Sunday 7th March 2021
Dear Friends in the Bridge Benefice,
It is good to be in touch with you again on this beautiful Spring day.
On Sunday 7th March we have a service via ZOOM at 9.15am with Rev Justin Pottinger. Please contact Justin for the log-in details. In case you are unable to be with us on Zoom, the hymn and the choir's anthem can be found below. Here is the Pew Sheet for this week. It includes details of the administrative vacancy we are advertising in the Lower Stour Benefice, and details of a course the Bishop of Sherborne is offering.
On Wednesday 10th March there will be a zoom morning prayer service at 9.00am led by Rev Justin Pottinger. The same log-in details as for Sunday.
On Wednesday 17th March there will be a zoom morning prayer service at 9.00am led by Rev Justin Pottinger.
On Wednesday 24th March there will be a zoom morning prayer service at 9.00am led by Carolyn.
On Wednesday 31st March there will be midweek communion in St Mary's, Sturminster Marshall at 9.00am.
Sunday 14th March: live Zoom service at 9.15am with Carolyn.
Sunday 21st March: online pre-recorded service.
On Good Friday, 2nd April there will be an online pre-recorded service. If you would like to spend time in church listening to this service, it will be available to hear at 2.00pm in St Mary's, Stur and also in St Stephen's, Kingston Lacy (time tba). It will also be broadcast on Radio Wimborne (time tba) via the internet and on your radio: tune to 92.3FM.
On Easter Sunday, 4th April there will be Communion Services at St Mary's and St Stephen's, both at 9.15am.
Here is the third Poem and Prayer selected by Rev Nigel Feaver for us to reflect on. Nigel has also provided an introduction, as useful background information on what is planned and how to make best use of this resource during Lent. If you know someone in the parish who cannot access this weekly resource online, but who might appreciate receiving them, I wonder if you might offer to print them out each week and deliver it to them? The midweek Lent groups continue with the same log-in details.
DATE FOR YOUR DIARY
On Sunday 25th April at 10.30am the Bishop of Sherborne will lead a service to mark the end of the Bridge Benefice. It will be an opportunity to celebrate all that has happened in the last 35 years as a Benefice and to thank God for it and each other, and to pray for the Churches as you all start a new chapter on May 1st. Due to numbers expected and social distancing requirements, this service will either be outdoors in Shapwick churchyard, or if the weather forecast is wet, it will be via zoom (but still led by the Bishop). The decision will be made on Friday April 23rd jointly by the incumbent, Churchwardens and Bishop, then communciated widely after that.
LOOKING AHEAD TO CHURCHES RE-OPENING
As our churches reopen, I expect to stop writing this weekly newsletter at the end of March. All notices after that will be available on the pew sheet in Church. If you know of people who will still be self-isolating and who would like to keep in touch with news from the Church, please could you plan to drop a pew sheet round to them? (and please ask me for one, if you know you'll be staying home and not sure how to get one).
I hope you are enjoying the Spring sunshine.
About the Bridge Benefice
These three beautiful villages are situated between Wimborne Minster and Blandford Forum in the county of Dorset and in the Diocese of Salisbury. Each village has its own church, with lots going on, but we also enjoy getting together for joint services and social events. We have been friends and colleagues for well over 30 years.
Sadly, the Bridge Benefice is soon to be dissolved and our three churches will be going their separate ways. St Mary's, Sturminster Marshall will be absorbed into the Benefice of Red Post; St Stephen's, Kingston Lacy and St Bartholomew's, Shapwick will cross the border into the Deanery of Wimborne, and become part of the Wimborne Parish.
The photo at the top of the page shows White Mill Bridge, where the three parish boundaries meet. There has been a mill here on the River Stour for centuries. Now in the care of the National Trust, it is well worth a visit.
We are once again in lockdown.
Sadly our churches are closed.
Details of our online services will be posted here.
Please check back regularly.
The church is still active in the community and we are still praying.
If we can support you in any way, please do contact us:
or 01258 858353
May you know God's blessing and peace.
Rev. Carolyn Couzens
Our Monthly Service Rota
In the Bridge Benefice we take our responsibilities concerning the safeguarding of children, young people, and vulnerable adults very seriously, and we try to ensure that we always work in accordance with best practice. To view the Safeguarding Policy of each of our churches please visit their webpages.
For any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact our Safeguarding Officer,