News, What's On & Information

Dear Friends

September is the time of year when change is in the air. The school summer holidays are over and children are starting new school years, some for the first time and some are starting their final year at school, before beginning a career or moving on to further education. Wherever they are and whatever stage they are in their school lives, they have our very best wishes for their futures.

It has been an unusually hot summer break. Good for the holiday industry and good for those who love to top up their tans. Not so good perhaps for the farming community or the gardens. Parched and brown at present, everything needs a good and sustained soaking. Perhaps as you read this you might be thinking I don't recognise that picture at all. Perhaps it hasn't stopped raining as we begin September. Who knows, as our weather can fluctuate considerably it seems, predictions are tricky at the best of times.

One aspect of our hot weather however, has brought a sight of rare beauty to those visiting gardens in Cardiff and the Batsford arboretum near Moreton-in-the-Marsh. In Cardiff the rare Chinese tree – Emmenopterys henryi – has bloomed for the first time in 100 years and the same at Batsford, although there it is the first time in 25 years. Cold followed by some extremes of heat has resulted in the beautiful creamy white blooms being visible for first time. A great joy and surprise and in the words of Gareth Stamp, a Community Ranger - "I must have walked past this tree a million times but I never expected to see it in flower - and who knows, it happens so rarely, maybe I never will again." (BBC NEWS - Wales)

Change is also in the air for Revd Rowena, her husband Malcolm and their daughter Beth. Rowena is leaving the benefice to move to Bourton-on-the-Water. Her time as our curate here is finished and she moves to be Rector of that benefice which includes Clapton and The Rissingtons. Her last service will be on Sunday 2nd September at St James in Dursley, followed by a lunch in the parish centre to say our farewells. Her time here has been wonderfully
affirming for us all. Her wisdom and her pastoral presence among us has brought with it great blessings and many wonderful memories. God's call to minister in Bourton and its surrounds however, will be a new start, with new opportunities and lots of new memories to make. Every blessing Rowena, Malcolm and Beth and go with our love and our thanks!

September also brings with it the opportunity to dust off our tandem and undertake the annual RIDE + STRIDE event on the 8th September. For Sheila and for me the question that we ask of ourselves each time is, “where shall we go this year?”. This national annual event encourages people to go out walking, cycling, on horseback or in the car, to visit churches and get sponsorship to raise money for the upkeep of the buildings. Whatever money is raised by individuals or our case a pair, half goes to our local churches and the other half to the Gloucestershire Historic Churches Trust. Last year 500 + people took part and £46,000 was raised. Whilst slightly sore posteriors may be the result of our endeavours, we do get to see some beautiful countryside and lovely often out of the way churches.

Finally with fund-raising still in mind do come and enjoy the annual NYMPSFIELD SHEEP RACE in Woodchester Park on the 29th September. A wonderful afternoon, advertised as Family Fun for the Whole Flock, it is a chance to see the sheep, their “jockeys, owners and trainers” all vying for the accolade of being first across the line! Sponsorship of participants means that great fun is had and money raised – last year around 500 people raised
£1,400 each for St Bartholomew’s and Nympsfield Village Hall, in addition to funds raised by sponsors and stall holders. There will also be a small funfair and BBQ type food, teas and a bar. Races will also be run for children who are attending. DO COME!

A busy September ahead. May God bless all our endeavours.

Yours in Christ



September 2018

Dear Friends

Last month I wrote that I needed rain for my flower pots and garden, well it’s come at last but I hope we will soon get more sunny weather before the schools go back.

This month we have two birthday girls Nora Powell on the 12th and
Kath Brooker on the 23rd. Happy birthdays to you with love and best wishes from all your friends at St Mark’s.

St Matthew’s Day 21st September falls close to the Autumnal equinox on the 23rd September, which marks the end of summer and the beginning of Autumn.

Advance Notice: On Sunday 14th October it is St Mark’s Harvest Festival service at 4.00pm with refreshments served afterwards. Offers of cakes will be most welcome and any help on the day. Thank you.

With love and best wishes

From Marion

Diary for September 2018

Sunday 2nd                11.30am No service - Rowena's farewell service

Wednesday 5th          2.30pm Prayer Group meet in the Omega Rooms

Sunday 16th               11.30am Morning Prayer (CW)

Friday 28th                2.15pm Poetry Reading in the Omega Room.


Church opening

St Mark’s church will now only be unlocked on Wednesdays and Fridays.  A notice will be put on the door directing visitors to contact numbers for those who have keys.  If you want to access the church outside these days, please contact the Parish Office.


News, What's On & Information
Webpage icon What's On