April 2015
Annual Parochial Church Meeting (APCM)
Picture, A Dymock Congregation
Every year we hold our 'Annual General Meeting' around Easter, this year it was on April 19th immediately after our regular Sunday morning Service, when we elected our two Churchwardens and the members of the Parochial Church Council who manage the church and its Services in conjunction with the Rector, plus we received and approved the annual accounts. (Return to top)

Our Treasurer, Mike Poulter, reported that we had made a small 'profit' on the year, partly because we had received several grants towards essential repairs to the building which, though earmarked, haven't been spent yet because the work isn't yet completed. Following the elections, we received positive reports from each of our church groups who told us what they'd be doing through the year and their hopes for the year to come. (Return to top)
Family Charity Service - Riding for the Disabled
Picture, RDA Manager with Horse
Every year in April and October, we give the proceeds from the collection at our Family Service (plus a bit more from funds!) to a charity - in April to a local charity and in October to an international one. This April we chose to support Riding for the Disabled, Cotswolds Branch, who are based at Cheltenham Race Course. They sent two people to set-up a display of their activities and tell us about their work where we would usually have a traditional Sermon. (Return to top)

They're a registered charity so get their income from donations and events - it takes quite a lot to house and maintain 12 ponies that are used by some 200 people. As well as proving exercise for disabled bodies to improve flexibility, they work with people having many other 'disabilities' such as autism and mental disorders as just sitting on a horse can be calming, let alone actually riding them. (Return to top)
Easter Day
Picture, Jesus' Resurection
Easter Day is the most important Festival in the Christian year when we celebrate the rising to life again of Jesus after he was executed on 'Good Friday', thereby defeating the trauma of death. (Return to top)

Our Festival Service in Dymock followed our usual format but with specially chosen hymns of rejoicing reflected in similarly uplifting anthem by the choir. Our rector, Rev'd Tony Lomas, lightened the mood by illustrating his sermon with an informal piece of origami - apparently aimlessly tearing away bits of paper before unfolding it at the end to reveal a cross. (Return to top)
Holy Saturday
Picture, Young People in Sleeping-Bags
This year we had something new for the young people of our 'Fun Club'. They met to watch a film together in the home of a leader opposite the church, then go across to the church at 9:00pm for a simple Service to celebrate the first news of resurrection before returning to the house for a 'sleep-in' in sleeping bags on the lounge floor. (Return to top)

Easter Sunday morning, after breakfast, they again came across to the church as a group to join-in the main Easter Service of celebration. (Return to top)

Good Friday - The Way of the Cross
Picture, Crown of Thorns
The Friday before Easter Sunday is paradoxically known as 'Good Friday', despite being the day on which Jesus was executed - that's because it's the day when Jesus made reconciliation between God and humanity in recompense for our sins and thereby gave us the opportunity of eternal life with God when we die. (Return to top)

As usual our church choir led a 'Meditation on the Cross' in words and music. There were six pieces sung by the choir, interspersed with five hymns for everyone to sing and 7 readings on the topic plus passages of appropriate prayers - altogether creating a thought proving atmosphere. (Return to top)
Maundy Thursday
Picture, Jesus Washing Feet
'Maundy Thursday' begins the final celebrations of Easter. It's the time when Jesus had a Last Supper with his Disciples before he was arrested, tried, tortured and executed on a cross as a common criminal. The word 'Maundy' comes from the same sauce as 'Mandate' and means a commandment, because Jesus said at that supper that he gave us a New Commandment that we should love one another. (Return to top)

As usual, we celebrated in Dymock with a Service of Holy Communion commemorating that supper, during which our Rector, Rev'd Tony Lomas, washed the feet of some of the congregation, copying the actions of Jesus who, at that supper, washed the feet of his Disciples to illustrate that even though he was so important (Christians believe he was God), never-the-less loving one another means serving one another. (Return to top)