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Welcome to the church of St Peter in the village of Barton, Cambridgeshire. This was a flourishing village even in Saxon times, for it is mentioned three times in the Domesday Book. In modern times, the village is part of the Lordsbridge Team Ministry in the Bourn Deanery of the Diocese of Ely, with Team Vicar Rev. Rebecca Gilbert taking special responsibility for Barton and the neighbouring villages of Coton, Haslingfield and Harlton.

Our Parish Church is open for private and public prayer, for worship, or just to visit, during daylight hours each and every day.


August thoughts from Ruth Bond

Dear Friends.
Last July I wrote of us living in extraordinary times which, politically speaking,
we were. Never would any of us have thought times could be even more
extraordinary than they have been in the last five months. We have all been
players in a completely worldwide event. Locked down, shut in, cut off in many
ways and the sadness of loss does not go away but life still continues with all its usual and new highs and lows.

We have lived with Guidance throughout this season and daily we learned of the
situation and the next step. The gratitude, and disgruntled, arguments were seen
and heard and technology came up with more and more opportunities if we chose   
to engage with them. And for a time, everything was at a slower pace.

But things inevitably change and it’s never too early for a celebration. Here in St
Peter’s we had the opportunity to celebrate ‘Back to Church Sunday’* two months
earlier than 20th September, its official date. A short and simple service has been
offered since the middle of July in St Peter’s for those who wished to return to
hear a service spoken in person rather than via technology. Guidance is given on
how to proceed with the safety of everyone who attends in mind. These measures
alone make us realise that everything has altered. The building that is the church
is the same but the mode of worship known for decades has changed. We
returned to a slimmed down and different way of church.

Since the mid fourteenth century this building will have seen many changes,
incumbents have come and gone, but the essence of what the church is has been
constant. This edifice was begun with a corner stone both practically and
spiritually for Christ is the cornerstone ** and “Unless the Lord builds the house,
the builders labour in vain” says the writer of Psalm 127. Guidance has always
been given!

No matter what form a service and worship takes it is of little consequence unless
Jesus is at the heart of all activity that takes place both inside and outside the
building.

We are building new churches of service in these unprecedented times. Churches
of interaction and care for other people, for those who have lost jobs, cannot feed
their families, have nowhere to lay their heads or who are trafficked into our
beautiful city of Cambridge. Situations such as these are where the builders of the
new churches must be; and as long as the builders are part of the firm, no crisis
can touch the breadth, depth, height and length of God’s love which can achieve
great things.
Stay safe Barton

Ruth Bond LLM

Christmas and New Year Wishes from Ruth Bond

Dear Friends,

As I write, the nation has just stood in the silence of Remembrance. In the quiet and solitude of our thoughts we recalled what had been.  But now, in noise and activity, we impatiently await the next big landmark of Christmas.  We remember too though previous 25ths of December, many happy, some not so happy perhaps but, nonetheless, here it comes again and the excitement builds.  Everything is rushing towards that day again.  There is a continuous flow of imperative news of what and where to buy this and that.  We are told what we need to purchase and what would be such a treat:  retail on the move, pulling the tinsel over our eyes — and all for what?

To remember the birth of a child 220 decades ago, born in the quiet and magnificence of a humble stable after the frantic searching for shelter.* It’s all for a birthday celebration.  The four weeks until the 25th is a stretch of time we call Advent which means ‘a time for awaiting the arrival of a noble person or thing’.  As a child, my fondest Christmas desire was for a red handled kettle for my dolls; but the real wait is for that noble, kingly servant, Jesus. And as we wait we prepare for the arrival of the gifts and also to receive the message that Jesus brought with him – that we are loved unconditionally. But the preparations are exciting and none more so than decorating the tree – when that happens the festivities have begun!  I do hope you have fashioned a tree to display at the Christmas Tree Festival in St Peter’s this month, or at least plan to come and have a look.  With the glitter and the lights it provides a wonderful and holy place.  This is a great opportunity to get creative and find that God-given hidden talent.

But then comes January, the month of resolutions to change or do all sorts; the month of clearing away to make space for the new that was so anticipated in December.  The feast of Epiphany on the 6th  January remembers the time when Jesus was revealed to the world as God on earth, the time when everything changed and was, yes,  new.  We might paint a wall to freshen it up but we have the opportunity every day to make a fresh beginning; and all because of that baby who was serenaded with the lowing of cattle.

Wishing for you happiness at Christmas and joy in 2020.

Ruth Bond LLM

*Luke ch 2, vs 1 -20.

 

November thoughts from Rev Becca Gilbert

Dear Friends,

November heralds the very often grey, quiet time of the year when in the northern hemisphere at least, the natural world begins to take a well-earned rest. The last of the leaves are falling from the trees, leaving bare branches against the cloudy skies. Squirrels retreat from the chill of the approaching winter. Plants are dying back in the garden, and the damp of autumn hangs in the air.

Yet paradoxically, for the human world it’s often a time to accelerate forwards – or that’s how it can feel to me!  Onwards to the festive season that is approaching in the next calendar month. Adverts tell us how many shopping days are left till the big day, while big online shopping events like Black Friday loom on the horizon.  

But if we can resist the commercial pressure that often builds at this time of year, and reconnect with the season that is unfolding outside our windows, it might just give us breathing space to approach things a bit differently. Slowing ourselves to the rhythm of the natural ebb and flow, cultivation and fallow, flowering and dying off of the fields, trees, and landscape around us might just give us an excuse, a reason, to put down our phones and break those 24/7 patterns.

The church calendar also brings with it an opportunity for us to look back and remember, first in the form of All Souls at the beginning of the month, and then on to Remembrance Sunday on 10th November. And as the nights draw in it is perhaps also a time to look forward, to reflect and perhaps even begin to mend those things in our life that need attention.

So before the busyness of Christmas takes over, may we find time to ensure that the most important things in our lives, our relationships with each other and ourselves – and for some of us – with God, are found in a good place, rooted in peace and ready for whatever the season will bring.

Much love, Becca Gilbert.

Serving the parishes of Barton, Coton, Harlton and Haslingfield in the Lordsbridge Team of churche