July News from The Lambourn Valley Benefice

What a joy it was to be able to share these three photos above! From 18 June all of our Benefice churches were able to open for private prayer and, I have to add, they were wonderfully cool in the midst of the heat. If you are able, do go along and visit one of our beautiful churches or indeed, go on tour! Share the news with friends and neighbours – all are welcome, those of all faiths or none.

We shared these photos so that those amongst us who were shielding could enjoy seeing them and perhaps find them useful in their prayers.

Wherever you are, whoever you are, I hope you find comfort and peace as you visit. Whatever, or whoever is on your mind today, be still before God, who cares for you and those you love. Enjoy the peace, the time to pray and God’s loving presence with you in church over the next week. We’re working hard to ensure church buildings are clean and safe. Physical distancing and hygiene guidelines will be observed at all times. Hand sanitiser is always available to use during and after your visit.

If you’d prefer to gather in a small group outside the church The Vicar is still on tour…I realise that for some people the opening of our churches will have a slightly bitter sweet feeling as a number of friends are still self-isolating due to medical conditions. Please be assured that you are in our prayers and we continue to think of you.

  • Monday 6 July All Saints East Garston 2.30-3.30pm
  • Tuesday 7 July St James The Greater Eastbury 2.30-3.30pm
  • Wednesday 8 July St Michael & All Angels 2.30-3.30pm

The offices of Morning Prayer 8.30 am and Compline 8.30 pm are continuing via Zoom for the foreseeable future. It has given me much joy to return to church to pray Morning Prayer as I am joined by others on Zoom. If you’d like to join us please do ask. All are welcome.

It has been a challenging and yet hopeful few months for all of us within the Lambourn Valley Benefice. Additionally, there’ve been Thoughts from The Vicarage – initially this was a daily email and is now two or three times weekly. This was a great way of keeping in touch and the distribution list quickly grew!

Please contact revjulie.mintern@lambournvalley.org if you’d like to be on the mailing list or keep up to date here.

The latest news is that we are now permitted to hold public worship. It will be so good to be back in Church and to be able to baptise, to conduct marriages, to remember those who have died and commend them to God and to begin to meet again in person, gathering around the altar which is the place of our salvation and then of our sending out. Of course safety is paramount and we will be taking great care as services are once again held in our Valley churches. You will be very welcome – look out for news in Thoughts from The Vicarage available from Julie.

Update on the bells

Friday 18 June 2020 saw the removal of four of St Michael and All Angels 8 bells to be taken to Newmarket for welding restoration.
The bells were overhauled and rehung on ball bearings by Gillett and Johnston of Croydon in 1950 and again dismantled, renovated, tuned and rehung by Mears & Stainbank of Whitechapel, London, in 1968.
The bells have not rung for some time and it has been an ongoing feat to collect donations for this costly restoration.  They are greatly missed, and it will be wonderful to eventually have these four back in place with the four remaining bells. I am especially looking forward to hearing them as I have never heard them!! Watch this space for the next exciting instalment.



Thank you to all those in the Valley villages who are doing so much to support our communities. It is a wonderful testament to this place. In a number of ways Covid 19 has not only been a disrupter but also a potential or stimulus to promote change – at both a personal level and also more widely in our local communities and in the country, the world as a whole. I do pray that kindness, the best of what we are all experiencing at this time will become part of our daily living as restrictions lessen.

Revd Julie Mintern



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