Annual Churchwardens’ Report 2019



The Reverend Barbara Stanton continues to work tirelessly for all our churches in the benefice not only through church services, but also in giving her time to pastoral care throughout the communities.  Barbara is ably supported by our 2 Lay Readers, Tony Green and Richard Gardner,  who take many of our services, and with  occasional help from the Reverend Jeremy Swayne, and occasional back-up from the Reverend Tim Horsington.  Providing services in our 3 main Benefice churches each Sunday demands this level of help. We thank them all most sincerely for their contributions and their continuing commitment.

Monthly services have been enhanced by the establishment of a shared Communion service on the 3rd Sunday each month with Marston Magna, held alternately by the two parishes. It is good to have a strengthening link of friendship between the congregations of both parishes.

The festival services throughout the year enable us to welcome our wider community and their visiting family and friends.  Highlights are Harvest Festival with the Harvest Supper the following evening, and the Christmas services including Carol singing around the village. Remembrance Sunday held at Rimpton in November 2018, was especially moving as we marked 100 years since the end of the 1st World War. Lent leads to preparations for Easter culminating in the Easter Day communion. It is good to use the symbolism of a donkey-led procession through the village to draw in villagers and share the Palm Sunday service with the whole Benefice as we did last year and will be doing again this coming Sunday, as well as the Good Friday service of meditation – the Hour at the Cross for the Benefice again here in Rimpton.

There was no Benefice Project last year, but representatives from the parishes have chosen this year’s project.  We are also looking forward to the Rimpton Fete to be held on Saturday 13 July.  The fete is held every other year both as a source of fund-raising and as a summer village gathering, with the profits shared between the PCC and the Village Hall, so we hope for fine weather and good support from Rimpton people and their families and friends.

Turning to the usual statistics, there are currently 47 on the Church Electoral Roll.

During the church year from April 2018 to March 2019, there has been 1 baptism in October, but no weddings.  In the course of the year there has been 1 funeral.

Following our search for a church Treasurer, we are delighted to be welcoming Pamela Hopkins as our new PCC Treasurer and look forward to working alongside her. The PCC owes a debt of gratitude to our churchwarden, Jamie Lines, for all his hard work in acting as PCC Treasurer during our two year search for a replacement. We are aware that this has required much work on top of all he does each week as churchwarden.

The Annual report provides  the opportunity for the churchwardens to thank everyone who in their various ways contributes to the smooth running of Rimpton church. Those on the PCC, as well as all those within our parish who help in many ways, giving generously of their time for the benefit of the church. They, with the members of the PCC, make up the team effort required in our small parish.  We thank them all.

In particular, we must thank Stephen Suttle for all the time and hard work he has given us over many years so that music in our church makes such a contribution, and his work with the Benefice choir, together with Ken Sherring, in building the choir’s involvement. We thank Brenda Spencer, our organist for many years who continues to play each month, Christine Hale, who is still prepared to play if there is a need.  We thank Jane Lines for her generous effort in providing coffee after our services – a catalyst for shared times and friendship: Morag for the flowers which give so much to the festival services and occasions, and Caroline for spectacular dressing of the church porch on those occasions. Thanks too are due as well to William Draper who continues to mow the churchyard every other week in season, and the Parish Council who have agreed to continue to provide the majority of the funding for this to happen.

Many others are unseen – the volunteer church cleaners, locking rota people etc.

We face challenges on 2 fronts  in the coming year; firstly, on staffing and maintaining services, in a climate of ever-increasing costs, not least, being able to pay the Parish Share to the diocese. The second challenge is the need  to encourage new and often younger members of our community to become involved in any way to keep Rimpton Church at the centre of this friendly community, not just Sunday by Sunday but in the life of the village.

Hilary Stephens
April 2019




Comments are closed.