Vicar's Bit January 2019

New Year planning Vicar’s bit: Revd John Longuet-Higgins

As we now know, and I write during a constitutional crisis, with “plan A” failing, future proof planning does not exist. Life is far too complex and uncertain. The future like the present is full of dilemmas and complexities.

God the Father put all His future planning into Christmas. He had no plan B, no plan without Jesus. The plan for the earth, “peace on earth and goodwill for and with us”, began hundreds of years previously as the prophets wrote of a coming Messiah and the hope of salvation. God’s people and the nations too were to be blessed, so the prophets planning document said, so God’s international treaty-covenant said.

In Isaiah 60 we hear “Arise, shine, your light has come, the glory of the Lord is rising upon you…God’s salvation has been openly shown to all people”.

Locally in this benefice – a bit like our national “plan A” – we have been planning for 3 years, planning for January 2019. However, for us, we sense our plan is part of a much older plan going back to Isaiah. For God has been calling our churches, working with Debbie Godsell our family development minister, to reach out to families in new ways.



  • On the first Saturday of each month we are running “Messy Church” at Staunton and Corse School and the following month at Hartpury School. In fact, in January that plan has been amended. We are holding Messy Church at Staunton and Corse on Wednesday 9th January at 3.30pm.

  • On the second Sunday of each month in the afternoon we have “Family Church” at Woodpeckers Sports Club Ashleworth. It is held in a place where families meet. The worship is friendly, non-liturgical and accessible to children and their parents and grandparents. Do come along on 13th January at 3pm.

  • On the third Sunday we are growing “Little Church”. The service, held at Hartpury Church each month, is aimed at younger children and their parents. The ideal starting point for families who have had their child baptised. See you there 9.30am on 20th January.

  • On the fourth Sunday we are holding a contemporary worship service, “Encounter”. Many people, a mix of teenagers and adults, have longed for a modern renewal service. We are having our first one on January 27th 7pm at Lawn Farm Corse. Do join us for new and inspiring worship.


And Steve Godsell is heading up for us…

  • With the Alpha team we are holding an “Alpha Supper” at the community room at Lawn Farm, Pillows Green, GL19 3QA on Tuesday 29th January 7pmFor food and lively discussion about the Christian faith please email Steve on

  • With me an “Intercession Course” held at the Rectory on Mondays at 3pm and 7pm starting on Monday 14th January. A further group is being planned on a Thursday hosted by the Methodist Chapel (date tbd). The course is aimed at those who want to encourage our benefice in prayer; intercessions for the world on Sundays, personal prayer for those we love day by day, prayer for healing, and prayer for God’s life in the churches.


And Bishop Robert of Tewkesbury…

  • 7pm Thursday 24th January at Hartpury Church will be baptising Helen Stratford; and Confirming Helen Stratford, Irene Carroll, Guy Wallace and Matthew Harper-Albornoz. This is a very special moment for our candidates and for us. Please put the date of the Confirmation Service in the diary and lets fill the church with our prayers and celebrations.


I hope this plan looks attractive. And you feel it to be part of age-old plan of salvation which started with the prophets and came to birth with Christ at Christmas. Happy New Year.


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