Dear <<First Name>>

Welcome to the
Athelney Benefice Weekly Bulletin

Let me hear what God the Lord will speak, for he will speak peace to his people, to his faithful, to those who turn to him in their hearts. Surely his salvation is at hand for those who fear him, that his glory may dwell in our land. (Psalm 85:8-9)


I'm not around this weekend. I'm off to The Festival of Speed at Goodwood my eldest son's (George) Stag weekend. George loves motorsport and we're going to have "blokey larfs" all weekend with all the other petrol-heads. I am looking forward to it, and also to being with my boys for Sunday evening when we will all be urging England on to a great victory against Italy. Together: what a lovely idea. For ages it's been up in the air as to whether it would be possible to go, but Goodwood was given the green light a few weeks ago. Phew. We'll be together.

Being together, as family, friends, in fellowship, even simply going to work in your normal way—office, staff room, church etc.— has become something we look forward to with such delight after the past almost eighteen months. Not "just" getting together again with a few close friends and family, but in a broader sense, being right out there in the world and seeing people together: people we might not even know. It is both exciting and also stressful. Some are very anxious about going into gatherings. We've become used to isolation and now it still seems a bit of a new thing to be together.

As the covid regulations continue to be shaken off we need to remember that many would rather they weren't. Many can't wait to ditch the mask but others find it a helpful barrier. It will be a curious period of adjustment and we, as a gathering of four congregations, this coming Sunday, need to hold this in our hearts and minds. I shan't be there, of course, but as the Athelney Benefice gathers for the united eucharist this Sunday (at Burrowbridge, 10am) it is important to remember that the idea of unity is broad. We gather together, in unity, each month and then might not be in touch for days or weeks. But the unity of the benefice doesn't demand a continual gathering for it to be a thing. The unity we have in our benefice is to be found in our hearts, in our prayers and in our actions. We join together each month to give thanks for who we are, but who we are lasts all month long and more.

You will be in my prayers all weekend as I watch fast cars. It will be a weekend of noisiness, but God will hear our prayers above it all.

Revd Simon

Sunday Worship: Sixth Sunday after Trinity, 11th July 2021


Merciful God, you have prepared for those who love you such good things as pass our understanding: pour into our hearts such love toward you that we, loving you in all things and above all things, may obtain your promises, which exceed all that we can desire; through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord, who is alive and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever.

Amos 7:7-15

He said to me, “Son of man, stand up on your feet and I will speak to you.” As he spoke, the Spirit came into me and raised me to my feet, and I heard him speaking to me.

This is what he showed me: the Lord was standing beside a wall built with a plumb line, with a plumb line in his hand. And the Lord said to me, “Amos, what do you see?” And I said, “A plumb line.” Then the Lord said,

“See, I am setting a plumb line
in the midst of my people Israel;
I will never again pass them by;
the high places of Isaac shall be made desolate,
and the sanctuaries of Israel shall be laid waste,
and I will rise against the house of Jeroboam with the sword.”

Then Amaziah, the priest of Bethel, sent to King Jeroboam of Israel, saying, “Amos has conspired against you in the very center of the house of Israel; the land is not able to bear all his words. For thus Amos has said,

‘Jeroboam shall die by the sword,
and Israel must go into exile
away from his land.’”

And Amaziah said to Amos, “O seer, go, flee away to the land of Judah, earn your bread there, and prophesy there; but never again prophesy at Bethel, for it is the king’s sanctuary, and it is a temple of the kingdom.”

Then Amos answered Amaziah, “I am no prophet, nor a prophet’s son; but I am a herdsman, and a dresser of sycamore trees, and the Lord took me from following the flock, and the Lord said to me, ‘Go, prophesy to my people Israel.’

Ephesians 1.3-14

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, just as he chose us in Christ before the foundation of the world to be holy and blameless before him in love.He destined us for adoption as his children through Jesus Christ, according to the good pleasure of his will, to the praise of his glorious grace that he freely bestowed on us in the Beloved.In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace that he lavished on us. With all wisdom and insighthe has made known to us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure that he set forth in Christ,as a plan for the fullness of time, to gather up all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth.In Christ we have also obtained an inheritance, having been destined according to the purpose of him who accomplishes all things according to his counsel and will,so that we, who were the first to set our hope on Christ, might live for the praise of his glory.In him you also, when you had heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and had believed in him, were marked with the seal of the promised Holy Spirit;this is the pledge of our inheritance toward redemption as God’s own people, to the praise of his glory.

Mark 6.14-29

King Herod heard of it, for Jesus’ name had become known. Some were saying, “John the baptizer has been raised from the dead; and for this reason these powers are at work in him.” But others said, “It is Elijah.” And others said, “It is a prophet, like one of the prophets of old.” But when Herod heard of it, he said, “John, whom I beheaded, has been raised.”

For Herod himself had sent men who arrested John, bound him, and put him in prison on account of Herodias, his brother Philip’s wife, because Herod had married her. For John had been telling Herod, “It is not lawful for you to have your brother’s wife.” And Herodias had a grudge against him, and wanted to kill him. But she could not, for Herod feared John, knowing that he was a righteous and holy man, and he protected him. When he heard him, he was greatly perplexed; and yet he liked to listen to him. But an opportunity came when Herod on his birthday gave a banquet for his courtiers and officers and for the leaders of Galilee. When his daughter Herodias came in and danced, she pleased Herod and his guests; and the king said to the girl, “Ask me for whatever you wish, and I will give it.” And he solemnly swore to her, “Whatever you ask me, I will give you, even half of my kingdom.” She went out and said to her mother, “What should I ask for?” She replied, “The head of John the baptizer.” Immediately she rushed back to the king and requested, “I want you to give me at once the head of John the Baptist on a platter.” The king was deeply grieved; yet out of regard for his oaths and for the guests, he did not want to refuse her. Immediately the king sent a soldier of the guard with orders to bring John’s head. He went and beheaded him in the prison, brought his head on a platter, and gave it to the girl. Then the girl gave it to her mother. When his disciples heard about it, they came and took his body, and laid it in a tomb.

Post-Communion Prayer

God of our pilgrimage, you have led us to the living water: refresh and sustain us as we go forward on our journey, in the name of Jesus Christ our Lord.

Pastoral Care

Years Mind

We call to mind parishioners who have died at this time in recent years.

Joyce Gridley, Michelle Sutton, Sylvia Dawe, Eric Willoughby, Donal Phillips, Margaret Hayhoe, Revd Charles Townshend

For those who are sick or in need

We hold in our prayers those affected locally and nationally by the Coronavirus: patients, carers, families, and friends.

We pray also for Alan, Alison, Andrea, Andy, Anne & family, Anne, Aoife, Audrey (2), Barbara, Ben, Bill, Brian, Chris & Jean, Dave & family, Jean, Val, Jan and Peter, Di, Diane, Eileen, George, Gill, Helen, Janet & family, Jean, John, Joyce, Judith & David, Kay, Ken, Lorraine, Margaret, Mary, Mignon, Nicholas, Pam, +Peter, Jane & family, Portia, Primrose, Ralph, Rita, Sheila, Sue & Robert, Susan, Thomas, Victoria … ... and for their families and carers, and all those who are in need but not named. Give thanks for those who have recovered.

If there are people or concerns that you wish to be mentioned in prayer, please tell the vicar or churchwardens.

News and Notices

Covid and Relaxation of Regualtions

We are all aware that the situation is changing on 19th July, and then again on 16th August. Currently we are waiting for formal information regarding the ways in which this all affects our church worship. There will be a statement on next week’s bulletin but we suspect that all restrictions will be lifted. We hope this will include the singing of hymns.

Songs of Praise

Stoke St Gregory Playing Field, at 11am Sunday 18th July.

Please bring your own chair, offerings for the Food Bank, for which there will be boxes available, and a collection will be made for charities.

If you have any news that you would like included in this bulletin, please send it to:

There will be no Zoom
Broadcast this Sunday

Each Sunday we endeavour to provide an online Zoom broadcast of our worship from one of the Benefice parish churches. This is a little bit hit and miss because connection is unreliable. Please click on the link below and we will be online (we hope!)

Zoom Worship Connection
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