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Sunday 12th March 2017
6.00 pm
St James’ Church, Shaftesbury

This week Pilgrim finds that his friends have carried him to the nearest stream, as he was insistent in continuing his journey. Quite by chance they find a coracle hidden under a tree – left by an old fisherman, no doubt! He assures them that once in it, he will be able to manage, so they make their own way home.

This week our theme is "Go with the Flow!", because Pilgrim, for all his bravado, has never tried to paddle one of these things, and finds himself just going round and round in circles – one way or the other! After wearing himself out trying, he realises that his best option is to just be taken along by the current, and only use his paddle to push off from obstacles like fallen trees or sandbanks. So he relaxes and just goes with the flow to be taken to a place, not of his choosing, but maybe in the end it will be far better?!

Do come and join us for the trip and enjoy fellowship and sustenance afterwards!

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Given by
The Right Reverend Nicholas Holtam
The Bishop of Salisbury

St James Church, Shaftesbury
16th March 2017 7:30pm

We are very fortunate to have our Bishop come and give his talk on Art in Worship. This talk, which has been extremely well received the few times he has given it before, is a rare chance for us to experience how he finds art can sometimes be a surprising doorway into our own spirituality and inspire private prayer, meditation, and contemplation.

In aid of the ‘Church and Community Project’ - renewing St James’ church for the future.

No need to book but there is a Retiring collection for our project. Come early to get a good seat as we expect this to be a very popular event. Refreshments available.

For more information contact The Revd Simon Chambers



There are two Women's World Day of Prayer events in Shaftsbury on the 3rd of March. The first is being held at Bell Street United Church at 11:00am with the guest speaker of Allison Todd of Mercy in Action. The second is at Father's House at 7:30pm with the Speaker Amy Shakeshaft. The material for this year comes from the women of the Philippines and is entitled "Am I being unfair to you?" All are welcome (you don't have to be a woman)

Everything you need to know for this Sunday: Times, places, notice sheets and other upcoming events. Why not sign up to econtact and get this delivered to your inbox?

Start your lent off right: join us  at our Team Ash Wednesday Service - This year it is at St Mary's Motcombe.

Ash Wednesday
St Mary's Motcombe
1st March 2017 7:00pm

This is a Eucharistic service when we remember our human weakness and humility. There is a liturgy of repentance, signing of ashes, sermon. All welcome.

Sunday 12th February 2017
6.00 pm
St James’ Church, Shaftesbury

This week Pilgrim finds that his hike through the uplands has ended badly. He has slipped, fallen from the narrow track and broken his leg. His friend went for help, and now we see the mountain rescue team toiling towards him, while a helicopter has also been scrambled.

This week our theme is “Search and Rescue”. The Emergency Services regard Easter as the start of the Silly Season, when the Great British Public seems to spend its time falling off things, getting washed out to sea, or cut off by the tide - all because they have underestimated the behaviour of Nature.

In life we do not only face physical risks, but also mental ones – maybe brought on by stress, overwork or force of circumstance; there are people here too, who are trained to cope with such traumas, and still others who risk their own lives to help us – all part of our Search and Rescue team! Thank God for them!

It is comforting to know that such people are there to help us when we need them most. They put us in mind of that greatest Search & Rescue Shepherd of them all! So do come to the service, and enjoy fellowship with us afterwards.

On February 7th, we are starting something new. Children and their parents and carers are invited to Drones Farm, Twyford, for an informal session of craft, drama and Bible stories. It will be most suitable for children up to the age of seven, but older siblings are welcome. For more information, contact Gillian Cross (01747 811263 or Kelly Oakley (01747 812663).

Our links with our Church schools are a treasured part of our life as churches in this Team and school governors play an essential role in supporting their work. Volunteering as a school governor is a way of making a positive difference to the lives of local children, but not everyone realises what a rewarding opportunity it can be. Here in the Shaftesbury Team Ministry we are greatly blessed by the links we have with our local schools. We see those links in action in our churches when children and young people from the schools visit our lessons, hold concerts or contribute to our worship, and when we gather for 'Messy Church' in Motcombe School. Those links are also visible in the life of the schools when our clergy lead worship, and through all that is done by the many members of our churches who are volunteers helping with clubs, reading, or as governors.

At the moment we have a number of governance opportunities for volunteers in the schools that make up the Southern Academy Trust. Our Rector, Revd Helen Dawes, is responsible for appointing the Foundation (‘church’) governors for these schools, and also the Foundation Directors of the Trust Board itself. Foundation Governors and Directors share in the general work of the Governing Body or Board, but also have a special responsibility for the Christian ethos of the school or trust.

There is one vacancy for a Foundation Governor in each of Shaftesbury School (Secondary), Shaftesbury C of E VC Primary School, and Motcombe C of E VA Primary School. From Easter, there will also be a vacancy for a Foundation Director on the Board of the Southern Academy Trust. Each appointment is for two years, renewable. The work of the school governing bodies is largely focused on teaching and learning within that school, whereas the work of the Trust Board is more focused on the strategic direction of the Trust as a whole.

You don’t need to have worked in education to take on one of these posts, you just need to be interested in education and willing to learn. What is most important is that you want to use your skills to support our schools in the work they do with children and families. You also need to be willing to give up time for meetings, to read papers in advance, to attend training from time to time as necessary, and to become involved with the life of the school. Because these roles involve actively supporting the schools and the Trust to develop and maintain their Christian ethos you will need to be a communicant member of a church that belongs to the national ecumenical organisation, CTBI. For the Director role it would be an advantage to have experience in one or more of education, finance or working at board level.

If you would like to have a chat about what one or other of these roles might involve and how the skills you can bring could make a difference to children and young people in our area, please get in touch with the Revd Helen Dawes ( If you’d like to know more, but aren’t a church member, Revd Helen can also put you in touch with the people who appoint non-Foundation governors and directors.

“Pilgrim Service”
Sunday 8th January 2017 6.00 pm
St James’ Church, Shaftesbury

This week Pilgrim finds himself overlooking a valley, which looks magically as though it’s filled with a sea of fog, with just the tops of a few tall trees, and the crest of a hill in the far background; His road slowly descends into this white wall of wool. Cars speed past then brake sharply, disappearing with a flash of brake lights into nothingness.

The Theme for the week is “Fogbound”. Whilst in the fog all must proceed with care – almost just by touch and feel, because the eyes can play tricks, and sounds could come from anywhere.

It is comforting to know that, somewhere above, the sun is shining and will burn this all away and the day will become bright and clear.

Do come and enjoy the service with us.