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The next Benefice Art Day will be held at Syde Manor Tithe Barn GL53 9PN on Sunday 11th February 2018, from 11 am – 3.30 pm, immediately after the Benefice service at St. Mary’s Syde. A light lunch will be provided.

Be inspired to think about and start on a piece of artwork based on the Gospels, which you can then work on throughout the weeks of Lent. Expert guidance will be available from David and Ali Thistlethwaite, Sharon Walker and Mike Mogg. Materials will be provided, but you are welcome to bring along anything that you would particularly like to use. Collage and textiles are an option for anyone who does not wish to paint or draw.

In the afternoon we will also be joined by local violinist Alice Earll, who will enhance our reflections and creativity with some live music by J.S. Bach.

All are very welcome from across the Benefice and no particular talent or previous experience is required. Finished work will be exhibited in Holy Week at Birdlip church – although exhibiting is not compulsory!

Please RSVP to Val or to wright.pennyj@gmail.com for a rough idea of numbers.


The Very Rev. Victor Stock, retired Dean of Guildford, will be giving a talk on the poetry of T.S. Eliot at Harcombe Farm Syde, GL53 9PN, on Saturday 3rd March 2018 at 7.30pm. Entry £2 to include refreshments. Please come along for an enlightening and entertaining evening! Everyone is very welcome: no need to book but any enquiries to Di Whitaker on 01285 821281 or diandmalc@live.co.uk . 

Father Stock will also be taking the Benefice service of Holy Communion at St. Mary’s Syde on Sunday 4th March at 10am.


Art & Craft inspired by the GosptelART & CRAFT INSPIRED BY THE GOSPEL

Last Easter I invited a wide variety of artists from the professional to primary school children to reflect on part of the Easter Story and to create a painting based on this.  In the week before Easter we met over lunch and many of the artists chose to share their experience of why they’d made the creative choices they did and their personal reflections on the part of the Gospel Story they’d considered. 

It made fascinating listening and the paintings were incredibly varied and of a very high standard.  (Some of these have been used on the cover of Parish Connections.)  

I believe that because we are made in the image of God who is unquestionably creative - we are at our happiest when we have some kind of outlet for our creativity.  It gives us great satisfaction when we can stand back and look at the fruits of our labour.  Whether this be in the creation of a beautiful garden, cooking an amazing meal, or celebrating the life of a dear friend in a well thought out eulogy.  

I also know that we have many poets, painters, potters, patchworkers (and more!) living in this Benefice and I’d like to invite you all to contribute to the Exhibition that we are planning for next Easter.  The Theme will be ‘The Life of Jesus’ so I invite you to find inspiration from Jesus’ life and teachings recorded in the Biblical books of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John and use these dark evenings to create something interesting.  (If you don’t have a Bible contact me as I have some spare ones.)  

If you need a springboard to get you started we will be holding a workshop at Syde Manor on Sunday 11th February – so do put that date in your diaries. 

I’d love to hear from you if you think you might like to be involved, do send me an email on: rev.val@btinternet .com.






Photo used under licence from Adobe Stock