Swallow News from Blighty

Written by Graham Fowler | May 2022

On a warm sunny evening on Sunday 22 May at 6.30pm the parishioners of the rural village of Askerswell in West Dorset gathered at St Michael and All Angels to sing praises to God and to give thanks for the community being able to worship and meet socially again after the many months of restrictions due to Covid.  The service was also the opening event of the Platinum Jubilee celebrations of the Benefice of Eggardon and Colmers. Villagers from across the Benefice were invited to choose hymns that had a special meaning for them.  Eight hymns were chosen and together with prayers and an appropriate  reading from Colossians 3:12-17, these formed the pattern of the service following which wine and nibbles provided the opportunity for people to catch up and enjoy the company of others.

The hymns chosen included “Lord of all hopefulness”, “O praise ye the Lord”, “Brother, sister let me love you” and “Be still for the presence of the Lord” requested by us, as it was played during the Eucharist at the blessing of our wedding at St Michael and All Angels. The other hymns also had special meaning for those present – weddings, family celebrations, childhood memories of singing as part of a choir and, how the words of a hymn can speak simply and beautifully of how we should live our lives as a Christian community.

A retiring collection was taken for the Disasters Emergency Committee’s Ukrainian Appeal.  A number of Ukrainian families have been housed in the villages of the Benefice and meet together with others housed locally, once a week in the market town of Bridport.

Colossians 3:12-17

As God's chosen ones, holy and beloved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience. Bear with one another and, if anyone has a complaint against another, forgive each other; just as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in the one body. And be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly; teach and admonish one another in all wisdom; and with gratitude in your hearts sing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs to God. And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.

Praise be to God.