Back on Track

Remember the Renewal Project? It’s been a while since we’ve talked about it and with contractors and architects on furlough for most of lockdown much of the project has been paused. But we’re now back on track and here is an update on the project.

The new heating unit is in and works a treat. This is a much improved heater and will ensure the church is heated effectively and reliably. For those who have sat through freezing cold services in recent years – thank you. Huge thanks also to Tony who has spent an incredible amount of time on this. We have also signed contracts to use Green Energy Suppliers from the Autumn onwards – a very positive step forward.

Significant grounds work has also taken place making the area look tidier and the church more visible from the roads. This work will also allow modifications to the car park to be undertaken more easily. Thanks to Roger for sorting much of this out.

What’s next?
We are now able to move forward to obtaining quotes and working on the complex process of applying to the DAC (Diocesan Advisory Committee) for Faculties (permission) to make the changes. The architect is producing the plans for the developments and we look forward to making these available for everyone to see.

Here’s a reminder of the remaining elements of the project.

  • Increasing capacity of the car park
  • New chairs
  • Redecoration
  • Improved lighting
  • New kitchen in the South Transept
  • Improved access to the Chancel
  • Café/community space at the back of church
  • Improvements to the side chapel/Children’s room
  • Restoration of the West Entrance and Porch.
  • Re-positioning of the font to the North wall
  • New and improved projector screen
  • New carpet.

Some of these elements are closer to completion than others. We are very close to being able to apply for the Faculty for the chairs and redecoration and we would very much like to have these jobs done before the ‘new normal’ kicks in. Other elements are dependent on architectural drawings or impending visits from consultants. Our hope is to move forward as quickly as we can but the process is complex and may at times be slower than we want it to be.

The question behind this whole project is, ‘How can we use the building to glorify God and bless the community?’ These are the things we want to achieve by doing all of the above. We’re on an exciting but costly adventure and we need your on-goingprayers.

Please pray for:

  • Swift gathering of quotes/drawings /plans
  • Wisdom in making choices and writing Faculty Applications
  • Favour with the DAC
  • Protection over the building
  • Energy for the team
  • God’s timing to prevail

Look out for regular updates and prayer requests. Thank you for all who have given to this project.

‘Now to Him who is able …’ Ephesians 3:20


An Update From Elaine

Hello Everyone.

Well what a spring we have had huh!

So as I write this we are eight weeks to the day of moving to Oxford!! It does not seem possible and as surreal as it is, we can say it is all going ahead. The course is still running and we shall be moving on the 18th of August.

We are still waiting to hear back from schools. I suppose it is such an unusual situation with schools not being as they should. Although places have been applied for they have yet to be allocated.

Ivor is hopefully going to be getting employment in the local area so that is something we shall keep an eye on.

With various things happening, we are all very excited which make it all feel real. Today I handed in my notice at Weymouth College. It’s very exciting but also an end to an era. We are in a season of change and renewal!

We have seen God’s hand in so many ways over this lockdown period. It has been a really wonderful time of seeing God in different and outstanding ways. It gives us such hope that in this time of uncertainty there is one thing we can be certain of and that is Jesus. He has shown us in so many ways, that despite things not looking as we think they should, He is working out His purpose. What a time to be alive because from the ashes will rise a stronger, resilient and technologically improved church that will be louder and bolder than anything we ever did see. Personally I can’t wait to be a part of it.

Obviously we would love to have a ‘send off’. However with the current climate we are uncertain of the ability to do so. As time goes on we will keep you posted what can be arranged. It may be just a socially distanced meet on the beach, but watch this space.

We really appreciate the prayers and support that we have had. We shall keep you posted on how things are going in the coming weeks with any arrangements for a final goodbye.

Lots of Love

Elaine, Ivor, Maisie & Dillon

School Leavers Bibles – Update

Every year St John’s Church gives every Yr6 school leaver from St John’s School a bible. We collect specific donations to fund this and Tom sent a request out recently, estimating the cost to be about £448. Together with gift aid on the contributions we have about £1000. Thank you! I plan to carry the additional funds forward to help the cost next year when there will be twice as many pupils in Year 6.

Sian Dobson

Open Church

The church is now open for private prayer from 10 – 12 on Mondays and Thursdays. Social distancing measures are in place. We await detailed guidance from the Government and the Church of England before deciding how to and when to safely and responsibly re-introduce a form of corporate worship in the church.

Tom Coopey

Renewal Update

The new heater has been commissioned and is now in working order.

The refurb has come out of moth balls and Patrick is working on the various faculty applications for the new chairs, carpet and reconfiguring of the church interior (resite the font, raise the dias floor to the same height as the Chancel floor, provide a wheelchair ramp for access to the resited Communion Rails, provision of a new projector screen, redecora- tion of the Church interior) and to provide a fence in front of the new heater.

The plan is of the proposed car park at the front of church. The capacity is provisionally set at 35 but it is thought we can have more cars in the east part of the grounds near Hope House. We are awaiting confirmation from the Architect. The surface will be gravel. The bays will be marked out in some form to be agreed. There are 3 disabled spaces in the car park plan and 2 for Hope House users. For Church Services we can get lots more cars in but they will fill the car park as at the moment! (ie. some cars will be blocked in but as everyone will be in the service it shouldn’t be too much of a problem!) The north side (Dorchester Road) of the grounds is unaltered and will continue to be grassed.

Please continue to pray for the Refurbishment as we come out of lockdown – for God’s wisdom and guidance to make sure we do everything in accordance with His Will.

Tony Blackwell

Pause for thought

The world has a Coronavirus pandemic. In this difficult situation do we as Christians truly trust in God?

Recently I read this in my daily reading notes, “There is a big world out there that needs changing. It’s a small world near you that needs changing too.”

With the problems the world faces through terrorism, racial and religious strife, misrule and corruption, hunger, homelessness and disease there are fears for the future – for ourselves, for loved ones, for our immediate communities and for the world in general.

Reading the book of Daniel recently I was reminded that he saw similar problems facing the world he lived in. He saw fear and terror causing complete despair overwhelming people as they sought to escape what was coming.

So whether it is the big messed up world or the small messed up world what is the answer?

Perhaps we could take note what Jesus told the disciples in Matthew 24 and what he said to John about the seven churches as recorded in the book of Revelation.

So where do we and our churches stand remembering Christ’s words to the father, “As you sent me into the world, I have sent them into the world.” (John 17 v)

Jesus light of the world shine upon us, set us free by the truth you now bring us, Shine on me is a song we like to sing. The words in the song can help us as we move forward from the pandemic.

The truth brought to us is the word of God for everyone and the prayer for me as an individual. If we want to bring grace and mercy to a world in trouble then we must ask God to search me, try me, consume all my darkness. In so doing the church will display Christ’s likeness in word and action and our lives may tell the world that salvation belongs to our God.

John Downer


We have been in lockdown since the last week of March. Like so many others I have not been able to meet up with my daughters and granddaughter but finally there is a relaxation of restrictions. As we are all in good health, we decided to have a day out with a picnic to somewhere we believed would be relatively safe. It was wonderful!

Mother and
Daughter, Daughter, Granddaughter.
Mum, Sister, Sister, Child.
Coming together, previously denied.

Sun so hot;
Sky so blue;
Cliffs so white.
Sea, glistening and sparkling.
Air so fresh;
Space so enticing.

Sharing a picnic.
Sharing hugs and laughter.
Sharing love for ever after,
In hopeful anticipation
That God’s great creation
Will survive this calamity.
Peace and harmony will vanquish all.

Christine Clay

Upsides to Lockdown

Lulling in my new Lafuma garden recliner – acquired at end of last season.
Oiling hinges
Cooking new recipes- meatless from now on
Keeping in touch
Delightful dog walking, as usual
On Zoom for Homegroup, Church and Bible Course
Wondering how things will develop with God every day
Noticing new beauty all around

Valerie Collings

Learning a new skill – making a log cabin patchwork cushion cover
Online Zoom or Facetime to meet family and friends
Complete joy finishing a 1000 piece jigsaw
Knowing that God is with me – always.
Discovering ‘new to us’ footpaths in delightful Dorset
Occasionally enjoying a 4 o’clock ice cream
Whilst watching bird life in the garden
Not giving up – normal life, albeit different will be resumed.

Linda Miles

Outings, but
Crosswords, puzzles and reading
Knitting and Jigsaws
Do pass the time.
Opportunities to do some sorting and tidying and checking on friends.

Anne Bond

Leisurely spending our days, – now allowed
Outdoor meetings with family and friends.
Cooking tasty meals while trying to
Keep an eye on our weight.
Definitely appreciating
Our beautiful surroundings
Whatever the weather; – and all the while
Never forgetting to count our blessings

Tessa and John de la Mare

Loving the vulnerable
Opportunities to chat to neighbours
Clapping the NHS and
Keyworkers Kindness received
Delivering shopping to elderly friends Out for exercise
Worshipping in the fields

Pauline and Alex Neels

Lingering in the
Outstanding Dorset
Countryside near
Kingcombe Meadows
Open downs and
Woodland walks with
Nature’s restoring power.

Michael Miles

Keeping Devoted
Others Willing

Meg Fox

Our God
King of all kings
Down on earth
Once you came as man
Wonderful – redemption for us
Nothing compares to you.

Being a Christian I have felt God’s love and protection. The slower pace of life has given me time to ponder on your creation, which continues to bloom regardless of Covid19.

Hilary Lidstone