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The United Benefice of Withington, Sevenhampton with Charlton Abbots, Hawling, Whittington, Dowdeswell and Andoversford, Shipton and Cold Salperton

This month's letter from the clergy

Variety is the spice of life

Dear friends,

As you will all know we are a group of nine churches spread out in the beautiful Cotswold countryside. Our churches offer a variety of different styles of buildings and represent input from varied periods of history. We also offer a variety of different styles and times of services and whilst I know that many regular worshippers have a particular attachment to their local church it is good to be aware of what is on offer across the area.

Most Churches have their main service in the morning, but a regular look at the rota will show that there are afternoon and evening options. But the bigger variety is of style. Of course, Holy Communion is the main service and there is one of these somewhere in our unit every Sunday. For those who love the Book of Common Prayer with its traditional language, this is used regularly at Whittington and Charlton Abbots. For those who like something more informal, there are two monthly options. One is Explore which is preceded by bacon butties, toast, juice and tea and coffee. People sit round tables, for the service we still sing hymns and have prayers, but instead of a sermon there is discussion whilst children usually do a craft activity in a different room. The other is Shipton Praise which features contemporary worship songs led by guitar (and also some traditional hymns) and again is interactive in style. There are also Family or All-Age Services and services of Morning Prayer and Evensong. Finally there is Engage which is not really a service but an opportunity to watch a video and discuss it but which is also monthly on a Sunday evening.

Whilst we are all by personal inclination drawn to particular styles of worship I believe it can be enriching for all of us to sometimes try something different from time to time. But I hope you will have seen that hopefully there is something for everybody. If you do not yet worship regularly why not think about coming to something that you think you might enjoy.