There are many ways you can help us maintain our churches and run our services such as flower arranging, cleaning, bell ringing, singing and more. The following sections give details of how you can help.
Family and Young People
Children are the church of the present not the church of the future and as such are warmly welcomed at all our churches. Some of our churches have dedicated spaces and toys and books for children to access and you will find all children welcomed at the altar for biscuits during communion services and a blessing. Our Rector and other worship leaders will usually offer children of school age a chance to participate in the service if parents are agreeable. We simply encourage you to be relaxed and feel welcome and not worry about noise. We find that children can be more open to stillness and quiet at appropriate times in services than adults! Our main outreach to children and families takes place through schools, particularly for Collective Worship, visits to churches, and Little Angels.
Little Angels is a church run toddler group which meets once a fortnight at Kennet Valley School. Bumps, babes and pre-schoolers are all welcome to come and join in with singing, craft and story time. There is no fee, just plenty of free tea and cake for grown ups and snack for little ones. This is a great opportunity to meet with other local parents/ carers and for children to come along and play, sing and learn.
At the church of St Peter ad Vincula in Broad Hinton there has been a choir for many years. The present choir was started by Jack Winter, the father of Jane O’Neill, who was a well-known baritone whose voice was often to be heard on the BBC as well as around Swindon in a variety of choirs as both singer and leader. Several members of the present choir remember him with fondness. Since he retired from being leader and joined the bass line-up we have had a number of conductors including Peter Beale of Avebury. The longest serving conductor was Maj. David Harris who took over the choir and the organ seat in the 1980s and remained there, faithfully, until recently.
The choir is a four-part, SATB (soprano, alto, tenor, bass) choir with a core of committed members numbering 11 and a few singers who join us for special occasions, Christmas in particular. Presently the choir is led by Jenni Moseling with the wonderful aid of Phil Smith on the organ.
We sing regular monthly services of communion and matins with one or two evensong services each year. In addition, we sing for weddings and funerals (for a fee). We sing the festival services each year – Christmas, Easter, Harvest and Remembrance – all of which are well-attended and enjoyed by the congregations.
New choir members are always welcome so if you fancy joining us and learning alongside us you are very welcome. We meet each Monday evening for practices at 7.30pm (except in August when we have a holiday).
Contact details – Jenni Moseling – 01793 731629
Most Christian denominations ring church bells to call the faithful to worship at a service but few people are aware that it was as far back as AD 400 when church bells were introduced into the Christian Church. In AD 604, Pope Sabinian officially sanctioned their usage.
Ringing does not require particular muscular strength or mental agility. It does require skills that one can pick up during initial one-on-one tuition but bell ringing is a bit like riding a bike: once you can do it, you never forget how to!
Bell ringing takes place in Avebury and Broad Hinton.
Bells have been rung in Avebury church for over 400 years. They became unsafe to ring in the 1920’s and were silent for 60 years until 6 new bells were installed in 1981; they were augmented to eight in 2010.
In January, 2019, we are lucky enough to have ten registered (members of the Guild) ringers at Avebury and six from Calne, All Cannings, Heddington and Swindon who attend our Tuesday evening 7.30 – 9pm practices. Our ages range from teenagers to old agers and everything in between. We are members of the Calne Branch of the Salisbury Diocesan Guild of Ringers. The Bishop of Salisbury, who is a ringer, is the Patron and the Bishop of Ramsbury is a Vice-Patron of the Guild.
The ringers’ first duty is to ring for Sunday services. We also ring for weddings, National and Royal occasions, Remembrance Day, Old Year out and New Year in, to name but a few. If this sounds like hard work, it isn’t, because we love doing it. Following special rings we often have a little ‘party’ in the tower when we can socialise. For most of these occasions a simple form of ringing is used e.g. ‘call changes’ when the caller moves the bells around in set patterns but if we wish, there are thousands of methods which can be rung, some simple to learn and ring and others very complicated, it is up to everyone to decide what suits them. We have a Tower Captain, Steeple Keeper, Correspondent and the most important post, a Sweet Monitor.
We don’t claim to have a band of expert ringers and all have different abilities as far as methods are concerned but we make up for that by enjoying one another’s company and having the reputation of being a friendly and welcoming band to all comers.
If you are interested in joining us and would like to find out more, please contact Mary on 01672 513819.
Broad Hinton has a long-established band of ringers and we would welcome with open arms anyone who would be interested in ‘learning the ropes.’
Once established in the team, the commitment is to get to the church 30-40 minutes before each service is due to start and to ring as directed by the Tower Captain. At Broad Hinton, services are on the first two Sundays of each month.
Occasionally there will also be special services such as weddings, funerals, Christian festivals etc. Attendance at the services is encouraged but not compulsory.
Most ringing bands have a practice session at least once a month at which they develop their techniques and learn new ‘methods’, a ‘method’ being a particular order in which the bells are rung.
If you are interested in taking up this very traditional activity, do get in touch with the Tower Captain Brian Poulton – firstname.lastname@example.org or 01793 731158
We are called as Christians to love God and love neighbour as ourselves in the manner of Jesus. There are many opportunities to become involved as volunteers in church, local community and in support of the wider world. Please follow the links to see what we offer to God in service – maybe God is calling you to join us in caring for others.