St. Stephen's Church,


Rector's E-Letter - May 15th- 2024

Dear all


This Sunday is Pentecost - 50 days from Easter Day and the day we celebrate the arrival of the Holy Spirit.  It is often referred to as the Birthday of the Church.  Following the arrival of the Holy Spirit on the gathered Apostles in Jerusalem they went out and began to spread the word publicly about the Good News of Jesus, thereby beginning the first mission of the Christian Church.  That 'passing on' of the truth of Christ still continues to this day, over 2000 years later.


It is easy to be downhearted about declining numbers in church services and wonder whether we are vainly following a dying faith.  We are not.  It is always an amazing thought to think that the Christian faith started with the simple obedience and trust of a handful of ordinary people gathered in a single room waiting patiently for 'another helper' as promised to them earlier by Jesus .   


'If you love Me, keep My commandments. And I will pray to the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever— the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you.' (John 14:15-16)


And when we look at the global Christian Church we see that far from decline; Christianity is still growing and outpacing population growth.  The Good News of Jesus is not just surviving, it is thriving - but perhaps not in the way that we are used to.  Those first disciples / apostles did not know what they were waiting for.  They did not know what to expect.  There was no established tradition - they simply watched, waited and prayed.  And then responded.  That is all we are asked to do too.  Listen out for the Spirit, receive it with joy, and go where it blows.  


Pentecost Sunday - 19 May


8am - You are invited to join Michelle and I in the vicarage garden at 8am for an informal Pentecost service followed by breakfast.  All welcome - but it would be helpful to have some idea of numbers so that we know what food to get in!  Our address is at the foot of this email.


10am - Morning Worship at St Stephen's, Winsham


10:30am - Holy Communion and APCM; St John's, Tatworth.  Sunday School have an outing to Axe Valley Wildlife Park.  Rev'd Michelle is organising so if there are families who would like to go along and have not already been in contact with Michelle, then please do drop her a line.




We hold in our prayers all those we know who are ill or struggling in any way, and we are asked to pray by name for the following.  If you would like to add someone, or yourself, to this list, then please do get in touch.


Margaret Bandy, Dave Boyland, Ann Jarvis, David Arnold, Mary Marsh, Louise White.


In memoriam:


We remember in our prayers all those whom we love but see no longer.  Particularly at this time we remember Alastair McArthur, Sheila Holloway, Andrew de Pury, Anne Hooper, and all their friends and families in their time of mourning.  


Collect for Pentecost:


Holy Spirit, sent by the Father,
ignite in us your holy fire;
strengthen your children with the gift of faith,
revive your Church with the breath of love,
and renew the face of the earth,
through Jesus Christ our Lord.



Blessings to you all



The Reverend Philip Butcher

Rector - Two Shires Benefice (Tatworth, Thorncombe, Winsham, Chaffcombe & Cricket Malherbie)

The Vicarage

3 Home Farm



TA20 2SH

01460 221286



Rest Days - Mondays (Tuesdays where following a bank holiday)

For non-urgent enquiries please allow up to a week for responses.

Mornings are best times for phone contact!








Ministry Team


Rector:                                 Rev. Philip Butcher,  The Rectory,  3 Home Farm,  Tatworth  TA20 4SH  Tel: 01460 221286

                                           e-mail:   Day off:  Monday


Associate Rector:                 Rev. Michelle Butcher-as above.

Asst. priest:                             Rev. Judith Abbot,  Brayton’,  Wreath Green,  Tatworth  TA20 2SN  Tel:  01460 220689                                                                                                                                                                                                        

Readers:                                             Mrs   Mary Dewar,  11 Watermead,  Tatworth  TA20 2QN  Tel: 01460 221268                            



The history of St Stephen's Church-dating from the 13th Century-Click HERE

Click HERE to return to Home page