Church of England Diocese of Bath & Wells St. John the Evangelist, Tatworth

Weekly update for the parishes 17th March 2021

17 Mar 2021, 4 p.m.

Dear Friends

Today we celebrate St Patrick, patron saint of Ireland, who died on this day in 461AD. He is an important figure in the early Celtic Christian Church through his missionary work and his travels, particularly in Ireland. Here is an extract from his write up from Morning Prayer today from the Northumbria Celtic Community:

‘Patrick was born in the north-west of Roman Britain. Calpornius, his father, was a Deacon, his grandfather Potitus a priest. Though a third generation Christian, he neglected his lessons and his faith. The shock came when he was about sixteen, and he was captured and carried off as a slave to Ireland. For six years he tended the cattle for his master in the mountains of County Antrim. Here in silence and loneliness, and in all weathers, he cried out to God for help and strength. He writes that his faith grew in captivity, and fervent prayer became a vital part of his daily life. After six years he heard an inner voice telling him to go home, and then that his ship was ready. When the opportunity came Patrick stole away and walked 200 miles to a seaport, where he joined a ship and was taken on a roundabout journey, eventually reaching home, now in his early twenties. Here he found he couldn’t settle, always dreaming of Ireland, until he recognised that God was calling him back to take the Gospel to its people.’

St Patrick was also known for his writings, and during his missionary work in Ireland where he travelled extensively to take the Gospel to new areas, he was particularly persistent and resilient in proclaiming the faith.

Perhaps one his most well-known prayers is what is now known as ‘St Patrick’s Breastplate’, and is based on the words of Ephesians 6, the armour of God. You may recall a few weeks ago Jason Stevens talking about this passage in our Lent interview series.

It is a particular favourite of mine as it was part of my daily prayer ritual during curacy in Honiton where, everyday, we had morning prayer in St Paul’s at 9am during which we always said this prayer. There are many translations and versions, but this is the one I know and share it with you now:

Christ, as a light
illumine and guide me.
Christ, as a shield
overshadow me.
Christ under me;
Christ over me;
Christ beside me
on my left and my right.
This day be within and without me,
lowly and meek, yet all-powerful.
Be in the heart of each to whom I speak;
in the mouth of each who speaks unto me.
This day be within and without me,
lowly and meek, yet all-powerful.
Christ as a light;
Christ as a shield;
Christ beside me
on my left and my right.


This week we continue our exploration of Story and Pilgrimage and think about journeying together, and what it is to be in communion with each other.

Do join us tomorrow at 7:30pm.

The session this week will include a short informal celebration of Communion so please do have with you some bread or other nourishment to partake with at that part of the service.

Meeting ID: 761 0841 9112

Passcode: twoshires

For phone audio access only you can dial any of (and you will need to ID and code underneath also):

0203 481 5240

0203 901 7895

0131 460 1196

0203 051 2874

0203 481 5237

ID: 761 0841 9112 / Passcode: 794587565

This session, and all previous ones, are also available to access again at


It was really good to hear from Tom Tame (youth pioneer) last week and I know many of you found his reflections fascinating. If you missed it you can watch again by going to our website links below.

This week we hear from Natalie Jennings, who is our fifth and final guest in the mini-series. Natalie is a Church of England Ordinand and will be ordained this summer before starting her curacy in Herefordshire. Natalie is from Tatworth and very much grew up amongst the church family at St John’s. As is the life of Ordinands, she is on placement on Sunday’s so cannot be with us live. I recorded the interview with her yesterday for us all to share on Sunday. We very much welcome her.

Do join us on Sunday at 10am:

Meeting ID: 759 1823 9934

Passcode: twoshires

For audio access from a phone you can use any of the numbers below. You also need the ID and Passcode below:

0203 051 2874

0203 481 5237

0203 481 5240

0203 901 7895

0131 460 1196

ID: 759 1823 9934 / Passcode: 544471966

The services are recorded as they are streamed, and are available later in the day at:


Virtually Coffee

Do stay ‘online’ after the service has finished for a natter about anything in particular. Space to just share and be together.

PALM SUNDAY – 28<sup>th</sup> March

Next Sunday is Palm Sunday when we reflect on the Triumphal Entry of Jesus into Jerusalem and begin the spiritual journey together of Holy Week. We will have Live Zoom worship as normal at 10am, but watch this space next week for some special instructions on making Palm crosses together!

EASTER SUNDAY – 4<sup>th</sup> April

We are intending to offer church-based worship on Easter Sunday.

There will be services in each church; 8am BCP Holy Communion in Forde Abbey; 10am Communion in Winsham and Chaffcombe; 10am Lay led worship in Thorncombe and Tatworth; and 6:30pm Communion in Cricket Malherbie.

There will be an Easter online service at 11:15am on Zoom.


After Easter we will be starting to re-use our church buildings for regular worship. However, it will take some time to get up and running back to a level of service provision both in quantity and flavour that is sustainable for the long term and reflects where we all are now and going forwards. It is not a case of recommencing what we were doing before.

What that looks like will be published in due course, and will likely be a phased approach of temporary arrangements for the Easter Season (Easter to Pentecost), which will include the festivals that fall within that and the APCM’s at the end of May. From Sunday 6 June I hope we can start on service provisions that could be longer term and a sustainable model for the shape of things to come. By then we will have a better idea of how the stepped process out of Lockdown is proceeding and whether Step 4 (being the expected lifting of wider social restrictions) is on track for 22 June as currently published.

Furthermore, as we come out of restrictions and are able to catch up with loved ones again we will all need time and space to make those arrangements. My family and Judith’s family are all in that boat too and like everybody else will need some time and space in April to see friends and family that we haven’t been able to catch up with for several months.


It was with sadness that we heard in the last week that Bishop Peter Hancock will be retiring on health grounds at Pentecost. Please see the link below with that news. His pastoral ministry and caring approach will be missed by a great many people, and we wish him very well in his retirement to come. Please hold him, his family, and the Diocese in your prayers.

All our churches continue to be open during the week for an hour at 11am for private individual prayer.

Wednesdays – Tatworth, Cricket Malherbie at 11am

Thursdays – Chaffcombe & Winsham at 11am

Sundays – Thorncombe at 11am

We also pray for those we know who are sick, and those we don’t know, including those we are asked to pray by name for:

Bishop Peter Hancock; Hannah Knott; Rob Allen; Lynne and Bruce Applegarth; Phyllis Baker; Margaret Bandy; Sue Bennett; Sue Cheese; Terry Conway; Nick Frankau; David Goodwill; Mike Heywood; Joy Howard; Ann Jarvis; Frank & Celia Long; Peter McHugh; Diana Rowlands; Ann Ricketts; Jim Tucker; Rosemary Walley; Rosemary Walton; Vivien Wheaton; Alan Wills, Anna Woodward; Pamala Young; Milly granddaughter of Jane & Alan Rudkin; Gillian Muggeridge; Chris Gould; Brian Griffiths; Peter Hathway; Dorothy Down; Max Woehrle; Michael Mutch; Kelvin Yendell; Winnie Barge; Fi Lillington; Di Nicholls; Izzie Luty-Wells, Tracy, Mary Butler, Yvonne Leese.

We remember all those whom we love but see no longer, and pray for all those bereaved. We remember Les Holloway and Michelle Goviers whose funerals are tomorrow, and hold all their families and friends in our prayers.


Wed 17 Mar: Is 49.8–15; Ps 145.8–18; Jn 5.17–30

Thurs 18 Mar: Ex 32.7–14; Ps 106.19–23; Jn 5.31–end

Fri 19 Mar: Jer 26.8–11; Ps 34.15–end; Jn 7.1–2, 10, 25–30

Sat 20 Mar: Jer 11.18–20; Ps 7.1–2, 8–10; Jn 7.40–52

Sun 21 Mar: Heb 5:5-10; Jn 12:20-33

Mon 22 Mar: Josh 2.1–14; Ps 23; Jn 8.1–11

Tues 23 Mar: Num 21.4–9; Ps 102.1–3, 16–23; Jn 8.21–30

Wed 24 Mar: Dan 3.14–20, 24–25, 28; Jn 8.31–42

Focus passage: - John 12:20-33 (Jesus Predicts His Death)

20 Now there were some Greeks among those who went up to worship at the festival. 21 They came to Philip, who was from Bethsaida in Galilee, with a request. “Sir,” they said, “we would like to see Jesus.” 22 Philip went to tell Andrew; Andrew and Philip in turn told Jesus.

23 Jesus replied, “The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified. 24 Very truly I tell you, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds. 25 Anyone who loves their life will lose it, while anyone who hates their life in this world will keep it for eternal life. 26 Whoever serves me must follow me; and where I am, my servant also will be. My Father will honour the one who serves me.

27 “Now my soul is troubled, and what shall I say? ‘Father, save me from this hour’? No, it was for this very reason I came to this hour. 28 Father, glorify your name!”

Then a voice came from heaven, “I have glorified it, and will glorify it again.” 29 The crowd that was there and heard it said it had thundered; others said an angel had spoken to him.

30 Jesus said, “This voice was for your benefit, not mine. 31 Now is the time for judgment on this world; now the prince of this world will be driven out. 32 And I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people to myself.” 33 He said this to show the kind of death he was going to die.

Prayer this week (from Celtic Daily Prayer):

Father, Son and Holy Spirit,

Three in One and One in Three,

make us strong to oppose what is wrong in Your sight,

and to work for what is right and good.

As we seek to do Your will,

shield us with Your encircling presence.

May Your people today light a fire of love

and truth that will never be put out.




The Reverend Philip Butcher

Rector - Two Shires Benefice (Tatworth, Thorncombe, Winsham, Chaffcombe & Cricket Malherbie)

The Vicarage

3 Home Farm



TA20 2SH

01460 221286

PASTORAL EMAILS - please to: [email protected]


Rest Days - Mondays (Tuesdays where following a bank holiday)

For non-urgent enquiries please allow up to a week for responses.

Mornings are best times for phone contact!