holidays.
This summer once we have been released from our long winter that may be a
temptation too. To fit it all in. To say yes to everything we are asked of, whether
we are called to it or not. But, in this summer of your heart, don’t be tempted
to fill up your calendar, remember some of the slower pace of life which we
became accustomed to because of the circumstances of the past 16 months and
continue to find that peace in which the presence of God is vivid and real.
3. Delight in abundance: in the summertime of the heart, God’s blessings are
clear and many and can fill you with joy. Delight in and continue to treasure the
gifts of summer, in our gardens, parks and countryside. For consumerism—the
sin always around the corner in our culture—will try to convince you, even in
summer, to chase what you lack instead of enjoy what you have. But we are
called to a form of living in summer that instead of craving and complaining, is
about giving and thanksgiving. Delight. Give thanks in summer.
4. Finally, continue to hydrate: resting and playing are good in summer. But one
thing any coach will tell you—it applies to sports as well as spiritual life – drink
enough water! That is, nourish your life of prayer and the Word. As the psalmist
says, ‘our souls thirst for the living God, and ask’ (even in summer) ‘when can we
meet with God’ in prayer and worship, service and praise.
Summer is a foretaste of the feast to come. The kingdom of God near, for a
And the beauty is when the hearts summer comes to you, recognise it, enjoy it,
slow down, soak it up, delight in the abundance, continue to connect to God’s
word. Give thanks for this season and the opportunity it gives us to praise God,
enjoy his creation and open up our winter souls to the light. We need this more
than ever.
Every blessing