November 2021
Shared Lunch
Picture, Shared Lunch Group
.On November 10th we were able to restart our monthly 'Shared Lunch' with Western Way Chapel, the independent church in Dymock. Numbers were slightly reduced due to the Covid pandemic but there were still 12 attendees who enjoyed a light lunch of home-made vegetable or broccoli & Stilton soup, then cheese and biscuits followed by lemon drizzle cake and buttered malt loaf, tea or coffee.

After lunch we learnt something new by watching a video telling the story of the author of two well-known hymns: It Is Well With my Soul (Horatio Spafford) and Amazing Grace (Cardinal Newman). Spafford was a successful man in Chicago who suffered great loss including fortune and children, yet retained his faith, whilst Newman had been a slave-trading seaman who repented and became first an Anglican and then a Roman Catholic priest.
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Men's Breakfast
Picture, Men at Breakfast
On Saturday 13th November we were able to restart our Men's Breakfast in the Beauchamp Arms Pub next to the church under it's new Landlord, Matt and his partner. After a Full English Breakfast Ali Mepham, the husband of our vicar Kat, told us about his background and current job as Diocesan Interim Minister.

He said he was brought-up in a non-believing house but in his late teens had an experience of Jesus and soon felt called to full-time Ministry. After a fulfilling training as a Curate in a parish in Wiltshire he's been a vicar in both large urban parishes and small country ones which suited him well for his current job as 'Interim Minister' - helping benefices 'in vacancy' (without a priest), or with a particular difficulty, to work out the way ahead for them.

In this context he believed every parish has different needs, so there isn't a set solution or way to proceed, but all are called to 'preach the Gospel to every generation' in ways that suits current thinking in their area whilst maintaining the traditional format for those who still want it - all under the wide guidance of the Church of England.
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Remembrance Service
Picture, Remembrance 2021
Because of Covid we weren't able to hold our usual Remembrance Service last year but on Sunday 14th November this year the church was as full as social distancing allowed as we held the traditional Service of Remembrance to honour those who've died in many wars, before going out to the war memorial on the village green in front of the church, where the names of the fallen were read out as recorded in the Dymock, Kempley and Donnington 'Rolls of Honour' and two minute silence was observed before wreaths were laid in memory of them.

It was noticeable how many local families in both world wars lost multiple members.
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