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News & Diary

1.   CURRENT  NEWS  ITEMS

LENT COURSE – Into Your Hands (Posted 9th February 2024)

A five week Bible Study looking at death, resurrection and the hope of what comes next.  Whilst we won’t be able to arrive at Easter with clear cut answers, we will be exploring and tackling some of the questions that come up when we lose someone or face our own mortality. Drawing on Scripture, poetry, art and research as well as a breadth of Christian thinkers we will delve a little into themes that affect us all, yet are rarely examined together.

Tuesdays from 20th Feb, 10.30 (after the Gathering Room time of meditative prayer to which all are welcome at 10am) at St Luke’s, Buckfastleigh.

Wednesdays from 21st Feb 2pm in the church rooms, St Petroc’s, South Brent.

LATEST EDITION OF ST LUKE’S NEWS (Posted 24th February 2024)

Each month we produce a newsletter, “St Luke’s News”. The March edition can be accessed here.

A NEW REGULAR SUNDAY SERVICE IN JANUARY  (Posted 23rd November 2023, updated 23rd January 2024)

For the last year or two we have had a Sunday morning service only on the 2nd and 4th Sundays of each month. In January we started a simple monthly lay-led service (not communion) on the 3rd Sunday at 11am, with the service in the side chapel, which allows a less formal feeling, with those attending less spread out than when we used the main church area. This January service was much appreciated (and very well led – it is good we have a team of three people taking on leadership of this service). The next one will be on February 18th.

GINA RADFORD INSTITUTED AS TEAM RECTOR (Posted 5th November 2023)

Gina Radford was instituted as Team Rector in a warm and inspiring service at St Luke’s Church on 5th November. She is already of course well-known to us in her role as team vicar, and is thoroughly immersed in the work of all our churches, including St Luke’s. She has in effect been acting team rector for the last two years, but has now officially stepped into that role. She will continue living in South Brent, and will still serve on a half-time basis. There is a video of the service here, and a photo here.

Meanwhile Laura McAdam will continue to live in Buckfastleigh and serve as our curate, and as curate for the whole mission community.

BISHOPS’ PROPOSALS FOR SAME-SEX COUPLES (Posted 19th January 2023, latest update 20th December 2023)

The Church of England bishops issued proposals for allowing prayers of thanksgiving, dedication and blessing for same-sex couples in partnerships and marriages, but not allowing churches to conduct same-sex marriages, and not making any changes in the Church’s doctrine of marriage. These proposals were put before the General Synod in early February, and were approved.

This is clearly a compromise position, and much further work is needed. In the meantime as a church we at St Luke’s are committed to welcoming all.

Update 3rd August Work on pastoral guidelines, suggested prayers, etc., is continuing, and there was a further debate at the July General Synod.

Update 18th November There was further long debate at the November General Synod. This included proposals for blessing services for same-sex couples. A motion was passed saying “….encourage this House [of Bishops] to consider whether some standalone services for same-sex couples could be made available for use, possibly on a trial basis, on the timescale envisaged by the motion passed by the Synod in February 2023.”

Update 20th December Prayers for Love and Faith have now been authorised for use in church services, (but not in standalone services).

NEW WEEKLY EVENT FOR FAMILIES (Posted 16th May 2023)

A new event for families on Tuesday mornings – see poster here and see the Families/Children page.

NEW FORTNIGHTLY COFFEE MORNING AND GRIEF GROUP (Posted 22nd May2023)

A new event open to all, but with part of it specifically for those coping with grief, recent or long ago. See poster here.

2.  ARCHIVED  NEWS   ITEMS

GENERAL NEWS and INFORMATION

Support and care for people in our community continues to be a priority, both for those who are church members and for those who aren’t. So do get in touch for practical or pastoral support, or with requests for prayer, via the details on the Contact page.

The FOODBANK is now operating mainly on Fridays, from the hall door at the rear of the church. However, please phone 01364 644485 or email beforehand to arrange collection. For further details for the Foodbank click ♦here♦

We need your support – the present situation is putting a strain on many people, and we as a church are glad to offer help.
But it is also putting a strain on our resources, and we would welcome any support you can give – click ♦here♦ for how to give to St Luke’s online.

Funerals – services can be held in St Luke’s, or in local crematoria, etc.
Contact Rev Gina Radford on 07903 400480 for support and help in your time of loss.

Problems with the church roof and with Holy Trinity Church

Unfortunately we are experiencing problems with our church roof being prone to leaks.
These have been evident for many years but are now getting worse.
A small committee was set up to examine the cause of the problem and to consider possible future action. The committee undertook initial engineering study work, which indicated the current roof technical design is unsuitable, requiring complete renewal of the roof covering to a new specification.  
Committing to this would require a major financial investment but we are actively considering how best to proceed, and have set up a building committee to work on this, and our PCC (Parochial Church Council) is actively pursuing various options  
Further details will be released as they become clear. In the meantime we have completed necessary work on firmly securing some loose roof panels.

In addition in late 2019 it was found that the top of the walls of the ruin of Holy Trinity Church are unstable.
Until repair work can be done, signs have been erected to stop people entering the main part of the ruin, though the tower is safe and so the bells can continue to be rung.

Wildlife haven at Holy Trinity Church

For information about work in Holy Trinty churchyard to make part of it more eco-friendly, see the Holy Trinity page

CORONATION WEEKEND EVENTS (Posted 23rd April 2023)

On the Saturday (May 6th) we are opening the hall from 10.00am so all who wish to, whether church members or not, can gather to watch the procession from Buckingham Palace to Westminster Abbey and the coronation service, all shown on a large T.V. screen.

If you would like to stay for lunch afterwards, please bring food for a shared lunch. We will provide drinks of tea, coffee and squash.

There will be a competition for the best decorated crown or tiara. Also a quiz and colouring activities for children and the young at heart.

All are welcome to join us to mark this special occasion. 

Let us know if you would like transport. Janet Jones 643627.

On the Sunday there will be a special service of celebration in church, at the usual time of 11am.

LENT COURSE (Posted 29th January 2023, updated 3rd February 2023)

This year (2023) we are planning a Lent course on the subject of prayer, based around the Lord’s Prayer. Because this course has 8 sessions we have decided to start before Lent. There is one group at St Luke’s, Buckfastleigh, on Tuesdays at 10am, beginning on February 14th, one at St Petroc’s, South Brent on Wednesdays at 2.30pm, starting on the 15th, and one group online, on Wednesday mornings at 10am, so also starting on the 15th. For access click here. This is for members of all our churches, and we hope as many as possible will take part, since prayer is so vital a part of Christian life and church life; please choose whichever group suits you.

REMEMBRANCE SUNDAY (Posted 15th November 2022)

 120 adults and 45 children and young people attended the Remembrance Sunday service at St Luke’s Church. We had representatives from the Town Council, the Fire Brigade, the scouts and other uniformed groups who use our hall, etc. It is good to see so many members of the community coming together in this way to remember and reflect.

After the service in St Luke’s there was a short service (in extraordinarily mild weather) at the war memorial in Holy Trinity churchyard, and the wreaths were then laid around the memorial.

FOLLOWING THE DEATH OF QUEEN ELIZABETH II AND THE ACCESSION OF KING CHARLES III

Lord God, we give thanks for the life of your servant Queen Elizabeth, for her faith and her dedication to duty.
May her example continue to inspire us; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Almighty God, you have called your servant, King Charles III, to the throne of this realm: guide him with your wisdom, strengthen him with your power, and let justice, truth and holiness, peace and love, flourish in his days; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

SWIFT NESTING BOXES AT HOLY TRINITY
(Posted 24th May 2022)

Several nesting boxes for swifts have been installed at the top of the tower of Holy Trinity Church.

The height afforded by towers and spires is ideal as swifts prefer a lofty home, and this year they’ll be checking out new breeding sites for future use.

LIVING IN LOVE AND FAITH (Posted 26th December 2021, updated 27th August 2022) ALSO SEE ABOVE

30+ people from across our mission community took part during autumn 2021 in three groups using the Living in Love and Faith course, which looks at issues of identity, sexuality, relationships and marriage. There was very positive discussion, and several participants sent in comments and contributions as the Church of England reaches a crucial stage in the debate about these issues. As a church we at St Luke’s are committed to welcoming all, and many of us want to see change to a far more accepting position in the Church of England for gay people generally and for those in a same-sex partnership or marriage.

NEWS FROM HOLY TRINITY (Posted 17th October 2021, updated 12th November)

The Bee, Bug and Butterfly Project at Holy Trinity Churchyard had an ‘open’ day on Saturday 16th October, with introductions by Donna Cox of Moor Meadows, who were instrumental with Caring for God’s Acre in setting up the Haven area. Tracey Hamston of Buckfastleigh Action for Nature Group expanded on the value of maintaining sites for wildlife. Also present was David Curry of Devon Green Churches. Ecologist John Walters showed some stunning moths be had caught in a moth trap.

For the second year Holy Trinity entered The Devon’s Best Churchyard Competition. This year we have gained a Most Improved Churchyard Certificate, so congratulations to all those who helped to achieve this.

Twenty five people attended this event. Also 1200 bulbs have been planted by volunteers, and the churchyard is looking more colourful and cared for. We are interested is forming a very loose group to help with the maintenance with the churchyard, nothing strenuous, just what you can manage. If you can help, please contact me. Thank you. Trefor K Jones, Estate Manager, St Luke’s and Holy Trinity Church. 01346 643627.

THE NEXT STAGE OF THE JOURNEY (Posted 20th June 2021)

Following the move of the Rev Tom Benson to a new parish, we are starting on the process of seeking a new incumbent. The churchwardens of all our parishes and the clergy and readers are meeting together, and beginning to work on the profile which will describe our various churches, the overall mission community, the different needs, and the qualities and gifts we are looking for in a new Team Rector.

The life of the church now continues – the ever exciting journey of following the Lord’s leading.

We thank Tom for the huge amount he has done over the last 8½ years. We shall greatly miss his ministry among us, but we wish him and Maryanne well for their new future.

Tom’s last Sunday morning service at St Luke’s was on June 6th, and concluded with worship in the open-air, including a presentation on behalf of Buckfastleigh Town Council. Photos below.