SIMPLIFICATION – Should the four Parishes of the Avon Valley Churches become one?

At the end of last year, the Simplification Working Group was given the task by the four PCCs of considering whether the AVC would be better served with one PCC, rather than four.

The documents below summarise where our conversations have led us, and are offered to the PCCs and wider congregations for their consideration.  The PCCs will each take a formal vote on the Proposal for the Avon Valley Churches to become one Parish by September 21st, 2020. 

The Summary Document gives an outline of the proposals.

The Simplification Booklet is the full set of papers. which are the result of all of our discussions on different areas of our life togehter.

Do make your views known to your PCC Members over the next couple of weeks.

Hyde PCC has proposed the following Consultation Process:

  • Sunday, September 6th, 11.00a.m., a Meeting in the Church Building or Church Centre, after the Morning Service, for those who would like to be there in person.
  • Friday, September 11th, 4.00p.m., a Meeting outdoors, for those who would not feel comfortable coming into the Church Building or Church Centre, but are not able to access Zoom easily.
  • Friday, September 11th, 5.00p.m., a Meeting on Zoom, for those who would not feel comfortable coming into the Church Building or Church Centre, but can access Zoom.
  • That will be followed by a PCC Meeting, on Monday, September 14th (Holy Cross Day) at 7.30p.m., in the Church Centre, but with the facility for any members to attend by Zoom (video, or by telephone) if they would prefer, at which the Simplification Proposals will be voted on.

Members of any of our congregations would be welcome to join in any of the consultations, and if anyone would like any further consultations, please let us know.  I, Jon Whale, and members of the WG, are very happy to discuss the proposals with individuals or groups; and people are still welcome to make submissions by e-mail, post, phone, or in person, if they have questions to which they cannot find the answers.

I would like to thank Jon Whale and the Simplification Working Group for the many hours they have spent discussing and interrogating the documents, and for the way in which differences of opinion have been so carefully dealt with along the way.

If you have any concerns about this process, do be in touch with me.

Canon Gary Philbrick Rector

Are you interested in leading Worship, or Pastoral Care, or Care of the Environment, or helping Others to Pray? If so, this might be for you – BISHOP’S COMMISSION FOR MISSION

Are you a lay person? Would you like some input for your existing
ministry, or do you feel that God might be calling you to serve in some new way? More interested in learning from otherswho are passionate about their ministry than in getting a formal qualification? Want help to see how your sense of calling might grow, or how you might develop your ministry? Then Bishop’s Commission for Mission could be for you.

The Bishop’s Commission for Mission, which will be delivered on-line in the Autumn, is a great way to explore a new area, and see whether that is where you are being called.

There are introductory and closing sessions, and six evenings, all on-line.

In the autumn we are offering Creation Care, Prayer Champions, Pastoral and Worship.

It would be great if we could fill those courses to their limit with people from the AVC.

(And, eventually, when our new Worship Pattern (originally planned to be launched on May 1st) begins, if we are to sustain that pattern, we need lots of Lay Worship Leaders -at least 5 new ones, and preferably more!!!)

Full details and dates of the Autumn 2020 Programme, with dates, are here:


Videos explaining the 4 BCM Streams are here:


If you think any of this might be for you, talk to Gary or any of the Staff Team – and we can put you in touch with some of our current dozen or so BCMs so you can see whether this might be the right next step for you.

Canon Gary Philbrick


Sadly for us, but wonderfully for Mike and his family, he has been snapped up by the Diocese of Salisbury at his first interview.  He and Heidi would have loved to stay here for longer – he has been signed off by the Bishop to apply for other posts, but there is a deadline of June next year – but this post was advertised and looked so ideal for him that I encouraged him to apply for it.

The official notice from the Bishop of Sherborne reads:

We are pleased to announce that the Benefice Patronage Board, comprising Benefice representatives, the Archdeacon of Dorset, Bishop of Sherborne and Rural Dean have appointed the Revd Michael Trotman to be the next Rector of Parkstone St Peter and St Osmund with Branksea St Mary.  Michael is currently Training Curate in the Avon Valley Churches and brings much experience and gifts to the post, including a background in teaching and facilities management and an interest in developing fresh expressions and outreach. The appointment is subject to DBS. Michael feels very much called by God to this post and those involved in the appointment believe him to be the right fit, and are looking forward to welcoming him and his family sometime in the autumn. Bishop Karen and Archdeacon Antony wish to thank all those who were involved in the appointment process.

Mike’s last Service is likely to be sometime in September – we are still negotiating dates.

Mike and his family will be greatly missed here – they have done so much, and made such an impact during their two years here.  But we wish them every blessing for their future ministry and life.


GENEROUS JUNE – The Rector’s Letter to our congregations

During June this year, we’ve been thinking about ‘Generous Living. Generous Giving’, and we’ve had sermons at all of our main Services from the Bishops in Winchester and Sheffield Dioceses.

These are all available in the June Sunday 10.00 Services here on Facebook.

Canon Gary, the Rector, has written to all of our congregations, explaining the financial postion in each of our four Parishes, and inviting people to contribute if they are would like to, and are able to – for some this is a very difficult time financially, and for others it is an easier time to be generous.

Here is the Rector’s Letter, for those who have not had a copy through the post.

Thank you, all those who already support the Mission and Service of our Churches here so generously.

Churches Opening for Prayer and Worship – updated

Churches Open for Prayer and Visiting

We are delighted that the majority of the Vaon Valley Churches are now open prayer and visiting, with appropriate hygiene measures in place.

You are welcome to go to the Church for peace, prayer, visiting, etc. – you are responsible for your own hygiene precautions, as we cannot guarantee that all of our visitors will take handwashing and other necessary measures.

The following Churches are open:

  • St Mary’s, Breamore
  • St Mary’s, Fordingbridge,
  • St Mary’s, Hale
  • St Boniface Woodgreen.

(Hyde Church will follow once the interior works are complete, round about the middle of July, and Godshill at a later date.)

Churches Opening for Worship

The Government has announced that public worship may resume from July 4th – and that includes weddings.

The latest advice from the Church of England is here:

Further advice will follow from the Church of England in the next few days.

Once we see that advice, we’ll make decisions about when to resume worship in our Churches – which we’re very much looking forward to.

There are going to be many people who will not feel comfortable returning to enclosed spaces over the coming weeks, and I’m certain that we’ll continue with our on-line offerings even once worship resumes in our Churches.

Further details will follow.