Please click below for details all the services and events that are taking place in July. In addition Caring for God’s Acre will be coming to the churchyard on Wednesday 6th July at 10 am. Anyone interesting in helping with some ground maintenance will be made very welcome; refreshments will be available.
Compline originated in monasteries; it is last the service of the day and after saying it the monks would immediately go to their cells to go to bed. By the time this article appears, it will have taken place, but if you have never heard of the service, I would encourage you to listen to one of the many recordings you can find on the internet. Sung compline combines said prayers and readings with haunting plainsong; I still vividly remember the impact it had on me when I attended my first service, forty years ago. At Billingsley we have less plainsong (although I hope we managed some in our service) but we do sing a number of hymns that hopefully catch the mood. At the March service, we also welcome a new preacher to the church, Canon Rose Lawley, who has retired as a vicar from Kidderminster to live in Highley.
January and February are quiet months at Billingsley Church as we have only one service a month, an 8.00am Holy Communion. At the January service, the small but faithful congregation was augmented by one of our friends who normally worships at Highley. Everyone is welcome at this service; particularly for those anywhere in the benefice who need to go out during the day on a Sunday, it gives an opportunity to do this and still attend a service. The January service was noted for the coldness of the church, due to a problem with the heating. I am pleased to say that this has now been fixed; many thanks to engineer Barry Valentine for helping us. We are aware that our boiler is old and only has a limited life; whilst raising funds for a replacement heating system will be challenging, we are starting to investigate options.
We are looking forward to the resumption of our 6.00pm evening services, on the second Sunday of the month. In March, (8th), our service will be based around Compline. This originates from the prayers that monks said just before they went to bed; it is made up of readings, prayers and music that allow us to reflect on the events of the day/weekend/week, so that leave in a calm and peaceful state. Today, many call this “mindfulness” and at the university where I work, courses based on it are put on to help staff deal with stress, but it has been practised in the church for centuries.
Another good way of de-stressing is to watch nature in the countryside. Billingsley Churchyard, with its benches (and the porch and church for shelter if the weather turns bad; tea and coffee making facilities available in the church). We manage the churchyard to try and encourage wildlife as well as providing a respectful space for those who have loved ones who are buried in it. At the end of January, we did a bird survey and hope to get a grant for putting in bird boxes. So if you are feeling stressed, just sit in the churchyard and enjoy God’s creation!
On Sunday 10th November at 10.45 we will meet at Lincoln Fields for an act of Remembrance on the grassed verge, followed by bell ringing and refreshments after in church
If you a knitter or crocheter don’t forget we need poppies to decorate the church. They can be dropped off in church anytime before the 1st November.
At our 6pm evening service this month we will be looking towards the 100th anniversary of the ending of the First World War. The focus will commemorate the life of Harold Gibbs, the only Billingsley man to be killed in the war.
After the service there will be refreshments and a time to chat.
Please do come and join us.
All four churches in the Benefice are joining together for a family Holy Communion Service in the church this Sunday.
We also celebrate and give thanks for the 40 years the Reverend Mike Harris has served in ministry since his ordination on 1st October 1978.
Please do come and join us.
The August service will be held at 6pm on Sunday 12th when the talk will focus on “God and the Miner”. As usual there will be lots of well known hymns and refreshments too, so do come and join us!
The July service, at 6pm, continues our series looking at different styles of Evening Prayer. The focus this month is on the Book of Common Prayer service. As usual there will be lots of well known hymns and refreshments too, so do come and join us!