Welcome to our website for the
Three Valleys Team Ministry
Tony and Nicola Gilbert appreciate all the cards, cakes, flowers and kind wishes that they have received since Tony had a heart attack. He is to be off work recuperating for a minimum of 6 weeks. Depending on medical advice, Tony will then have a staged return to work.
Services across the Three Valleys are being covered.
For any Church related matters please contact one of the Team Vicars: Colette Annesley-Gamester (01935) 872237 or Richard Kirlew (01963) 23570.
From our Team Vicar Colette Annesley-Gamester July/August 2016
The Role of Clergy in our Community
Church of England Priests serve everyone in the Parish – whether or not they attend Church, have a faith – or none. Our duties include regular Sunday services for Church ‘members’ as well as Baptisms, Wedding and Funerals for those who wish to use the Church building or who would like to have a Minister conduct a service – for example, a funeral at a crematorium.
Clergy commonly go into Primary Schools to lead worship, take School Assemblies, teach aspects of the Religious Education syllabus and frequently serve as Foundation Governors for Church of England Schools.
Outside our Church and School duties (which are explicitly religious), we also have a remit to look after the pastoral and spiritual care of all parishioners who live within the geographical location under our License. Here the ‘Three Valleys Benefice’ (made up of the former Gifle Valley, White Hart Vale and Wriggle Valley Benefice) now includes 17 Churches with 19 separate Parishes and around 6,500 parishioners including the Franciscan Community at Hilfield Friary. The term ‘clergy’ comes from the Greek ‘kleros’ meaning ‘a lot’ as in duties ‘assigned by lot’. Typically, the place where we live and the people whom we live alongside will determine the nature of the duties we’re ‘allotted’ or asked to perform.
As well as the ‘usual’ Church of England duties, we are available for public occasions: outdoor Remembrance Services, monthly and annual Agricultural events, most Community events: Fêtes, Open Gardens, Street Fairs. We try to support fundraising activities and, generally, to be out and about locally whether that is shopping in local stores, joining sports and social clubs or popping into the pub for a pint. We all have our own particular gifts and interests: panto, poetry, quiz nights – amongst others.
As 21st Century Priests, we augment our ministry by having an online presence and you can find us on Twitter or other Social Media platforms. Our public role as Christians is to help build strong local communities within the Three Valleys where we are all neighbours. Do feel free to have a conversation when we’re out in public or find us via the Three Valleys Team website: www.threevalleysteam.org
The Role of Church Wardens in our Community
Colette L Annesley-Gamester
From our Team Vicar: Colette Annesley-Gamester June 2016
The Servant Queen and The King She Serves
As a Brownie, I remember with wonder and great excitement Street Celebrations for the Queen’s Silver Jubilee in 1977. Her subsequent Golden Jubilee in 2002 and Diamond Jubilee in 2012 brought with them bigger parties, wider media coverage and the question of whether Elizabeth II would make history by exceeding Queen Victoria as the longest serving monarch. This year, we celebrate that landmark as well as Her Majesty’s 90th Birthday by giving thanks for her life-long service and duty to the Nation.
On Christmas Day 2014, in a departure from royal protocol, The Queen spoke - not just of her sense of duty but made explicit reference to her faith. It was striking how naturally she talked about Jesus Christ identifying him as ‘an inspiration and an anchor in [her] life.’ In another unabashed public reference to her Christian faith in 2015, the Queen explained:
‘Despite being displaced and persecuted throughout his short life, Christ’s unchanging message was not one of revenge or violence but simply that we should love one another.’
She went on to acknowledge:
‘Although it is not an easy message to follow, we shouldn’t be discouraged; rather, it inspires us to try harder: to be thankful for the people who bring love and happiness into our own lives, and to look for ways of spreading love to others, whenever and wherever we can.’
Whether we identify as being Christian, attend Church or not, hearing what motivates the Queen and gives her inner strength enables us to consider who are our own role models and what we do on account of their example. Plus, significantly, for whom might we be role models and what will we leave as a legacy from what we have said and done that might in some way give encouragement or inspiration to others?
As people join in the various Birthday celebrations for the Queen across the Wriggle Valley, those events will themselves contain their own message about each of our distinctive communities and how we seek to serve our neighbours. Wishing everyone joyous and blessed celebrations in giving thanks to The Queen for her life, faith and service.
I DON'T NEED TO GO TO CHURCH TO BE A CHRISTIAN!
Many people believe that they can be very good Christians and never set foot in Church. Actually this is very difficult to accomplish. A handful of hermits and saints have managed it but I have not met many hermits and certainly no saints. For most of us it is simply wrong to make that claim. You do have to go to Church to be a Christian. Christians were commanded by Jesus Christ to meet together as the Church, on a regular basis to pray for each other, to share the bread and wine together and to support each other as a community. Going regularly to Church is not an optional extra for Christians, it never was and it never will be. The only defence I will allow is that Jesus never defined what regularly meant. Is it once a day, once a month or once a year? Jesus however was Jewish and the Jews believed that once a month was the absolute minimum.
People also often say that being a good person means you are a Christian.
It does not. Now don't get me wrong you can be a good person and not go to Church. However, being a good person does not automatically make you a Christian. Some very good people are atheists who would never dream of setting foot inside a Church, but then they do not claim to be Christians. Christian practice is about finding our rightful place in the created order of the Universe, it is about finding answers to the great eternal questions such as:
Who am I?
Why am I here?
What happens when I die?
No amount of good behaviour will help you with these questions.
The definition of the word Christian is “someone who follows Christ as the Son of God”. The good works they may do along that road and the way they live their lives all spring from this belief. They go to church to understand more about what Christ’s life meant and they are Christians because they want to follow Him more closely.
What better time to examine what it means to be a Christian than at Easter. Have a good one.
I hope that you will find plenty of useful and interesting information in here.
The Reverend Tony Gilbert
Tony with his wife Nicola