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March E-Magazine 2021

In this edition of E-Magazine we have:

  • Transforming Lives for Good

  • Rooted

  • Zoom Coffee Morning

  • Lent Discussion Group

  • Maundy Thursday Service

  • Easter Trail around St Mary's Churchyard

  • The Bombing of Parnall Aircraft February / March 1941

  • Fasting for Humanity - Thinking about Easter and Covid-19

  • Making an Easter Garden

  • Shaping the Future of the Diocese of Bristol

  • Services Throughout the Parish

  • Grateful Thanks for Donations for Children at Next Link Shelter

For a full printable magazine click the file below

March Mag 2021 PRINT READY
Download PDF • 795KB


Transforming Lives for Good

Even before Covid-19 struck and sent us into successive lockdowns there has been worrying trends in the mental

well-being of children. Successive surveys were all pointing to the same concerning facts:

  • 1 in 10 children feel unable to cope with the day [Association for Young People’s Health]

  • Almost two-thirds of children aged ten and eleven say they worry “all the time” []

  • Children with special needs account for half of all exclusions despite being only 14% of the school population [Officer for the Children’s Commissioner]

  • Approximately 30,000 primary-aged pupils are excluded each year, of which 12% are aged 6 or under [Dept. for Education]

There is now no doubt that the effect of the Covid-19 constraints has significantly aggravated the situation:

  • During the first lockdown 87% of children reported feeling lonely or isolated [Young Minds Coronavirus Report – Summer 2020] – the situation in lockdown 3 is worse

  • At a recent meeting of school Head Teachers convened by South Glos Council the key concern expressed across the board was the marked deterioration of children’s mental well-being.

These are serious statistics which, combined with research published in 2017, shows that Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACES) have a lifetime’s impact unless addressed. This is because they disrupt the development of the brain leading to social, emotional and learning problems, which is then played out in problematic behaviours and poor health outcomes, including lower life expectancy. Both Avon & Somerset Police and Gloucestershire Police have conducted audits on the prevalence and effect of ACES and has revealed that these early experiences have a significant effect on their work in later years.

But it is not all gloom-and-doom. The same research also contained good news – a conversation about the adverse

experience with a loving, trusted person can hugely reduce the impact of an ACE – in other words a loving mentor can

transform a child’s situation for the better and dramatically improve their life chances.

It is in this context that the staff responsible for pastoral well-being within St Mary’s School have approached us with a request to help. In response we have developed a partnership between Yate Parish, Transforming Lives for Good (TLG) and St Mary’s School which will enable us to address these issues. TLG is a Christian charity that was formed in 1988 and has since earned itself a national reputation for the excellence of its work. It was included in The Sunday Times Charity top 100 not-for-profit organisations in 2019 and currently partners with more that 200 churches across the country. The partnership is shaped around the TLG Early Intervention programme whereby they will provide us with training for five coaches and a programme co-ordinator, together with all the resource material that we require. In return the five coaches commit themselves to spending one hour each week (during term time) talking with a specific child to help them make sense of their experiences in school and at home – one coach, one child, one hour a week. Over 30,000 children have been coached in this way since the programme was first launched and the programme has been proven to have a tremendous impact in seeing children and young people become more confident, enthusiastic and excited about school and the future.

So, how can you help with this vitally important work? We still need to recruit some coaches to enable the programme to get started. Even if you are not able to help immediately but are interested in knowing more please get in touch as the plan will be to train five more coaches once the first five have been trained and started work. Rev Joanne Hodge has agreed to act as the co-ordinator and will manage the recruitment process, involving an interview and DBS check as well as the training provided by TLG. Please contact her if you are interested in being one of the coaches.

If you are not able to be a coach please pray for this programme to be able to address some of the adverse

experiences our children have been going through and to transform the future for them.

Ian Wallace


Our youth groups Rooted and Rooted+ have continued to meet to support the young people and their faith over this last year. Instead of meeting less frequently, we have in fact met more frequently to meet their needs. We were especially pleased when we were joined by some of the Inspired youth group from Fromeside for our Advent Course and for the Christmas Escape Room. We hope to collaborate with them more during 2021 and are already planning a joint Lent Study Course.

Here are some things that our young people have said about our Rooted groups.

“We have had fun doing Escape Rooms, quizzes and scavenger hunts. It has allowed us to have fun, communicate and see each other, even though it has not been face-to-face”.

L and C

“I like Rooted because it’s fun and Zoom has been a good way to stay in touch with my church friends during lockdown. It makes me think positively about things”. K

“I find that Rooted gives me an insight into the different reasonings of the actions of those characters in the Bible we discuss and allows me to understand the opinions other people have. It’s not necessarily the result of the actions but the

purpose behind it. It helps me to think about how I apply it to my daily life”. J

“It’s nice to see everyone”. W

“I have really enjoyed taking part in the games in Rooted over the past few months. The escape rooms have been especially fun and challenging. Rooted has enabled me to meet up [virtually] with others whilst in lockdown”. J

Some parents have also sent through messages of encouragement for the leaders:

“Thank you to the Rooted and Rooted+ team for their hard work with the youth. The support, encouragement, inspiration and time you give is so valuable, especially in these challenging times. Your passion for working with the youth in our community is vital for our future generations”. C

“From a parent’s perspective it has been great to know that Rooted has allowed J to have the space and time to talk about things that are important to him, in addition to us. Thank you”. K

Rooted and Rooted+ meet on the 1st and 3rd Sunday’s of the month except in Lent and Advent when we meet every week to study together. If you know of a young person aged 10-17 who might like to join us, please do contact Gail on

Gail Thomas


Zoom Coffee Morning

All Welcome

Wednesdays at 10am

We start with a prayer followed by a short quiz. Then it’s time to chat. If lots of people sign in we can use breakout rooms, coming back together for a blessing at the end.

The zoom link is the same every week (bookmark it):

Meeting ID: 810 1932 8072

Passcode: 482269

So get yourself a cup of coffee and join us at 10 every Wednesday morning


Lent Discussion Group

As we announced some weeks ago, our Lent focus this year seeks to explore our shared experience of going through the Covid pandemic and explore the subject of suffering and what we can draw from it to help us in future. “Many of the most significant moments in our lives come not because it all went right but because it all fell apart. Suffering does that. It hurts, but it also creates.” Those words were written by Rob Bell, the author of a small and easy-to-read book called Drops Like Stars which we are using use as the basis for our exploration of suffering and creativity.

You can download the book and read it at home in a single afternoon, but we believe you will get more from it if you have the opportunity to explore with others what you have read. For this reason, Ian and Gail will be hosting a Zoom Lent Group for an hour each Wednesday evening from 7.30pm starting on 24th February. The group will be very relaxed and will operate like a book club. You can join at any time and it won’t matter if you have missed previous weeks.

To join you will need to use this link or meeting ID:

Meeting ID: 833 9993 5924

Passcode: 617517

Alternatively, you can phone in by dialling 0203 481 5237. You will then be asked to enter the meeting ID followed by the passcode.

We look forward to you joining us.

Ian Wallace


Maundy Thursday Service,

Online at 7.30pm Thursday 1 April

Maundy Thursday is the day we remember Jesus alone and abandoned in the Garden of Gethsemane as he wrestled in darkness before the last hours of his journey to the Cross on Good Friday. In the Parish of Yate we usually mark this with an Agapé meal (a traditional meal where believers meet in godly love) followed by the ‘Stripping of the Altar’ (a short service when the church building is stripped of its decorations before the starkness of Good Friday). I have always found this a very moving service firstly in enjoying the fellowship of fellow believers I know and care about, but also in the symbolism of the actual ‘stripping’ itself, which somehow brings home the sadness and nakedness of Christ’s sacrifice.

Obviously, things are a little different this year with the pandemic and the roof repairs at St Mary. However, we can still join together for fellowship online and then the ‘stripping of the altar’ with online streaming from St Nicholas via our website. I do hope you can join in as we accompany Jesus in his last day towards the Cross and beyond to Resurrection


Iain Macfarlane


Easter Trail Around

St Mary’s Churchyard

From Palm Sunday there will be an interactive Easter trail around St Mary’s churchyard. It gives us a way of reflecting on the Easter story by following a series of posters. Each poster will tell part of the Easter story and you will be able to listen to the story as you walk the trail via our website. The trail will be up from Palm Sunday till a week after Easter.


The Bombing of Parnall Aircraft

February/March 1941

27 February and 7 March 2021 mark the 80th anniversary of the bombing of Parnall Aircraft Ltd, Yate; undoubtedly the most traumatic event in the history of the parish. Fifty-five men and women died during two bombing raids on Yate’s aircraft factory while another 170 sustained injuries.

Aircraft had been made and repaired on the Station Road site since 1917, with a brief hiatus in the early 1920s. Since 1935, Parnall Aircraft Ltd had been mass producing the critical Frazer-Nash hydraulic gun turret. Newman Motors had moved onto the eastern section of the aircraft site in 1932 and moved some of its production to making bombshells. Along with its busy railway to and from Bristol, Yate was a prime bombing target. In 1939, the Luftwaffe made aircraft reconnaissance sorties to Yate to record their future targets.

Before the fateful day of 27 February 1941 there had already been a total of 19 bomber sorties flown against the plant

between 1 August 1940 and 22 February 1941. All had either failed to locate their objective, aborted their missions, or were brought down by the local air defences. The Newman’s site by contrast had already sustained some physical bomb damage.

On the afternoon of 27 February 1941, the situation changed dramatically when a lone raider finally reached Yate and

released six delayed action bombs over the works. The effect was catastrophic, for not only were 52 workers killed and 150 others injured, but considerable damage was also caused to the factory and drawing office.

Amazingly, the same crew returned on the afternoon 7 March and, although only three workers were killed and twenty

injured, such was the additional damage inflicted that production came to a complete standstill. Nevertheless, the Yate factory was rebuilt and in 1944 was back in full production with 3500 employees.

The parish was determined to remember and honour the casualties of the Parnall bombing raids after 1945. The Parnall memorial was created in 1950 and every year on Remembrance Sunday a small service is conducted by the memorial to mark the loss of the 55 men and women including 3 unidentified people. It is a rare example of a memorial to civilian casualties in wartime.

David Hardill

Photographs of the destruction,

the memorial and an aerial view.

Courtesy of Creda Archive


Fasting from Humanity:

Thinking about Easter and Covid-19

We’ve owned Chewy the cat since 2015. Living with cats you realise they are psychopaths: no matter how much you love them they can’t love you back. Strangely that seems to make us love them more. Not that cats are evil, they’re just not like humans. Cats have evolved a survival strategy quite unlike humans. They are solitary animals: once grown they live only for themselves - they only look after and find food for themselves. Whether it’s my cat Chewy or a tiger in India, they are solitary hunters. It’s their nature.

Human beings have evolved in the opposite direction. The source of human survival is community and culture. Alone, humans are weak. Humans derive their strength from forming communities. Cats can’t live in community and humans can’t survive alone.

Over the last 200 years we have been told a different story, that we are individuals and community is not important. We must live for our own individual purpose, be free to follow our desires. Happiness is instant gratification, having what we want when we want it. I subscribe to Disney Plus so I can watch any Disney film ever made whenever I want. As a 6-year-old I’d have thought that was heaven. We have been led to believe that to be happy we must forget we are human and act like cats.

Lockdown is an apocalypse. That’s not the end of the world, it means things that were hidden are now revealed. What has been revealed is that thinking of humanity as a collection of isolated individuals is totally wrong. Disney Plus is a great distraction, but it’s not the meaning of life. In Lent each year we fast, giving something up for 40 days. We usually fail after a bit. But in the unusual years when we fast well, what happens at Easter? Some years we realise that the thing we have given up wasn’t that important. Other times we yearn for the thing we have given up, because it actually has true value for us.

Since last March we have been forced to fast from humanity. Everything joyful has been taken from us. Nearly everything that gives our lives meaning has been stolen away. Human freedom has been taken, visiting family and meeting friends, even singing is forbidden. Everything that expresses true humanity has been taken leaving us with an endless choice of Disney films.

So, what have we learned from this fast? It’s far longer than 40 days, at times it feels like 40 years in the wilderness. In Lent we are asked to die to an old way of living and to be reborn at Easter into a new way. In 2020 our old way of living was taken, but do we want to die to that way of living? Having had humanity taken what do we actually miss? What new things have we started doing in lockdown that we want to continue?

In the pilgrim group one person came up with a great idea for learning from this fast. We each have a jar to put pledges in. If we have really missed something, like singing in church, and if there is something that we have started during Lockdown, like playing games as a family, we write it down and pledge to ourselves and to God that we will do this when Lockdown ends.

Easter is an opportunity for new life. Jesus dies and is raised, giving us the promise that we can experience that resurrection in the here and now. Jesus died to one way and is reborn different. We too can become a new creation. Jesus shows us in his resurrection his true redeemed humanity and invites us to join him in the same process. The end of Lockdown is now in sight: let it be like an Easter for us. A rebirth of our humanity after a long fast. Let’s give the pledge jars a try and remember what we learned during the fast from humanity.

Hywel Snook


Make an Easter Garden

This year we are encouraging children to make their own Easter garden as a way of learning about how Jesus died for us and how he rose again. The garden is small with items that represent the Easter Story.

To make the garden you will need:

¨ A shallow tray or dish, or even a corner of your garden!

¨ Garden soil or potting compost

¨ Moss or grass

¨ Small stones or gravel

¨ A large stone

¨ A small flowerpot or plastic cup

¨ 6 sticks or twigs

¨ String or sewing thread

¨ A small piece of white cloth or ribbon


1. Place your flowerpot on its side in the tray (this will be the tomb).

2. Cover the tray with soil.

3. Cover the side of the flowerpot with soil to make a hillside. (You might find it easier to dampen the soil a little first)

4. Cover the soil with moss.

5. Use the sticks to make 3 crosses tying them string or thread.

6. Stick the crosses into the top of the “hill”. If one of them is bigger than the others, place it in the centre to represent the cross on which Jesus was crucified.

7. Make a path to the tomb with the small stones & gravel to show how the women ran to the tomb on Easter morning.

8. Place a folded piece of white cloth inside the tomb to

represent the risen Lord.

9. Place the large stone to the side of the tomb entrance to represent the stone that was rolled away.

Optional extras

· A ribbon/cloth over the central cross.

· Flowers/foliage.

· A woven crown of thorns on the central cross.

· Cut-out figures to represent the people in the Easter

· Story.

When you have made your Easter Garden, why not send a photo into our parish office on so that we can display them on Yate Parish website.

Examples of Easter Gardens


Easter Cracked

A family friendly Easter Saturday service

suitable for all ages

St Mary’s Church

Saturday 3 April 2021, 6.30pm

Lighting our Easter Candle from a fire in the churchyard marks the beginning of our exploration of the Easter

Story which is retold through words, music and actions.

Please bring saucepan lids or drums or anything to

make a noise to noisily announce the risen Christ!


Shaping the future of the Diocese of Bristol

Over the next few months the Diocese of Bristol is leading two sets of discussions which will shape the future of the Church of England in this area.

Transforming Church Together (TCT)

The first is called Transforming Church Together and is intended to help shape the Diocesan Strategy for the next few years. The process was launched by Bishop Viv at the end of January and the first phase involves seeking input from across the Diocese (both from church members and from those currently outside the church) about how we feel the church should move forward. Bishop Viv is particularly aware of the strength of the Black Lives Matter protests in Bristol last year and of other groups who may feel excluded from the life of the church, so she is keen to canvas views from as wide a group as possible. But she also values highly the views of the “people in the pews” and would like to hear from us all what we believe should be the priorities for the Diocese. With this in mind we will be running a Zoom workshop to allow you to express your views on Saturday 20 March 10am—12noon. To sign up for this workshop please e-mail Pam at

Alternatively, if you are unable to attend the workshop but would like to contribute you can complete a questionnaire online at If you don’t have access to the internet please give Pam a call and she will send you a printed copy of the questionnaire.

You can read more about the process on the Diocesan website at, or watch a short video explaining its aims at

Living in Love & Faith (LLF)

The second process is called Living in Love & Faith and has been launched by the Archbishops of Canterbury and York. It focuses on resources that have been commissioned by the House of Bishops to help all God’s people come together to learn about and discuss matters of human identity and sexuality, an arena which, as the Church of England, we have found very difficult for a number of years.

You can learn more from a short video that the Church of England has put out:

The collective learning that comes out of the LLF process will be used to inform a decision on the matter by the General Synod in 2022. With this in mind, the Diocese has convened two half-day conferences to explore the LLF materials on:

Saturday 8 May, 9.30am - 1.30pm, and

Saturday 22 May: 9.30am - 1.30pm

These conferences are open to all church members and can be booked through The conferences will happen online even if Covid restrictions have been relaxed by then so you can participate from the comfort of your own home. Please consider signing up for one of the conferences as this subject is likely to play a significant part in the future life of the Church of England and it is important that the members of the church, not just its leaders, are involved in shaping the future.

Ian Wallace


Services throughout the Parish

Sunday 7 March

3rd Sunday of Lent—PURPLE

Psalm 22 1 Corinthians 1:18-25 John 11:17-37

St Mary

10.00am Morning Worship

6.30pm 630Praise—follow link on website

St Nix

10.30am Communion - live stream

St James

10.30am Communion

St Peter

4.00pm Evening Worship

(Book of Common Prayer)

Sunday 14 March—Mothering Sunday

4th Sunday of Lent—PURPLE

1 Samuel 1:20-28 Colossians 3:12-17 Luke 2:33-35

St Mary

10.00am Communion

6.30pm 630Praise—follow link on website

St Nix

10.30am Morning Worship - live stream

St James

10.30am Communion

St Peter

4.00pm Communion

(Book of Common Prayer)

Sunday 21 March

5th Sunday of Lent—PURPLE

Jeremiah 18:1-4 2 Corinthians 6:1-13 John 12:20-33

St Mary

10.00am Morning Worship

6.30pm 630Praise—follow link on website

St Nix

10.30am Communion—live stream

St James

10.30am Communion

St Peter

4.00pm Evening Worship

(Book of Common Prayer)

28 March

Palm Sunday—PURPLE

Isaiah 50:4-9a Philippians 2:5-11 Mark 11:1-11

St Mary

10.00am Communion

6.30pm 630Praise—follow link on website

St Nix

10.30am Communion - live stream

St James

10.30am Morning Worship

St Peter

6.30pm Communion

(Book of Common Prayer)

PLEASE NOTE: The service at St Peter’s will begin at 6.30pm from 28 March onwards.

ALSO: Clocks go forward at 2am Sunday 28 March


Grateful thanks for donations

for children at Next Link shelter Christmas 2020

Domestic abuse is often referred to as a hidden crime and many cases are never reported to the police, so the figures are unreliable. However, even if reported cases have not risen during the pandemic, it is generally accepted that lockdowns in England have worsened the levels of abuse. The ONS has certainly reported an increase in demand for domestic abuse victim support services during this time. Though domestic abuse is often associated with violent behaviour, verbal abuse and controlling behaviours can also be very damaging. Men as well as women and children can be victims of domestic abuse.

At St Nicholas patronal service in December gifts were donated for children, to be delivered to one of the Next Link shelters for victims of domestic violence in Bristol. I would like to thank everyone who generously contributed presents, Sue Harrison who facilitated the dropping off of gifts and especially Shirley Lord who organised the collection and, with her husband, delivered the gifts to the shelter. I am sure that our gifts were appreciated.

There are many helplines including the Refuge 24-hour free helpline 0808 2000247, which starts with the words ‘Are you experiencing domestic abuse? You are not alone.’

Anne White, Church Warden, St Nix


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