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You are warmly invited to join us this Christmas...

posted Nov 27, 2017, 5:54 AM by Simon Talbot


School Easter Service

posted Apr 17, 2015, 8:11 AM by Julian Garner   [ updated Apr 17, 2015, 2:04 PM by Simon Talbot ]

It was wonderful to welcome Uffculme Primary School for their Easter Service and a chance to use our palm crosses to explore the Easter story together.


Good Friday Craft Event

posted Apr 17, 2015, 7:49 AM by Julian Garner   [ updated Apr 17, 2015, 2:09 PM by Simon Talbot ]

Sarah Rock Evans organised an amazing event enabling children and families to explore the Easter story together through crafts, singing and storytelling. Thanks to the amazing team from across the churches who came to help run this event.



Maunday Thursday

posted Apr 17, 2015, 7:48 AM by Julian Garner   [ updated Apr 17, 2015, 2:11 PM by Simon Talbot ]

Rev Jill Purser and her brilliant Wednesday group and friends organised a fantastic Maundy Thursday evening meal helping us enter into the story of holy week and Jesus's last supper together.



Lee Abbey weekend, 14-16 November 2014

posted Dec 9, 2014, 11:42 PM by Julian Garner   [ updated Dec 9, 2014, 11:44 PM by Simon Talbot ]


Following last September’s weekend at Lee Abbey on the north Devon coast, many of us from Uffculme and around again set off to Lynton and the Valley of the Rocks to experience opportunities for peace, for fellowship, for meditation and prayer, for re-creation, and for pondering the place of Christ in our lives.

There were 47 adults, children and young people on the weekend, including three from Willand church. We also shared the Abbey with groups from the Methodist church at Sampford Peverell/Halberton, and from Wellington, as well as others from further afield, including some individuals and couples, on holiday looking for refreshment. One of the delights of a Lee Abbey weekend is the chance to talk, sometimes in depth, to others in a way that is just not possible for most of us most of the time. We were grateful once more to David and Rachel for all their pre-weekend organising, making it easy for all of us to arrive (despite the closure of the North Devon Link Road) and find our accommodation.

As always, we were treated really well by the Lee Abbey community including volunteers from all over the world. The food (and drink) was excellent, plentiful and frequent, and it was a pleasure to talk to the different young people serving us on our tables at meal times – I had conversations with volunteers from Spain, Brazil, Ukraine, and Uganda for example. The rooms were very comfortable, with special mention of the secluded Tinkerbell Cottage as a romantic retreat. The Saturday afternoons are a time for recreation, and, as last year, quite a number from Uffculme, of all ages, took the opportunity of intrepidly descending the zip wire across a valley, some twice or even three times. Walks were also available – the weather was good most of the time – and Tony Lane led some of us on a ‘sensio divina’ walk in the gloaming (apparently the Devon word is ‘dimpsy’) teaching us to look closely at natural objects (trees, lichen) and meditate on God’s presence in creation and in ourselves. The Lee Abbey community members entertained us on Saturday night with some wonderful singing, music, and dancing, alongside ‘Chinese mimes’ (a variation of Chinese whispers) and poetry ranging from Walt Whitman to Roald Dahl’s version of The Three Little Pigs – with a surprising denouement. Later on Saturday evening many of us had a chance to talk and to relax over a glass of wine (and the occasional nip of sloe gin), mulling over the lessons and teaching of the day.

The teaching this year was led by Rob Eastwood Dewing, the Pastoral Director of Lee Abbey since 2011 (before that he was vicar in Petersfield, Hampshire), with the theme of the Christ-shaped life – renew, refresh, resource. The first session on Friday evening did not include any newspaper fashion dressing-up (unlike last year), but Rob did show us various depictions of Jesus, ranging from the traditional ‘Jesus meek and mild’ to artistic representations to a black Jesus, pointing out that all aspects of our life should be ‘Christ-shaped’, and that there should really be no distinction between ‘spiritual’ and ‘secular’ life.

On Saturday we were able to see some examples of a Christ-shaped life in action, and the cost that can be involved. Rob showed us excerpts from a couple of films: Invictus, where Nelson Mandela tries to persuade the ANC not to dissolve the Springboks rugby team; and Dead Man Walking, where the nun Helen Prejean meets the parents of the teenagers murdered and raped by the prisoner on death row that she is counselling. Rob was telling us that doing the right thing can come at a cost, that it can be impossible sometimes to get everything right, and how important it is to have a strong and living faith. Films played a prominent role through the weekend, with Erin Brockovich quoted as again illustrating the importance of perseverance in doing the right thing, and listening to individual human beings. Finally, we were treated to an excerpt from Groundhog Day, where Bill Murray gets things wrong time after time, but finally learns a better way – we do not have the ‘luxury’ of repeating our behaviour until we get it right, but we do have the opportunity to seek the presence of Jesus in our lives, and to learn from him directly, from the Bible, from prayer, and from relationships with our fellow Christians. In small groups, we shared how we thought our own churches could develop a Christ-shaped life, bearing in mind that the church is made up of us as individuals.

At one point, Rob put up the St Mary’s Way of Life on the screen – we had each been given a copy on our arrival at Lee Abbey – and he did suggest that we could move towards a Christ-shaped life by growing in faith (prayer, biblical reflection, worship), being connected (the importance of relationships), and respecting and serving others (an attitude of service). The weekend did reinforce the vitality of all these elements in everything we do in our lives, and we all came away from Lee Abbey on Sunday afternoon with much to ponder on, much to be grateful for, and much to try to retain from the peace of a place close to God as we return to our daily lives back in Uffculme.

Selina has already booked a weekend for next October – I hope that as many as possible will be able to sign up for a few days that can provide a literal re-creation for each one of us.



Tony Kidd

19 November 2014

Our Children’s ministry has had a makeover!

posted Sep 26, 2014, 8:14 AM by Julian Garner   [ updated Sep 26, 2014, 8:16 AM by Simon Talbot ]

Over the summer we have been busy renaming and creating new logos to support our children’s ministry and help us to improve our communications with the village about all that is going on with the children and families to the village.

We want everyone interested in finding out more about the Christian faith to be welcomed and so we have picked the name ‘Explorers’ encouraging the children and their families to explore by asking questions and examine the Christian faith and the teachings of Jesus. We will try to find creative ways to tell the stories in the Bible, listen to the children and share and God has given Sarah, Lucy, Moira and Penny a real heart to encourage us all to get involved with this exciting mission wherever we can!

Sunday morning Explorers

At St Mary's we recognise that children are a very important part of our church community. We want to offer children a vibrant, happy environment and so on Sunday mornings, during our 11am service, our Explorers group provides a range of activities for them. We either escape to Square Corner (close to the church) for Bible story, games, songs and craft, or we have a craft table with activities the main service. Parents are welcome to join in!

Explorers is aimed at those aged 5-11 years but younger children are welcome if accompanied by an adult.

Our aim is to provide children with an opportunity to explore the Christian faith for themselves in a creative and age-appropriate way, as well as to build friendships and have fun! We base our teaching on Roots material (http://www.rootsontheweb.com/) and our Children's Ministry team take it in turns to led and support the sessions.

For our youngest visitors we have toys and books available in both the Church and Square Corner, where there are also toilets and baby changing facilities. Babies and toddlers are welcome!

We always rejoin the rest of the congregation after our session, in time for squash and biscuits at the end!

We also have an Explorer’s Café once a month (a new name for the old TASTE Café) and the Explorers Story clubs in Kingwood Childcare, and the Primary School, run by Sarah Rock-Evans.

Click on to learn more about our children’s ministry and the people involved! (more)

Introducing Rev Jill and Rev Andrew

posted Sep 19, 2014, 11:48 PM by Julian Garner   [ updated Sep 19, 2014, 11:50 PM by Simon Talbot ]

On Sunday 14th September we took a coach load of people from Uffculme to Exeter cathedral where two member from the St Mary’s congregation as they were ordained as deacons in the church of England. Andrew Down tested his vocation while part of St Mary’s Uffculme and has now been training for 3 years. 

Andrew will take up his curacy in Exeter with Revd Henry Price. Jill Purser is also a local girl who proves you are never too old for God’s service. 

Jill has been training for two years and will be curate with Revd Selina here in Uffculme. We all enjoyed a delicious cream tea afterwards and a big thank you to Lucy and her team for laying this on for us all!!!

Please pray for Jill and Andrew as they continue their training for the next 4 years!




My Journey Into Faith

posted Sep 12, 2014, 3:03 AM by Julian Garner   [ updated Sep 19, 2014, 11:59 AM by Simon Talbot ]




Peter Best was baptised on July 20th 2014, and this is the story of his journey to faith...

I did not have a religious upbringing. My late wife, Christa & I used to occasionally go to Exeter Cathedral for evensong, because we enjoyed the atmosphere and felt it was somehow comforting.

Christa became very ill with Parkinson’s disease spanning over a period of 15 years. The early years were bearable, but the last 2 years of her life were very difficult.

In particular, her final year became a very unhappy & stressful time for both of us.

One day, I was standing in the sitting room looking at Christa sitting in her chair and I was feeling very sad and sorrowful. At that moment, I started to pray for help and support even though I had never prayed much before and suddenly a feeling of overwhelming peace descended on me. It was hard to describe, but I felt that the ‘Holy spirit’ had entered into me. This was my first encounter with the ‘Holy spirit’ and my first step towards faith and belief in a resurrection, an afterlife and a reunion with our loved ones. Not long after that occasion, Christa had to be taken into hospital and she died soon after. It was only then that I turned to St Mary’s church for support and help to contain my grief and feelings of desolation and loss.

The second step, which finally led me to a full belief, took place in the church during a ‘healing’ service. This encounter with the ‘Holy Spirit’ happened via the help of Selina & Jill, when I, with other members of the congregation, went forward to receive a blessing at the altar. We were blessed on the hands and forehead and I then became completely overwhelmed. I became so cheerful because I now realised that the ‘Spirit’ of Jesus had entered me. I had no doubt that this was the case and Jill took me aside to calm me down and also confirm that I had indeed been visited by the ‘Holy Spirit’.

My journey towards faith and a belief in the resurrection and God’s blessings was now complete and I was baptised at St Mary’s Church, Uffculme on Sunday 20th July, 2014.

Peter Best – August, 2014

New Squarefish young leaders training programme September 2014

posted Sep 12, 2014, 2:50 AM by Julian Garner   [ updated Sep 12, 2014, 2:50 AM by Simon Talbot ]

Four young people from our mission community will be starting on our new young leaders training programme. 

Milo Townsend, Lily Andrews and Dan Stevens will be helping with Squarefish Sundays and Chris Garner will be developing his skills as a worship leader at the 11am service in St Mary’s Uffculme and with the Squarefish Wednesday group. 

In addition to a regular working session they will be encouraged to explore and develop their personal faith thorough a mentoring relationship, conferences and camps and we will fund training opportunities tailored to their skills and interests.

Please pray for them in the coming year and if you would like to support this ministry financially please make your donations to the CREATE fund which is supported by Uffculme PCC.

   
   



Selina.

Rev Selina does the Ice Bucket Challenge

posted Sep 7, 2014, 2:32 PM by Julian Garner   [ updated Sep 7, 2014, 2:38 PM by Simon Talbot ]

Selina took the ice bucket challenge after being nominated by her son Chris! Donations went to the Peruvian Orphange and the CREATE programme for training young people in Youth Ministry.



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