St Mary'sSt Mary's news

The Reverend Yann Dubreuil Tel: 07777684533
Mr.W.Knowles Park Edge, Upper Froyle Tel: 01420 23164

Benefice Pastoral Care: Gill Thalon (23528)
Prayer Chain: Nick Carter (472861)
Anna Chaplain: Jonathan Rooke

Church Services at Froyle in May

Sunday 5th MayFroyle 8.00am Holy Communion
    Bentley 5.00pm Live@Five (tea at 4.30pm)
    Binsted 9.30am
Holy Communion
Sunday 12th MayFroyle 11.00 am Holy Communion
  Bentley 9.30am Morning Worship with Children's Church
    Binsted 3.30pm
Messy Church (in school)
Sunday 19th May Froyle 11.00 am Holy Communion
  Bentley 5.00pm Live@Five (tea at 4.30pm)
    Binsted 9.30am Morning Worship
Sunday 26th May Froyle 6.00pm Evensong
    Bentley 9.30am Holy Communion with Children's Church
    Binsted 8.00am Holy Communion
Sunday 2nd June Froyle 11.00 am Holy Communion
    Bentley 9.30am Live@Five (tea at 4.30pm)
    Binsted 9.30am Holy Communion


Details of all the services within the Benefice are also found on the church notice boards.
To learn more about the individual Churches, click on the church icons below.


The Vicars Letter
Dear All,

Just before writing this piece, I had been noticing a lack of lambs in the fields surrounding our village. On my journeys around the benefice during February and March I kept looking out for their arrival and then when we entered April I realised that as Easter was late this year, the farmers must have cleverly delayed the lambing season to ensure a good supply of tender roast lamb for Easter Sunday lunches. We are such people of tradition, aren’t we, with our Christmas turkeys and our Easter roast lamb.
But when I did finally see new lambs in the fields, or curled up alongside their mothers, I found myself thinking not about roast dinners with mint sauce, but about why Jesus is called the Lamb of God. And even more confusingly, why Jesus is also the Good Shepherd. Think about that, how can He be both lamb and shepherd? Odd, isn’t it? But let me try to explain.
Going back over the centuries, Jewish culture often involved the sacrifice of lambs and this animal had a very important place in the religion. A newborn lamb with a pure white fleece is a symbol of purity. Despite Jesus being a mature man, he was unstained by sin and He too could symbolise cleanliness. So by referring to Christ as the ‘Lamb of God’, we can see that he was the perfect sacrifice.
Now my advisor on sheep tells me that lambs are not in fact, perfectly clean. They are as fresh as a newborn baby when they tumble into this world, but in no time at all, after snuggling up against their woolly mums, they don’t smell too good! However, when we see those little white lambs scampering across the grass, we just see unstained new life.
So now let’s consider the shepherd analogy. In His own words, Jesus tells us in John 10:  ‘I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.’ Now I know our farmers are conscientious and care for their livestock, and my shepherd friend tells me that shepherds really do get to know their sheep as individuals, but I doubt that they would lay down their lives for them.
However, they work through the night to help ewes lamb, they check their flocks at all hours for predators and parasites and show sorrow at the loss of a good ewe or a sickly lamb. They will bottle feed rejected or orphaned lambs and go to great lengths to ensure that a ewe accepts and feeds her offspring. And I am told that even a hardened shepherd’s heart warms to the sound of the unique snickering a ewe makes when she turns her head to greet and lick her newly born lamb.
It’s hard for those of who aren’t shepherds to understand how it is possible to know every member of a flock. To the layman, they are all alike. But read something like James Rebanks ‘The Shepherd’s Life’ and you can gain an appreciation of their intimate knowledge of their animals. When he writes about the winter snows, ‘The best ewe follows me in the trodden path I am making. She has bred me great sons and daughters.’ With those words, we can see that he knows his sheep as individuals.
And just as the shepherd of today, working with a crook that has changed not at all since Biblical times, knows his sheep, so Jesus knows us and cares for us. Again in John 10, he said, ‘I know my own sheep, and they know me just as my Father knows me and I know my Father.’ It’s comforting to think that we are watched over, cared for and loved by the Good Shepherd, all the days of our lives.

Blessings, Yann

Easter in Church - a Thank You
Having attended quite a few church events over Easter - in Bentley and Binsted as well as Froyle - I was struck by the variety of what the three churches had to offer over Easter. In Froyle’s case, this ranged from the formal beauty of the choral evening service on Maundy Thursday, to the ‘frolic’ for kids in the churchyard making miniature gardens and hunting for eggs on the Saturday, to the cheery Easter Day morning service on the Sunday. Every event I attended, in whichever parish, was uplifting in a different way, not only for ‘hardened’ churchgoers like me, but also for occasional visitors, of whom there are of course many over Easter. I have to boast of having even managed to get to the 5:30 am Easter sunrise service in Bentley churchyard – the sight of the sun rising on the other side of the valley while the moon was still above the western horizon was quite magical. The good weather certainly lifted everybody’s spirits.
None of this happens without huge amounts of time being invested in it, generally by people who are already pretty busy. So the point of this note, other than to tell you what you might have missed, is to thank all those who made the Easter events in Froyle so special – you all know who you are, but I would particularly mention Sarah Thursfield’s wonderfully talented flower arrangers who decorated the church so beautifully – and the challenging contrast with Peter Wonson’s imaginative evocation of the Easter events which was displayed on the font; Jane Palmer for the Maundy Thursday service (well supported by Andrew Hunter Johnston, who also very kindly played the organ for us on Easter Day), Jan Elliott and Jane Harrap for their garden making and egg hiding skills, and of course everyone who sang, read, delivered intercessions, greeted people on arrival, helped to set up and clear away, and finally to our three ordained ministers, Yann, Christopher and David, whom we are very lucky to have.
William Knowles (07775 928933)

Heraldry Talk – 13 April 2019
On Saturday 13 April Edward Hepper entertained and educated an audience of about 80 people in the church with a fascinating explanation of the (very few) rules, and rather more conventions and practices, of heraldry, illustrating his talk mainly by reference to the hatchments and coat of arms on the walls. We learnt that the white surcoat generally worn over armour was invented to keep the sun from cooking a knight on his Crusade, and then the heraldic devices were to enable him to be recognised. It then became more complicated, but those in the know can tell the rank and sometimes the identity of the wearer from the features and decorations, and direction of gaze of the helmet, on a coat of arms. It appears that there are some anomalies in the coats of arms on some of the memorial stones in the church floor - unbeknown to most, probably.
It was a fascinating evening, well rounded off with delicious nibbles and a glass of wine, and thanks are due to Edward Hepper, and Nigel Bulpitt and his fundraising team for their hard work in putting it on.
Jonathan Pickering