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From the vicar, February 2019

From Revd Jon Roberts, Curate in the Dorchester Team


We’ve been watching and reading CS Lewis’ fantastic story, ‘The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe’, a fair bit over the last couple of months. We had a ‘Narnia advent calendar’, we have the old BBC film, and a couple of different versions of the book. My son’s really been enjoying this story and playing with the characters in a lot of different ways.


One of the things I like about the Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe is how the characters wrestling with the seasons reflects the arc of the story. When our four young stars of the story first enter Narnia, they have to battle against the elements; it’s not that pleasant a place to be.  Bitterly cold, knee deep in snow, not to mention the fear because ‘even some of the trees are on the witch’s side’. Yet, slowly but surely, the snow begins to melt, the rivers begin to flow… and then (something I loved as kid as much as my son does now), Father Christmas shows up! And with presents! Shortly following this is the end of winter completely, the trickle of spring becomes a torrent. And Aslan is here, the culmination of everyone’s hopes!


The beginning of 2019, like the start of any new year is always a time which beckons possibilities, offers so much in hope and dreams as to what might be this year; but it’s also one of the most miserable times of the year! February and March are still very much in winter; cold, wet, dark (we wish we had snow!), and no longer with Christmas to look forward to.


But spring’s not far away. Even as I write this I’ve seen daffodils and snowdrops poking their heads above the ground, there are catkins of the hazel trees, and by the time you’re reading this there could be blossom on the trees, frog spawn in the ponds, and we might have even seen a bumblebee or two. Soon this trickle will turn into a torrent, just as in Narnia, and before we know it spring will be in full swing.


For the inhabitants of Narnia, those animal creatures I’m sure we all love, the thought of Aslan their hero has kept them going, kept them hoping for many a year, even without the possibility of Christmas.  


I wonder what’s kept you going this winter? Or what still keeps you going? I wonder what hopes and dreams you have for this new year which might sustain you as we go forward. And I wonder who’s going to be your Aslan this year?


God bless you this Spring and this new year.




From Our Churches


Over the centuries, thousands of Carols must have reverberated around the rafters of our churches and I am sure that the singing at the Carol Service this year was as good as it has ever been!  Thank you so much to everyone who came and sang so enthusiastically - it was lovely to see the Church full and to hear the congregation in such good voice.

The Carol Service is a complete village event and there is much organisation that goes on beforehand to make it all appear effortless.  We are indebted to many and especially thank Jacquie and Chris Lake for the delicious mulled wine and those who provided mince pies; thank you too to those who prepared and decorated the church, cleaned and moved chairs, made sure candles were alight inside and outside and more - the list goes on.

As always, a big thank you to the Choirs; lovely to have the School Choir singing and to welcome visiting singers.  It was especially good to see some wonderful home-grown talent back for Christmas.  So thank you to everyone for making time to come and make music.  We could not, however, do it without the support of our organist Roger Derbyshire, joined this year by his daughter Alice on the flute.  We are very fortunate and deeply grateful to them.

The Baldons Carol Services would not be the same without the Handbells.  The other day I was asked about their history.  I don't know when they were originally cast but their connection with the village goes back to around 1936, when Jack Greenaway and friends, then teenagers, did a series of concerts in the Village Hall in order to raise money to purchase them, under the guidance of Freddie Carter who ran the village store.  Clearly Mr. Carter was a talented musician, and the thirteen pounds required was duly raised.   The bells have since been expertly restored and ring as sweetly as they ever did.  A warm thank you to those who have kept the bells ringing over many generations.


The Churches remain at the heart of our villages.  

Before Christmas Lily and Ben celebrated their beautiful wedding in St. Peter's and Marsh Baldon School presented its enchanting Nativity play, also in St. Peter's.  



Toot Baldon Church was the lovely setting for the Christmas Morning service, and we are indebted to Jennifer Morton for conducting both our Christmas Services.  


The process for appointing a new team Vicar for the Baldons is underway and in the meantime we appreciate the various visiting priests who conduct our services.