The Church is part of a United Parish with St Perter's Freshford, and St Mary's Limpley Stoke. More information on the Parish is contained on the Parish web site http://flshc.co.uk/ The Church has a seating capacity for about 160 people and is set in a beautiful well maintained churchyard on the outskirts of the village. The tower contains a carillon of three bells There is a space set apart towards the back of the Church for small children to occupy themselves during  the services and for providing refreshments. There is a toilet and good disabled access. The History of this charming church is contained elsewhere in this site. OFFICERS  Church Warden E Wordsworth Secretary                      Vacant Treasurer                      Jo Helps
ST JOHN’S CHURCH
NEWSLETTERS
FRIENDS OF ST JOHN   .
SERVICE TIMES IN THE PARISH
PARISH LINK WITH ZAMBIA - THE STORY SO FAR   News from Solwezi, Zambia            Bronson Chiofu, who visited us last October with Father Kashimototwo others of the congregation, writes  that they are praying for peace and calm in Burundi. Some members of their congregation come from  Burundi and so have concerns about friends and family.  There is a refugee camp in the parish for  people who had to escape the Rwandan genocide. Those people are now about to be accepted as  Zambian citizens so it seems sad that events once again in the area close to Zambia are looking troubled  once more. Their harvest is over for the year and it is now winter, perhaps not as we know though.  Bronson and others who work shifts at the mines find it cold on the night shift but the days continue to  be warm and sunny.   The parish have been praying for our parish in our time of change and are aware that interviews are  being held. Bronson says that in January every year the Bishop transfers priests from one parish to  another so it sounds as if the parishioners do not have as much choice as we have.
LICENSING SERVICE Mike and Lindy The Rev Mike Taylor wias formally Licensed to serve as our Priest-in-charge by the Bishop of Bath and Wells at a special service on Thursday 17 March 2016 in St Peter’s Church. This was followed by a reception in Freshford Village Memorial Hall. We all warmly welcome them both and their family
For more information on the link with the parish in ZAMBIA click here
This is an organisation that exists with the objective of bringing together all those in the local community who have an interest in maintaining this ancient Church and wish to help in raising money for this purpose. The Committee that runs it  is a sub- committee to the Main Church Committee and its chariman, Elizabeth Wordsworth, is appointed by it.  The Friend's Committee runs its own programmne of events (see diary of events) and decides how the money raised is to be used.  Any projects proposed must be agreed by the Main Church Committee. On 23 April the local band FIREFLY staged a concert of songs and music that had us dancing in the aisles! On 19th November a coffee morning with Bring and Buy raised upwards of £300 .
All services are taken by Revd Mike Taylor unles specified otherwise
MAY I   don’t   think   I   have   ever   had   so   many   weddings   in   my   life   to   do   in   one   place   as   I   have   now   starting   this   month of May and all the way through to December 28 th . We   are   now   up   to   14   weddings   and   I   just   love   it   that   couples   are   still   wanting   to   cement   their   relationship   and   love through   marriage.   We   live   in   an   age   where   things   are   constructed   with   a   ‘sell   by’   date   –   no   matter   how   new   your   PC   is now,   in   six   months   it   will   be   out   of   date! Your   car   will   need   replacing;   your TV   is   no   longer   the   latest   one.   My   prayer   for each   of   these   28   young   men   and   women   will   be   that   their   marriages   will   be   for   life   and   not   part   of   the   statistics   of   our throwaway   society.   I   know   people   make   mistakes   and   things   go   wrong   but   I   recognise   that   each   couple   I   have married   have   intended   to   spend   the   rest   of   their   lives   together   and   I   just   love   that   sense   of   commitment   expressed   in Marriage. I   have   heard   a   lot   of   times   recently   that   apparently   we   live   in   a   ‘Post-Truth’   age   now!   What   a   crazy   idea,   that   how   you feel   is   more   important   that   what   is   actually   true!   I   think   that   the   idea   of   ‘Post-Truth’   is   just   nonsense.   Maybe   it   has come   about   because   we   can’t   any   longer   believe   what   we   see   in   the   media   at   times,   or   what   the   Pollsters   say   will happen   in   an   election   or   areferendum,   but   surely,   just   logically,   ‘Post-Truth’   cannot   be   more   than   a   wacky   idea invented    to    give            excuse    for    people    to    believe    what    they    want!    If    you    stick    your    naked    hand    in    a    fire    (not recommended) you will burn your hand – it is not a matter of opinion it is the truth. We   are   now   between   the   Christian   festival   of   Easter   and   the   festival   of   Pentecost,   where   the   Holy   Spirit   of   God   was poured   out   on   the   believers,   in   Jerusalem,   giving   them   courage   and   power   to   leave   their   safety   and   go   out   to   tell   the world the ultimate, overarching, true story of God’s rescue plan for us all. Much   is   not   certain   any   more,   but   the   message   of   the   Christian   Gospel   has   never   changed.   We   should   deliver   it   in new   ways   that   connect   to   people   today   and   express   our   love   and   genuine   concern   for   community   and   society,   but   the basic truth of our message never changes. Jesus is alive! APRIL Easter   is   fast   approaching   and   during   this   month   we   will   celebrate   this   great   festival   of   the   church.   It   is interesting   that   almost   every   culture   apart   from   our   own   uses   a   derivative   of   Paschal   to   refer   to   Easter   including Welsh   Pasg!   So   why   do   we   refer   to   this   festival   as   Easter?   There   are   of   course   many,   many   explanations   most   of which   center   around   the   name   of   an   ancient   goddess   Eostre,   who   is   celebrated   as   the   sun   rises.   Many   ancient religious   practices   were   drawn   into   Christianity,   as   were   ancient   worship   sites.   They   were   Christianised   and   are   used still   today,   the   Hot   Cross   Bun   for   instance,   without   the   cross   it   was   an   offering   to   an   ancient   Babylonian   goddess   but with the cross a reminder of the Sacrifice of Jesus on Good Friday. Others   now   believe   that   the   word   Easter   derives   from   an   Old   Saxon   (German)   word,   meaning   resurrection   or   simply 'East'.   Obviously   the   sun   rises   in   the   East   and   some   churches   will   begin   their   celebrations   on   the   16th April   at   Sunrise! I   am   guessing   that   the   ancients   believed   Israel   was   in   the   East,   now   known   as   the   Middle   East.   If   Israel   was   the   East, then   the   resurrection   of   Christ   was   in   the   East   the   same   direction   as   the   rising   of   the   Sun,   though   to   us   the   rising   of the   Son.   Most   older   churches   are   built   facing   west   to   East   with   the   main   altar   or   communion   table   at   the   East   end where   the   Holy   Communion   is   prepared.   Looking   East   as   we   wait   the   return   of   Christ.   In Acts   Chapter   1   we   were   told he   would   come   back   the   same   way   as   he   went,   caught   up   into   the   clouds,   so   we   look   up   and   out   to   see   his   return. Most graves are dug East to West and interestingly a priest grave is the other way around! So   much   is   now   lost   to   us   through   ancient   History   and   practices   but   I   rather   like   the   thought   that   our   Easter   is   about the   rising   of   the   Sun/Son.   Interestingly   the   word   used   by   most   countries   is   more   akin   to   the   Jewish   Passover   than   any Christian   festival!   So   controversial   as   the   name   may   be   it   seems   best   if   we   stick   with   the   name   Easter.   Many   today would   have   us   forget   the   purpose   of   the   Easter   celebrations   and   to   call   it   Spring   bank   holiday,   marking   a   huge   return to   a   more   ancient   time,   before   Christ,   when   the   changes   of   the   seasons   and   the   coming   of   Spring,   the   coming   of   this season   marked   the   beginning   of   the   fertile   part   of   the   year   and   so   was   widely   celebrated.   If   the   word   derives   from   the name   of   an   ancient   goddess   then   perhaps   we   might   feel   like   we   are   devolving   back   to   paganism,   but   is   that   where   we want   to   be?   The   resurrection   of   Jesus   marked   a   turning   point   for   all   people   of   every   race.   His   resurrection   was   proof to   the   disciples   that   everything   he   said   was   true.   Who   else   could   conquer   death   than   God   himself?   So   if   this   ratified their belief what did he say? Jesus   told   us   that   God   was   our   Father   in   Heaven   and   closer   than   we   had   ever   dared   hope   for. That   he   did   not   require of   us   sacrifices   of   things   or   of   our   own   lives   to   servitude   and   religiosity   but   simply   wanted   us   to   know   him   as   Father and   to   enter   into   a   new   relationship   with   the   Father,   more   like   the   living   room   thank   the   courtroom.   We   are   not   on   trial we   are   being   offered   life   in   all   it's   fullness. The   choice   is   ours,   do   we   live   without   the   offer   of   relationship,   and   hope   we can   convince   God   in   the   courtroom   of   Heaven   (if   we   even   believe   in   Heaven)   or   do   we   accept   the   life   on   offer   and become   his   son   or   daughter?   It   is   a   simple   matter   of   choice!   Life   without   this   relationship   is   as   best   insecure,   as   we   try and   find   true   purpose,   happiness,   fulfillment   and   security   in   what   we   do   and   become.   In   the   hopes   that   this   will   be noticed and give us the comfort of a 'good life' with no lasting purpose beyond our own death. For   me   and   many   Christians   this   year   and   every   year   Easter   is   a   chance   of   reminding   ourselves   of   how   this   new relationship   was   purchased   for   us   and   to   enjoy   it   again   as   we   renew   our   commitment   to   make   the   relationship   with God real and lasting.
St Peter’s Freshford St Mayy’s Limpley Stoke St John’s Hinton Charterhouse
The Parish of Freshford, Limpley Stoke and Hinton Charterhouse
Sunday Club At the Old Bakery, Freshford @ 4.00pm 1st and 3rd Sunday of the month Starting after half-term on Sunday 5th March Ages 5-14 All welcome Please email lindytaylors@gmail.com or phone 01225 723570
More information on the plans for Children and Families is contained on the Parish Web site http://flshc.co.uk/  
APRIL
30th Sunday Easter 3 10.30am St Mary’s Parish Communion 4.00pm Old Bakery Sunday Club Lindy Taylor
Children’s Activities and Services over Easter There   will   be   a   Messy   Easter   Communion   and   Easter   Egg   Hunt   at   5pm   on   Easter   Day   Sunday   April   16th   at   St   John’s Church, Hinton Charterhouse. An   art   trail   -   there   will   be   a   set   of   14   posters   of   the   Stations   of   the   Cross   in   strategic   locations   around   the   parish.   I challenge   children   and   adults   to   spot   or   photograph   them   all.      Send   me   the   locations   and   a   prize   will   be   given   at Messy Church during the service at 5pm on Easter Day. Easter   Craft   Morning   -   A   number   of   craft   activities   and   some   creative   prayer   will   be   available   on   Easter   Saturday   on April 15th at the Old Bakery from 10am-12noon. Come and join us. Children’s Work in February/March Pancake   Party   -   Shrove   Tuesday   on   February   28th   saw   families   with   children   ranging   from   14months   to   14   years flipping,   tossing,   making   and   of   course   eating   at   the   Big   Pancake   Party.   All   donations   went   to   “feed   the   hungry”   which is   run   by   the   Together   Network   and   Church   Urban   Fund.   There   was   “guess   the   number   of   pancakes   in   the   jar”   and   a competition   of   who   could   make   and   eat   the   most   revolting   pancake   filler!   Lots   of   laughter   and   fun   was   had   over   the course of the evening. Lots of pancakes made, enjoyed and eaten. Messy   Church   -   Messy   Church   on   Sunday   February   26th   saw   Hugo   and   his   sister   Birdie   baptised   at   Messy   Church Baptism,   which   is   always   an   enjoyable   occasion   as   it’s   such   a   joy   to   welcome   a   new   family   into   the   Messy   Church community. Sunday   Clubs   -   Sunday   March   5th   4pm   saw   our   first   Sunday   Club.   We   looked   at   Matthew   28:20   “I   am   with   you always”.   2   Kings   18   to   20   saw   Hezekiah   never   being   alone   despite   getting   things   wrong   at   times.   The   aim   of   thesession using   games,   prayer   and   reading   the   bible   was   for   the   children   to   understand   that   God   is   always   with   them   and   to explore   the   presence   of   God.   Fun   and   laughter   is   the   most   important   ingredient   to   these   evenings.   The   next   sessions are on 2nd and 23rd April at the Old Bakery at 4pm. Hope to see you there!
WEDDINGS Because   of   its   picturesque   setting   and   good   facilities   the   church   is   a   popular   venue   for   weddings.   The   current   fees   and charges   (2017)   are:   Statutory   fees   £466,   Organist   £80,   Bells   £40,   Pew   candles   £30,   Heating   (if   required)   £50.   These   are reviewed   annually.   Any   enquiries   to   the   Parish   Administrator   01225   720347.   The   nearby   Homeward   Park   Hotel   can provide a vene for receptions.
7th Sunday Easter 4 10.30am St John’s Parish Communion 4.00pm Old Bakery Sunday Club Lindy Taylor 6.00pm Old Bakery Evening Worship 14th Sunday Easter 5 9.00am St Mary’s Parish Communion 10.30am St Peter’s Morning Worship 21st Sunday Easter 6 10.30am St Peter’s Parish Communion 4.00pm Old Bakery Sunday Club Lindy Taylor 6.00pm St Mary’s Evening Service 28th Sunday Easter 7 10.30am St John’s Morning Worship 4.00pm St Mary’s Messy Church @ 4 Revd. Mike Taylor & Lindy Taylor
MAY