Today we begin the Churches new year! We turn our eyes look for the coming of the promised Christ seeking renewed hope and faith particularly during this testing time. We prepare ourselves for his coming among us by repentance and prayerful expectation. For the next 12 months we will be reading through the Gospel of Mark on Sundays.  The churches colour for this period is purple to remind us of our need to wait in penitence and simplicity. We forego saying the ‘Gloria’ for a while until we can do so with renewed joy at Christmas. We say just the ‘Lord have mercy’ or ‘Kyrie Eleison’ (in the traditional Greek) instead.  In a similar way simple greenery replaces flowers in our churches. It is not Christmas yet for Christians, even if it seems to be so for the secular world, but we await the coming of Jesus Christ patiently and with joyful hope!

This Week:

Sunday 29th November 10.00: You can join our Eucharist from St Martin Sherford online through our website / or YouTube.

Advent Carol Service:

If you are able to access YouTube online, you can find a very good Advent Carol Service with a good choir and music, and the former Bishop of London, the Rt Revd and Rt Hon Richard Chartres preaching, at Pusey House Oxford. I am a member of the Friends of Pusey House.  Pusey House is an independent chaplaincy of Oxford University founded on the principles of the Oxford Tractarian movement in the nineteenth century.

Go to:  The service will be streamed from 4pm on Saturday 5th December.


NEXT SUNDAY 6th DECEMBER: 10.00am Eucharist for the Second Sunday of Advent from St Michael’s Stokenham and online worship through our website.

At the time of writing this Newsletter I very much hope we will be able to meet in Church in the same way as we did before the second lockdown, provided of course we are not advised to shield, or are clinically vulnerable. I will confirm this in next week’s Newsletter.

In the meantime on Sundays 8th – 29th November


There will be no Public Worship in Church until at least 2nd December 2020 and therefore no public worship inside our Churches on Sundays during this time, but St Michael's and St Martin's will both be open to all for private prayer and reflection.

We will be doing this between 10.00am - 12.00noon at St Michael's from 15th November, and from 8th November 10.00am – 4.00pm at St Martins. You are very welcome to come in for any period of time, however short. Bring your prayers, for others, for our world and for yourself, perhaps your Bible, and most importantly, an intention to simply be in God's presence.


St Martin’s Sherford Finances – an appeal

The treasurer of St Martin’s DCC has advised me that due to the lack of fund-raising events and plate collections at services during the pandemic, the DCC is unfortunately heading for a deficit of about £7,000.00 for this financial year (which will end on 31st December 2020). St Martin’s contributes greatly to the life of our Parish and has a loyal and committed congregation of worshippers at the Sherford/Frogmore end. If you feel you might be able to help in any way by a one off donation (which can be gift aided) or by reviewing the amount you currently give to the work of the Church, or gift aiding it if you don’t already, (to give you a steer, it costs about £80.00 per month per member of the electoral roll to run the Church), or have any other ideas which might help, please contact Peter Boult, the treasurer. 


Wednesday 2nd December 10.00am Morning Prayer and Bible Study by Zoom

Wednesday 2nd December 5.30pm Evening Prayer by Zoom

You will need to have the Zoom software or App and to have registered with Zoom ( prior to the service, to participate. You will not need any service booklet because I will share this with you online. The service consists of psalms, readings and prayers with which we can all join in, and lasts about 15 minutes. We can then grab a cup of coffee or tea and have a short Bible Study followed by a chat, finishing in no more than 40 minutes. The meeting ID is 560-019-2609. and the password is 1HBHiQ.

Daily Prayer was inherited by the first Christians from their Jewish brothers and sisters. From earliest times it has been made by coming together for worship at the 'markers' of daytime and the natural light – at daybreak, midday and nightfall. The services are not meant to replace the Eucharist but to supplement it. We pray through the psalms and the Old and New Testament scriptures quietly and in an ordered way. We let them speak to us and our concerns; we make our prayers for the world and for others.

The services have been given many names over time: The Office, Morning Prayer, Matins, Evening Prayer, Evensong, Vespers, Compline.

We will be using Common Worship's daily prayer services which are found at

We can all benefit from the daily structure of the rhythm of worship in our lives to help us throughout the remainder of this time of pandemic. Do come and join us!

Or Morning and Evening Prayer: Said daily at 9.00am & 6.00pm by Fr Michael with prayers for Parish and People. Please join him at these times in your homes. You might like to use the Form of Morning and Evening Prayer for Ordinary Time which is available on the website, or your own Book of Common Prayer.


Reading the scriptures:

If you would like to use some notes to help you make a daily short reading of the Bible and reflect on it then you might try Bible Alive (a Roman Catholic publication but follows our daily and Sunday cycle of readings) at or

Bible Reading Fellowship

Fr Michael writes: Our public worship is absolutely at the heart of our Parish life. It is where we gather together around Our Lord as his family. It is the beating heart of the body of Christ, God's people. We cannot be properly sustained in our lives, in our acts of loving service, or in our very being without it. It is particularly through the sacramental life, that is, through the offering of the Eucharist as Jesus commanded us to do, and through our receiving of the Bread of Life in Holy Communion that we do the work we are called to do in this world; the work of loving our planet rather than harming it; of forgiving all the sinfulness that we encounter and helping to replace it with new life; and of trying to imitate our Lord Jesus Christ in our lives as we let him change us into more of his likeness. The Sacraments, and particularly those of Holy Communion, Baptism and Absolution, are not optional extras, they are the source and summit of what we as Christians are all about.

'Daily Hope' is a free phone line of hymns, reflections and prayers. Now that we have begun public worship again and have the streamed service online, the weekly reflection has come to a natural end. But those unable to join us in either way can access this free telephone line to hear hymns, daily prayers and reflections: 0800 804 804

Reflection for Advent:

‘We do not preach only one coming of Christ, but a second as well, much more glorious than the first. The first coming was marked by patience; the second will bring the crown of a divine kingdom.

In general, whatever relates to our Lord Jesus Christ has two aspects. There is a birth from God before the ages, and a birth from a virgin at the fullness of time. There is a hidden coming, like that of rain on fleece, and a coming before all eyes, still in the future.

At the first coming he was wrapped in swaddling clothes in a manger. At his second coming he will be clothed in light as in a garment. In the first coming he endured the cross, despising the shame; in the second coming he will be in glory, escorted by an army of angels.

We look then beyond the first coming and await the second. At the first coming we said: 'Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.' At the second we shall say it again; we shall go out with the angels to meet the Lord and cry out in adoration: 'Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.St Cyril of Jerusalem (c313-386AD)


Our prayers this week for:

Archdeacon Douglas Dettmer...the coming of God’s kingdom…growth in our Churches…medical researchers seeking a vaccine...those resident in care homes and their relatives…Crisis at Christmas…those who have lost their work or business and their families…the depressed and anxious... our home communicants...all who have asked our prayers including the sick and among them Gill and Trevor Moore, Jean Flawn, Bobby Parsons, Dick Lloyd, Gill Mickel, Keith and Jackie Rollinson, Katherine Yandell, Jamie Cooke, Andrew Graner, Carlene Whittington and Marjorie Godden… those who have died and those whose anniversaries we keep at this time and among them Michael Morris, Betsy Hadley, Ronald Thomas-Gourd, Susanne Klein, Dennis Ball, Esme Luscombe, Charles Mingo, Charles Bleasby, Stella Lee.


Visiting & Home Communions

I have now sadly had to put visits (apart from in emergency) and home communions on hold again. I am deeply sorry about this. So, can we all make a particular point of identifying people who are finding the isolation of lockdown really difficult. Keep in touch with them regularly, and do let me know if a phone call from me would help? Also make sure they are getting their groceries, prescriptions etc delivered...and if not help them to find a way to do this – perhaps you can offer to do it yourself if that is possible?

If you would like to contact me about any personal or pastoral matter please do so, I should be very happy to help you. Please leave a message on my phone 01548 580908 or send me an email.

Your Church remains here for you, please know we are praying for you, for those in need, and for all those you love. Please do get in touch if there is anyone or anything I can pray for or if I can help you in any way.

With my prayers and very best wishes

Fr Michael

Priest in Charge: Fr Michael Berrett, The Vicarage, Stokenham, Kingsbridge, Devon TQ7 2ST 01548 580908

The Readings for the First Sunday of Advent

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LOOK Magazine for The First Sunday of Advent

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Public Notice                                           

Draft Pastoral Scheme Mission and Pastoral Measure 2011                                                                                                                                               

10th November 2020

The Exeter Diocesan Mission and Pastoral Committee has prepared a draft Pastoral Scheme for:

the creation of the new parish of Buckland-Tout-Saints in the area of the benefice of Stokenham, Slapton, Charleton with Buckland-Tout-Saints, East Portlemouth, South Pool, and Chivelstone, for its parish church and for renaming the parish of Charleton with Buckland-Tout-Saints “Charleton”, together with altering the benefice’s name in the diocese of Exeter.

The draft Scheme is on the Commissioners’ website or you may obtain a copy from me.   Large print and/or audio copies are available on request.

·           Anyone may make representations for or against all or any part of the draft Scheme (please include the reasons for your views) preferably by email or by post to reach the Commissioners no later than midnight on Tuesday 22nd December 2020.   Send your representation to or by a letter marked for the attention of Rex Andrew, Pastoral Division, Church Commissioners, Church House, Great Smith Street, LONDON SW1P 3AZ.

·           If they have not acknowledged receipt of your representation before this date, please ring 020 7898 1743 or e-mail them to ensure it has been received. For administrative purposes, a petition will be classed as a single representation and the Commissioners will only correspond with the sender of the petition, if known, or otherwise the first signatory for whom they can identify an address – “the primary petitioner”.

·           When making a representation, please indicate the nature of your interest in the proposals (e.g. parishioner, member of parochial church council, etc) and whether you would like an opportunity to speak to their Committee regarding your representation if the Commissioners decide a hearing should be held regarding the case.

·           If they receive representations against the draft Scheme, they will send them, and any representations supporting the draft Scheme, to the Bishop whose views will be sought.  Individual representors and the primary petitioner will then receive copies of the correspondence with the Bishop (including copies of all the representations) and will be told whether a hearing is to be held.  They and individual petitioners may comment further to the Commissioners.  Copies of all of the representations received and associated correspondence will normally be published on the Commissioners’ website if the matter needs to be considered by them.

·           If a hearing is held, anyone may attend the meeting of the Commissioners that considers the case and representors may have an opportunity to speak to their Committee. Otherwise, if a hearing is not to be held, the case will be considered in private and you will be informed accordingly.

·           When they acknowledge representations the Commissioners will let individual representors (and the primary petitioner) know the next few dates of their Committee’s meetings. They will confirm the actual date if a hearing is to be held nearer the time.

·           The Commissioners’ will decide if the draft Scheme should proceed when they consider all the representations on the basis of a paper prepared by the Commissioners’ staff and any points raised at the meeting.

·           The Commissioners will notify all representors of their decision and give a statement of the reasons for it.

·           If they so decide, any representor or petitioner against the draft Scheme may seek leave from the Privy Council to appeal against the decision.

·           Please see the Commissioners’ website for further information about the procedure.

Revd Dr Adrian Hough                                                                                                                                                                       Secretary Exeter Diocesan Mission and Pastoral Committee

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