WELCOME TO THE RIVERSMEET BENEFICE

 

Riversmeet Benefice

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We are now able to hold services in our churches. In August, there will be one service each week at 10.30am.


There will be social distancing,  hand sanitiser available, a one-way system, the bread will be received standing up and the priest will take the wine on behalf of everyone. There will be music, but no singing. Please arrive in good time so that social distancing can be maintained as people are seated. As from 9th August, face coverings should be worn except by people speaking in the service or those exempt.


There will be two Zoom services, on 9th and 26th August, at 5pm.


Here is the link for Sunday's recorded service:   Riversmeet Benefice Trinity Eight 2nd August 2020


August 2nd

10.30am Gt Barford - Holy Communion


August 9th

10.30am Roxton - Holy Communion

5pm - Zoom service


August 16th

10.30am Blunham - Open Air Café Communion in the churchyard, followed by Ploughman's lunch


August 23rd 

10.30am Tempsford - Holy Communion

5pm - Zoom service


August 30th

10.30am Blunham - Morning Prayer

  

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.

 

 

Messages from Revd Graham


It is difficult to believe that this is my message number twenty in the coronavirus pandemic, but it is, and although we are gradually seeing some freedom returning to our lives, there are still some areas that are under strict rules and guidelines. I am concerned that if the government carries out the latest threat of locking down those over 50 years of age that the country will grind to a complete halt. Apparently there are 25 million of us that fall into that category, and I can imagine that will close down most shops, restaurants, and every other amenity.

This has led me on to thinking about the freedoms we have enjoyed in the past, before pandemic, and relative to the law we could do most things. Lock down has sharply brought into focus how fragile life is, and that we are on this earth for a short span. That all sounds a bit morbid!

We still have an enormous amount of freedom, to go and to do, within reason, what we like. There is a prayer I sometimes use that calls upon us to use our time on this earth wisely, constructively and for the good of others. I cannot think of a better way to use the freedom we have than in the service of others. I was watching an interview the other day that related to the 150th anniversary of The Red Cross. The lady was a volunteer for that organisation; she is a mother of three, holds down a full time job, but still manages to give some hours each week to that wonderful charity. In the current situation she has been helping by distributing meals to the vulnerable and with acts of service. Time is precious, but using it to serve others in this kind of way is admirable. Jesus said, “No one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” By serving others we are doing just that, laying aside some time to serve our neighbour! God bless you as use your time wisely and productively!


Revd Graham


As I look out of the study window, I am privileged to be watching a spotted flycatcher perching on the pole that holds the birdfeeder, and then suddenly swooping down to catch a fly for its supper! Once caught, it then returns to the pole proudly holding the prey in its beak. This appears to happen several times in quick succession, and then there will be a lull in activity, and the whole process is then repeated! There seems to be a family of them, and fledgling copies the parent in going out to catch its food.

I can remember in my younger days, going to visit an aunt who had a wonderful book called the “Circle of Life”, I think the pictures were photographs of paintings of birds, animals and plants and flowers. Within its pages it explained how each creature and plant relies on the others around it, whether for food or shelter.

All this reminds me of the promises God has made to us. When Adam was in the Garden of Eden, God provided for him. We have creation all around us to feed us and give us shelter, which in the late summer/autumn we celebrate in our Harvest Festivals. In the New Testament, Jesus reminded his hearers that God knows when a sparrow falls, and that the lilies of field ‘they neither toil nor spin yet your heavenly Father provides for them’. That same passage continues on as Jesus urges his disciples to seek the 

Kingdom of God, and he will provide for our spiritual needs too.

It’s not always easy to trust in something we cannot see or struggle to understand, but God never breaks his promises, just like the rainbow we see in the sky and the promise of seedtime and harvest always happening. God loves and cares for us, and he will provide for us, for all our needs he will provide. God bless you as we continue to cope with the pandemic and restrictions we face on a daily basis.


Revd Graham



Coming from an engineering background and still in touch with industry through my former colleagues, I am aware how much manufacturing has played its part in keeping the country going through this pandemic. It’s easy to forget the part that it plays; the production of masks, screens, visors, containers for sanitizer, disinfectants, boxes for packing, the list is endless. We don’t always appreciate that all these things need to come together in order to keep shops supplied, PPE to our hospitals and surgeries and so on.

As we think and pray for our front line workers we must remember all those in the background who are in the supply chain. It all comes together to make sure that everything runs smoothly.

In the New Testament, the letters of Paul speak of the gifts we have that have been given to us by God, relating to our faith, and that we are to use those gifts for the furtherance of God’s kingdom. We can do that by using the same gifts to serve our communities. Not all people are good at the practical things of life, but may be good at organizing. We all have God-given talents that are useful in some way or another. Sometimes we don’t recognise them as gifts, but they are things we are good at and that is a gift from God. Like most things, we need to practise the gifts we have or we might forget how to use them! Like the sports men and women that have been getting back to their sports, they have been a bit rusty with their skills, but the more they are used the better they get! When it all comes together it works well!

I hope that as we continue to move through this pandemic, we will continue to practise our God-given gifts, for the good of those around us, friends, families, neighbours and the communities in which we live.


Revd Graham



Today is St Swithun’s Day, (if you are reading this on the 15th July!), and walking back from fetching the paper there were one or two spots of rain in the air! Does that mean it’s going to rain for the next forty days? The story of St Swithun is that he asked to buried in a particular way in the grounds of Winchester Cathedral where he was bishop, so that people would walk across his grave, and the rain would make it wet. However when the new cathedral was built, his ashes were moved inside into a shrine. Despite warnings that if his body was moved inside it would bring terrible storms, on the day he was moved it rained, and forty days thereafter. Hence the day is now associated with forty days of whatever happens with the weather on that day. So if it rains, it rains for forty days, if the sun is shining, forty days of sunshine! I haven’t checked the meteorological history to see whether the theory holds up!

All through history, there have been myths and legends, old wives tales that pop into conversations as if they are true, and our lives are governed by them. Sometimes it’s difficult to determine the truth from the fiction! We also get fed a lot of fake news these days; social media is a quick sure-fire way to spread any news, good and bad. As we pick our way through the news we read to work out if it’s true or not, there is something that is guaranteed to be truth – the Bible. We have a God who is full of grace and truth, a loving God who cares for us all. There is no fiction, no misleading words or myths. The Bible is a manual to live our lives by, to fulfil all of our needs, and show us the way. Take heed of the words contained within its pages. May you find blessings as you read the word of God.


Revd Graham


Sitting on the side in the Rectory kitchen is one of those calendars that has little sayings and words of wisdom! The other day I noticed this saying by Tehyi Hsieh, “Life is partly what we make it, and partly what it is made by the friends we choose.” It set me thinking about life and what this might mean for us. Of course there is that other saying, “You can choose your friends but not your relations”! I’d rather think about the Tehyi Hsieh quote!

Life is what we make of it, we all have lots of choices to make as we travel along life’s journey, and it’s those choices we make that determine the route we take. Choices such as our career path, which may take us to different parts of the world, meeting a partner and so on… I’m sure you get my meaning, and all the other choices we make for ourselves can have the same effect.

The second part of the saying, “…partly what it is made by the friends we choose”, has a great effect too! Our friends can also influence what happens in our life. They might take us to places we didn’t know about, introduce us to hobbies and pastimes that we were unaware of, the list is endless.

There is someone, if we chose to befriend him, who can make an enormous difference to our lives, and that is Jesus, the Son of God. It reminds me of that Victorian hymn, “What a friend we have in Jesus”. It is perhaps a hymn well known to the older generation, but its sentiments are still the same. The hymn speaks of a faithful friend, who never gives up on us, a friend in whom we can find rest and peace and who will be with us when we are heavily laden with life’s cares and worries. He can be our trusted friend who can make all the difference in our lives. The last line of the hymn states you will find solace in him, and you will - even in these dark days. God bless you all.


Revd Graham