The Benefice of Watchet and Williton

Sunday 2nd August 2020.





‘God’s most mighty protection’

Today’s Collect prays that ‘through God’s most mighty protection … we may be preserved in body and soul’. This is a prayer asking, not just for personal safety, but that God’s unfailing care will enable us to do ‘the works of his commandments’. Someone else put it like this: ‘Lord, keep me under your protection till my work is done, and in your service till my life shall end.’



Almighty Lord and everlasting God, we beseech you to direct,

sanctify and govern both our hearts and bodies in the ways of your laws

and the works of your commandments;

that through your most mighty protection, both here and ever, we may be preserved in body and soul;

through our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, who is alive and reigns with you,

in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever    Amen.


"The Churches one foundation is Jesus Christ our Lord."

I can only remember seeing one church demolished. It was in a neighbouring parish in Dartford, Kent. Some fairly destructive machinery was used to bring it to the ground - great force was used to break the stones apart.

Later in this News Sheet you will find the answer to Sara`s  "Hymns" quiz from last week - it was that which set me thinking, as the words to a hymn came to mind: "The church's one foundation is Jesus Christ our Lord." With Christ as our firm foundation we will continue to be his witnesses in the midst of our communities. In Ephesians 2.19 - 22 we read:

19 So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are citizens with the saints and also members of the household of God, 20 built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the cornerstone.[a] 21 In him the whole structure is joined together and grows into a holy temple in the Lord; 22 in whom you also are built together spiritually[b] into a dwelling-place for God.

I love those wonderful images, the thought that we are members of the household of God, and built upon the foundation of the apostles with Jesus Christ our Lord as the cornerstone. How incredibly lucky and privileged are we to live together in such a house whether it be called St. Decuman's or St. Peter's.

So what is the mortar that holds our spiritual home together? Surely it is love. The love of God through our Lord Jesus, and therefore our love for each other. We only have to pay attention to the news to see how many groups and organisations, even governments, which can be damaged by a lack of love.

It is their love for each other and for their church , I am sure, that is holding together the people of the church in the illustration - it does not take much to imagine the hurt and damage that the church would feel if the mortar that holds them together were to weaken. For in the words of the song: "United we stand - divided we fall."

I would like to thank all those people - members of these church households -  whose love for God and others has carried us through this pandemic.

Working behind the scenes they have enabled us to keep in touch with each other and to have safe and clean churches to return to. They have helped to make decisions that are only intended to keep people safe and healthy and to prevent further deaths from this virus. We need to continue to be careful until there is a vaccine to protect God's worldwide family.

To everyone - thank you for your love for our spiritual households, and for each other.                 Clive.


The Circling Prayer

Circle us, Lord -

Keep darkness out, keep light within.

Keep fear without, keep peace within.

Keep hatred out, keep love within.

Lord Jesus Christ, Light of the world,

By your Cross you have overcome all darkness that oppresses.

Come and shine on us here in Watchet & Williton

That we may grow and live together in your love which makes us one with all humanity.

 The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, the love and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit, be with us all evermore.             Amen.                         (adapted from a prayer by Ray Simpson)


Please praythat God will bring healing and encouragement in body, mind and Spirit to those suffering from ill-health, depression, frailty or who are concerned about this challenging time:




Letter from the Right Reverend Ruth Worsley, Bishop of Taunton

For Parish Newsletters – August 2020


Time for a rest


I’m tired!  I don’t know about you?  And yet I am getting up later and going to bed earlier than I was accustomed to before the pandemic struck.  I’m travelling less, indeed I still have an almost full tank of petrol and have had to call out the AA three times because the battery has died!  I’m at home principally, but my working day has got fuller and more demanding as time has gone on.

So, I’m planning a holiday!  A retreat and some study leave.  Having been ordained 24 years I have yet to have a period of sabbatical and I’m looking forward to it!  It is not going to take the form I would have planned.  There will not be the opportunity of a trip overseas or a residential conference to attend, but there will be plenty of time for family, rest, reading and reflection.

What about you?  I know some of you might be feeling that our children have had one big holiday at home since lockdown but I can assure you that they, their parents and their teachers have all been working hard to ensure that learning can continue even though the normal patterns have been disturbed.  Whether we have been working from home, furloughed or feeling alone in isolation, each of us will I expect have experienced something of the sense of weariness that heightened anxiety, change of routine and uncertain expectation brings.

So I want to encourage you to take some time off.  There’s a fabulous little children’s story called, Jesus’ Day Off, which you might like read as an example of the need for even the Creator to re-create.  The example of Sabbath rest which our Creator God offers us in the opening chapters of the Bible, speak to us of the need for taking time to put down the tools of work and take space to reflect and rest. 

We have spent the past few months in lockdown in order to keep ourselves physically healthy.  Let’s make sure that in these next few months we attend as much to our spiritual and emotional health, by discovering sabbath rest!

With every blessing

Bishop Ruth

Today's Worship & Readings:


Isaiah 55.1-5 & Matthew 14.13-21


9.15 am     Parish Communion at St. Decuman's Church.


9.15 am. Parish Communion at St. Peter's Church.


10.30 am.  Here in watchet & williton, in our own homes.  Can I encourage you all to use the Agape Service at 10.30 am on Sunday (If you would like to join us on Zoom - the passwords are included below)



Great News - You can join our Zoom Service by telephone.

Janet Strong and Edna Sully did so on Sunday morning and it was brilliant to have them join us! Thanks to Andrew Tatham for making this possible and here are his instructions if you would like to join us by phone:


The instructions for Sunday morning are :

Dial      0203 901 7895 or  0203 481 5257


When asked, dial the meeting number

896 4473 6769#


Then when asked:       #


Then when asked, the password:        201079#          - and you should get through !


I assume that the meeting numbers and passwords for Morning Prayer and Compline could be used in the same way.       All blessings,   Andrew


And, don`t forget, there are services on the television and the radio.


In addition to this Kathryn and I will be saying the Eucharist for and on behalf of the communities of Watchet & Williton and telephoning all those in our congregations who are not on e-mail during the course of the week.

And for everybody who has a TELEPHONE - DAILY HOPE!

You can use it at any time and on any day. There is a message from the Archbishop of Canterbury.



tel: 0800 804 8044


Returning to a service in Church – What should we expect ?

Hurrah !        Church services are beginning again !

It is indeed a cause for great rejoicing, although we do need to remind ourselves that the services will not be exactly as they were before lockdown, but the differences are all about how we can look after each other and make our time together as safe as possible.


You may find the differences annoying or frustrating or nonsensical, but please do not take out your feelings on the churchwardens or clergy – we are all in this together, trying to do the best we can.

If you do not feel able to join us in church, we understand; and those who have been shielding or who are at risk may feel it important to be more cautious.


At the church porch, everyone will be met by a churchwarden and asked to give their name and address. (This is a government requirement to aid contact tracing should it become necessary, and we are required to keep the list for three weeks and then destroy it.) If several people arrive at once, please remember to wait 2 metres apart.


Next, everyone will be asked to use hand sanitiser and will be shown into church. If you want to wear face covering, please do so. Seats are marked to allow for social distancing, so if possible, please sit where you are asked to. Those from a single household will be able to sit together, but otherwise everyone will be well spaced out.


There will be a service sheet on each useable seat. We are not permitted to sing hymns, so the service will be said and we are all asked not to move around, so the Peace will be shared with us all staying in our places - at a safe distance.


If it is a communion service, please stay in your place to receive communion – which will be in one kind (the wafer) – and which the priest will bring to you. You may stand, sit or kneel to receive, but please hold out your hands so that the priest knows you wish to do so. Of course, you are welcome to attend the service and not receive communion – just keep your hands close to yourself.


At the end of the service please stay in your place until you are asked to leave and then go out by the other door. Please do not stop for a chat inside church – if you want to chat with others outside, that is fine – just remember 2 metres !


This note was written on 3rd July – it is almost certain that there will be changes to the way we are allowed to do things both before the first services back in church and after that as well, so do not be surprised by variations !                  Andrew Tatham




Thank you, Andrew, for this clear description of what it will be like when we return to worship. In line with guidance - we would ask all those joining us for worship to wear face masks and it might be a good idea to bring your own hand sanitizer.


It is really important for us all to know that whatever decision we make about returning for worship is perfectly okay and no one should feel embarrassed about waiting before returning to church.


Those of us who are over 70 or have been shielding are able to attend worship. You should check the recommendations and must understand that you are responsible for your decision.

Seating is limited to approximately 18 people in each church at the moment so we will be considering how to allow for more which may mean holding two services in our churches.

Further details will follow soon.         Clive & Kathryn



This week.

Sunday           9.15 am.          Parish Communion at St. Decuman's

                        9.15 am.          Parish Communion at St. Peter's

                        10.30 am.        Agape Service in our homes via Zoom.   Kathryn & Clive to lead alternately.

Mon.   3rd       9.30 am.          Morning Prayer lead by Clergy or Reader - you can join them on "Zoom".         Wed.   5th           7.00 pm.          Compline (Night Prayer) lead by Clergy or Reader - you can join us on "Zoom".

Sat. 8th Aug.    9.30 am.         Benefice Staff Meeting via Zoom


Moving on!

Geraldine, Martin and Chris Malin were poised to move to Western Zoyland just as Lockdown took hold. Western Zoyland’s loss has been our gain! Both Martin and Geraldine have had a huge impact on our community. For instance, without Martin’s support as Treasurer, the Foodbank would never have got off the ground. We will miss Geraldine’s friendly banter and quiet reassurance, particularly at Little Saints.  The last few years have presented challenging times for the whole family and we are thrilled that, as the time has come for them to leave Watchet, Chris’s health is so much improved. We pray that, as Geraldine, Martin and Chris settle into their new home, they will find happiness and fulfilment. God bless you!

And thank you Martin for the many roles you have played in Open the Book and in our drama &  poetry presentations.


One of my favourites is "I the Lord of Sea and Sky."

Let me know yours and we'll compile a Top Ten!

                        Paul & Lorraine's is "Dear Lord and father of mankind"

                        Geraldine Malin agrees with them and Martin Malin votes for "Be Thou My Vision" as do Simon              & Sue

                        Shirley Harrington votes for "All my hope on God is founded."

                        Kathryn for "Love Divine"

                        Janet Bremner'sthoughts: "Be thou my Vision" is a truly lovely hymn.. I also find                                      "In Christ Alone" very moving ... I also love "Jerusalem" and  "I vow to thee my country" 

                        and from Shirley Dee: "Be still for the presence of the Lord-Tell out my soul and To God be the                         glory."

                        Edna Sully also votes for Be Thou My Vision and in particular for, "Thine be the Glory!"

                        Bev votes for "Breathe on me Breath of God." "go forth and tell" & "O church of God awake"

                        Trudy for: "Here I am Lord."

                        From Bev:        And can it be

                        O Lord, all the world belongs to you.

                        New every morning is the love "

                        God of Mercy God of Grace

                        and Jenny Hill's is Abide With Me.

                        and Janet Strong's are: How Great Thou Art, Here I am Lord!, I the Lord of Sea and Sky, New every                                 morning is the love.

                                Donna adds: "We are conquerors" , "Be still for the presence of the Lord" and "Come Holy Ghost our                                 souls inspire".

Good choices everyone - let us know yours!


The following are lines from well known hymns but which ones?


1.      ‘his love is as great as his pow’r’     HOW GOOD IS THE GOD WE ADORE (217)

2.      ‘tis music in the sinner’s ear’  OH FOR A THOUSAND TONGES TO SING (362)

3.      ‘while earth rolls onwards into light’  THE DAY THOU GAVEST (475)

4.      ‘when the strong tides lift, and the cables strain’  WILL YOUR ANCHOR HOLD (561)

5.      ‘that will move through this land by my Spirit’  FOR I AM BUILDING (135)

6.      ‘hark, how the heav’nly anthem drowns’  CROWN HIM WITH MANY CROWNS (103)

7.      ‘he comes to cleanse and heal’  BE STILL (53)

8.      ‘I want you more than gold or silver’ AS THE DEER PANTS FOR THE WATER (39)

9.      ‘the ripe fruits in the garden’  ALL THINGS BRIGHT & BEAUTIFUL  (21)

10.  ‘may my will forever be more and more your own’   ABBA FATHER (5)

11.  ‘praise for the sweetness’  MORNING HAS BROKEN (337)

12.  ‘keep me loving though the world is tough’  ONE MORE STEP (405)

13.  ‘not a mite would I withhold’  TAKE MY LIFE  (464)

14.  ‘slow to chide and swift to bless’  PRAISE MY SOUL THE KING OF HEAVEN (422)

15.  ‘the emblem of suff’ing and shame’  THE OLD RUGGED CROSS (399)

16.  ‘and hear the birds sing sweetly in the trees’  HOW GREAT THOU ART (380)

17.  ‘where there is darkness, only light’ MAKE ME A CHANNEL OF YOUR PEACE (328)

18.  ‘cleansing our souls from all their sin’  LORD JESUS CHRIST (311)

19.  ‘I will tend the poor and lame’  I, THE LORD OF SEA & SKY (235)

20.  ‘fit for the glory of God’  BIND US TOGETHER (60)


WE NEED VOLUNTEERS to clean the places and surfaces that have been used after each service - it only takes a few minutes and will help your church wardens a great deal and enable us to have the churches open after worship.

Please let me know as soon as possible if you would like to help. We cannot work to our normal cleaning rotas yet so our wardens will contact you if you are able to help.


Who can clean?          Anyone who is considered vulnerable and with an underlying health condition should be encouraged to stay at home and not assist in cleaning at this time.       (Keeping Churches Clean, The Church of England, 16th June 2020.)  Otherwise any of us could help.                  Clive.



TOP TEN ITEMS REQUIRED  Part baked Bread  Sweet Biscuits  Savoury Biscuits  Jams and Spreads TINS: Potatoes  Sweetcorn            Hot Meats           Cold Meats           Snack Meals   (not beans or fish)

email:quantockfoodbank@gmail.com  tel: 07483 81512


Dementia Awareness.           We are really concerned for those people who do not have access to modern technology. Margaret wishes to encourage new members and supporters to join the group

How to join;       If you are interested in becoming a member or supporter should contact Margaret Tatham on:watchetdementia@gmail.com  or  07973638030


COLLECTIONS & GIVING.                              While our churches are closed and we are unable to worship together the bills for our churches continue to come in so please do consider how you can continue to give each week. If you give by direct debit that need not change.

Please also consider contacting your bank and giving by direct debit - this would be a tremendous help and ensure we have greater regular income. Please ask for help to do this if you need it and I can supply forms to complete for your bank. Alternatively you could send cheques to me and I will pass them on to your treasurer.

If you prefer to give by envelope please place what you can each week into the envelope and bring it along when we return to church. If you give by placing your offering in the plate then please put what you can in an envelope and bring it along when we return to church or alternatively send  a cheque to me and I will pass it on. We do of course understand that if you are unable to work at the moment that you may need to reduce what you give.                  Clive.


St. Decuman's Tower Lighting Dedications.

Dedications for the first week in August will be included next week.



Williton Window can be found at:    https://sites.google.com/site/willitonwindow/home


Agape Service

Topic: Agape

Time:  10:30 AM London

        Aug 2, 2020 10:30 AM

        Aug 9, 2020 10:30 AM

        Aug 16, 2020 10:30 AM

        Aug 23, 2020 10:30 AM

        Aug 30, 2020 10:30 AM

Join Zoom Meeting



Meeting ID: 896 4473 6769

Password: 201079

Morning Prayer:  Mon  2020 09:30 AM

Time:  09:30 AM London

        Aug 3, 2020 09:30 AM

        Aug 10, 2020 09:30 AM

        Aug 17, 2020 09:30 AM

        Aug 24, 2020 09:30 AM

Join Zoom Meeting



Meeting ID: 869 0967 9709

Password: 509489


Compline               Wed, 2020 07:00 PM

Time: 07:00 PM London

         Jul 29, 2020 07:00 PM

        Aug 5, 2020 07:00 PM

        Aug 12, 2020 07:00 PM

        Aug 19, 2020 07:00 PM

Join Zoom Meeting



Meeting ID: 824 0986 1754

Password: 315444


Social distancing is  very important in Watchet & Williton

There are people being treated for Covid 19  - please don't make the mistake of thinking that the guidelines don't apply to you.


We take Safeguardingvery seriously in our Benefice and our Safeguarding Officers are Sara Hempshall and Anne Gilbert. They can be contacted initially by ringing 07961 268411 and by e-mail on annegilbertsafeguarding@outlook.com

Clive:               01984 631005 / clive.gilbert@btinternet.com

Kathryn:         01984 633568 /Kathryn.flenley@btinternet.com

Benefice Website                   www.watchetandwillitonbenefice.com







-Watchet & Williton Benefice -