Horizons Magazine

The Exile

A long time ago (609- 538) many of the Hebrew people found themselves in exile in Babylon.  The Temple in Jerusalem had been destroyed.  

Psalm 137 might strike a chord with us as we cannot gather together in our Church to worship the Lord our God:

By the rivers of Babylon—
    there we sat down and there we wept
    when we remembered Zion.
On the willows[a] there
    we hung up our harps.
For there our captors
    asked us for songs,
and our tormentors asked for mirth, saying,
    “Sing us one of the songs of Zion!”

How could we sing the Lord’s song
    in a foreign land?
If I forget you, O Jerusalem,
    let my right hand wither!
Let my tongue cling to the roof of my mouth,
    if I do not remember you,
if I do not set Jerusalem
    above my highest joy.

(Psalm 137.1-6)[1]


We are not in a similar situation but having our Church closed seems a similar experience in that we cannot worship God in the place where, for centuries, people in Weston Turville, and beyond, worshipped in the church.

The church building is still closed and will be for a while.  I will write again to let you know when it will re-open.  It will, however, be a long time before we can gather together to celebrate God’s love in the Eucharist (Holy Communion or Mass), hear the Bible stories at Third Sunday Special and Explorers, Evening Prayer, special occasions, gather for lunch and eat breakfast together.  We can, and hopefully do, pray in our homes, places of work and as we walk about.

I like many long for the day when we can gather to do these things we used to do and to worship and pray together.  I suspect it will in some way be a return to ‘normality’ in phases and stages.

Let us use this time apart to pray for each other, to lament the deaths of so many, and pray for the time we can return to our parish church to worship and do so much more in our building.

Not only am I missing theses activities but I am missing you, the people of Weston Turville and beyond.  I long to be able to give to each a blessing or Communion.

So I, and others, pray for you all.

Susan and I would like you to contact either of us by phone or email should you be ill, in distress, finding the situation difficult to cope with or whatever.

We cannot use the church building but we, the church here, are still here and members of the congregation are praying, helping, and I trust longing to get back together to celebrate the love of God for each and all of us. Reach me on 01296 613212 or by email, d.wales512@btinternet.com

and The Rev’d Susan Fellows on 01296 424982 or by email, susan.sefellows@btinternet.com

God bless and keep you in this difficult time.

Fr. David.

P.S. The Hebrew people did eventually return, in dribs and drabs, and the Temple was re-built … do not give up hope.



Funerals: We prayer for all those who mourn and for the souls of the departed.

29 April 2020.  Ronald Giles. 

4 May 2020.  Ronald Lee.

13 May 2020.  Anthea Bellingham  

19 May 2020.  Austin Lovell

2 June 2020.  Pamela Richardson.




[1] New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989 the Division of Christian Education of the National Council



Living in and through the Coronavirus (COVID-19) situation

We are all doubtless stunned by the events of the last month.  I write this in March knowing that the situation may well be looking different by the time you read this.  

Please follow the advice and instructions from the Government, NHS and Public Health England. Sometimes, it’s the simple, practical things that we need to remember, like washing our hands correctly.

At a different level, we may use this time of crisis to pause and reflect.  Some things are constant. God constantly loves us, and God saves us not from life (in all its awfulness), but saves us in life (in its joys, sorrows and worries).

We could use this time for reflection, meditation and for caring not just for families and ourselves but also for our neighbours, near and far away.

We might also at this time read our Bibles.  If you’ve never done this before I suggest starting with the Gospel (Good News) of Mark, which is the shortest of the Gospel books.

To help you worship while public church services have had to be suspended, there are a variety of resources . 

  • There are some helpful Apps (yes, the Church of England has apps!).  The Daily Prayer App gives the daily prayers for Morning Prayer, Evening Prayer and Compline (a short service at the end of the day). The app costs £2.99 for a year for offline access.
  • Time to Pray: Prayer during the Day is another app,  presenting everything you need for prayer each day. It is free from the Apple store or Google Play.  
  • The clergy will continue to pray the Office (the work of prayer) in the morning and evening.  It would be good if others can join us in their homes.
  • Perhaps the easiest way to find out more is to search for Church House Bookshop, and then click on the tag for apps; see anything useful, use it.
  • Television and radio also have programmes such as, Thought for the Day and Songs of Praise.  

Please contact Susan or me if you have concerns, fears or just need to chat.  

You are in our prayers. 

Fr. David

A prayer at this time

Loving God,
We pray for all those who are suffering because of the coronavirus, may they know your healing power.
When we are afraid for ourselves and our loved ones, give us your strength and courage.
When we feel alone and isolated, reassure us with a sense of your presence.
Give wisdom to those in authority and may our community work together for the good of all.
We give thanks for those who care for others and ask you to bless them in all they do.
We ask this in the name of Jesus, healer and physician.

With thanks to the Diocese of Bath and Wells for this prayer