Light Party on 31st October 2021 4-6pm
Harvest: A Festival of Flowers and Crafts in the Church
Thank you to Sue Burroughs and Gill Webb for the photos
On the 23rd & 24th September the Church was closed to the public as we were hosting "Experience Harvest" for the children at Wool School. This is a fun, interactive experience that encourages the children to think about giving thanks to God for the harvests from the Garden, the Ocean, the Flock, the Grain and the Earth.
There were six beautiful stations to visit and an activity to engage with as well as discussions about Patience, Peace, Humility, Generosity, Joy and Faithfulness. These are the Fruit of the Spirit that God helps us to develop.
The Church was open to visit on the 22nd and 25th September afternoons and we will incorporate this into our special Harvest Festival Communion on Sunday 26th.
Within this interactive way of exploring the rich harvest of land and the spiritual harvest of life, stations displayed the following topics:
The Six Stations
1. Harvest of the garden – Patience
Harvest of the Garden was about learning the importance of patience. Seeds have to be sown, and crops must be harvested, at just the right time. We need to wait and be patient both in the garden, the fields, and in our questions to God and our dealings with each other.
2. Harvest of the ocean – Peace
Fishermen and women may need to have courage to face some frightening weather conditions out at sea as they gather the harvest for us from the oceans.
At the Harvest of the Ocean station the message is about peace. Jesus calmed a storm for his disciples, who were struggling to save the boat in a storm (Matthew 8:23-27). He said that they should have trusted him and not been so afraid.
We may not be in a boat catching fish but we may face difficult times in our lives. Like the disciples, we can ask Jesus to calm our storms. With him on board, we aren’t alone.
3. Harvest of the flock – Humility
Living here in Dorset, there are many opportunities to see the harvests that come from sheep farming. Meat, milk, and cheese have all been 'harvested' locally at one time and another, but of course we mostly think of wool. In this station there were clothes, knitted blankets, and a fleece to touch and feel with examples of the various stages of fleeces being converted to the knitting wool we are all familiar with.
A card loom allowed the children to see how this worked: each person needed to thread in their own piece of wool to make a woven square. It wouldn't have worked so well with just one thread! Then they talked about all working together to create things we can't do alone. But you need to be humble enough to realise, that usually, you need other people's help - and ask!
4. Harvest of the grain – Generosity
At Harvest of the Grain, the children enjoyed making and tasting some bread. (We couldn't leave the ingredients out at other times as they needed to be fresh!)
There were different seeds (used to make flour in different parts of the world) and the children learned about sharing the resources that are there and ways they might be shared fairly and generously.
5. Harvest of the earth – Joy
There were some tools used by potters who make things direct from the clay of the earth and also some clay so the children could each make a small thumb pot to take home and give to someone special.
In this way they learnt about the joy of both giving and of seeing the joy of receiving.
6. Harvest Thanksgiving – Faithfulness
The final station is the Jewish Prayer Tent, or sukkah. From each of the other stations, the small groups had a badge to add to the prayer tent.
We had a representation of the tent at the back of church.
We might all join together to give thanksgiving for the Harvest and remember that as we Christians celebrate Harvest, Jewish people celebrate their ancient festival of Sukkot, or Tabernacles. (This year, it's from 20th to 27th of September 2021.) Their week-long holiday commemorates the Jews' oppression in Egypt (recorded in the book of Exodus in the Bible), and their miraculous escape. In their time in the wilderness afterwards, they lived in tents ('tabernacles'), reminding us all of God’s provision for his people and of our dependence on Him. Many observant Jews will still build their family sukkah at this time.
In his book "Faith in the Future" (1995), the late Lord Jonathan Sacks, a former Chief Rabbi, said:
"Judaism declared Sukkot to be . . . the 'season of our rejoicing'. For the tabernacle in all its vulnerability symbolises faith: the faith of a people who set out long ago on a risk-laden journey across a desert of space and time with no more protection than the sheltering divine presence. Sitting in the sukkah underneath its canopy of leaves I often think of my ancestors and their wanderings across Europe in search of safety, and I begin to understand how faith was their only home. It was fragile, chillingly exposed to the storms of prejudice and hate. But it proved stronger than empires. Their faith survived" . . .
And he goes on to tell the following story:
"Twenty years ago I built my first sukkah. It was almost a catastrophe. It happened like this.
My wife and I were newly married and had just settled in to our new home. One morning, leaving the synagogue, a friend said, 'I'm just off to the local timber yard to buy wood to build a sukkah. Would you like to come with me?' Delightedly, I said yes. We didn't have a car, and I had been wondering how to buy and transport the materials to make a hut. The offer was providential. We went back to his home to get the list of things he required.
The contrast between us, though, could not have been greater. The friend — who was later to become one of Anglo-Jewry's great rabbis —was superbly organised. He had drawn up architectural plans for his temporary dwelling. It was to be a stand-alone structure with windows and a door, and it was going to require considerable skill in carpentry. He had made a long and precise list of the materials he needed, and was ready to begin. I was shame-faced. I had no idea how to make anything, let alone a sukkah. In school, I had always come bottom of the class in woodworking, and when it came to practicalities, changing a light-bulb was the limit of my ability. Humbled, I followed him into the car, hoping that inspiration would come.
In the timber yard, he rattled off his list of requirements and ended up with an impressive pile of beams and planks and hinges and screws. I settled for an impromptu list of a few sheets of hardboard, some wooden supports and a bag of nails. We went off to our respective homes and began hammering away. Before the festival began we visited each other to see the results of our efforts. His was a thing of beauty, a summer house in which anyone could have faced wandering in the wilderness with equanimity.
Ours was modest by any standards. I had joined the hardboard to the beams to make three square walls, nailed them to one another, and rested them against the back wall of the house. It looked like a large packing case. There was a hole for a door.
The festival arrived, and as luck would have it, there was a storm on the second night. The wind howled and blew itself into a gale. In synagogue the next morning my friend sat dejected. His sukkah had blown down. 'What', he asked, 'happened to yours?'
‘It's still standing’, I said.
He could hardly believe it. His elaborate tabernacle had been overturned while my makeshift hut survived. `I must come round and see it', he said. 'I don't understand how any sukkah could have stayed standing after that storm.'
So we went to my home together to investigate the mystery. We soon found the answer.
Unlike his, our sukkah did not stand alone. It had three walls, and for the fourth we had rested it against the house. To stop it collapsing, I had joined one corner to the wall of the house with a single nail, and it was that nail which had held firm during the gale.
My friend laughed and said: `Now I understand the meaning of Sukkot. You can plan and construct the most sophisticated building, but if it is not joined to something stable, one day the winds will come and blow it down. Alternatively, you can make an improvised shelter which looks frail and probably is. But if it is joined even at only one point to something immovable, it will hold fast in the worst storm.'
‘That nail in the corner’, he said, looking at it with a smile I have never forgotten, ‘is faith.’ "
. . . And why we need to raise money
Teapot Club meetings are in a new home
We restarted Teapot Club in the D'Urberville Hall, Colliers Lane, Wool, in Meeting Room 1, on Tuesday afternoons, fortnightly, starting on Tuesday 14th September. (Changed venue - we aren't meeting in the Methodist Church.)
The Meeting Room 1 entrance is at the front of the main D'Urberville building and is just a few metres to the left of the main door. (You do not need to go in through the main door of the D'Urberville; just walk to the left of it, staying outside, to go in through the separate meeting room door. Many people attended the Holy Rood Wednesday Communion services in this room before Covid closed everything down.)
Access is disabled-friendly. There is a toilet and kitchenette available to the room; and of course there's a large car park adjacent to the D'Urberville.
The dates for meetings are as follows:
When is Holy Rood Church open for private prayer?
Holy Rood Church, Wool is now open for private prayer daily from 10am until 4pm.
Please observe Covid precautions and please use safely. In particular:
Please use antibacterial hand gel where provided as you go into the church and again when you leave
Do sit at least 2 meters away from anybody else in the church at the same time.
Face coverings are encouraged but are no longer a legal requirement.
Please pray as we look for new Clergy to join us here
Please pray :
Ő That the adverts in September will be seen by the people whom God calls to come here.
Ő For those who read the Benefice Profile and respond (and their families where appropriate) as they pray about their future, whether it be here or elsewhere; that God would speak to them and guide them.
Ő For all those in our diocese who will meet to make a shortlist to be given wisdom and discernment to discover the will of God.
Ő For all those involved in the selection process, especially the applicants; that they and we might all be guided by the Holy Spirit.
Ő For our existing permanent clergy, Revds Sandra and Jenny who are working so hard to look after all the churches. For Revd Canon Keith Hugo who is ministering to the Lulworths during their vacancy.
Ő For one another, that we would all be fully open to welcoming the person of God's choice to lead us.
Be with all those who consider coming here, and help them as they reflect on whether this is the right place for them to serve you.
Be with our benefice through this period of vacancy,
and may your Holy Spirit guide all those involved in the selection process,
as we endeavour to discern whom you are calling to serve alongside us in this place.
Previous News and Events
The Sunday Tea event in September was very popular!
Thy Kingdom Come 13th - 23rd May 2021
Thy Kingdom Come is a prayer movement, covering all denominations, uniting the Christians in nearly 90% of countries worldwide from the Ascension to Pentecost.
The aim for Thy Kingdom Come 2021, which is taking place from 13-23 May is to be a blessing and to serve the church where the need is greatest; by providing free, spiritually nourishing resources for all, to deepen and refresh their faith.
Now in its sixth year, Thy Kingdom Come has grown from an initial call to prayer from the Archbishops of Canterbury and York to the Anglican Communion, to a worldwide ecumenical prayer movement uniting over a million Christians from across 85 different denominations and traditions.
Archbishop of York, Stephen Cottrell, says: "Thy Kingdom Come" is about prayer: praying for those on our hearts, praying for those who don’t know Jesus - to find him, praying for our church as we seek to be simpler, humbler and bolder.'
Various resources online -
And you could download the app from Google or Apple to your phone or mobile device:
Coffee & Cake Returned at last !
The Communion Service returned to the D'Urberville on Wednesday 19th May 2021, at its new time of 10:15am with "Coffee and Cake" served just after the service as we did before Covid.
We meet in the D'Urberville Main Hall to allow for social distancing, with some social distancing in the layout, and we were all encouraged to see about 20 people attending for the first meeting. Masks are not demanded but are advised.
It's a wonderful chance to meet up face to face with old friends.
Many thanks to Revd Jenny for arranging this. See the services lists to see which Wednesday it is available.
Church Spring Newsletter March 2021
This is available to download as a pdf file here.
We have joined JustGiving to enable people who wish to, to donate to Holy Rood via the web.
Go to the JustGiving site by using the button below (or use your smartphone camera with the QR code):
Previous News and Events
Address for contributions to the website or social media
[The old address of firstname.lastname@example.org is no longer in use.]
A Prayer during a Pandemic (based on Habakkuk Ch. 3 v17-19)
Though the people of the world are suffering and fearful and jobs and businesses are at risk and many are unemployed
Though many are dying as their breath fails and families are kept apart and are in despair
Though front line workers and the NHS in their commitment and compassion are exhausted
Though a friendly handshake or hug is not allowed and we face each other with our masks
Though many are anxious about what the future holds especially the young
Yet we will rejoice in the Lord God who is our strength and will never fail us. His Spirit lifts our hearts and minds as He journeys with us through Jesus Christ Our Lord
With thanks to Chris Corteen
(One response to a question in the Monday Home Group)
Benefice Office hours (link to contacts page)
(Covid-19 restrictions: Please do not call in without an appointment. Not manned during lockdown.)
Office contact number is 07729 484866
Email address: email@example.com
(Telephone messages will be dealt with during office hours only.)
Online Services are continuing
We are still holding Combined Benefice services online on Sunday mornings, gathering together round screens and phones at 10.30am for a 10.45am start. Anyone in West Purbeck may take part in this service using your laptop, ipad, or phone (smart or otherwise).
You would be most welcome to join in and if you would like to have more details please email the Church Office.
The contact arrangements are emailed in advance and you would need to give your contact details including an email address and phone number to the Benefice Office. We can't publish the Zoom contact details here for security reasons, but you are still very welcome.*
It is highly recommended not to 'arrive' at the very last minute as most people enjoy it more by taking a little while to get a good connection sorted out and iron out any queries. Also arriving in good time prevents you being excluded inadvertently by the security lock (see next paragraph).
* The service is locked down soon after the start time to prevent abusive internet behaviour which sadly has happened occasionally to other churches using online worship.
Covid-19 (Coronavirus) Pastoral Care
If you need to self-isolate, do inform the church office or Revd Carol together with your contact phone number. A member of the church will be in contact to check on your welfare and to offer practical support with shopping etc.
Best hygiene practice and safeguarding procedures will be observed in all pastoral contacts.
Plans are actively ongoing to help with some practical support to those who are vulnerable or isolated. Further information is available from the Rector.
For up-to-date medical advice, the place to go is:
For specific Church of England advice look at:
A Prayer For All Those Affected By Coronavirus
Keep us, good Lord,
under the shadow of your mercy.
Sustain and support the anxious,
be with those who care for the sick,
and lift up all who are brought low;
that we may find comfort
knowing that nothing can separate us from your love
in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Each day the Church of England publishes audio and text of the Prayer for the Day.
Join the Cleaning Team
We have a brilliant team of unsung heroes / heroines who do a wonderful job but need your help!
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