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March E-Magazine 2023

In this edition:

  • All Animals are Equal but some Animals are more Equal than others

  • A Day in the Life of a Parish Administrator

  • Thy Kingdom Come

  • Lent Lunch at St James

  • General Synod vote on blessing same-sex couples

  • Safeguarding Training

  • MU March News

  • St Mary's Craft Group

  • Services throughout the Parish

  • Here is the News


Please click below for a printable copy of the magazine:

Download PDF • 2.90MB



All Animals are Equal

but some Animals are

more Equal than others

Growing up in post-industrial Wales you can easily fall into radical ideas, become a ‘Rebel without a clue’. At heart you are seeking justice but you also want to look cool and rebellious. It was 1992 and I’d just seen ‘Rage Against the Machine’ on TV show ‘The Word’. They were a left-wing radical Funk Rock band who swore a lot, which appeals to a kid. So like many teenagers I was becoming a rebel without a clue. My mam’s response was to give me a book call Animal Farm by George Orwell. In the book the animals kick out Mr Jones in a revolution, but the revolution is betrayed by the pigs and transformed into a nightmare. It is a deeply sad book where each of the commandments written on the barn is betrayed, until they simply read; ‘All animals are equal but some animals are more equal than others’. This is an allegory of Soviet Russia after the 1917 revolution, illustrating how well-meaning attempts to bring heaven on earth always end in horror. So I calmed down with the radical stuff, but I still like the band.

What has that got to do with Lent and Yate? Well, at the heart of Animal Farm is the desire to make everyone think the same way. I sometimes worry when I see these tendencies in our world. We as humans find difference difficult, we want the world to revolve around us and the most powerful people seek to impose their will on everyone else. This can happen in countries, workplaces, churches and families. Those with power want to make everyone like them, to banish difference. Humans like uniformity because it is easy, but Jesus calls us to something different, he calls us to unity.

This Lent we are working on the Difference Course, where we are practising three values: being curious, being present and reimagining. The Gospel readings for Lent show Jesus spending time not with those like him but with those who are different.

· Jesus speaks to Nicodemus the pharisee, who is curious about Jesus’ message as Jesus is curious about his life. Through listening to and spending time with someone different, together they re-imagine their relationship

· It was Nicodemus who buried Jesus’ body at Easter.

· Jesus speaks to the woman at the well: he is curious about her life, spends time with her and enables her to reimagine her own life.

· On Mothering Sunday we hear the story of Simeon who recognised Jesus as the ‘Light of the World’. Jesus’ family were poor, but Simeon looked past this to re-imagine the possibilities.

· Finally we hear the story of Jesus raising Lazarus from the dead. Jesus isn’t well received by his friends, but after

listening and spending time with them they are ready for the miracle of Lazarus being raised from the dead.

The temptation is for each of us to be like the pigs in Animal Farm, often with the best of intentions - to make everyone like us. In Christianity this is the sin of pride: ‘I’m right and I won’t listen to anyone else’. I think this is at the centre of our divided society, where instead of listening to those who are different, we seek to impose our own way. Jesus is radically different in his approach; he deliberately spends time with people who are different. He doesn’t try and force them to be like him, he is curious about them. He is present with them in his listening and together they re-imagine their relationship.

Perhaps this Lent is a good time to focus on our own community in church and our family itself; to try and create a community where difference is tolerated but valued; to be like Jesus in loving people because they are different. In doing this we will create a community very different to what we see on the news and that truly will make Jesus visible.

Rev Hywel Snook


A Day in the Life of

a Parish Administrator

The only thing that I can be sure of each day when I enter the office is that today will be completely different to yesterday! No one day is the same. I am met with a variety of different tasks and have contact with a variety of different people each day.

I do have weekly tasks to complete, such as attending a weekly Ministry Team meeting, updating ‘This Week’s Services’, ensuring all is in place for Funeral, Baptism and Wedding bookings, dealing with enquiries, and monthly tasks of planning advertising for events, updating attendance statistics, drafting Ministry Team rotas, printing and circulating the Parish Magazine. Then there are the set meetings for the PCC and the Standing Committee that I attend periodically. There is such variety to my job that I find it impossible to list all that I do, but the variety of the job is why I love it! Not knowing what I might be tasked with next and the challenge of completing the new task, I certainly never get bored.

On occasion I may be asked to find a family grave or try to find the history of a Baptism that might have taken place. I recently helped a family from America find the location of a ‘family tomb’ and was able to send them photos of the plot and the churchyard / church; they were very grateful and it was so lovely to be able to help them.

I can also be involved with ad-hoc tasks which I really enjoy. My next project is helping to arrange a Wedding Fair. I am really excited about this!

I started my role with Yate Parish just before we entered lockdown, so even though I have been here for three years, in some ways it still feels quite new. I feel very lucky to be working with such a lovely team and I am really enjoying my role.

I am in the office weekday mornings from 9.30am –12.30pm if you ever need me. You are very welcome to pop in to the office or telephone me. I am always happy to meet with you and will do my best to help you in any way I can.

Pam Brown


Thy Kingdom Come 2023

Jesus encouraged us to pray for God’s Kingdom to come.

We hope to give everyone an opportunity to join in with prayer across the parish.

This global wave of prayer is between Ascension and Pentecost: 18th May-28th May. Praying with Christians around the world as one for people to know Jesus Christ.

More details to follow soon.


Lent Lunch in Westerleigh

Saturday 11 March from midday till 2pm

Everyone is welcome at St James to share in a lunch of fresh soups, bread and cheese. Donations are invited in aid of Peopleton Brook Farm, a local centre providing alternative learning opportunities for pupils with special educational needs.


General Synod vote on

blessing same-sex couples

You will have heard on the national media that on Thursday 9 February the General Synod of the Church of England voted to allow same-sex couples to come to church after a civil marriage or civil partnership to give thanks, dedicate their relationship to God and receive God's blessing. The same vote also agreed not to change the Church of England's current definition of Holy Matrimony as being between a man and a woman.

The PCC is being encouraged by the leadership of the church to consider the implications of this vote for our Parish and then to state clearly our position as to whether or not we will conduct the blessing of same-sex partnerships. The PCC will consider this issue at its next meeting on Monday 20th March and I hope to be able to publish a fuller article on the matter in the April magazine following that discussion by the PCC.

Rev Ian Wallace


Safeguarding Foundation Training for

volunteers working with children and adults

Saturday 18 March @ St Nix Church

9.15 – 10.00 coffee

10.00 – 13.00 training

To check if you need to undertake this training and to book your place, please contact Beverley Hodgson on 01454 329177

Beverley Hodgson

Parish Safeguarding Officer, Parish of Yate


Mothers’ Union

Don’t forget we are having lunch together on Thursday 16 February at noon in the Larkrise Café, Lark Rise, Yate BS37 7PJ. This is close to the small Tesco store in the Brimsham Shopping Centre. The cost will be £8.00.

Please also note my email contact has changed to


Coffee Morning at St James

Every Wednesday throughout the year at 10 o’clock St James’ church in Westerleigh fills with assorted people from the village and beyond looking forward to spending an hour exchanging news and gossip with others. We welcome everyone who has time to spare - bring your children, your grandchildren or your dog; come with a neighbour or come alone. We’re a friendly bunch always happy to see new faces and make you feel at home.


MU March News

The Mother’s Union is on a roll! We had a great lunch out, soup or sandwiches, cake and a drink, enjoying ourselves at

Larkrise Cafe! The owners were lovely to us and we almost had the place to ourselves, what a treat!

March is Make a Mother’s Day Month. Our meeting is Thursday 16 March at 2.00pm at St Mary’s and we will be fundraising for different outreaches of the MU. Bring along items for our Bring&Buy Sale (toiletries, tasty cakes or cookies, paperbacks, that extra Christmas present, or a bottle!) and don’t forget your pocket change £! We will let you know where our funds are going in April.

And, if you have a friend you want to bring along, please do…we welcome all!


Dates for your Diary

Friday 3 March

10.30am World Day of Prayer at St Nix

Saturday 11 March

12noon-2pm Lent Lunch at St James

Thursday 16 March

2pm Mothers’ Union at St Mary’s

Saturday 18 March

9.15am-1.00pm Safeguarding Training at St Nix

Saturday 8 April

Monthly Breakfasts begin at St James


St Mary’s Craft Group

For the past 14 years the craft group has met on a Wednesday morning from 10 am to 12 noon. On average there are 30 ladies and usually a couple of men who enjoy the beautiful venue to craft, play dominoes and chat. Many new and lasting friendships have been made during this time and the group continues to grow. Some members attend every week, others maybe only a few times a season. The WhatsApp group with 32 members has proved a very popular way of keeping in touch, sharing ideas, information and fabulous holiday photographs.

The group is currently working on new banners for St. Mary’s and it is a pleasure to see so many members involved in the project.


Services throughout the Parish

Sunday 5 March

2nd Sunday of Lent—Purple

Genesis 12:1-4a Romans 4:1-5,13-17 John 3:1-17

St Mary

8.15am Communion

10.30am All-Age Service

6.30pm 630 Praise

St Nix

10.30am Communion

St James

10.30am Communion

St Peter

4.00pm Evening Worship

(Book of Common Prayer)

Sunday 12 March

3rd Sunday of Lent—Purple

Exodus 17:1-7 Romans 5:1-11 John 4:5-42

St Mary

8.15am Communion

10.30am Communion

6.30pm 630 Praise

St Nix

10.30am Morning Worship

St James

10.30am Morning Worship

St Peter

4.00pm Communion

(Book of Common Prayer)

Sunday 19 March—Mothering Sunday

4th Sunday of Lent—Purple

1 Samuel 1:20-end Colossians 3:12-17 John 19:25b-27

St Mary

8.15am Communion

10.30am All Age Service

6.30pm 630 Praise

St Nix

10.30am Communion

St James

10.30am Communion

St Peter

4.00pm Evening Worship

(Book of Common Prayer)

Sunday 26 March

5th Sunday of Lent—Purple

Genesis 2:15-17, 3:1-7 Romans 5:12-19

Matthew 4:1-11

St Mary

8.15am Communion

10.30am Communion

6.30pm 630 Praise

St Nix

10.30am All Age Service with joint Baptism

St James

10.30am Morning Worship

St Peter

6.30pm ** Communion

(Book of Common Prayer)

** Note Change of time



Do you have a visually impaired relative or friend who likes to be kept informed about what’s happening locally?

Well, we at the Cotswold Vale Talking Newspaper understand how important it is to stay in touch with the community. We read news stories about the local area from the Gazette, the Yate and Sodbury Voice, features from online news bulletins and from village and church magazines.

Anyone unable to read print can listen to us online or on a soundbox with a USB stick that comes through the post every week. This service is entirely free of charge and easy to manage, and we keep in touch with every listener for problems and feedback.

If you know someone that you think would enjoy this, do contact us. Look at our website or leave a message on 01453 549133.


Join a community of women in St Mary’s Church at 11am every Friday (term time only). Mammas Club is a drop in café for you and your family. Come along and enjoy the company of other women on the journey of parenthood. We will have tea, coffee and light bites!

Third Saturday of every month 10am at St Mary’s Youth Centre. Come for breakfast with the children. Toys and chat, share precious time with the little ones.



Morning prayer in Yate Parish

Do you find prayer a little difficult? Would you like some inspiration? Go to the Yate Parish Facebook page to join in Morning Prayer led by our ministry team. You can watch live at 7.30am Monday to Saturday, or watch at any time later in the day. Many people have found it a great start to their day.


Weekly at St Mary’s

Thursday Communion at 10.00am


Compline @8pm

Before the lockdown happened, we had recorded the saying of Compline. We ask that each evening at 8pm we light a candle in our window and pray together for our nation using the words of the Compline service - it takes just over 5 minutes.

Visit the parish website and click on the recordings to listen; you will find the words of the service there too.



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