By Martin Gibson: contact: mrtngibs@aol.co

Services Sunday 15th August: 9:30am Patronal service with Janet McBride and choir . 6pm Holy Communion led by Rev David Moss

We are delighted to announce the return of our Movie Club, a St Mary’s initiative for our local community. So please save Monday 6th September at 7pm for our first movie of our Autumn Season, A Beautiful Day in the Neighbourhood.  This was chosen by our Movie Master , Trevor Anderson, shortly before he died. He thought it would make a meaningful observation on the good side of life following 18 months of Covid isolation.

Bristol Sinfonietta returns to us on Saturday 18th September. Due to ongoing Covid restrictions, it will be necessary to limit admission to EIGHTY people only – we normally take 120 or more. So this year entry will be by TICKET only, £10, and purchased in advance from Debbie Harries.

Join us in 2021 – Saturday 11 September. Ride + Stride is the single largest source of income for many Historic Churches Trusts enabling them to make Grants to places of Christian worship. Taking place on the 2nd Saturday of September the funds raised can be split between the nominated Trust and the participants chosen church or chapel. The COVID-19 pandemic impacted on the usual plans for Ride+Stride. Details available for you to join R&S from Paul Harrod and Mike Wright. 

The Archbishop of York proposed a few weeks ago that the way forward for the Church of England was the setting up of 10,000 pop up churches serviced by a similar number of lay workers. These “churches” would be in people’s homes and gardens. The rationale is that future worshippers will want a more relaxed style of worship and that is possibly true.

The antithesis of this idea is that the parish system of worship will no longer be needed – though no one in authority is suggesting this, yet. But think about the benefits. No need to pay priests, no housing costs, no pensions, no costly expenditure on ancient buildings and so on.

Would there be any downsides to this brilliant idea? Well, presumably the 10,000 lay workers would have to be DBS checked, there might be a few paedophiles amongst them (but you’d think that the C of E has enough experience in this field not to worry?) and might it be possible that some new worshippers could be vulnerable people easily manipulated?

In the light of this proposal a movement called Save Our Parishes has been set up by Marcus Walker,  the same Revd Marcus Walker who said last year -“There shall be a Choral Eucharist for the First Sunday after Easter”, he proclaimed, throwing down his stole in defiance of the archiepiscopal edict. Readers may remember that the Archbishop of Canterbury rolled over for his tummy to be tickled when the Government said “Thou shalt close all ye churches in ye lockdown.”

Save our Parishes will investigate:

how money is being redirected away from parishes

how money is being wasted on gimmicks,

how parishes are being restructured, especially any movement away from the traditional parish system.

St Mary’s Olveston had a vicarage which the Diocese of Bristol took and then sold in 2018 for £630,000. Now, in the absence of our focal priest Steve Oram, when we asked for a curate to step in and help our over-worked vicar, the Diocese couldn’t help.

Did you know that there are 3 types of SYNOD in the Church of England? A synod is a meeting of the clergy with some laity involvement. The lowest tier is the Deanery Synod (we are a part of the North West Bristol Deanery Synod). Above this is the Diocesan Synod – Martin Gibson has just been appointed therein. And then there is the big boys General Synod. It is here where the major church decisions, often legislative, are made. The Save Our Parishes group is planning to field many candidates for this body.

The Church Fete is planned for the afternoon of Saturday 4th September, on Church Hill outside the church. There will be many stalls, games and music, plus a dog show. BUT we do need more helpers. So please put yourself forward to Debbie Harries.

And finally:

A priest and a rabbi are in a car crash and it’s a bad one. Both of their cars are demolished but amazingly neither one of them is hurt. After they crawl out of their cars, the rabbi says, “So you’re a priest. That’s interesting; I’m a rabbi. Wow, just look at our cars! There’s nothing left, but we’re unhurt. This must be a sign from God that we should meet and be friends and live together in peace.”
      The priest replies, “Oh, yes, I agree. It’s a miracle that we survived and are here together.”
      “And here’s another miracle,” says the rabbi. “My car is destroyed but this bottle of wine didn’t break. Surely God wants us to drink the wine and celebrate our good fortune,” he says, handing the bottle to the priest.
      The priest nods in agreement, opens the wine, drinks half of it, and hands it back to the rabbi.
      The rabbi takes it and puts the cap back on.
      “Aren’t you going to have any? asks the priest.
      “Not right now,” says the rabbi. “I think I’ll wait until after the police make their report.”