Our Week in the Beaminster Team – October 20th

Rev Jo Neary looks back on events in the Beaminster Team over the last week, including the moving Baby Loss service.

I have been pondering how we better communicate good news so that we all know what is going on within our team of churches. Years ago I did a monthly good news newsletter for a few months – but didn’t continue. But through the wonder of technology it should be possible to write a little article each week which can be widely shared.

Harvest has drawn to a close with the final services in Blackdown and then with Broadwindsor and Mountjoy schools. Harvest has been especially festive this year, with the most beautiful decorations in our churches, high attendances for some services and a sense that within the fragility of the world today, we are grateful to God for the good gifts we have been given. Huge thanks to all who contributed to Harvest celebrations and displays around the team. All is now safely gathered in I hope.

Sunday saw an adult baptism in St Mary’s Beaminster, which was a joyful and emotional occasion. Emily returned to church for the first time since childhood earlier this year and has been rediscovering faith ever since. She gave a powerful testimony about what God has been doing in her life. She said, “Finding God again has given me a second chance, starting to believe that I will, no matter what is happening, always be loved. I feel I have been found again and returned back to a place where I feel for the first time is home. Thank you”. We pray for Emily as she continues her journey of faith towards confirmation.

We have held an unprecedented number of funerals in the Beaminster Team this year, both in church and at the crematorium. Funeral ministry is a privilege and brings us into contact with many in our communities who don’t regularly come to church.

We held a new service last Sunday to support those who have experienced the loss of a child in pregnancy, birth or beyond. This tied in with Baby Loss Awareness week, which has been running for 21 years. It is the first time we have held a special service to acknowledge the often hidden and secret grief surrounding this particular loss. We came together in church for a short service reflecting on God’s love for all, naming, and sharing our grief through a poem called “A Mourning Mother” by Donna Ashworth, listened to music, prayed, and lit candles to remember our losses. It was both sad and uplifting and although attended by just a dozen people, each of us there were able to remember and share our losses.

The Team Council met on Tuesday evening and finally agreed that it is important that we look at how we can work better together as a team of churches, particularly as some of our churches feel increasingly fragile. We shared how we might support each other in finances, safeguarding, mission, caring for our buildings and growing in faith. A working party has been set up to move this agenda forward.

I end with our Diocesan prayer. More news next week.

Loving God, show me how I can make Jesus known to the people around me today, so that they may see and experience your love and peace. Amen