News from the churches of Westbury
We are to have our first service under the ‘new normal’ on Sunday 20th September!
Zoom meetings have continued on Sunday evenings, thanks to Rev. Ward Jones, and we receive Worship at Home services from our minister, Rev. David Coppard.
There are no services at the current time.
West End Baptist Church
Over the last two months we have continued with our building project, the first steps being to make alterations to the inside of the church whilst it was closed for services. This included removing pews, levelling the gallery area, removing one set of stairs to the gallery, and knocking a hole through the vestibule wall in preparation for an internal glass door. Given the amount of dust this generated, it probably was an opportune moment to proceed! We are very grateful to two of our members who voluntarily carried out the manual labour. We are now in the process of shaking the dust-sheets, wiping down window sills, hoovering etc. and making the building ready for re-occupation.
Over the summer we continued our weekly worship gatherings joining via YouTube for Sunday Morning Worship, streamed from the Manse. However, we now have Wi-Fi capability at the church and our master plan is to begin streaming from the church from Sunday 4 October. We are completing our Covid-19 Risk Assessment with the intention that the services in the church will also begin at the same time. Members will therefore have a choice about whether to continue to join worship online, or to worship in person. The Evening Prayer gatherings, six times a week, will continue to be online, as will the Morning Devotions. All details of our services can be found on our website www.westendbaptist.org.uk.
Many of us are looking forward to gathering in person again. Over the summer, small ad hoc groups gathered in gardens or public spaces, and we did hold a socially distanced Official Church Picnic towards the end of August. Fortunately, the rain held off, but it was rather breezy!
The Minister and Church Leadership Team are continuing to consider the most appropriate way of continuing in carrying out Christ’s command to share the Gospel and make disciples. At the moment we are exploring an initiative developed by Renew Wellbeing, a charity that helps churches to open up spaces of welcome and inclusion in partnership with mental health teams, in order to improve mental and emotional wellbeing. We will keep you posted on progress!
Hawkeridge Congregational Church
Our Chapel remains closed at the present time.
Elizabeth Brown, the widow of Maurice, passed away on 26th August. Visitors to the Chapel will remember them, especially Maurice for his singing. They were a lovely couple and we all missed them a lot when Maurice died and Elizabeth was unable to attend.
Stormore Baptist Church
Stormore Baptist Church is open for worship each Sunday at 10.30am We social distance, wear masks and do not sing. Despite these restrictions, we are able to meet together as the Book of Hebrews encourages us to do. We gain strength from this physical gathering as we share with each other. It is as if Jesus is in our midst. We do not have visiting preachers, but the fellowship is content with Len’s weekly discourse.
As we are twelve in number, we are able to meet without too much danger of cross infection. Twelve is after all a good biblical number: twelve tribes of Israel, twelve disciples, twelve servants of Christ at Stormore!
We give our blessings to our brothers and sisters in Christ in the Westbury/Dilton area who worship God in a variety of different expressions and ways.
St Bernadette’s Church
St Bernadette’s Church is now holding services at the usual times of 9am on Sundays and 10am on Thursday mornings. We are back with the “new normal”- in other words – one metre distancing, face masks, hand sanitisers and anti-bacterial sprays all over the place. It seems to work, and at least we can see and smile at each other and ask friends if they are ok. Those who are unable to come to church can still catch up on YouTube Mass in Trowbridge and we now have live streaming (whatever that is), but I think there are still a few hiccoughs with the reception at the moment. When will things really get back to normal? But thank God that we are still safe in this part of Wiltshire and may God bless you all and keep you safe.
White Horse Team Ministry
During the Covid-19 pandemic, reports have shown that many people turned to prayer in this time of crisis. Not just people of faith, but people of all faiths and none. Christians believe that prayer is at the heart of our faith and our relationship with God. We, at the White Horse Team, are starting this new course to help us think a bit more about prayer: how to go about it, what to do, what resources are available to us, and what to do when our prayers seem to go unanswered. The course is based on the prayer Jesus taught his followers when they asked him how to pray and is based on a book called How to Pray – A simple guide for normal people by Pete Greig, founder of the 24/7 Prayer Movement. Participants will be encouraged to use the book alongside the course.
The programme for the course is as follows:
Week 1/29 September – Why Pray? Lord, teach us to pray. We unpack the importance of prayer and the different topics covered in the course.
Week 2/6 October – Adoration Our Father in Heaven, hallowed be your name. We explore how we can enjoy God’s presence in praise and worship.
Week 3/ 13 October – Petition Give us this day our daily bread. We’ll unpack the significance of asking God in prayer.
Week 4/ 20 October – Intercession Your kingdom come. We’ll explore the power and importance of praying on behalf of others.
Week 5/ 3 November – Unanswered Prayer Your will be done. We tackle the challenges and realities of when our prayers aren’t answered.
Week 6/ 10 November – Contemplation On earth as it is in heaven. We discover how spending time in silence with God can enrich our relationship with Him.
Week 7/ 17 November – Listening. Give us this day our daily bread. We unpack the practical ways in which we can tune into hearing God’s voice.
Week 8/ 24 November – Spiritual Warfare Deliver us from evil. We look closely at the ways we can pray God’s kingdom come in the midst of a spiritual battle.
All the sessions will be on Zoom, starting at 7.00 pm. We would love to welcome you to join us. If you would like to come, please be in touch with either Caroline Husband email@example.com, or myself and we can send you the link to Zoom. We look forward to sharing in this together.
Services continue at All Saints’ on the first and third Sundays of the month and at Holy Trinity, Dilton Marsh on the second and fourth Sundays. There are also various services on Zoom throughout the month which include Café Church, and Morning Prayer on a Wednesday.
All Saints’ is open for private prayer on Saturdays 10am – 12noon.
Holy Trinity is open on Saturdays from 10am – 4pm for private prayer and to drop off items for the baby bundles and the food bank. Please follow the instructions on arrival as the church will not be staffed.
Future planned events:
Autumn Craft Fair at All Saints’ Church on Saturday 17th October from 10am to 12noon.
Christmas Tree Festival – 4th/7th December.
Because of the many restrictions and guidelines that need to be followed, we will be running these events differently than in previous years and are subject to changes in government guidelines.