St Mary's Church, Marston Magna

Newsletter from the Vicar

The Rectory

Newsletter January 2019


Happy New Year and lots of thanks for all the lovely Christmas cards I have received. It is always sad to take them down on Twelfth Night. I always get out my bulbs from under the stairs to take their place and remind me of Spring soon to come.


Seems strange to be writing 2019. We begin the New Year with The Feast of the Epiphany, on the 6th January at the end of the Twelve Days of Christmas. For once the Sunday falls on the right day, when we remember the visit of the Magi to the Christ Child. Some of you may have been surprised at Mudford Carol Service that they did not get a mention. It is because we are having a special Carol Service to celebrate this event at 4pm. By this time the Magi and their steeds will have reached the Crib on the 6th. This is your chance to sing the carols about the Magi or Wise Men or kings and we will have the benefit of the Benefice Choir and Ken Sherring playing the organ.


We will have had two Sundays of Christmas and then the 6th begins four Sundays of the Epiphany still with the celebratory white vestments in our churches and in Marston Magna Church a special Epiphany candle. Epiphany means “manifestation”, the manifestation of who the child Jesus is, which is not just to the Jewish people but to the Gentiles, everyone one else too. The Magi are thought to have been from countries far away from Israel to the east, later traditions even gave them names, Caspar, Melchior and Balthasar. I remember going to Cologne many years ago where legend has them buried in the Cathedral. This manifestation of Christ to the Gentiles fits in well with the Conversion of St Paul on the 25th of January, who, more than anyone, began to take the message of Jesus to foreign lands and ends the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity. We also remember in January the Baptism of Christ, another epiphany of who Jesus is, and his first miracle, changing the water into wine at the Marriage at Cana.



Confirmation confirms promises made at Christening and Baptism on behalf of a child by parents and godparents. At Confirmation these promises are made by adults for themselves. After Confirmation it is possible to receive Holy Communion, the bread and wine Jesus taught us to remember him by. Confirmation is done by a bishop at a very special service. If anyone is interested in learning more about Christianity with a view to being confirmed please get in touch with me. 850745.


Plough Sunday 13th January 9.30 Chilton Cantelo

We have not had one of these before at Chilton. Plough Sunday is the first Sunday after Epiphany. It is one of the four agricultural services celebrated in England, along with Rogation, Lammas and Harvest. It happens at a cold time of year when workers may not have been needed on farms and farm hands suffered hardship. They would go around villages with a plough and be given food to help them out. The plough would end up at the Church and be blessed in the hope of a good harvest later on in the year. If you are coming to this service, it would be good to bring some non-perishable food stuffs for the Lord's Larder. The churches do support the Lord's Larder throughout the year and we have a wonderful letter of thanks to pass on to those who do so much to give this support which is sadly needed in our time. The speaker at Marston Magna WI on January 14th 12.30 beginning with a soup and cake lunch will be Matt Callaghan from the Lord's Larder. Matt is the late Rev'd Ed and Eileen Bangay's son-in law.

Rev'd Barbara Stanton


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