Leaves, Monarchs and Prime Ministers

What have these three had in common this Autumn? They’ve all changed. Change is all around us – especially at moment.

The heatwaves of the summer seem a distant memory as the leaves have changed and fallen. We have experienced the unprecedented change of a monarch with the death of Queen Elizabeth and accession of King Charles. We are also set to be governed by our third Prime Minister in as many months. Amidst the tumultuous political changes the government continue to promise stability – but this seems far off at present.

Change can be necessary and energising. It can also be disconcerting and draining. Seasons, leaders, energy prices, health, wealth – and even church – all change. Some may be feeling pretty stressed by all this.

This time of great change should offer us some timely reminders. First that God is unchanging. Jesus is the same yesterday, today and forever. His love for you will never change nor will the truth of the Gospel. Jesus promises to be with us always – even to the end of the age. When everything else is changing – we look to our God as our fixed point and our anchor. He will not abandon or forsake nor will he change His feelings for us. We can trust God.

Second – it’s a great time to be reminded that we are a family. The truth of the Gospel is that God has reconciled us to himself – the consequence of this is that we are a family. We don’t just have a shared interest – we are made bothers and sisters in Christ. Families cope with change together. So let’s be mindful of the stress that people may be under in our rapidly changing world. Let’s take on Paul’s command to the Colossian church – and, “clothe ourselves with compassion, kindness, gentleness and patience.” Col 3:12.

In these strange times let’s look to the God who doesn’t change and let’s look after each other.
As the great hymn says… “O thou who changest not, abide with me.”

With love

It’s a choice…

I recently spent two days at an outdoor centre as part of my college programme. The rationale was to develop our leadership and teamwork skills in amongst a variety of challenging activities.

Taking two days out to dangle from ropes, making a raft and sleeping under the stars was not something I really wanted to do! But I learnt so much. The most important of these lessons is that I am nearly 45… not 25!

But that aside, there is a classic team theory which I was reminded of. It suggests you can either be a pilot (driving the team), a passenger (part of the team) of a protester (moaning about the direction of things).

At 5am in the morning as we climbed onto our homemade raft to cross a stretch of water, I had to make a choice which of these I should become that day. To be honest I could think of a thousand other things I could be doing at the moment, and it wasn’t there!

So, I made the choice – I decided to moan for the rest of the day! Not really, only joking, I actually decided to get on board with what was happening and be part of the vision of the team.

The moral of the story is that we face that choice every day. Are we going to help lead, join in or moan about what we are doing? I wonder what Jesus would suggest is better. Although he did of course have the advantage of walking on water, rather than building a raft!

Pete Naylor

Tearfund Harvest 2022 Thank You!

As part of our Harvest service this year we watched a Tearfund film which showed how climate change has had a serious effect on people’s livelihoods in Nepal, resulting in communities moving away from rural areas.

It was a poignant, yet beautiful film, which showed how flowing water could regenerate the land enabling people to grow crops once more and overcome the destruction caused by climate change.

Sustainable farming means they can protect the land for generations to come and rebuild the communities they are losing.

Thank you so much for your generous giving to Tearfund’s work this Harvest.

Over £370 was given at the service and further money was added from St John’s Missionary Fund*, making a total of over £900 that will be sent off to Tearfund.

This is an amazing amount, which Tearfund will be able to use to restore and rebuild the lives of many people who face devastation and hardship as a result of climate change.

Ruth Clinch

*St John’s tithes its giving and from this Missionary Fund sends regular support to a number of mission partners and missionary societies. Look out in the Jottings for updates on the missions we support, or ask Jill Flux if you would like to know more.

Exciting news! St John’s has two new mission partners

We are preparing to welcome Marcio and Noemi Ciechanovicz and their young family to St. John’s. They are our new mission partners who are working for the Church Mission Society. Some of you will remember our recently retired Mission Partner Pat Blanchard who came to visit in May this year. Pat worked for CMS in Lima for many years with disabled families.

Marcio has been working in Oxford at CMS head office for 4 years but Marcio together with his wife Noemi feel called to return to their home country of Brazil. Through his work at CMS Oxford, Marcio has learnt about different ways of making new disciples in a highly secular context. They hope to settle in São Paulo where Marcio grew up There they will use their gifts to share the gospel. Marcio would like to work with young adults and families and Noemi’s passion is to work in community development through nutrition and health.

Portia Yiadom is our other new Mission partner working for Crosslinks in her home country of Ghana. Portia trained in the U.K. and visits her sponsoring churches here. We are hoping that she can visit us in 2023. Portia is a women’s worker for Relite Africa Ministries and is involved in equipping and training Bible students. Portia also works with young women who are not able to read the Bible for themselves due to poor literacy and for whom there are few opportunities for one to one studies. She is now in partnership with the Good Book Company in Accra who sell Christ centred books. She is praying that there will be opportunities to get these books into churches in Ghana especially as there is little or no disposable income to buy books.

If you would like to read more information about Portia or Marcio please refer to the Crosslinks website for Portia or the CMS website for Marcio. Alternatively please contact Jill Flux Mission Co-ordinator We are blessed to support a number of Mission Societies in our church and I will be happy to put you in touch with the church representatives.

Porta has been in contact with Jill. She wrote, “I would love to partner with the church family in Weymouth in the gospel work that the Lord is doing in Accra, Ghana. I did my University work placement in Dorchester at Dorset County Council so I know Dorchester and Weymouth by the sea a little bit.
Thank you so very much for this encouraging news. I know that if Crosslinks has brought us together they consider us both faithful to Christ. Please extend my gratitude to all the church family. I will send a newsletter soon”.

Every blessing and with love in Christ. Portia

Serving in Accra, Ghana

Marcio and Noemi were photographed with Gill when they were came to St John’s with their children – Giovanni (15) Nathanael (12) Isabella (10) and Evangeline (5)

Eco tip

One way to reduce the amount of left over food on plates at a restaurant or other eatery, is to share a meal. When we order food from the menu, we know what food we’re expecting, but often not the size of the meal. It is galling seeing half finished meals at vacated tables, realising that so many people go hungry in this world. Both Hilary and myself have modest appetites, and ordering one meal with an extra plate has certainly not been an issue. It will also leave room for a dessert!

Mike Lidstone

(We are sorry that this tip was sent by Mike for the October Jottings but we omitted to include it. Linda and Michael)

Parish Giving Scheme – an exciting new initiative!

I would like to say a huge THANK YOU to all the congregation of St John’s for your generosity, not just for the Renewal Project, but for the monthly regular giving which keeps the church running. At present we have 50 Standing Orders coming in every month, which is brilliant. However all of them have to be individually processed which can take up a lot of time and is a source of potential error.

Several years ago the Church of England set up a national organisation called the Parish Giving Scheme (PGS) which is designed to make life simpler for church treasurers up and down the country. Instead of a standing order to the church, everybody sets up a direct debit with the PGS. The money is collected on the first day of every month, is processed by PGS, and then all of the money is paid back into the St John’s account in a single transaction. The PGS sorts out all the Gift Aid which means less work for Linda Miles and myself, and we get the Gift Aid money every month, rather than waiting until the end of every quarter.

So what am I asking everyone to do? There is a link to the PGS on the donation page of the St John’s website. You need to register with the PGS, and then set up your monthly donation. If you are a tax-payer you can Gift Aid your donation, and you can choose to link your donation to inflation. When you have confirmation that the Direct Debit has been set up (this can take 6 weeks), you need to inform your bank to cancel your existing Standing Order.

This is a great opportunity for each of us to prayerfully review our giving. Some of us may need to reduce how much we give, due to the rises in the cost of living. Others may be able to increase their giving as our income or pension has increased with inflation. Did you know that our monthly expenses at St John’s will be about £8-9k in 2023, and there are 120 of us on the Electoral roll?

So if you are able to set up your PGS account, that would be tremendously helpful. If you have any questions or problems, do let me know and hopefully I can help.

The direct link to our page on PGS is https://www.parishgiving.org.uk/donors/find-your-parish/weymouth-st-johns-weymouth/

Many thanks,

David Boyd


The Craft group is on the first Monday of every month in Hope House at 1.30pm

The next one will be Monday 7th November

Do come along and join us and make new or see old friends and bring what you are doing – knitting, crochet, cross stitch and sewing. Refreshments are served and there is lots of conversation.

Nava and Pauline

Dorset Anti-Bullying Week

For those of you who don’t know me, my name is Alison Fox, and I am the founder of Dorset Anti-Bullying Service. I’m a survivor of bullying both as a child and an adult.

I believe, that, given the right support and resources, bullies and their targets can and do make remarkable changes. I have worked with many individuals and organisations locally, nationally, and internationally.

I am passionate about helping individuals, families, and organisations to break free and recover from the impact of bullying behaviour. My husband Malcolm and I launched DABS- Anti-Bullying Service, in response to the increasing number

of people and organisations being affected by bullying.

Anti-Bullying Week 2022, which is organised by the Anti- Bullying Alliance, will be taking place from Monday 14th – Friday 18th November 2022 and the theme is Reach out. Dorset Anti-Bullying service has a particular aim, to support adults who have been affected by bullying at any time. This is because bullying can have a lifelong affect and impact upon adults physical and mental health and there are many other organisations who support children and young people.

What is Bullying?

There is no legal definition of bullying, but it is usually defined as intentional, repeated behaviour, which is intended to hurt someone either emotionally or physically and where there is an imbalance of power.

Bullying is divided into four basic types of abuse – emotional (sometimes called relational), verbal, physical, and cyber.

Bullying… Why Me?

Bullies target others because they feel threatened by the target or simply because the target was there and available to be preyed upon. Bullies’ behaviour is manipulative, predatory, opportunistic and under hand.

You may have been targeted because you are a person with integrity, competent, popular, have strength of character, are slow to anger, are different in some way eg appearance, ability, disability illness or injury, gender, sexual orientation, race, religion, sexuality or have a vulnerability of some kind. Bullies act without integrity and feel intimated by people who display it.

Sometimes bullies act with no reason, other than for the sense of power they get from realising that something they have done, has provoked a reaction in their target. This is a way of feeling better about themselves and exerting power because hidden underneath a fake appearance of confidence they have low self-esteem, feel powerless, insecure, inadequate, and vulnerable. Truly confident people do not need to belittle others.

Very often targets are too fearful to bring grievances and when they do, they are often left alone, and vulnerable, which can lead to isolation, anxiety, and depression.

If you or somebody you know would benefit from talking to us, whether for yourself or somebody else, please REACH OUT and make contact.


Tel/Text: 07754296658



The story so far…

In her recent interview at the Harvest/Eco/Tearfund service, Valerie Collings outlined some of the issues looked by the Eco team since its inception in spring 2021. Here is a reminder of just a few things …

  • We are now a Fair Trade church
  • Recycling opportunities in church – please bring in your empty blister medication packs and used pens & give to Ruth Clinch
  • Use of eco-friendly cleaning products and toilet paper Procurement of a pre-loved lockable storage cupboard #recycle #repurpose
  • Use of low energy light bulbs
  • Plants to encourage bees and other pollinators

The #nomowmay patch is now being managed as a wild flower area to encourage pollinators. Ox- eye daisy seeds have been sown and more wild flower plugs will be planted in the spring.

You Are…

You are my rock in a stormy sea,
My life support when it’s too much for me. Through the storms of life You restore my calm, Anointing my soul with Your healing balm.
You are my fortress when I’m under attack, My great provider, so I never lack. You grant me Your comfort and protection, With never, ever a fear of rejection.
You are my strength when I’m feeling weak, My ‘Overcomer’ when the world looks bleak. And because You live in my heart… it’s true, I can do anything You ask me to do!
You are my deliverer… You died for my sin, You’ve washed me whiter than snow within, With Your precious blood that You shed for me, On that cruel Roman cross at Calvary.
You are my Saviour, on whom I depend, My reinforcement if I start to bend. Through Your love and enduring faithfulness, Your blessings and mercy for me are endless.
You are… Lord Jesus, my life and my all,
Without You I know I am nothing at all. May I shine for You like the brightest star, Because Lord Jesus, quite simply… You are!

© Kent Brooksbank
12 January 2003
From, ‘Chosen One’
A prayer to take with you everywhere you go.

(This poem was written by a friend of Pauline Neels)

December Issue

Many thanks to all our writers.

Please submit articles, dates or information to Linda and Michael Miles by 21st November. Articles may be edited. Next edition available 1st December

Who’s Who?

Vicar: Rev Tom Coopey
Warden: Jos Bailey