Partnership News Letter

In Partnership, October 2017

Looking outwards and growing together

Autumn leaves. Every tree in the forest will sing for joy when the Lord comes to rule the earth Psalm 96 verses 12-13.

In Partnership, October 2017; The Partnership Newsletter Download the latest newsletter in PDF format (20 A5 pages across 5 A4 sheets - 2.3 Mb)

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Not Listening?

God doesn't speak to me.

Ok, maybe He does, but I don't listen to Him. My long-suffering and yet still-patient wife reckons I don't listen to her either. She needs to say something several times, and sometimes give me a poke or a nudge, before I listen to what she has to say.

I drive for about an hour to get to work. It gives me time to think. Some people I know have their daily quiet time with God while commuting. I don't really do spirituality in that formal specific way. In the mornings I'm barely conscious. In the afternoons I get another hour and I have been known to think a bit.

I've been mulling some tiresome realities. The slow numerical decline in our churches, the reducing number of people with time and ability to volunteer to lead things in and for the church, the challenge to support things we try to share… and our communication.

And one of those afternoons I finally realised God had been shouting at me. Like my wife, He'd had to repeat it a bit, and say the same thing in several different ways before I noticed.

All those tiresome realities come from the same cause.

I may have taken my eyes off the ball with this whole Christianity lark. It's not about the church, our services and activities, our relationships with each other and our decision making procedures (and I do love a good decision making procedure). That's just tools to support the real job. This Christianity thing is all about the people not in the church.

The best summary was given by an emailed prayer letter from our Baptist area minister, talking about planning for Hope 2018…

…as a rule of thumb (which is clearly not as good as the bible…) those churches who actually do something about planning to engage new groups of people with the good news of Jesus, are more likely to see some of them become Christians than those who don't.

That's the point.

A person stood with Jesus and looked back at their life together, imprinted as two lines of footsteps in the sand. One bit looked odd. The footsteps stopped and there was a ragged line like someone had ploughed the beach. Turning to Jesus, they said “Whats with the trench?”

Jesus grinned. “That… is where I dragged you kicking and screaming…”


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Regular activities.

EventTime, @Venue
2nd Sunday each month
Messy Church8 Oct 4-5:30pm @Shaw
Every Monday
After School Youth Group None in August 3:30 - 6:00 pm @ Holy Trinity Shaw
Bell ringing7-9pm, St Mary’s Bell Tower
2nd Wednesday of each month
Mothers Union11 Oct. 2pm @St Mary's Stable Room
Every Thursday
Toothill Tinies10-11:30am @Toothill
Homegroup led by Sue GreenThursday 7:30 pm
Homegroup led by Jan Partridge3rd Monday of each month 2:30 pm
Homegroup led by Pete GilderAlternate Tuesdays 8:00 pm


When our minister and his wife visited our neighbour, her four-year-old daughter answered the door. “Mum!” she yelled toward the living room. “God's here, and he brought his girlfriend.”

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Memorial Service. St Marys. Sun 5 Nov at 2pm
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Christmas 2017.

Two people walking hand in hand

This morning, for the second time this term, I have had the privilege of spending a whole hour with the Year 1 classes in Brook Field School sharing in their RE Learning. The new Swindon RE Curriculum brings wonderful opportunities to work with our schools and to learn together. I am having a truly joyful time getting to know two new colleagues and 60 enthusiastic children.

As we travel towards Christmas there are going to be lots of exciting opportunities to journey together with our community and to share the good news of Christmas.

At the St Marys Nativity Festival from 3rd -11th of December we hope to welcome lots of schools and we will need a magnificent team of 7 helpers each day so we can offer stories, craft, a star trail and refreshments to the children and their teachers. In our schools we will be running Christingle, Jesse Tree, Christmas Unwrapped and Advent Trail sessions.

The weeks before Christmas will be extremely busy, and I for one will be extremely grateful for the support of everyone who can walk with me.

Walking, talking, sharing and learning…what better way to journey towards Christmas together.

Please make space in your diary for these activities and be generous with your time as we joyfully walk together.

With every Blessing – Gayle

Nativity Festival - Walking Together.

It would be wonderful to come together as an enthusiastic team on the evening of Monday 9th October at 7.30pm at Gayle’s home, to share ideas and plan the Nativity Festival.

We would like to offer the children, their teachers, and families a truly wonderful and engaging experience when they visit the Nativity Festival. The experience would include a trail, the Christmas Story told in a fun and lively way, a special craft activity and some well deserved refreshments.

This is a wonderful opportunity to journey with our community as they visit St Marys and as we all learn more about Jesus. Please come along and join us in our praying and planning.

With every Blessing - Gayle

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Emerge - Partnership Youth Work.

Autumn Term 2017

During the summer holidays we enjoyed two half day workshops with the young people in Lydiard Park and St Mary's stable room. We really enjoy using this as our base for holiday activities and are grateful to St Mary's for their hospitality.

The workshops were themed on the environment and we spent time finding out about bees and their habitat (for example the bees on the outside of the church!); the wildflowers which grow in the park; making bird-feeders; taking crayon rubbings of as many things as we could in the park and church; doing art and cooking activities. Most of the children had not been inside the church before and were interested to find out about the history and what goes on in there!

The images on the stained glass windows provided an easy opportunity to talk about the birth, life, death and resurrection of Jesus.

On Mondays all our young people have returned, except for one who has now moved on to Swindon College. In compensation we look forward to welcoming Jasmine, who we hope will also join the Saturday group. Monday club is a lovely group and they seem very comfortable with each other and supportive of each other’s needs.

We have had some good group discussions this term around the topics of ‘The Future’ and ‘Forgiveness’ using the Youth Bible and have found they engage really well with using dramatized readings of parables. Other topics we will look at this term include: Change; Family; Heroes; Talents & Peer Pressure.

Our weekly Monday sessions will also include a mix of cooking, creative arts, games and a charity focus.

Each term we choose a local, national or international charity to research and discuss; part of the discussion is to decide whether and how we can help as a group. Some of the issues we have covered in this way have been especially thought-provoking for the young people e.g. refugees and street children. This is a very important part of all our groups, improving their team work and social skills in the process; it’s also great to see them engage with the concept of serving others in this way.

All of our young people have some difficulty in their lives and it's empowering for them to be able to help others.

Over the years the emerge project has been running we have raised approx £7,000 for charities and campaigns. This term our focus will be on Tearfund’s ‘Toilet Twinning’ campaign – ‘Help Flush Away Poverty’. Tearfund tell us that approx one third of the world's population don’t have a toilet. Obviously the impact on health and also on education is massive.

Our Saturday group begins again this week and we will commence our preparations for our annual Christmas show. We have just four workshop rehearsals to put this together and it is a lot of hard work for all the volunteers and of course, the young people. We hope that you will come and support us and help raise money to twin some toilets on Saturday 16th December at 4.00pm at Shaw church.

Our emerge team currently stands at 9 (including myself). Some of us help weekly, bi-weekly or monthly. If you think you might like to find out what we do, please get in touch with me.

Thanks for all your support.



A team from CMM will be coming to Cricklade United Church on Saturday 7 October 2017 to run a scratch “musical in a day”. The musical will be Apostle and the team will provide the conductor and the musicians. All we need are singers and participants!

Apostle books and music will be available. CMM will also be running a bookstall with their publications and CD releases including copies of Apostle at £7.99 if people would prefer to purchase their own.

We can't stress enough that this is a fun event, suitable for all ages and all levels of musical ability and none! All that is needed is a willingness to participate.

The day will start at 10am and will culminate with a performance of Apostle at 6pm in the early evening.

Further information is available from Mary, Ray or Phillipa (details from our Partnership Office). Please bring a packed lunch - tea/coffee refreshments will be available all day.

£5 participants charge to help defray expenses

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Consultation meetings - Toothill Thu 5 Oct 7:30pm
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Prisons Week - a week of prayer 8-14 October.

‘Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press onto take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me.’


Foreword by The Most Rev. and the Rt Hon. the Archbishop of Canterbury:

The Apostle Paul here speaks as someone who knows the pain of endurance and hopelessness. Tortured and beaten, in prison many times for his faith, he nonetheless spoke to fellow prisoners about the hope he had found in Jesus. He had started as offender, hurting and maiming others, but found forgiveness and new life in Jesus. Yet life did not magically grow easier; instead he had to learn to live with his past, and face an uncertain present of false accusations and persecution for his faith. He was someone kept alive by hope, who endured and persevered in the face of desperate circumstances.

What better inspiration for all those connected to the criminal justice system, than Paul's words? For the victims who struggle day by day to live with memories and scars, and hope for a better tomorrow; for the staff, who patiently come alongside broken men and women, and walk with them the slow road towards change; for prisoners themselves, trying to make sense of their lives, fighting against the scars and choices of the past and fear of the future; and for the families and friends of those in prison, faithfully visiting and supporting. Paul encourages all not to give up hope, but keep their eyes on the goal, keep going. Yet this isn't about making efforts and working harder. It is about recognising that in Jesus, God has already ‘taken hold’ of us. That victims, prisoners, staff and families, are not walking this road alone, but God, who loves them, is ready to walk with them. In Prison Week, we stand in prayer with all who carry on in hope, that they would know they are loved by God and have the faith and courage to press on towards new life.

More details, including prayer suggestions at

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Church Services in the Partnership.

St Mary’s, Lydiard Tregoze.

1 Oct10:00 amMorning Service followed by Baptisms
8 Oct10:00 amHoly Communion followed by Baptisms
15 Oct10:00 amFamily Service followed by Baptism
22 Oct10:30 amPartnership Communion at Toothill
29 Oct10:00 amMorning Service followed by Baptism

Holy Trinity Shaw.

1 Oct10:30 amMorning Service
8 Oct10:30 amAll Age Service
4.00 pmMessy Church
15 Oct10:30 amHoly Communion
7.00 pmEncounter
22 Oct10:30 amPartnership Service at Toothill
29 Oct10:30 amMorning Service
4.00 pmPartnership come together Women of the Bible
8:45am Morning Prayer on Fridays during term time


1 Oct10:00 amMorning Service
8 Oct10:00 amMorning Service
15 Oct10:00 amHoly Communion
22 Oct10:30 amPartnership Communion at Toothill

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1 Oct10:30 amAll Age Service
Wed 4 Oct11:30 amMidweek Worship
8 Oct10:30 amHoly Communion
Wed 11 Oct11:30 amMidweek Communion
15 Oct10:30 amHoly Communion
Wed 18 Oct11:30 amMidweek Worship
22 Oct10:30 amPartnership Communion
Wed 25 Oct11:30 amMidweek Communion
29 Oct10:30 amMorning Service

Partnership Communion

Toothill Church

Sunday 22 October 2017


Everyone is welcome

Partnership come together

Women of the Bible

Mary & Martha

Holy Trinity Church, Shaw

Sunday 29 October 2017


Everyone is welcome

this is an opportunity to Worship and Learn

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Letter from the Bishop of Swindon.

Rt Revd Lee Rayfield, asks whether the Church can learn anything from British cycling

At the residential of the College of Bishops, speakers alluded to a recent newspaper article on the importance of small incremental changes for an organisation. The primary example was British Cycling and the success it had found from this philosophy. Cycling is one of my particular passions, so I found myself wondering whether the idea was being slightly misunderstood and undersold.

The term used by Sir Dave Brailsford in his roles with British Cycling and Team Sky, the professional cycling team, is ‘marginal gains’. At one level, marginal gains is about making small, incremental changes which collectively add up to a significant move forward. However, the philosophy of applying marginal gains has been underpinned by a seismic change in the culture of Olympic and professional cycling.

This culture has emerged from great clarity about the goal, for Team Sky it has been winning the Tour de France, for British Cycling it has been Olympic medals. It has involved a laser-like focus on priorities, a huge investment of resources, a deep commitment to evidence-based decisions, a willingness to do things differently to how they have always been done, and the courage to make very hard decisions such as standing down proven medal winners in favour of emerging talent when the evidence was, or wasn't, there.

In the past year we have seen the shadow-side of the culture in British Cycling. One rider not selected for the Olympics brought a complaint of sexism and bullying. Most of the complaints were not upheld but a key figure did lose his job. A shadow has been cast over our first British winner of the Tour de France.

So what might this have to do with the Church of England and where we find ourselves at this time in our history, and in the history of the UK? Shall we just stick to looking to make small incremental changes in what we already do – or do we embrace what a philosophy of marginal gains entails?

Unlike winning the Tour de France or Olympic medals, having great clarity around the collective vision of the Church of England is not quite so easy to pin down in a sentence! However, without clarity we risk heading in different directions anticipating our energy and resources. Without a focus on a few priorities we can easily become overstretched, ineffective and demoralised.

Jesus was very clear about his priorities as evidenced from statements in the Gospels which begin “I was sent to” or “I have come to”. In the Diocese of Bristol, we have a vision of Connecting with God, each other, and our communities, and three priorities: Making Disciples, Growing Leaders, and Engaging Younger Generations. How each parish or chaplaincy endeavours to do this will be appropriate for each context - there is no one size fits all.

We may not have the resources of British Cycling Team Sky, but we have resources which simply do not appear on their radar. I continue to go back to Martin Percy's insight that the greatest problem facing the Church is coping with the abundance of God. May I encourage you to look at what British Cycling had to do to change its trajectory and prayerfully consider how these might translate to your parish in the light of our Diocesan vision and priorities.

Read Bishop Lee's full article at

Chaplaincy to the Swindon Law Courts.

Being the Link

Do you have a couple of hours to spare on a Monday, Wednesday or Friday morning?

Would you like to help provide free, independent and confidential support and help to all court users and court staff in Swindon Magistrates' Court and Swindon Combined Court?

We are in the process of setting up a Court Chaplaincy service and are looking for Volunteers to join us. Full training will be given.

We are also hoping to re-open the café in the Magistrates' Court serving tea, coffee, soft drinks, b iscuits, cake and pastries (not hot food).

If you are interested in finding out more, please contact: Martyn Cook

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An evening with Geraldine Latty and Paul Field. Friday 13 October.
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Science and Faith Get Messy.

Are science and faith complementary? For many of us embarrassed by the stand that some Christians take on Climate Change or Evolution the answer is probably ‘No’. As someone who never progressed beyond GCE Chemistry the issue of Science and Faith is not one I think about too much. I prefer Art, Drama or even the great outdoors to assist me in thinking about my faith in a deeper way.

Fortunately Messy Church Does Science has reminded me that science and faith can come together to explore how God is at work in our world. Their new project is up and running and we have been fortunate to be part of it. Five of us from West Swindon including 3 teenagers who help out at Messy Church went to a launch event at the Ernest Rutherford Laboratories on the Oxford Harwell Campus.

We took part in experiments covering Biology, Chemistry and Physics all designed to explore Creation and why things happen as they do. We also met other Messy church families, leaders and the person behind ‘Messy Church does Science’ Dr. Dave Gregory a Baptist Minister and meteorologist. His project aims to provide Messy Churches with 100 safe and simple scientific activities to try in Church and to demonstrate that anyone can get involved in science.

Our aim is to have a science based activity in our Messy church session, a challenge for those less scientifically minded and a learning challenge for us all. And let's not leave it there but all think about how science helps us to know and serve God better. for more info and testimonies from young scientists

Mary Poole

Messy Church does Science.
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Holy Habits - A call to Discipleship.
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Advance Notices

Parenting Teenagers

Thursday 16 November

Citifaith International Church, SN1 1JL

Do you feel like your teenager has become a different person overnight? Well there is hardly a mum or dad around who, at times, is not overawed by the task of parenting teenagers. Join Rob Parsons and Katharine Hill as they explore some of the hot topics for parenting.

To book call 029 2081 0800 or visit:

Toothill Church does Strictly Come Dancing

Saturday 18th November

From 2.00pm – 4.00pm in Toothill Church.

Come and dance or just listen to a selection of music and songs from all decades. Tea/ Coffee and Biscuits 50p - Glitter ball and prize to be won.

Contact Debbie for further information.

Handel's Messiah - Come and sing

Conductor Brian Kay

Saturday 18 November

St Sampson's Church, Cricklade

Singers at 1pm - £15 per person

Audience at 7pm - £10 per person

For full details and enrolment

Contact Elizabeth Robertson

Walking the Way

Saturday 27 January 2018

Emmanuel United Reformed Church

Time: 10am – 4pm

The day will be led by David Lawrence, Imagine Church Life Consultant in the South West. David works for the London Institute for Contemporary Christianity, and will be helping us to focus on the URC programme, Walking the Way, and what it means to be a disciple of Jesus today

Ignite! Youth Services

Kevin Magner is starting a worship evening for young people in order to give them a space tailored specifically for them.

Encouraging young people to explore and develop their Christian Faith in a way that makes sense in 2017.

Anyone is welcome but the focus is on young people.

The first one will be on the 8th October at St Mary's Church, Purton the next one is on the 5th November at Royal Wootton Bassett Methodist Church both led by the youth group ‘Rhythms of Grace’ and both starting at 6pm.

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Thank You.

Bishop Mike and Anthea Hill have written the following thanks following the farewell service at Bristol Cathedral:

A huge ‘thank you’ to all those who came to the Cathedral on Saturday afternoon for the amazing farewell service to mark the end of my ministry in Bristol. I could not have been more happy with this final opportunity to worship with you in our great cathedral.

A special word of thanks also to the many people who have written cards and letters in these recent times to wish us well as we approach my retirement. Thank you too for the wonderful digital radio, flowers, and the beautiful book of photographs that were handed to us as well as a very generous cheque with which we shall purchase something to remember you all by.

Our 14 years in Bristol have been very happy times. It has been a deep and humbling privilege to serve this wonderful Diocese and I am so grateful to God, as I am to all of you, for the privilege of being your Bishop and fellow disciple. You have been amazingly patient and forgiving to me for which I am truly thankful. We shall be praying for the appointment of my successor as well as the ongoing life and vitality of the Diocese.

‘I pray that out of His glorious riches He may strengthen you with power through His Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith…’

May God bless you all and thank you for everything.

Mike and Anthea

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From the Registers.

20 August 2017Callista Naya Odeibea Abutiate
3 September 2017Isla Louisa Ann Maher
3 September 2017Elissa Johnston
24 September 2017Emma Elizabeth Frak
24 September 2017Eric Manfield
2 September 2017Jamie Christopher Fyfe McCaskie and Katie-Marie Anderson
6 September 2017Mrs Iris Mary Scott
28 September 2017Stephen Leslie Parish


the nation of Lebanon, that barriers of hostility will continue to be broken down and that peace will reign

Week beginning 01.10.17 - Swindon Community Church meeting at Bridlewood School

Week beginning 8.10.17 - Kingdom House Ministries meeting at Red house community Centre

Week beginning 15.10.17 - St Andrews Anglican Blunsdon

Week beginning 22.10.17 - United Apostolic Church meeting at Christ the Servant Abbey Meads

Week beginning 29.10.17 - The church of Christ the Servant Abbey Meads

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Contact information.

The Partnership office is open:

Monday, Tuesday, Friday 9am to 1pm.

Wednesday 1:00 to 4:00 pm.

Thursday Closed.

The office number is 01793 874221.

There will always be an up to date message on the Partnership Office telephone giving any changes.

The office e-mail is:

To publicise any News or Events in the next edition of Partnership News, covering November please send them to the office no later than 18 October.

The address for correspondence is:

The Partnership Office, Holy Trinity Church, Shaw Village Centre, SWINDON, SN5 5PY.

The editor’s email address is also

The Partnership web site is

Partnership Team Minister; Interim Area Dean: Revd Capt Clive Deverell

Email: Clive Tel: 01793 877111

(Anglican Priest and Authorised to Serve in the Methodist and the URC Church)

Assistant Minister: Rev Trevor Day

Email Trevor Tel: 01793 875373

Mobile: 07918 125826

(Anglican Priest)

Partnership Youth Worker: Claire Camm

Email Claire Tel: 07981 951381

Partnership Primary Age Schools Worker: Gayle Bryon

Email Gayle

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Previous Newsletters.

In Partnership, September 2017; The Partnership Newsletter PDF format (20 A5 pages across 5 A4 sheets - 1.4 Mb)

In Partnership, July/August 2017; The Partnership Newsletter PDF format (20 A5 pages across 5 A4 sheets - 2 Mb)

In Partnership, June 2017; The Partnership Newsletter PDF format (20 A5 pages across 5 A4 sheets - 3 Mb)

In Partnership, May 2017; The Partnership Newsletter PDF format (28 A5 pages across 7 A4 sheets - 2.9 Mb)

In Partnership, April 2017; The Partnership Newsletter PDF format (28 A5 pages across 7 A4 sheets - 2.6 Mb)

In Partnership, March 2017; The Partnership Newsletter PDF format (24 A5 pages across 6 A4 sheets - 3.8 Mb)

In Partnership, February 2017; The Partnership Newsletter PDF format (16 A5 pages across 4 A4 sheets - 1.2 Mb)

In Partnership, January 2017; The Partnership Newsletter PDF format (20 A5 pages across 5 A4 sheets - 2.1 Mb)

2016: Old News - the 2016 PN archive.

2015: Really Old News - the 2015 PN archive.

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