By Martin Gibson. Contact: mrtngibs@aol.com

Services Sunday 18th July: 9:30am Morning Prayer with Paul Harrod & Janet McBride. 6pm Holy Communion led by Rev David Moss

On Saturday 17th (2 days time) the Ark Bus will be stationed in Dawes Yard (opposite the Village Stores) between 10.30 – 12 noon. This is a joint churches venture led by the Methodists and is really a giant adventure playground on wheels. Everyone – especially children – is welcome; so parents please bring your little ones, and grandparents why not bring your youngest ones too?

Neighbourhood Watch led by Derek Baker, Andy Phillips and Rod Williams has been reactivated with a bit of financial help from the parish council. So expect to see posters going up in the parish any time now.

The PCC will be meeting in person on Wednesday 21st July at 7:30pm in St Mary’s. One topic is certain to be how we as a church community can financially support Rev Steve Oram during his now extended suspension.

This blog has been ongoing for over 2 years now and in all that time I have never expressed a personal opinion, rather if something needs discussing I have posed questions for answers and views by others. However, the recent announcement by Archbishop Cottrell of York regarding the establishment of 10,000 pop up churches in the lounges and hot tubs of lay preachers, beggars belief. At the same time traditional clergy will be gradually phased out. Read on:

Last Sunday, Margaret & I went to St Nicholas church in Bristol city centre. We wanted to see a different type of church service. This church was recently restored and kitted out with the latest technology at a cost of over £3m by the Bristol Diocese. The congregation, about 40 people almost all between the age of 20-30 with some 20 or so children, were able to watch a dance troupe, a guitarist/vocalist, 2 young prayer leaders, a very long music video and a newly ordained curate. The service lasted 1 hour and 15 minutes.

Now I can see how this type of worship appeals to young people and it may be the way forward, certainly we didn’t feel uncomfortable, but in a country parish like Olveston, where perhaps 60% of the population is over the age of 60, it would not be appropriate.

The moral, therefore, is that there are different types of worship for different communities. Next week I’m going to ask the question – can St Mary’s church survive in its present form or do we need to make radical changes?

And finally:

My wife and I walked past a swanky new restaurant last night.

“Did you smell that food?” she asked. “Incredible!”

Being the considerate person I am, I thought, “What the heck, I’ll treat her!”

So we walked past it again.

Dear Bishop – You’ll never guess, we had a terrible thunder storm the other night and the Cathedral was flooded – Do you know, someone had actually stolen all the lead from its roof and when they caught him, he had the audacity to say he gave you a receipt for it. By the way a very nice policeman came round the other day; he seemed very concerned about you.