Riversmeet Benefice

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Services are now following the usual pattern in our churches. The readings for each Sunday are listed with a link.

Here is the recording for Sunday, 7th August Holy Communion service at Roxton:  https://youtu.be/MROM0y2Yqx8
Here is the recording of the Installation of Revd Graham as Rector of the Benefice:  https://youtu.be/i6pDbip1CbA

July 2022

Every Wednesday

Gt Barford - 11am Said Holy Communion (Please note time change)

Sunday, 7th August (Trinity 8)

Blunham - 11am Morning Prayer

Gt Barford - 9.30am Holy Communion

Roxton - 11am Holy Communion

Tempsford - no service

Genesis 15:1-6

Hebrews 11:1-3, 8-16

Luke 12:32-40

Tuesday, 9th August

Blunham - 2.30pm Mothers' Union service - all welcome

Sunday, 14th August (Trinity 9)

Blunham - 9.30am Holy Communion

Gt Barford - 9.30am Morning Prayer

 Roxton -  11am Family Service

Tempsford - 11am Holy Communion

Jeremiah 23:23-29

Luke 12:49-56

Sunday, 21st August (Trinity 10)

Blunham - 11am Cafe Church  

Gt Barford - 11am Holy Communion

Roxton - 9.30am Holy Communion

Tempsford - no service

Isaiah 58:9b=14

Hebrews 12:18-29

Luke 13:10-17

Sunday, 28th August (Trinity 11)

Blunham - 11am Holy Communion

Gt Barford - 11am Family Service

Roxton - 11am Morning Prayer

Tempsford - 9.30am Holy Communion

Proverbs 25:6-7

Hebrews 13:1-8, 15-16

Luke 14:1, 7-14


If you know of anyone who does not have access to the internet, please tell them about this free phone line:

The national church Daily Hope phone line

This free national phone line was launched on Sunday, 26th  April and is aimed particularly at the over 75s who do not have access to the internet.  The line is available 24 hours a day on 0800 804 8044.  This is a simple way to bring worship and prayer into people’s homes while church buildings are closed. Callers will hear a special greeting from the Archbishop of Canterbury before choosing from a range of options, including ‘Prayer During the Day’, ‘Night Prayer’ and a recording of the Church of England’s weekly national online service. A section called Hymn Line will also offer a small selection of hymns, updated daily. 


Please contact Revd Graham Buckle regarding baptisms, weddings and funerals. His email address is: dovecote10@btinternet.com.


Here is this week's message from Revd Graham:

You may or may not have noticed that for the last three and a half years or so, I have been your Priest-in-Charge! I am still your Priest but with a different title - I am now the Rector of all four churches in the parishes of Blunham, Great Barford, Roxton and Tempsford with Little Barford. I am frequently reminded that it also includes the civil parishes of Chawston, Colesden and Wyboston. On Sunday our Archdeacon, The Venerable David Middlebrook, conducted the ceremony to install me as Rector. It was well attended and we were able to enjoy prosecco, sandwiches and cake in the Rectory garden afterwards.

So my message this week is to give thanks for the past years: for your support, encouragement and help as we move forward together as a benefice. Archdeacon Dave, as he likes to be known, preached about the church we find in the book of Acts of the Apostles and how they came together and shared all they have with one another; how they supported and loved one another. Some people consider the church to be boring and out of touch with life. What we hope to do the coming years is to build relationships with our communities: with our schools, with other organisations in our parishes and of course with individuals.

Yes, we offer worship to our God in traditional ways, but we are also finding new ways to come together and offer praise to God: Family Services, Messy Church, Café Church and in September Wild Church in Great Barford (look out for the publicity in Riversmeet Recorder!) Perhaps you are not sure of what these are, so I say to you, come and find out! We are open and welcoming to everyone, and we nearly always have refreshments available. I look forward to welcoming you into our churches and in other places in our parishes.

With Christian love and blessings.

Revd Graham

We have some beautiful sunflowers in the Rectory garden this year - and a number of them are taller than me! I used to grow sunflowers as a child, to see how tall I could get one to grow. With the right support, usually a bamboo cane, I could get them to grow much taller than me. Did you know that the petals are sometimes called “rays” – I can’t think why! Their bright colour and ability to reach towards the sun make them popular summer flowers – all bright and cheery. They are also grown for their seeds and oil, making popular oils for cooking and skin treatments; they have so many attributes.

I love the idea that they reach towards the sun, using its energy to thrive and grow into something beautiful and resourceful. Humankind can learn many things from such an example as the sunflower. Firstly to thrive and survive by reaching out to our creator God, and by living the way that he wanted us to live when we were created, before we decided to live the way we wanted. Secondly, to use our gifts and talents to help and support other people.

If we follow this example we can all becomes “rays” which radiate out to into the communities in which we live; supporting each other with the talents and abilities we have been entrusted with by our creator! We all have the ability to become “sunflowers”, to bring joy and happiness with a smile and support and comfort, and with our many characteristics and talents. I look forward to meeting an abundance of “sunflowers” as I travel around the parishes!

With Christian love and blessings,

Revd Graham

Well, they did forecast it, and now it is here! How are you coping with the scorching hot temperatures? We do like our summers to be hot, but sometimes it goes a little too far for most people. We do seem to have more extreme weather conditions than we used to in my younger days! The swing in temperatures reminds me of the journey the people of Israel took, as recorded in the Old Testament. As well as their travelling, they went on a journey with God: swinging between loving him and obeying his commands to disobedience and making their own gods to worship. They seemed to find it very difficult to stay on a particular path without straying to and fro onto other ways and roads when they came to junctions on their journey.

There is nothing worse than receiving confusing messages from someone, so you can imagine why God was frustrated by the Israelites’ behaviour; they really couldn’t decide what they wanted. As soon as things got a little tough they veered away from God’s path, they couldn’t cope with the times of difficulty. As we journey on the path which is life, we will in certainly experience times that prove difficult. How we come through those times often shapes who we are in the future: how we approach problems. I have known people who reject God as soon as times get tough in their life of faith. I would suggest that those are the times when we should lean even more onto the strength of God, rather than reject him because things are tough.

I hope that as we go through these times of toughness, we are able to keep hold of our faith and not lose it because things are perhaps not going our way. If you are finding life difficult at the moment, I am always willing to talk to you and listen: just as God did for the Israelites!

With Christian love and blessings.

Revd Graham

It looks like summer is here! Scorching hot temperatures for the next few days - probably until the children break up from school for their summer holidays, and then it will become wet and changeable! I can recall my summer holidays from my school days, they were wonderful times with many adventures with my friends; some I really shouldn’t own up to as your priest! But they were great times: fishing and playing, sometimes going to work with my father, who worked long hours on the land during harvest time. As I got older I was able to work on the same farm: picking up potatoes and stacking bales of straw (they were small bales in those days, not the big round bales we see today!) And I also learned to drive a tractor – an old Ferguson 35 and if I was fortunate a Massey Ferguson 135 or 165!

In these current days of health and safety, that would not be allowed to happen! However it taught me a great deal, and I look back with great fondness on those days spent in the fields during the summer months. It also earned me some pocket money with which I bought my first record player.

I’m sure most of us can look back at our childhood memories with fondness. I want you to think about those children, some in our communities, who cannot, and won’t be able to in the future recall such wonderful times from their early years. There are many in poverty, through no fault of their own, whose families struggle on a daily basis to live and have enough nourishment to live to a reasonable standard. I hope that in our love and generosity we might be able to give to the charities that attempt to support these families in their current need.

With Christian love and blessings.

Revd Graham

Over the last couple of days I have been very fortunate to experience a number of things that have been a joy to watch! A father and son green woodpecker pairing on the rectory lawn, dad appearing to feed the young one. In a field close by I watched for a number of minutes a fox searching around in the newly cut grass. I have always counted myself fortunate to experience the wonders of God’s creation in this way – right here in the Rectory garden and in the surrounding countryside.

We are very blessed to be surrounded by such beauty, but it turns my thoughts to those who are now surrounded by such destruction in Ukraine. We cannot imagine what it is like for them to be in the midst of broken down buildings, bombed to destruction where once stood places of work, shops and factories; and perhaps above all homes where once there was love and family life, something that seemed so ordinary. Yet now it has been taken away it wasn’t so straightforward after all – they were places of safety and security that no longer exist. I was reminded of this as the news broke of the devastation in Bedford with the gas explosion.

We should give thanks for what we have, not only in terms of our possessions and the homes we can live in peaceably, but also the love we can feel around us from family and friends.

Please keep in mind and offer your prayers for families that have lost their homes, lost their places of work and for the families that have been torn apart by the ravages of the war that has beset Ukraine. I ask also that you think of those in all areas of the world where there is conflict and tension.

With Christian love and blessings.

Revd Graham

There are many things that for a parish priest bring humour and laughter, as well as the serious solemn occasions and moments. One of the duties that brings a lightness to the things I do are services of baptism. Whilst these are serious in nature, baptising into the family of God, very often there are moments of joy and laughter; usually triggered by the child to be baptised or the children attending with their families, the lighting of candles or the water itself! I always consider this as a privilege; to be at the first footsteps of what we hope is to be a journey into a life of faith. As part of the service the child’s forehead is marked with the sign of the cross, a symbol of Jesus’ sacrifice for each and every one of us.

Another step along that journey, is Confirmation; a ceremony that expresses the desire to continue in the faith of God, and to commit to following God’s ways and calling in the Church of England. Again, this is an important step along the journey, as the commitment to follow God’s way of life is never an easy one. In our humanness we find it difficult to obey what God requires of us – other things get in the way! We must always try our best to be a good disciple; the best that we can be.

This week we have a service of Confirmation, when four people from Great Barford will be confirmed by the Bishop of Bedford. We hope and pray that their lives will reflect the love of God as they continue to grow into the Christian Faith. That faith will bring light and joy into their lives, as well as the serious moments. We wish them all well as they take this important step.

With Christian love and blessings.

Revd Graham

On these warm summer days, I like nothing better than to wander into the garden with my camera. The detailed and delicate construction of flowers and insects fascinates me, and to capture some of that detail with a camera is rewarding to say the least; as some of you who are amateur photographers just like me will testify!

As I focus and shoot, I am in awe of all creation; the colours, the shapes and patterns that make up the flowers and insects, birds and animals. I feel privileged to have such a large garden in which so many wonderful things prosper. On these warm summer days when we huff and puff in the heat because, “It’s too hot…!” creation continues to work away for our benefit. The bees in the picture were scurrying to and fro between the flowers to gather the pollen.

I am reminded of that verse in Genesis that says, “As long as the earth endures,

seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night, shall not cease.”

We are promised by God that our seasons will continue while the world remains and the resources will be there for us to feed us and shelter us. All this is dependent on us playing our part, by replanting what we use, restoring what we take and preserving what cannot be replaced. In our greed over the years, we have not done that, and we haven’t been fair in sharing out what it does give us. If we are to preserve it for future generations we must heed the warnings we have been given by our scientists and do what we can to consider those who come after us: our children, our children’s children…

May we have the courage to be less selfish and consider others, both now and in the future.

With Christian love and blessings,

Revd Graham