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22nd August 2022

Dear Church Family,


It was lovely to see so many of us gathered together with the rest of the churches in Blandford at the United Service this past weekend. I was struck by the sense of God’s presence as we worshipped and prayed in unity with one another. Many people have commented that they experienced God for themselves which is always my hope as we gather.


The summer is always a strange time in church life, as stop a lot of our regular activity, and yet we kick into special events… and we’ve seen this year, with our usual rhythm of prayer not happening, but the Community Kitchen Stay and Play Sessions going great guns. It’s been so encouraging to see the number of children and families we are managing to connect with through these events. Tina and the team are doing a great job, but we’re still dependent on a small team, and so can I invite you to consider being involved in these over the summer, to play your part in seeing the Kingdom of God enacted In our community. For more information, talk to Tina.


I know it will appear that I’m coming to you with conflicted messages, but I also want to encourage everyone to find rest in this summer season. I know many of you will have booked holidays outside of the summer, but if you’re restricted to that window, like me, please do take the opportunity to find rest and sabbath. It’s so important the we learn to recharge, reflect, and be reenvisioned for the next season. I myself am off for two weeks from Sunday, to get the rest I need, so I can serve you all well over the long term.


Following on from the Lambeth Conference, the Blandford and Milton Deanery (group of Anglican churches in this area) is hosting Bishop Emmanuel from our partner diocese, Rokon, in South Sudan next week. As part of this there is a Deanery Service on Tuesday 9th August at 7pm at Milton Abbey. All are invited to attend. We will be welcoming Bishop Emmanuel and his wife, but also be saying farewell to the Rural Dean, Revd Justin Pottinger, who some of you will know, as he is moving on to another post.


A few heads-up notices from me. Following on from the vision discernment process we went through this term, we’ll be launching the vision on Sunday 4th Sept at our morning service, followed by a shared lunch. Can I encourage us all to come along if you’re able? That Sunday will also be the start of a week of prayer, with sessions in the mornings and evenings, where we seek God and pray over the vision.


In Sept we hope to launch a toddler group, called Little Peas, on Weds morning and lead by Cat Beaumont and Heidi. See more info below as to how you can get involved in making this happen.


Another date for your diaries is Saturday 17th Sept – when Debby Griffiths will be licensed as a Lay Minister at Salisbury Cathedral by Bishop Karen at 11am. It would be great to have group of us there to support her as she steps into this new season of ministry within the life of Blandford Forum Parish Church.


I know many of you are wondering when the building works will be complete. We can’t say for sure, but we’re hoping to have use of the building for Remembrance Sunday, which is a key date in the life of the town, and then have full use for Christmas. We’ll keep you all updated when we have more concrete information.


Just FYI, the Christmas Tree Festival theme this year will be “Joy to the world, The Lord has come. Let earth receive her King!”. My hope is that we will have a blended approach this year with some trees being inside the church, but with other being spread across the businesses in the town.


Have a great summer, and see you all in a few weeks time.






Little Peas Announcement


Exciting news! In September we will be starting to run a church toddler group, it’s being led by Cat (Mrs Vicar) and Heidi (warden) and is going to be called Little Peas (after St Peter and St Pauls). It is going to run on a Wednesday morning in term time from 9:30-11 (first one 14th September).


We really need to build a team of people to help make it happen. There are various ways you might be able to help. Eg, setting up before or packing away at the end, serving refreshments from the kitchen, welcoming people in and directing them to the buggy park and explaining how things work if they are new, chatting to parents and building relationships and making sure everyone stays safe (especially that no children escape!).


If you would like to chat about whether serving on the Little Peas team may be for you, please make contact with Cat or Heidi. We would love to have a big enough team so that not everyone needs to be there every week, so if you could help some weeks but not others, we would still love to hear from you!