Welcome to the website for the Whitton Benefice, in the Diocese of Salisbury.

The Team Clergy are: Rector: Revd Canon Simon Weeden; Vicar: Revd Sue Rodd; and Assistant Curate: Revd Karen Rizzello.  The Team Office is in Ramsbury.

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Notices and Readings for Sunday 18 November 2018

Ministers Letter : October

I always think that October is a month for reflection. I suppose that is partly because the harvesting has finished, the leaves are changing, Autumn is upon us and in rural areas we have given thanks for God’s gifts in church services and in schools
A lot has happened this year. We have baptised, married and said our farewells to many in our villages. Yet life goes on and we continue to come together to celebrate our common life.
This month, as in previous years, we will be holding the All Souls Memorial service on Sunday, October 28th at 4.00pm in Holy Cross Church, Ramsbury. At this service we will remember, across the Whitton Benefice villages, those we have lost over the past years. It is a truly beautiful service where we gather and create a remembrance cross with the names of loved ones surrounded by garlands of Rosemary, the herb often associated with remembrance. All are welcome to join us in this powerful and reflective service. Please let us know the name of anyone you would like to be included in our list of names. (You can put the name on the forms you will find in church for the service).
This is a particularly reflective year for our team as we say our goodbyes to one of our Team Vicars, the Reverend Candice Marcus, who is retiring. I asked Candice what some of her memories will be of her time in the Whitton Benefice. She told me that she will always hold dear the love the community has for each other and the care, welcome and acceptance she herself received. She fell in love with this beautiful part of Wiltshire and will miss it when she moves on to a new chapter in her life. There is no doubt that we will miss her too for all that she has done and been to us during her time here. Her last service will be on Sunday November 4th in Holy Cross Church, Ramsbury at 10.00am. Please come along if you can and say your goodbyes in person.
God Bless, Revd. Karen

Cake and Company

The United Churches Together invite you to join them on the first Monday of every month from 10.30am to 12 noon, Aldbourne Methodist Hall.
For further information Contact Revd Karen Rizzello on 07882 055878.

Curates Egg – hatching plans for the future

Hello all
Believe it or not I am now in my third year as a curate. I felt it might be of interest to let you know what that means for someone like me who is nearing some important milestones in their curacy.
Curates are licensed to a parish or benefice for four years. This follows two or three years of academic training at theological college. At the end of their third year the curates are usually signed off by the Bishop as having completed the necessary competencies to be licensed as an Incumbent or Associate Priest in the future. Curates then have the final twelve months to find a new position in the future.
The time has flown by and I can see how I have grown in confidence since I first joined the Whitton team in July 2016. The curacy gives a person time to get to know a parish, to build relationships and to understand the day to day life of ministry. It is a wonderful privilege to be part of a community and to be accepted by families at some of the most important times in their lives. It is through these encounters that a curate grows and learns where their strengths lie. It is only by doing that we truly begin to understand our calling in ministry.
This experience has been, for me, one of joy and fulfilment. It has reinforced by calling. There have been challenges along the way, but I have always felt God’s presence at the centre of it all giving me strength and seeing me through.
We all have our path in life and I would encourage everyone to try to discern what that path may be. To be fully human and fully alive is our priority as part of God’s creation. Life is too precious to be spent without purpose or meaning.
AMEN and may God Bless you, Revd. Karen

Visit from Notre Dame des Bois

On Friday 27th April the Whitton Team welcomed 10 visitors from our link parish in Evreux Diocese.
We had the pleasure of greeting old friends and meeting some new ones too and began our time together with coffee and cake before taking them on a tour of five of our six churches in the team. We stopped off at each and were welcomed and given a brief tour with some interesting facts and things to see. They then went to their hosts’ houses for the rest of the evening.

On Saturday morning we gathered together and took them in the Ramsbury Flyer to Ramsbury Brewery where we were given a great tour by Alistair Ewing complimented with tastings of their very fine beers, gin, vodka and liqueurs! Alongside delicious products such as their smoked venison, duck and trout. After this we journeyed into Swindon to the Steam Museum and ate a good lunch, followed by a great tour of the museum. We had Arthur, aged 13, with us and he had great fun working the signals and then being given a certificate for what he had done to take back and show his friends in France. After this there was a short retail break (while the driver and I had coffee!) and then we drove back to Ramsbury for a short break before sitting down in fellowship for an evening meal together talking about the day and life.

Sunday was not a day of rest, at our Communion service in Ramsbury the readings were done in French and the intercessions were done in both languages. They were given the text of the sermon in French, so they had an idea of what it was all about. They had a tour of Holy Cross, Ramsbury which was followed by drinks and nibbles and then a sumptuous lunch. In the afternoon we shared what was happening in both benefices either side of the Channel, the way things had moved on and changed. We looked at things we share together too.

The day was rounded off with a choral evensong and another wonderfully catered meal by our great team in the Benefice. Monday was their last morning and we went to Baydon School where we watched a Collective Worship and then did a tour around the school to give our visitors an idea of how the Christian distinctiveness of our church schools is evident in work and displays, which is something they don’t experience in France. As an added bit of fun, we went to the Heritage Museum in Aldbourne to which they wonderfully added an historical tour of the village which fascinated our visitors. After a wonderful coffee and cake break we waved goodbye and look forward to seeing them again.
Many, many thanks to all those who catered, hosted and gave our visitors a really good visit with lots in it.
Candice Marcus