Bishop Michael of Gloucester has been working his way around the diocese visiting each Benefice in turn over a weekend, giving pastoral care and training,
and it was our Benefice's turn the first weekend of November. It began on the Friday evening with a full dinner together in Broomesgreen Memorial Hall comprising beef or chicken casserole, jacket potato and salad, followed by fruit pie and cream, then cheese and biscuits. After this, the Bishop spoke about 'The Story' of Holy Communion - in other words the structure of the Service and why we do what we do. The evening finished at 9:15 with us saying together the short Service of Compline (Night Prayer). More details of the Bishop's talks will follow shortly - watch out for them! (Return to top)
with Morning Prayer at Oxenhall Church, followed by Breakfast in their Village Hall of fruit juice and bacon rolls. The Bishop then talked about 'The Words' and format of the Service, explaining why the different parts are where they are, how that's changed over the centuries, and what it all means. After a coffee break, he spoke about 'The Music', encouraging us to sing parts of the Service that obviously need it - the 'Gloria', and 'Sanctus' being obvious examples, even if there's no accompanist present, and practiced with us examples of how this can be easily achieved. (Return to top)
He finished with a brief explanation of 'The Movement'
explaining how in the 16th century when the old Book of Common Prayer was written, non-confirmed persons would be asked to leave after the first part of the Service (hearing 'The Word of God') before those remaining to take Communion would be exhorted to 'Draw near with faith' and literally move forward into the chancel of the church to gather round the altar. We then moved back into Oxenhall Church where the Bishop presided over a Service of Holy Communion in which we out into practice all that we'd learnt. (Return to top)
Many of those who'd attended then went on to the Beauchamp Arms Pub in Dymock to share a buffet lunch together before we gathered in Dymock Church for the annual 'All Souls'
Service to remember and commemorate our departed loved ones, at which this year the Bishop preached (see report above). (Return to top)