Letter from the Right Reverend Peter Hancock, Bishop of Bath and Wells

Right Reverend Peter Hancock
Right Reverend Peter Hancock

As you read this one of the issues dominating the news will be the General Election. Some wit once said: ‘If you don’t vote, you get the government you deserve, and if you do, you never get the results you expected.’ Witty that may be, but it is also somewhat cynical and it is one of the things our Archbishops have warned us against. In a Pastoral Letter released to all parishes and chaplaincies they have said that the first obligation we have as Christians is to pray for the election and to recognize the very real burdens and responsibilities carried by those in political life and their families. The second obligation they suggest is to set aside apathy and cynicism and to renew our commitment to the virtues of love, trust and hope in God and in each other. These virtues they suggest should guide and judge our own actions and shape and determine the life of our nation.

Faithful, humble, trusting prayer is one mark of true discipleship and I hope that many of us will be engaging in the opportunities to pray with others between Ascension and Pentecost. If we do we will be praying with millions of other Christians across the world, praying that many more people, among them our own friends and families, will discover and open their lives to the love of Jesus Christ. Services are being held in Bath Abbey on 25th May and in the Cathedral on 4th June. At Bath Abbey there will be interactive prayer stations, mixing traditional and contemporary worship and at the Cathedral there will be a Prayer Fayre. We are all invited to take part and to pray together expectantly for the empowering of the Holy Spirit. Come and join your bishops in praying: ‘Thy Kingdom Come’.

Rt Rev Peter Hancock
Bishop of Bath and Wells


Informal Ecumenical Prayer

Please remember that the Informal Ecumenical Prayer meeting is held in the Church Room at Christ Church on the first Saturday of the month. The next meeting is on Saturday, 3rd June at 9am.


We are delighted to announce that Rev Astrid Tiesema-Samsom has been appointed as our new Rector for the United Benefice of Pill, Portbury and Easton-in-Gordano.
Astrid is Dutch and spent much of her early life and ministry in her home country of the Netherlands in The Hague. Currently Astrid is a curate in the parish of Harwich Peninsula in the Diocese of Chelmsford.
Astrid has two grown up children, a son Friso and a daughter Lynn, and has strong links with family and friends in this part of the country. Sadly, her husband died a few years ago.
We all look forward to getting to know her and her family and to be open to the ideas and opportunities her ministry will bring to us all.
The Installation Service for Astrid will be held on Thursday 22nd June at St Mary’s Church Portbury, at 7pm, and as we anticipate many will wish to attend and give a warm welcome to Astrid, St Mary’s are planning to arrange additional parking.

Farewell service for Archdeacon Andy

Following the announcement that he is to retire at the end of June, a farewell service to celebrate and give thanks for the ministry of the Venerable Andy Piggott, Archdeacon of Bath, will take place at Bath Abbey on Monday, 26th June at 7pm. This is not a ticketed event and all are very welcome to attend.

Schools’ Prayer Meeting

The next schools’ prayer meeting will be on Thursday 29th June at 11am at Christ Church. Please join us to pray for our schools; for further details, contact Christina Taylor (372790). Hope to see some of you there.

Benefice Bible Study

You are most welcome to join our friendly Benefice Bible Study group at 8pm on Wednesday 14th June at 27 Overhill and Wednesday 28th June at Chloe Clarke’s home at 20 Oak Grove. We are studying Book 4 of the Church of England ‘Pilgrim’ series of study booklets, based on the Beatitudes. Please contact Jennie Baker on 373514 for information. You will be most welcome and we hope to see some new faces.

Salvation Army Summer Holiday Club

Confirmed dates for this event are Tuesday 15th to Friday 18th August. The theme is ‘Waste Watchers’. More details will follow. If anyone is able to help with activities or hostessing please contact Jennie Baker, tel. 01275 373514.

Portishead Choral Society Summer Concert, Music from the Med

A highly varied programme of music starting with early baroque works by Monteverdi, Gabrielli and Schutz, and supported by the Bristol Brass Ensemble. After the interval we switch to modern nostalgic music from France, Spain Italy and Greece, with favourites for an audience sing along. Perfect for a summer evening. Join us on Saturday 10th June at 7.30pm in Portishead Methodist Church. Tickets from David Yates 372678.

Calling all MEN!

Pill Churches in Covenant Invite YOU to a Men’s Breakfast on Saturday 8th July at Pill Methodist Church at 8am. The topic is ‘Sailing Pilots of the Severn Sea’ , a talk by Professor Bob Parfitt (formerly Science Chairman, University of Bath & Research Deputy VC & Emeritus Professor, the University of Western Australia, with Pill ancestors!). The substantial menu will include bacon, eggs sausages, mushrooms, beans, etc. to your choice together with toast, Fairtrade tea and coffee. There is a nominal charge of £3.00 to help offset cost of food and beverage.
Please book places by Wednesday 5th July with David Yates (372678) or Mike Burnett (217938.)

Pill Community Café

Café is open on term-time Fridays in June (i.e. all except 2nd) from 9am to 11.15am at Pill Community Centre; bacon rolls, cakes, coffee, tea and much more. Plus there’s Tiddlertown for any younger visitors to enjoy. All money raised goes towards supporting our local young people.

Pill Baptist Café Church

You are invited to Café Church at Pill Community Centre, starting at 4pm on Sunday 11th June. Plenty of free teas and coffees, home-made cakes, a talk or interview, guest musicians and crafts and activities for all ages, http://www.facebook.com/pillbaptistchurch.

SKAMPS Live Event

St Katherine’s Music Parents and Supporters group is a charity which supports music at St Katherine’s School. We are holding our annual Live Event at 7pm on Friday 30th June at St Katherine’s. Bar and refreshments available. Tickets are £5 for adults and £3 for children, available from the Post Office or from St Katherine’s (Student Support Office) or from Christina Taylor. Please come along and enjoy the music of our young musicians.

Outdoor Pentecost Service

Churches Together have organised an outdoor Pentecost service on the Green in Pill at 11.30am on Sunday, 4th June, followed by a picnic.


Bishop Peter welcomes Archbishops’ General Election letter

The Rt Revd Peter Hancock, Bishop of Bath and Wells has welcomed a three-page letter from the Archbishops of Canterbury and York which outlines the Archbishops’ approach to the upcoming election and Christian concerns that parishioners and clergy may like to reflect upon ahead of polling day.

Commenting on the letter and its purpose, Bishop of Bath and Wells, the Rt Revd Peter Hancock, says “I very much welcome this pastoral letter from our Archbishops. It is a call to all Christians to fulfil our duty by participating in this election and encouraging others to do the same. Our Archbishops also remind us of the rare opportunity that this election brings for us to reimagine our shared values as a country. The election is being contested against a backdrop where we as a people are examining and questioning what it means to be British. The Archbishops’ call for cohesion, courage and stability, whichever party comes to power, is a call which is timely and relevant.
“I encourage parishes across Bath and Wells to read and share its contents across our communities as they hold all those standing for office in their prayers.”
In the letter, which is being shared via dioceses to the Church of England’s network of parishes and chaplaincies the Archbishops urge people to set aside “apathy and cynicism” and draw new inspiration from the ancient Christian virtues of “love, trust and hope”.
Following divisions of recent years, it calls for reconciliation drawing on shared British values based on cohesion, courage and stability. It upholds marriage, family and households as the building blocks of society which should be “nurtured and supported” as a “blessing”.

At a time when political differences may be felt more intensely than ever, the Archbishops insist that Christians’ “first obligation” during the election and beyond is to pray for those standing for office and recognise the personal costs and burdens carried by those in political life and by their families. But Christians also have a duty to play an active part in the process, they add.

The letter also calls for space for faith in political debate and says politicians must be free to speak openly about their own beliefs and convictions and treated fairly for doing so. “This election is being contested against the backdrop of deep and profound questions of identity,” “Opportunities to renew and reimagine our shared values as a country and a United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland only come around every few generations. We are in such a time.
“Our Christian heritage, our current choices and our obligations to future generations and to God’s world will all play a shaping role.
“If our shared British values are to carry the weight of where we now stand and the challenges ahead of us, they must have at their core cohesion, courage and stability.”
The Archbishops highlight major concerns over poverty, housing and the dangers of “crushing” debt among other issues. They call for a generous and hospitable welcome to refugees and migrants but also warn against being “deaf to the legitimate concerns” about the scale of migration into some communities.

They also single out the importance of standing up for those suffering persecution on grounds of faith around the world. Faith, they argue, has a unique role to play in preventing extremism and religiously motivated violence.
“Contemporary politics needs to re-evaluate the importance of religious belief,” they insist.
“The assumptions of secularism are not a reliable guide to the way the world works, nor will they enable us to understand the place of faith in other people’s lives. Parishes and Chaplaincies of the Church of England serve people of all faiths and none.
“Their contribution and that of other denominations and faiths to the well-being of the nation is immense – schools, food banks, social support, childcare among many others – and is freely offered. But the role of faith in society is not just measured in terms of service delivery.
“The new Parliament, if it is to take religious freedom seriously, must treat as an essential task the improvement of religious literacy.
“Political responses to the problems of religiously-motivated violence and extremism, at home and overseas, must also recognise that solutions will not be found simply in further secularisation of the public realm.”
Commenting on the Church’s role in national life, Bishop Peter Hancock adds, “The Church’s role in national life is clear. It seeks to remain politically neutral, whilst at the same time calling on its members to play a full part in the political life of the nation and to support politicians and the government with their prayers.”
“Christians believe in the fundamental truth that every human being is created in the image of God. Because of this, we are called to love our neighbour as ourselves. This is the starting point for all of the church’s engagement with society, politics and national life. Christians everywhere and throughout the ages have prayed, as part of The Lord’s Prayer, “Thy Kingdom Come, Thy will be done, on earth as in heaven”. That is why politics and the life of the Christian disciple cannot be separated.”
“As well as encouraging people to engage thoughtfully and prayerfully as campaigning continues, I hope that people will also use their vote when the election comes. I always have and always will. It is a privilege that others don’t have.” adds Bishop Peter.


Christ Church Pill

Verger: – Maggie Robbins
Tel 374534

Christ Church Coffee Morning and Summer Gift Day

The Summer Gift Day for 2017 will be Tuesday 13th June to coincide with the coffee morning in the church room from 9.30 am until noon. There will be home-made cakes on sale and a raffle. The coffee morning held in May raised £49.98 for church funds.

Fundraising Quiz 27th June

Your editor is organising a fund-raising quiz at the Kings Head in Pill on Tuesday 27th June at 8pm to raise money to pay for repairs to the lightening conductors. Many thanks to Martin Hart for hosting.

Soup and Chat at Christ Church

The Soup and Chat lunch dates for June are as follows:
Monday, 5th June and Monday, 19th June, from noon to 1.30pm. The cost of £3.00 includes soup, a bread roll and a piece of cake followed by tea or coffee. For further details telephone Maggie Robbins on 01275 374534.

St George’s Easton in Gordano

Verger:- Ian Crichton Tel 372698

Church Flowers

4th June Mrs Betts (Whit Sunday)
11th June Mrs Ramsay
18th June Mrs Beswick
25th June Mrs Betts

A Visitor from the Channel Islands

The evening Communion Service on Sunday 25th June is to be taken by the Very Revd Canon Marc Trickey. He is the brother of Claire Reeve who has been hoping that Marc would take a service at St George’s one day, now that he is retired he is at last able to do so. Marc was Rector at St. Martin’s in Guernsey for 25 years and he was also Dean of Guernsey and the Channel Islands, (except Jersey has its own Dean).

Church Cleaning

The team for this June is Mrs Davis & Mrs Foster.

Thank You!

The flower arrangers would like to say “Thank You” to all the people who donated money for Easter lilies in memory of their loved ones.

Easton in Gordano WI

On 7th June we shall have a talk by Mark Green on “Blood Bikes” Also on this evening we shall hold our annual Blacker Cup competition for three roses. We are pleased to welcome any visitors or friends to this meeting at St Georges Church Hall, Easton in Gordano at 7.30pm. A Members’ lunch will be held at the Kings Arms on Wednesday, 21st June.
Jan Robertson, Secretary

St George’s Gift Day – Good News!

The St George’s Gift Day appeal has so far raised £3,360.35, a most welcome sum towards the estimated £60,000 required for the South Aisle roof. Thank you so very much to all parishioners who have donated; 72 envelopes of the 600 or so that we delivered have been returned to date.

There is no closing date for this appeal. Anyone who would still like to donate please post or deliver your contribution to one of our churchwardens, Elspeth Davis or Nick Hockin. Their addresses can be found on the inside front cover of the parish magazine or pass your donation to a member of St George’s. It would be so very encouraging to see a rise in the percentage of contributors in the parish.

St Mary the Virgin Portbury

Vergers – Dick Talbot & Valerie Marshall
Contact Valerie on 374201

Flower Rota

5th June Mrs E. Gray
11th June Mrs Marshall
18th June Mrs Chilcot
25th June Mrs Marshall

Cleaning Rota

Friday 16th June at 9.30am, a general tidy up for the Induction Service. Everyone welcome.

Worm Charming!

We are having a ‘worm charming competition’ at the north side ground of the church on 1st July. Do come and have fun; the village community café will also be in church on the same day, and our local Morris Dancers will be coming to teach children – so lots to do.

Wall pointing in Portbury

Come and have fun as we are holding a wall pointing course at church over the weekend of 15th and 16th July (short days). All materials and equipment provided and the course is free to anybody interested. Only proviso is please spend a similar amount of time helping to point our church boundary walls. Contact Ann Longstaff 07552 629928 to secure your place (limited spaces are filling up).

Installation of Rector Astrid

The Installation of our new Rector Astrid is on Thursday 22nd June at 7pm, when we shall welcome Astrid into the benefice and wish her all the best for her ministry with us.

Flower Festival

A big thank-you to the team behind the Flower Festival at St Mary’s, led by Valerie Marshall. It was a great opportunity for all groups in the village to contribute to a spectacular display. DV

Bluebell Café

We are pleased to announce a record figure which means St Peter’s Hospice, St Mary’s School and St Mary’s Church equally receive £1420. We benefitted from having the Easter Holiday and a Bank Holiday in the four weeks. Thank you to the many cake-makers who provided so many, one day we used 33! Also to those who manned the stall and thanks to Phil & Gill Voisey for the use of their garage, electricity and metered water.

Community Café for June and July

The Community Café will be in the Village Hall on 3rd June with usual stalls etc. ,and on 1st July, please note change of venue to St Mary’s Church; breakfasts, coffee, cake and stalls, both from 10am to noon.

WI Portbury

WI Portbury are having their June Birthday meeting on Tuesday 20th June at 7.30pm in the Portbury Village Hall. It is open to friends family and members from other WI’s to hear songs and music from Sarah Bridal and the virtuoso pianist and keyboard player Richard Lennox. The entry fee will £3.00 on the door. If you require more detail,s please call Daphne Vise 01275 372644.

St Mary’s School Art Show

St Mary’s School Art Show is in the church on Wednesday 12th July.

Wives Group

On Tuesday 13th June we will be visiting Charles House in Bristol and the newly- refurbished New Room Chapel in Broadmead. Meet at the footbridge bus-stop at 9.30am. The cost for both properties is £12. We will also have lunch out. On Tuesday 27th June we are going to play UNO; venue to be confirmed.
Advance Notice: The Wives Group are visiting the Donkey Sanctuary and Sidmouth on Tuesday 11th July. This is an open invitation for anyone to join us, we will be travelling by coach. Further details in the next magazine. Contact Valerie Marshall (374201).



21st May Belle Ophelia Parker Christ Church
21st May Nalo Ray Elliott Christ Church

Holy Matrimony



~,Service of Remembrance+ , Burial of Ashes* & Burial in Churchyard #
18th April Maureen Patricia Andrews* St George


  • 3rd June Ecumenical Prayer Meeting
  • 3rd June Portbury Community Café
  • 5th June Soup & A Chat (see page 9)
  • 7th June Easton-in-Gordano WI
  • 9th June Pill Community Café open
  • 10th June PCS Concert
  • 11th June Café Church
  • 13th June Portbury Wives Group
  • 13th June Christ Church Ladies Coffee Morning and Gift Day
  • 14th June Ecumenical Bible Study
  • 16th June Pill Community Café open
  • 19th June Soup & A Chat
  • 20th June Portbury WI
  • 23rd June Pill Community Café open
  • 26th June Farewell Service for Archdeacon Andy Pigott
  • 27th June Fundraising Quiz for Christ Church
  • 27th June Portbury Wives Group
  • 28th June Ecumenical Bible Study
  • 29th June Schools’ Prayer Meeting
  • 30th June SKAMPS Concert
  • 30th June Pill Community Café open
  • 1st July Portbury Community Café
  • 8th July Men’s Breakfast

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