Broken Pieces

Many of us have favourite Bible verses, founded for a variety of reasons. Mine, without doubt, is Psalm 40. David’s writing speaks powerfully of being pulled out of the mire and placed on a rock. For me, this is the very essence of what God can and does do. Like so many of us, this is indeed the testimony of my life. Thank you, Jesus!

St John’s Church has increasingly been called to support those on the fringes of society, and whose lives desperately need God’s rescue from the mire. Our prayer meetings, on a Wednesday morning, have often brought prophetic words which remind us of the calling of broken people entering the church, in order to be rescued. This is a vision repeatedly bought to our attention – so surely, we must respond accordingly.

It is often easy to forget that our wonderful church is located in one of the deprived areas of Weymouth and Portland. As we open our eyes and observe, the need is evident. The homeless crisis, dysfunctional families, poverty along with those living with enduring mental health issues – all here, right outside our church walls.

Under the leadership of Tom, I am embarking on an initiative for us, at St John’s, to become a place where we can not only embrace those who step through the doors of the church but also be best equipped to support them.

St John’s is truly outstanding in the services which it provides, but of course we cannot do it all. After all, ‘The Church’ is so much wider than one congregation meeting at Greenhill. Our aim is to be an organisation which is properly equipped to signpost individuals to appropriate services that best meet their needs.

So, I ask that you support me in praying for the broken to come through our doors. It will not always be easy or pretty! But let us be a church family who can be welcoming, offer a friendly ear and a cup of coffee. But most importantly having the faith to allow God to do what only he can …. lift those in need out of the pit, out of the mud and the mire; setting their feet on a rock.


Pete Naylor

Notes from St John’s Annual District Council Meeting 3rd April 2022 held at St John’s Church

Following a Bring and Share Lunch almost 60 people gathered for the ADCM.

Jos Bailey was unanimously re-elected as Churchwarden. Roger Welch stood down as Churchwarden. Tom Coopey thanked Roger for all he has done as churchwarden, much of it unseen, during a difficult time including the Pandemic and the renewal project work. Roger and Gill were presented with a Bible and flowers.

Tom will shortly become vicar of St Mary’s Weymouth, as well as St John’s, when St Mary’s Chickerell becomes part of the parish of Radipole and Melcombe Regis. A leadership group will be formed to work alongside the DCC.

The following were unanimously elected onto the DCC: Valerie Collings, Graham Dickson, John Horrell, Sally Horrell, Mike Lidstone and Pete Naylor.

Tom thanked Tony Blackwell for being the Parish Representative to champion Hope House from the beginning. Terry Thomas will, in due course, join the PCC to take on this role.

The following were appointed as Deputy Churchwardens: Tony Blackwell, Phil Childs, Graham Dickson, John Horrell, Mike Lidstone, Barry Mould and Alex Neels.

Although no ladies have volunteered any who are interested would be welcomed.

Jean Halford had submitted the details of the Electoral Roll – the number on the Roll for 2022 is 123, three names were deleted (deceased) and 31 names added.

Work still to be done under the Renewal Project is: the car park, seating in the church, a wrought iron gate for the west porch and a fence around the heating unit. Approximately £30,000 will be needed to finish the project.

David Boyd has taken over from Sian Dobson as Treasurer, who took on the role as an ‘interim measure’ some time ago. Many thanks to Sian for all she did during the interim measure which lasted several years. David is considering setting up giving to the church through the website or contactless giving.

Tom looked back over the challenges of the previous two years facing lockdown due to Covid and a lot of change. Looking forward he said we are a church where people continue to find healing, continue to find confidence and do so as a community.

Diane Blackwell Minutes Secretary

Something soon was happening Inside St John’s Church Banging, activity, excitement
As balloons suddenly popped. Nets were erected
With crepe paper creepers hanging. Tiny tree frogs clung
To vegetation everywhere.
The gung tank looked gruesome Awaiting an unsuspecting person.
There were laughs and grunts But finally all was ready

Thank you to all who helped set up and clear away afterwards. Thank you to those who during the event helped in all sorts of ways. A special thanks to Susie. An amazing time was had by children and adults. Praise God.

Men’s Breakfast

75 breakfasts in 3 sessions.

2 sausages, 2 bacon, 2 hash browns, beans, grilled tomato, fried egg and toast.

Makes me hungry thinking about it.

It has been a real team effort to get the food out on time. David Boyd has been in charge of the bacon, grilling fifty slices each time.
I don’t think he has ever cooked so much bacon in one sitting.

Barry Pye is the toast and setting-the-tables man, for which we are so thankful. Danny and I do everything else.

Thank you team. Big thank you also to those that help with the clear up.

There is a great atmosphere sitting around, getting to know each other, enjoying food and having a few laughs knowing that relationships are being built.

Going on from that, Tom would like to see a discipleship time, Bible study, praying together and social events outside the church.
After all we are going to know each other for eternity!

PS. Do you think there will be Full English in heaven or in my case an Ulster Fry? Thing I have learned … Tom Coopey doesn’t do fried eggs (how could you Tom?)

A few ladies have asked, “How come it’s only the men have cooked breakfasts?”

So if some ladies want to pick up the gauntlet or should I say spatula it’s over to you.

Graham Dickson

Mission Aviation Fellowship News

MAF, as it is more commonly known, is a Christian charitable organisation flying help to many areas of the World where access is particularly difficult. They say, “Our airplanes are the only way many people living in remote jungles, deserts and mountains can experience the love of Jesus….we bring the gospel, medical care, education, community development, disaster relief and more to isolated people”.

Obviously airplanes are expensive to maintain and operate. The goal for the maintenance budget for 2022 is $1.9 million of which $1.3 million has already been raised! Praise God for this and pray that there will always be funds for this vital, often lifesaving work.

The pilots fly in difficult and challenging conditions, often facing dangerous situations. Please pray for the safety of all MAF staff, however they serve.

As with any large organisation there are frequently job roles which need to be filled. Please pray that the right people will be inspired to apply and serve, whether at home or in far away countries.

To learn more about the work of MAF why not watch the award winning documentary feature film entitled Ends of the Earth. Find out more at

Alternatively check out Mission Aviation Fellowship on Facebook or Twitter or the website as all support is really valued.

Thank you, Tessa Clothier

Weymouth Foodbank – Transport Coordinator

We are looking for a volunteer to take on a new role at Weymouth Foodbank. The majority of our food is donated in trollies left at supermarkets. We are also contacted by supermarkets who have excess food that they want to donate to us. We have a network of drivers who pick up from the supermarkets and deliver to our warehouse (we call it the hub) for sorting and storage. We have a reserve list of other drivers who might be able to help on a one off or regular basis.

The range of required collections is increasing and our drivers availability is changing all the time. We need to appoint someone to coordinate this so that it is properly managed. The role does not require a significant time commitment to driving, or maybe even none at all. It’s about coordinating with the changing requirements of our drivers and the supermarkets.

We are a Christian organisation, so anybody appointed would need to be sympathetic to this. If you are interested in this voluntary position, or would like to know more, please contact J.P Dervley on 07785 738365 or e-mail

What does Companion or Partner Planting say to you?

It has been my privilege to be one of the team helping at Rumble in the Jungle – the holiday club St John’s held in the week up to Easter. There we learnt about God’s design for His incredible world and our part in caring for it. When Father God created the world He made it to live in harmony with a balance of plants, sea creatures, birds and insects, animals, and humans.

A perfect ecosystem, that God put us in charge of. We need to work in partnership with Him to find the balance as much as is possible.

Companion or Partner Planting – does exactly what it says on the (recyclable!) tin.

It is a system of planting plants, using the plants natural abilities so they are a good partner to the neighbouring plants. Companion plants are plants that complement one another in many ways. These include natural supports; helping plant and soil health; preventing weeds and regulating shade and wind.

# Tall plants and flowers that grow strong can act as a natural trellis for sprawling crops, eg sunflowers next to cucumbers or snap peas.

# Plant health can be improved by the choice of good companion plants by eliminating competition between plants. It allows one to absorb what it may need without depriving the other.

# Soil health – plants can change the biochemistry of the soil as nutrients are pulled from the soil by a plant. Allotmenteers have known this for centuries as they have practised crop rotation. A plant’s root system affects the soil it is growing in. Plants with long taproots like parsnips and carrots will draw nutrients and water from the depths of the soil. Nitrogen is also important to many plants. Nitrogen fixers like peas and beans, have a beneficial relationship with soil-dwelling bacteria which takes gaseous nitrogen from the air in the soil and feeds this to the plant. In exchange the plant provides carbohydrates to the bacteria.

# Weed prevention by alternating upright plants and sprawling ones can create a thicker cover across the majority of the open land in your garden area. Remember though beneficial pollinators like many weed flowers.

# Regulate Shade & Wind – Companion planting can protect from too much sun or harsh winds as shelter from taller plants protects smaller more tender and fragile plants.

As you can see there are many benefits to companion planting. As a keen gardener and allotmenteer I feel most would agree, that the more help you can get to achieve a productive, fruitful garden the better!

Good Partners

Dill and basil are natural protectors for tomato plants.

Marigolds (both French and English) One of the best!! Help virtually any vegetable. They are particularly helpful for tomatoes. Mint (although very invasive itself) insect repellent.

Nasturtiums are loved by aphids so neighbouring plants are protected.

Sage – another helpful herb in the garden, sage can protect from cabbage moths.

There are lots more alternatives to chemical intervention; I would be interested to know of any others you try. A favourite of Hosta lovers is to boil up a whole chopped bulb of garlic; dilute down and when cool, water to deter slugs and snails. (The kitchen doesn’t smell great!)
Another thought on companion planting, which takes me back to Rumble in the Jungle. Working together as a team, yes; but individually we choose whether or not to have Jesus and Holy Spirit as our companion in our journey through life. Do we check decisions out with God? How are we partnering with God? I know I want to be a good partner!

Phil Childs member of the Eco Team

Easter ‘Lidstone style’

Our son Peter and his very pregnant wife Sarah, spent Easter with us in Weymouth. We were blessed by beautiful sunshine, although a little windy at times, but we were able to get out and about.

The Tuesday after the Easter week-end, Mike and I went to Spring Harvest, swapping one seaside town (Minehead) for another (Weymouth), without having to leave our home, as we were on-line attendees. One thing I missed was the camaraderie, social interaction and seeing people in person.

However, the Bible teaching was excellent and pertinent to where we are at St. John’s in terms of church growth. The conference theme was Restore, Renew and Rebuild, based mainly on the first 3 chapters of Nehemiah. Chris Rogers, the rector of All Hallows Church in Bow, east London led this teaching on 3 consecutive days, and he has written a book to accompany this teaching.

So what were the main messages I learnt? Firstly being a Christian is a ‘dynamic’ experience, willing to accept change and the need to go forward, but also learning from the past, including failures. In his book entitled ‘Restore, Renew and Rebuild’, church congregations cannot stand still, as we all need to take part in the ‘race of life’. Chris also mentioned in his talk, the effect of Covid on the people in the area he lives in.

At St. John’s it was encouraging to see an increase in the size of our congregation during the pandemic, and it is good to see more young people coming to faith through Alpha and holiday club. The book also gives ideas how we can re-build our community post-covid.

In one of his talks, Chris mentions the frustration of dealing with the church authorities, when his church applied to the Diocesan Faculty for permission to remove the pews from the church. I think in the end, a compromise was reached. Let’s hope a satisfactory solution or compromise is soon achieved as we seek to replace our existing well-worn heavy wooden chairs.

Chris also referred to church plants in East London, post-covid, with church worship and other activities taking place in halls and other suitable venues, rather than in traditional church buildings.

At St. John’s, we now have much to offer with our new kitchen, making it easier to organise social events, and with new round tables and chairs, which can be stored away. As a serving church, we can now invite people for hot drinks and fellowship, especially on a Wednesday morning.

Finally Chris Rogers new book can be purchased on-line. As always just ‘Google’ the title of the book and the author.

Hilary Lidstone


We are looking for people to help us video stream our Sunday Services. If computers don’t terrify you, why not join the Team! Training will be provided. For more details contact Stuart Sharkey.