Benefice Profile - Dymock Parish
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The Church
Picture, Dymock Church
The Church is at one end of the village, with the village green in front and the Parish Hall and pub to the side. Dymock was a large Roman town so the church may have been built on previous Roman foundations. It has a small amount of Saxon masonry but is mainly Norman with Victorian additions, including the pews and rood screen. It seats 150 and celebrated its 925th anniversary in 2010. The Electoral Roll is 60. (Return to top)
The Village
Picture, Dymock Village
The Village is the largest of the nine Benefice villages with a population just over 1,000 and a spread of ages. There is a mix of old and new housing, two garages, one with a local shop, and a regular bus service to Gloucester and Ledbury. The independent Village Hall was extended with a Lottery millennium grant and the only pub was bought by the Parish Council on behalf of the village in 1997. Both are well used; the hall by several village groups as well as the church for socials, and the pub for our Men's Breakfast and 'Carols in the Pub'. There is also a care/nursing home, Hill Ash House, where we take Communion for the Sick to a small number of the residents once a month. (Return to top)
Worship
Picture, Dymock Worship
At the moment a morning Service of Holy Communion is held on the 1st and 4th Sundays of the month, Family Service on the 2nd and 'Ignite' on the 3rd Sunday – an informal evening service introduced in the last 12 months aimed at the younger generation. In addition, on the third Sunday, a 'Benefice Communion' is held in rotation in three of the churches whilst on any fifth Sunday a 'Benefice Communion' is held in one of the nine churches in rotation. We have a 'said' Communion on a Wednesday morning and Morning Prayer on Friday; both mid-week Services have a small but dedicated attendance. (Return to top)

'Sparks', a children's group for pre-school to 10 years meets on the fourth Sunday of the month in the church tower for the first part of the service; joining the rest of the congregation for the communion and a final child-friendly hymn. There is an enthusiastic young female ensemble who sing regularly at concerts in the church and in the wider community as well as at occasional Services. Evening Services are only held occasionally, including an annual Carol Service and Christmas 'Midnight Communion'. All Services use Common Worship. We have developed occasional 'special Services' which attract good numbers including: Mothering Sunday, Pets, All Souls, Remembrance, live donkey crib (on the village green) and Christmas morning. A recently installed 'Childrens Corner' in the North Transept is popular during Family and school end-of-term services. Refreshments are served after all Services. (Return to top)

We use a two manual pipe organ, renovated in 2002, and an electronic piano and have a regular organist and robed choir. A Junior Choir of 12 joins for Festivals, attracting parents. Regular services average 30 and All-Age up to 60, whilst special Services can have over 100. In the recent past we experimented with a 'Fresh Expression' in the Village Hall – a cross between Messy Church and Café Church, but reverted to an All-Age Service in church which sometimes uses an all-projected format, video presentation or children's playlet. (Return to top)

The village has an independent Chapel with whom we share a fortnightly lunch and speaker or video on a Christian theme, plus a weekly 'Pilgrims Group' providing fun activities and religious slot for 7-11 year olds. We also share occasional 'special Services', especially Advent. (Return to top)
Ann Cam School
Picture, Ann Cam School
We have very good relations with the village voluntary aided C of E primary school, of which several parishioners are governors; the roll is just over 100. The Benefice Curate lives in the previous Dymock Rectory and currently represents the Rector as a Governor. From a team of 12 parishioners, a smaller group visits every week for an 'Open The Book' session of dramatised Bible Readings. Once a week, the whole school assembly is led by the curate or a Reader and the Curate also visits weekly the commercial pre-school nursery 'Happy Turtles' for story reading. The school uses the church for special occasions – Harvest and Christingle, end-of-term Services and prize-giving. The Head Teacher is shared with Pauntley school. (Return to top)
Outreach Activities
Picture, Carols in the Pub
We have a regular programme of social/fundraising events including several concerts in church involving both talented members of the local community and visiting performers. 'Dymock Island Discs' at a Vintage Tea Party has become a regular event as well as an annual Fancy Dress Disco in the village hall, the latter sometimes in association with the village Cricket Club, plus six men's breakfasts in the pub, usually with a guest speaker, and an annual 'Carols in the Pub'. We often gather in the pub after church meetings, so have an effective 'Pub Ministry'. (Return to top)

The church is open every day and receives frequent visitors, especially walkers to this picturesque area, many coming to view the wild daffodils. For 6 weeks during in the spring we provide teas and home-made cakes in the North Transept every day for the visitors to the daffodils, plus 'Lent Lunches' once a week. The Dymock area was host just before the First World War to 6 renowned poets including Rupert Brooke and Robert Frost. One of their frequent visitors, Eleanor Farjeon, wrote the words to the hymn 'Morning Has Broken'. We have a permanent exhibition about them at the west end of the church, and that too gets frequent visitors. (Return to top)