For a detailed list of Future Events, please click here
For Christmas Tree Festival 2015 information, click here
For PCC information, please click here
Parish Day - March
A fascinating time was had by many members of the congregation at the Parish Day in March. You can read the full report here of what was discussed, said and felt by those attending.
The Hand-bell Ringers will perform ...
Come and enjoy the music of our talented group of Hand-bell Ringers who will perform over the Advent season at the following times:
Christmas Tree Festival 2014 - Entry Form now live!
We are getting excited already about our annual Christmas Tree Festival - 2nd - 7th December. This year the church will be full not only of decorated Christmas Trees but for the first time, we are inviting people to bring in a Nativity Scene instead. More information here.
A new clockface
The clock face on the tower looks small from ground level but is actually 10 square feet. Roger Hardy built a new face of marine ply with mahogany mouldings with gold leaf numerals and decorations – a magnificent job that looked great and lasted some 30 years. A couple of years ago, it became clear that it had deteriorated considerably and would need repair or replacement.
The photos and videos show the new face arriving and being installed on 22nd, 23rd & 24th January by David McVicar and Luke Ridge of Cumbria Clock and Arthur Needham and Richard Martin, steeplejacks. Each of the backing halves weighs about 2.5 cwt so getting them up working from ropes was no mean feat but David McVicar had planned in very great detail all aspects of the job and it went without a hitch; the expertise and teamwork of the steeplejacks was also most impressive. Pity the cameraman (me) was not nearly so professional!
News for the Young Folk from Amanda Berry
Many of you will know Amanda in church - she has responsibility for overseeing children's spiritual development opportunities. She has the following information for our Young Folk:
"I am hoping 2014 is going to be an exciting and challenging year for our young people and families. As a church the Ministerial Team and PCC has been thinking about what it really means to be a Church family and whether we are doing enough to be inclusive.
We are delighted to report requests to have children and babies baptised seem to be on the increase. We are not the only church in Salisbury to have this pleasant challenge. To ensure we care for the families correctly Victoria Dudley has offered to take on the role of Baptism coordinator. We are expecting this role to develop to meet the ever changing needs of young families.
Dryathlon - St T's Tipplers
This January a small group of dedicated folk from St Thomas's have teamed up to take on Dryathlon® to raise money for Cancer Research UK. They will all be ditching the drink for one month to help bring forward the day when all cancers are cured. Please dig deep and donate now. Go to their JustGiving page here. To find out more about Cancer Research's Dryathlon, click here.
Lottery News for St Thomas's House
Great Lottery news! As we developed plans to adapt the first floor of St Thomas’s house so that it better fits the needs of the church and general community we applied for a grant to help with the costs. We have been given a conditional offer of a grant from The Big Lottery Fund, Awards for All scheme for £9,980.
St Thomas's wonderful team of Bell-ringers have come together to create a new team of Hand-bell Ringers for the Christmas period to bring us bells at a more immediate level! They make a fantastic sound and you can see them in church and around the city up until Christmas. They will be performing at the following places:
Remembrance Sunday 2013
We welcomed the City to the church again this year to take part in the Service of Remembrance after the outdoor service in the Guildhall Square. We were honoured to have representatives from our local military units as well as young and old folk from the city's organisations and civic representatives.
Rev'd Wendy Cooper in Rwanda
At present, our Curate Wendy Cooper is revisiting old friends in Rwanda and making new contacts. She is able to talk to folk in the Mothers' Union and is visiting those in the country who are trying to help rebuild their society. More information will be available when she gets back as communications are difficult and sporadic. Please hold her and those she meets in your prayers.
News from the Gardeners
The proceeds from the garden sale are being used for projects in the gardens. So far the major purchases have been a second compost tumbler and we have planted the tubs in the south churchyard with herbs and scented plants to provide a sensory area.
We were able to buy all the plants from Glenholme Herbs in the Saturday Market. Why not visit the churchyard through the gate next to Café Nero in Minster St? See the variety of foliage and crush the plant leaves gently to appreciate the different scents. The plants are labelled with possible uses.
We are proud to be a part of the SW Business of the Year Awards. We sponsored the Young Entrepreneur Award. We want to support businesses who nurture leadership amongst their young people, who give young people the oppportunity to take leadership roles, allow them to fail, to learn lessons, to succeed and to thrive. We want to encourage confident young leaders of the future in Salisbury and to reward businesses who nurture that young leadership.
Trolley Push for the Trussell Trust
On Monday 8th April 2013 St Thomas’s participated in the Trussell Trust event that will see hundreds of people push a trolley around the UK to raise funds and awareness for Foodbanks. The event, organized by The Trussell Trust, started outside the charity’s High Street shop in Salisbury.
St Thomas’s has a monthly food collection in aid of the Trust. Donations can be left in church on the first Sunday of the month. The Rev’d Jonathan Plows, along with his son Thomas, pushed a specially decorated trolley in the procession around the city centre.
“This event was very special” said Jonathan “St Thomas’s has long been a partner of the Trussell Trust. We hope that national Trolley Push will be a great success, not just in raising funds, but in raising awareness of the need for Foodbanks.” For pictures and more information, read here: http://www.salisburyjournal.co.uk/news/10340241.Trussell_Trust_trolley_push_sets_off/
A Food 'Hub' for Salisbury
We have some exciting news for you! The Canterbury room in St Thomas’s House has been selected to hold a ‘hub’ connected to the Pantry Partnership. The following written by Fiona Ollerhead explains this in more detail:
The Pantry Partnership runs cooking parties in people’s homes and in community venues that raise funds to support food projects. The Pantry Partnership supports communities in Ghana to buy fuel- efficient stoves, drastically improving the health of the recipients and reducing local deforestation. In addition, The Pantry Partnership is setting up a ‘hub’ where isolated and/or food needy people can come to eat communally through sharing meals, using surplus, locally sourced foods and bringing isolated people together as well as working towards reducing local food wastage.
The Pantry Partnership and the team of volunteers will raise funds for the hub through a variety of events. These will vary from cooking parties to larger community events, all inevitably, involving food! The model works on being resourceful and using what is offered and available whilst always cooking up a good hearty meal for the community.
The hub will initially open once per week at lunchtime and will be run by a team of volunteers who may vary each week and who will be led by a ‘hub leader’. Volunteers will be trained to relevant food hygiene standards and will take on varying roles, from fund raising, to cooking, to washing up, food collection and serving – oh and of course, keeping track of finances! Food will be collected in the early morning, a suitable menu will be planned and the food will be cooked in St Thomas’s House kitchens. A lunchtime meal will then be served in the Canterbury room to needy people in the local Salisbury community.
We aim to engage the community and collaborate as much as possible. After all, we are all about bringing communities together! We would like to welcome in volunteers who can offer anything from a good idea to a regular commitment and we’d also be open to offers of any gluts or surpluses of raw foodstuffs (e.g. fruit, vegetables, eggs, dairy, bread) from gardeners, allotment groups, restaurant/ café owners or local shops.
We also hold some non-food related events to raise profit via other means, such as through days out and awareness- raising events. We even hold golf days, where of course, we also enjoy a great meal!
Profits are redistributed, locally and globally, into social environments for the purpose of providing meals, cooking equipment and related items and/or nutritional education to vulnerable groups in the UK, Ghana, India and around the world.
Twin your Pantry! For only £10 you can twin your pantry with another pantry somewhere else in the world!
You'll receive a certificate with a photograph of your pantry's foreign twin to put in pride of place in your kitchen! Your purchase ensures we can support more pantries around the world and creates a real-time link between your families.
Lent is a period of preparation and penitence - 2013
LENT GIVING - The PCC has agreed that this year’s Lent giving should be donated to The Trussell Trust. This local charity has been expanding very quickly to meet the needs of so many. On January 17th this year they opened their 300th UK Foodbank. 150 of the Foodbanks were opened over the last year. 13 million people live below the poverty line in the UK. Every day people in the UK go hungry for reasons ranging from redundancy to receiving an unexpected bill on a low income. Trussell Trust Foodbanks provide a minimum of three days emergency food and support to people experiencing crisis in the UK. In 2011-12 Foodbanks fed 128,687 people nationwide. In 2012-13 it is anticipated that this number will rise to over 230,000. Rising costs of food and fuel combined with static income, high unemployment and changes to benefits are causing more and more people to come to Foodbanks for help.
The Trussell Trust says: Although we are a Christian organisation, we serve people of all faith groups and beliefs or none. We are passionate about inclusion, and being non-judgemental is central to what we do. We believe that everyone has the right to have food on their plate, dignity, skills, a chance to work and hope for the future.
Mission and Vision
The Trussell Trust works to empower local communities to combat poverty and exclusion in the UK and Bulgaria. We work with the people that society forgets, providing practical help through sustainable projects and enabling each person to realise that they are valued. Our vision is to build communities where people of all backgrounds are included and have the opportunity to live in dignity with hope for the future.
We are a Christian organisation motivated by Jesus’s teaching on poverty and injustice. We operate according to Christian principles of compassion, honesty, integrity, openness, kindness and care of all people, regardless of backgrounds or beliefs. We believe in turning faith into practical action, living out God’s love for the poor...‘For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’ Matthew 25:35-36
The Trussell Trust also helps the poor in Bulgaria. Why Bulgaria? Bulgaria is the poorest country in the EU, Every month 150 children are abandoned, 10,000 girls and women are trafficked every year. 84% of Bulgaria’s 700,000 Roma people live below the poverty line.
More details will soon be available via the weekly notice sheet and on the notice board in church.
Changes in St Thomas’s House.
By the first week if October in addition to the Canterbury Room we will have a conference room available to use for church activities and letting out. The conference room will be located on the first floor.
As soon as Lynn has moved the parish office to the second floor the old parish office will be available for use.
The planned works we have mentioned in the past in the form of a kitchenette and the removal of one wall will happen as soon as possible. We may be able to obtain a grant to help with the cost of these works. Work may be delayed awaiting the outcome of grant applications.
Annual charity giving
Thank you to everyone who nominated a charity for our annual giving. The PCC voted for the following 5 charities to receive £2,000 each:
Citizens Advice Bureau, Salisbury
We are now taking bookings from anyone wanting to run a charity coffee morning on a Friday in St Thomas’s House. If are you connected to a charity that might be interested in running a Friday Café from 10am – 2pm please contact the office on email@example.com
The Friends of St Thomas and St Edumund's Church
We are pleased to announce the formation of the ‘Friends of St Thomas and St Edmund’s Church, Salisbury’.
This is to be a charitable organisation that aims to:
There is a Friends' Committee and a group of Trustees which have experts in the relevant fields as well as individuals who represent the wider community of Salisbury.
New Curate for 2012 - Wendy Cooper
I am delighted to be writing this to introduce myself as the new Non Stipendiary curate for St Thomas’, with licensing at the end of June and Ordination in September this year.
During my time of training with STETS in Salisbury I have attended services at St Thomas’ on many occasions, so there is much that is already familiar as well as much to learn. Many of you have offered welcome through this time for which I am grateful. I will now be able to stay for coffee on a regular basis, and have more opportunity to get to know everyone instead of dashing off to complete more modules and essays.
I will continue working at The Minstead Training Project in the New Forest, which is linked with our sister Charity, Furzey Gardens. We work with young adults with learning difficulties teaching work and life skills and, as a horticultural based Charity, are very excited to have a place at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show this year. This will be the first time a garden has been designed and put together with a team including young adults with learning difficulties. We are blessed to have Chris Beardshaw working with us and we are all working hard to show what we can achieve with vision, hard work, creativity, the boldness ‘to have a go’, lots of sense of humour and encouragement.
If you get a moment please do look us up at www.minsteadtraingproject.org and www.furzey-gardens.org
I look forward to becoming an established part of the St Thomas team, mission, ministry, and family.
The Role of St. Thomas’s as a City Centre Church
St. Thomas’s Church Parish Day 12th May at Salisbury Methodist Church
This event followed the successful Parish Day in March 2009 on Ministry on the Streets. It was designed to help implement the final part of our Mission Action Plan, by considering how both a flexible church space and further community links can be realised. Reverend David Linaker welcomed eighty-six members of St. Thomas’s who attended the day to join in the conversation by sharing and listening to ideas and information to help our direction of travel.The Bishop of Salisbury was the morning’s key note speaker, and he spoke expressively about his experiences at St. Martin-in-the Fields in London over sixteen years. Part of Bishop Nicholas’s message was that “the church that has written its history has a future”. He shared some of the history of St. Martin’s to show how its recent restoration and renewal of charitable and cultural activities directly followed its past traditions – and that they were brought about by careful commercial planning as well as spiritual consideration.
He gave much encouragement for St. Thomas’s development and urged that it define itself with a mission statement and clarification of its values to help manage the priorities and boundaries of what it can do well.
Discussion groups followed this excellent address, with people attending two of the seven topics: The Business Community in the Recession; Church and Social Capital; Families; Information Technology in the Church; St. Thomas’s and the Arts; St. Thomas’s Re-ordering and Voluntary Work. The co-ordinators of these groups then each posed a group question or statement for the Bishop to reflect upon. His responses gave plenty of thoughtful and creative suggestions for us.
Bishop Nicholas joined us for a very welcome and delicious light lunch produced by the Social Activities Group and which fuelled us for the afternoon’s programme. Three further speakers outlined their work and gave their views of St. Thomas’s current and future role as a city centre church: Maria Bota (Artistic Director of Salisbury International Arts Festival), Ian Newman (Chairman Salisbury City Management Group) and John Proctor (Chairman Alabaré Christian Care & Support). They all spoke warmly about St. Thomas’s and hoped for further development of the different partnerships that their different organisations appreciated. There was a clear consensus that re-ordering is essential to provide a more flexible space, not only for the enhancement of services but for other events. After final questions and answers, Reverend Belinda Davies led a concluding act of worship.
The day was clearly a success in creating a sustained and focused interest. There was a very positive postbag: .... there was a real buzz all day, I was so pleased to be a part of it.... an enjoyable and enlightening experience.... a really wonderful gathering.... a stimulating experience and we were fortunate to have had the privilege of being there.... thought-provoking, challenging and inspiring.... constructive and enabling in terms of where St. Thomas’s goes from here. I am very grateful to all the many people who helped to plan and participate in this positive event and to Salisbury Methodist Church for hosting it.
Koinonia, a Greek word that appears many times in the New Testament, is appropriate to consider with relation to the Parish Day and to what that it will help to bring about. It is a word that describes the intimate communion of the Eucharist but it also has wider implications that involve sharing, participating and mutually benefitting. St. Thomas’s Church history lies in its Christian caring for others, its close links with commercial and civic life, and its engagement with the arts through its building and services. Its future lies in this same rich demonstration of koinonia.
The PCC has since received a paper The Way Ahead from the Parish Day with key points arising and with recommendations for action.
John Cox, on behalf of the St. Thomas’s Adult Education Group
John Cox, on behalf of the St. Thomas’s Adult Education Group
2012 LENT APPEAL: DBF Salisbury Sudan Link
Education is desperately needed in Sudan.
The two greatest needs in Sudan are security and education. The Salisbury-Sudan Link can have only limited impact on the former but we can make a much greater difference to the educational needs of children. Some bare statistics point to the urgency of this need.
South Sudan is second to the bottom in the world for Primary School enrolment. It is bottom of the world league table for Secondary enrolment. Less than 1% of girls complete primary education. Female illiteracy is the highest in the world. Most children still learn in tents, under trees, in semi-permanent structures or in the open air. All basic materials are in very short supply.
OUR AIM-- is to raise money for basic school supplies (exercise books, paper, pencils, text books etc.) for church Primary schools. Collection boxes and slips explaining direct transfer are available from church.
Please gift aid if you are a tax payer!
The PCC has decided unanimously that when the organ is restored opportunity should be taken to enhance aspects of the pipework and improve sound egress towards the Nave by re-orientating the instrument by 90 degrees in its present location. This is intended to address long standing issues of the instrument's carrying power and to enable the pipes of the Great Organ to face towards the congregation as originally intended. According to our architect's measures this will leave a viable 1200 mm (approx 4 feet) access width from the north aisle to the vestry. Disabled ramps and community space in the kitchen area would not be affected.
These changes are favoured by our independent consultant, Canon Dr Nicholas Thistlethwaite and by the Diocesan Organ Adviser. They are also recommended strongly by our organists. The cost of restoration will be in the region of £300K plus VAT subject to further detailed negotiation and whether the organ case is additionally restored as also recommended. No contracts will be entered into until funding is secured which is likely to be some considerable time into the future. The church will now make preparations in collaboration with our preferred contractor, Mander Organs of London, to approach the Diocese formally for a faculty and to develop a fund raising plan aimed at grant awarding heritage bodies and the wider community with an interest in the preservation of historic instruments of this kind. Further updates will follow as the project develops.
Lent Courses 2012
There will be two courses for Lent this year:
2. 'Handing on the Torch: sacred words for a secular world' In this course we consider the reasons for the growth of Christianity today across the world, what it might mean for individual Christians, for churches and for Western culture in a world where alternative beliefs are increasingly on offer.
For more information on both courses, please click here.
Mission Action Plan
We have a Mission Action Plan or MAP. We are very excited about where this MAP will take us in our journey with God.
There are 3 three main objectives:
(a) we want to nurture a confident Christian community
(b) we want to respond to God’s activity among us and in our community
(c) we want a flexible church space to enable us to respond to God’s mission
It was developed following an Audit that was compiled in 2010 by a group from our congregation. We hope to address the needs and hopes of our congregation by carring out the actions detailed in the MAP.The MAP has been developed from these three main objectives and includes a series of actions and deadlines that are intended to make the MAP tangible and achievable. The actions build on current activities and ambitions and introduce new elements to the life of St Thomas’s, e.g. a new “formation course”, new communications officers, a new family worker and new drive to nurture our current young people
The actions for each goal are listed below. For more details click here to view the full Mission Action Plan document:
Objective 1 ~ nurture a confident Christian community
Objective 2 ~ respond to God’s activity
Objective 3 ~ a flexible church space
St Thomas's House is our Parish Centre next to the church. We have a lovely room, well equipped kitchen and garden which are available for hire for business meetings, training, lectures, receptions & private gatherings. For further information, please click here to see our latest prices. For bookings email: firstname.lastname@example.org
At present, we have improvement works being carried out on the building which will be completed soon.
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