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Time for a spring clean?

But if we walk in the light, as he himself is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, cleanses us from all sin.   (1 John 1:7)

February is the third and last month of meteorological winter…..possibly a bit hard to imagine as you sit there reading your parish magazine, trying to keep the house warm!  It is a time of seasonal transition, as the days gradually lengthen, and we move from darkness to light, keeping our eyes peeled for signs of nature’s annual miracle of regeneration.  The month derives its name from the Latin ‘februa’, a Roman festival of ritual purification or cleansing.  It is a time of year when we tidy up the garden, or prune shrubs to promote fresh growth (please follow the advice of experts on which plants benefit from that!).  In our homes, we may be thinking about spring-cleaning or even redecorating to make the house feel clean and bright.

In the Church, February 2nd is Candlemas, the day that all the Church's candles for the year used to be blessed.  It marks the end of the Christmas-Epiphany season, and both celebrates the presentation of Jesus in the temple, 40 days after his birth, and commemorates the ritual purification of his mother Mary.  Jewish tradition held that Jesus, as the first-born male, be given to God, symbolically sacrificed but redeemed or bought back by an offering.  Furthermore, women were considered unclean after the birth of a child.  For 40 days after the birth of a boy (60 days for a girl), women were not allowed to worship in the temple until they had been brought to the priest to be purified.  Mary and Joseph’s visit to the temple combined both rituals.  Simeon, who was in the temple at the time of Christ’s presentation to the priest, recognised in the baby Jesus, “a light for revelation to the Gentiles and for glory to…. Israel” (Luke 2:32).  So the tone for February is set at Candlemas through the motifs of light and cleansing.  

What might we do for our spiritual well-being this month - to shed light into the gloomy corners of our minds; to spring clean those cobwebby crannies where sadness or anger or resentment lurk?  Finding time to reflect on the source of those feelings and consciously tackling them may help; talking them through with a trusted friend or relative could lessen their hold; or simply sharing uplifting moments with those who make us smile.  February is the shortest month, but still with plenty of time for a spot of spring-cleaning!

Lord Jesus Christ, light of the nations and glory of Israel: make your home among us and present us pure and holy to our heavenly Father.  Amen.

Yvonne Allen


9:30am  Stockton

Holy Communion

10:00am  Berwick St James


11:00am  Stapleford  

Holy Communion

11:00am  Wylye


6:00pm  South Newton


For future services visit our Services page

Stories from Around the Benefice

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Sunday 17th February - 3rd Sunday before Lent

The Messenger


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Lower Wylye and Till Valley Parishes Magazine


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Warming up Wiltshire!

Do you struggle to keep your home warm or worry how you will afford your energy bills this winter?

Contact Warm & Safe Wiltshire for free, impartial advice about keeping your home warm, using your heating system, understanding your energy bills and making energy saving improvements as well as registering for the Priority Services Register.  Advice can be given through home visits as well as over the phone.  Fire safety alarm and appliance checks can also be organised in partnership with Fire and Rescue for eligible residents.  

If you, or someone you know, would benefit from speaking to a trained energy advisor, then get in touch. Call 0800 038 5722 .email warmandsafe@cse.org.uk
Web www.warmandsafewiltshire.org.uk

Warm and Safe Wiltshire is a service provided by Swindon Borough Council and Wiltshire Council in partnership with the Centre for Sustainable Energy and Dorset and Wiltshire Fire Service.

Christmas Carols, Glenside

South Newton

Oakapple Christmas

Great Wishford


At Great Wishford

Posada Crib Service

South Newton

School Remembrance

On the Great Wishford page

Remembrance  Sunday at Stapleford

More on the Stapleford page

Benefice Lenten Quiet Day

Saturday 23rd March 2019

10:00 - 16:00 Langford Lakes Nature Reserve,

Steeple Langford SP3 4PA


To reserve a place on the Lenten Quiet Day

please contact

 Rev'd Jonathan Plows, jonplows@aol.com, 07793 553189

Posada Service at

Great Wishford School

On the Great Wishford page



St Giles, Great Wishford

February 17th South Newton  

"Be thou my Vision"

6:00pm Evening Worship

Followed by a cuppa

March 3rd Great Wishford

5:00pm Iona Style Evening Worship

Followed by refreshments

March 17th South Newton

6:00pm Worship exploring Social Justice

In Fair Trade Fortnight

Followed by refreshments