Rector’s Letter – June 2019
I very much enjoyed this year’s Rogation service at the Exmoor Farmers Market, Wheddon Cross. Many thanks to Peter, Gethin and all at the market for allowing us to use the market again this year for our gathering. This year we approached the service slightly differently with a focus on the activities, clubs and societies which help sustain our emotional and spiritual lives along with the traditional Rogation focus on giving thanks for all that sustains our physical body: the food we eat, the clothes we wear.
Once again Cutcombe School got us off to a great start showing us a banner they had made in school and a favourite picture of a mustard tree, which recalls the parable of the mustard seed; that tiny seed which grows to be a large tree in which birds can rest and which provides shade for all and which symbolises the school’s ethos. The children then sang us a song which Brenda had written for them and practiced with them. They then went off for some craft in the adjoining room organised by Nicola, Sheralee, Emma, Sally, Rachael and others.
Those who remained in the main market area then heard from a number of people who organise or are involved in a local club, activity or society. We heard from Wendy Schofield about the Cutcombe Women’s Institute. Wendy told us about different aspects of what they do including their lobbying work on important issues. Sue Hayes told us about the Winsford Craft Club and showed us some examples of their work and a banner that she had made at the suggestion of Revd Terry Staples in 2006 and which hangs in Winsford Church. David Butt told us about his enjoyment of sheep breeding and showing and the Exmoor Horn Wool Project which he is part of. He brought a lovely display of wool from fleece to the dyed and spun balls ready for knitting in a range of colours reflecting the colours of Exmoor.
We also heard from Sue Atkins about bell-ringing which Sue illustrated with a model of a church bell. Sue also spoke about hand-bell ringing. Ines spoke about the Exford reading Group and Anne Laity spoke about the Garden Club and their outings. Looking further afield Halen Baker from Alcombe spoke about the West Somerset Food Cupboard and Jenny Gateaux about her work with the refugee support group Taunton Welcomes Refugees. Jenny organises trips and holidays for refugee families living in Taunton out here to Exmoor which are very much appreciated by the families as they rebuild their lives after some terrible experiences.
All in all it was a wonderful celebration of the rich and varied life of Exmoor people and so many things for which we have reason to give thanks at Rogation and throughout the year. More information about all of these and other groups appears regularly in the Parish magazine and they are always open to interest and welcoming of new members.
All the best, David