Grapevine 2018, No. 1
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A Bit of a Resurrection

“I’ve experienced a bit of a resurrection.”

Roger Hayward worships in All Saints’, Netheravon, the church where he sang as a boy after a tough start to life.

“My mother abandoned my three siblings and me when I was a toddler. After six years in a rough orphanage in London, my father managed to get us back to the village to raise us. All that made me a very strong character!

“When Peter Powne, a gentle man I’d have done anything for, was vicar, he got me to become churchwarden. I went on for eighteen years under four vicars.

“Coming towards retirement in 2005 after a career in the brewing business, I thought it was time for new blood. Now my wife, Suzy sings in the music group and I play guitar. The church supported me through all life’s problems.

“I then had a second career. I was always keen on bikes, and just at the right time, Wiltshire Council were looking for someone to run their cycle training scheme for schools and instructors.

“Two years ago, I was diagnosed with a type of stomach cancer so rare I was finally sent to London for treatment.

“I’d done Ride+Stride, cycling to raise money for historic churches every year since 1984, but in 2016 I was too ill.

“So many people prayed for me, not just here but across the UK thanks to the Methodist hospital chaplain. Between that and the medics’ skill, I went into remission and got back on the bike for Ride+Stride last September.

“My attitude to life has changed. Every day, I wake up and say, ‘This is great!’”

Ride+Stride is a sponsored bike ride or walk between churches to raise money for historic churches in each county. It’s not too early to prepare for the 2018 event on 8 September.

Find out how to take part in Dorset, Wiltshire and Hampshire or have a look at the national Ride+Stride site. Visit unique historic buildings, see beautiful countryside, get some exercise and have fun with the family!

This is the version of Grapevine designed for public distribution by e-mail. If you would like to receive pdf files for printing off, or high quality images for insertion in a parish or school magazine, please contact Michael or Gerry on or 01722 438 651 and we will assist you.

Bishop Edward to Retire

The Bishop of Ramsbury, the Rt Revd Dr Edward Condry, will be retiring at the end of April when he will reach the age of sixty-five.

His farewell service will be Evensong at St John’s, Devizes on Sunday 15 April at 6 pm.

Bishop Edward said, “Sarah and I move on with some sadness but with much thanksgiving. We have loved living in the beautiful county of Wiltshire.

“I have been constantly astonished at the generous and loving work of those who worship here, quietly serving Christ through their service to neighbours and communities.”

Bishop Nicholas said, “Bishop Ed has been the encourager he said he wanted to be when he became a bishop. There is much to give thanks for and he and Sarah will be greatly missed.”

Read a full version of this story here.

Sharing for Growth

Rural clergy are gathering to share ideas on reducing administrative burdens, helping congregations deepen in prayer, better serve their communities, and grow in numbers.

The rural residentials are part of Rural Hope, a 4½ year programme supported by the national church to help rural congregations in our Diocese grow, and be a model for the Church of England.

For example, the Revd Simon Weeden, Team Rector of Whitton, Marlborough, explained how they moved from five PCCs to one Team Council. Instead of needing 80 lay people to fill legal posts, they only need 19 now. Clergy need attend fewer than 20 meetings a year instead of 61, freeing time for growing the church and caring for people.

Read a full version of this story here.

Learn more about how Rural Hope seeks to help more rural churches grow more strongly here.

Bishop’s Letter

The Rt Revd Karen Gorham, Bishop of Sherborne

One of the responsibilities I hold around the diocese is supporting our many chaplains.

We have chaplains in schools, colleges, our university, the police, prisons, the armed forces, hospitals, hospices, our law courts and in our residential homes and shopping centres. In fact chaplaincy is becoming an increasingly vital ministry. As Christian ministers they form an important bridge between the world of the Church and the life of everyday people.

To many of us who inhabit parish life, much of this significant ministry remains hidden, but to those who interact with our chaplains, particularly at critical times in their lives, that role of being ‘God’s person’ in a place can literally be life giving and life changing.

I am delighted therefore that a number of our chaplains have contributed to our Praying Together 2018 Lent booklet, so we can learn from them, and reflect on some of the contexts in which they minister.

We shall be distributing over 30,000 copies of the book through churches, chaplaincies and schools. In it, we shall follow the Gospel of Mark from Ash Wednesday to Easter Sunday. We shall travel together the journey of Jesus, as he interacts with the everyday people of his day, and we shall be challenged in our own service with those we meet.

I hope Praying Together 2018 will be a resource you will enjoy and share, as well as a way of learning from those whose ministries we sometimes forget.

May God bless you as we travel through Lent together.

Copies should be in every church in the Diocese on the Sundays before Lent starts on 15 February. Further copies can be requested from 01722 411922 or

The daily reflections can also be received via e-mail or the PrayerMate app. People can sign up for both at

A Year in God’s Time

“It was a big financial risk, but we’ve seen so much provision from God.”

Simon and Hayley Hills moved to a smaller house to fund their cafe on Poole’s Canford Heath. The St Mary’s, Longfleet, worshippers are taking ‘a year in God’s time’ with the Lambeth Palace-based Community of St Anselm.

Hayley said, “I grew up in Emmannuel Church in Weymouth. I started going to St Mary’s when I came to university in Bournemouth. Simon came here ten years ago to work for the Environment Agency and we met through church.

“I did a second degree in youth ministry and got a job at Canford Heath Baptist. In that time, we got a real sense from nowhere to run a community cafe.”

Simon continued, “Canford Heath was built between the ‘70s and ‘90s and has 13,500 people. Surrounded by dual carriageways, it’s a distinct community. The only meeting places were two pubs and we saw a need to build community.

“We opened the cafe four years ago. It has been a privilege to walk with people and build community. We also try to give back with a gardening group to look after public spaces on the estate.

“Just over a year ago, we found we were so busy keeping it all going that we needed to regain a rhythm of prayer.”

Hayley concluded, “We kept seeing the Community of St Anselm mentioned by friends and on Facebook. We worried it might be another thing in a busy life. But God confirmed the call.

“As non-residential members, we go up to London every Monday night and one Saturday a month for a year. Members are aged 20-35, from around the world, and traditions from Orthodox to Free Church. It is a safe space, focused on Jesus, to learn to live with difference.

“We live a rule of life based on Francis, Ignatius and Benedict, committed to prayer, unity, and daily Bible reading. It has helped us learn just to be.

“It has been amazing. We’d recommend it to any young Christian sensing a call.”

Could you spend a year in God’s time at Lambeth Palace? Applications for resident and non-resident membership of the Community of St Anselm for 2018-19 are now open. You can apply here, watch a video or browse the community website here.

People of all ages can learn about exploring a call to temporary or permanent life in community on the Anglican Religious Life website or see the life of a thriving Anglican religious community in our area through Hilfield Friary.


The Surviving Winter campaign, which helps those at risk from fuel poverty, especially by helping those who don’t need them to recycle their winter fuel allowances, has raised more than £120,000 in Dorset and Wilts this year. As the cold weather continues to bite, more help is needed: find out how you can give here.

Congratulations to the Rt Revd Sarah Mullally DBE, who is currently Bishop of Crediton and previously Canon Treasurer of Salisbury Cathedral, as she prepares to be consecrated the next Bishop of London (news story here). Congratulations also to the Rector of Ludgershall and Faberstown, the Revd Claire Maxim, who is to become the new CEO of Germinate, which helps rural churches grow and serve their communities (more here).

Bishop Nicholas has asked people to keep the Episcopal Church in South Sudan in their prayers. Representatives of every diocese are in retreat on Thursday 18 and Friday 19 January before electing a new archbishop on Saturday 20 January.

Primates of the worldwide Anglican Communion are being asked to produce a picture of what God’s creation means to them. This will help set the agenda for the 2020 Lambeth Conference, God’s Church in God’s World. News story here.

St Andrew’s in Donhead St Andrew got a Christmas present from the National Churches Trust: £20,000 to help repair its badly leaking roof. Read more here.

Milton Abbey resounded to music led by the Music Director of All Souls’, Langham Place, Noel Tredinnick in The Big Sing. News story here.

A 4,000-year-old burial mound has been unveiled at Colehill St Michael’s Middle School by TV archaeologist and Dorset churchgoer Julian Richards. Read a report here and see photos on Flickr (no-sign in required) or Facebook.

Bishop’s Staff and Mothers’ Union in the diocese took part in the worldwide 16 Days campaign against gender-based violence, including a service at the cathedral. Read a report here.

It’s a while ago now, but November’s meeting of Diocesan Synod had a packed agenda including rural church, ministering to new housing areas, schools and our cathedral - a full report is here.

The Revd Dr Ali Green, Associate Priest at Holy Trinity, Bradford on Avon, completed a year’s pilgrimage around small pilgrimage places to show that pilgrimage isn’t necessarily about busy or famous sites. More, including on the Small Pilgrimage Places’ Network here.

Gerry and Michael from the Diocesan Communications Office would like to wish you all good wishes for 2018.

Keep in touch with news from across our Diocese and local Christians via the news section of our website, and our Facebook and Twitter pages.
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