Broad Town News - the Broad Town Village Newsletter


Yes, we are still here. We hope you are all keeping well and surviving. If any of you are not coping, then please get in touch with Samaritans. There are plenty of people in the village willing to do shopping, go to the pharmacy or post letters. (See later)

We are all conscious of the good work done by the NHS, KEY WORKERS, COUNCIL WORKERS, BUS and TRAIN WORKERS and RETAIL WORKERS. We salute you all and applaud you for looking after us.


On Solitude and Community

These beautiful spring days have brought both trials and joys. The vicarage garden is getting more time and attention than ever before since I came to serve in these parishes. Parks and gardens have always been places where if I sit and am still amidst the buzz of bees and the birdsong I become aware of God’s goodness holding those I love and pray for. That sense of God’s holding isn’t always easy: I’ve often been most aware of it in times of deep sadness and loss, when my prayers and thoughts have been bitter and angry. Yet it has been in solitude that I had learned to expect to encounter the divine. 

Now, alongside those moments of solitary awareness and meditation as the weeks of social distancing have turned into months I’ve as often found God in the faces and conversations with others. The smile of the postperson as they bring the delight of letters with news of friends and family; the small headshot of a friend through the medium of technology, the additional thoughts and greetings in work emails.  It has been especially visible in the commitment and kindness of health professionals visiting my father in law to find ways of continuing to bring us small moments of respite and support and in all the ways that village groups and individuals are looking after each other and bringing food and prescriptions and a smile or conversation.

I have relearned that if the glory of God is a human being fully alive that human being needs both solitude and company; both quiet and conversation. I have never felt more grateful for the kindness of strangers as well as friends.

I hope that whether you are alone and yearn for company or accompanied and yearn for a little more privacy and space that you will find the balance of both sustains you physically, emotionally and spiritually to become more fully alive.


I still don’t know what it might look like to be the vicar in these parishes during this season of Covid-19 but amidst my solitary praying and the technological gathering of those who are separated there is new joy and new company as I have a new associate priest colleague the Rev’d Karen Rizzello who was licensed to join us thanks to a  Zoom-ing Bishop Andrew. I look forward to being able to invite people to meet Karen as and when that becomes possible.

I'm attaching a very draft timetable for the online services - if people let Elaine or I know then they can be added to the benefice mailing list for them, or they can look at the facebook page for the Benefice of Lyneham and Woodhill. 



Led by










31st May Pentecost

Communion CW

Rev Karen

Sermon - Rachma


Val Procter


7th June


Zoom Communion

+ Zoom & Sermon Feedback Group


(sermon Mandy)


Mandy Cook


14th June

Trinity 1

Morning Prayer 


(sermon Richard)


Pauline Arnold


21st June

Trinity 2

Evening Prayer 

 Rev Karen

(sermon Rev Karen)


Janet Drury


28th June

St Peter




Elaine Leighton


5th July

Trinity 4


Rev Karen


Richard Holness


12th July

Trinity 5

All Age Service



Mike Lewis


19th July

Trinity 6

Evening prayer



Ken Arnold


26th July

Trinity 7




Val Procter




After missing two WI meetings due to the coronavirus lock down, this month we decided to try a Zoom meeting.  10 members joined in a discussion on what we had all been doing to keep busy during lockdown.  Although gardening was a common theme there were a wide variety of activities mentioned, and three members were working from home.  It was an enjoyable evening so we have decided to do it again next month and will be takIng it in turns to recommend books, tv programmes, interesting places to walk or anything else we think other members might be interested in.


Our volunteer group is continuing to work together to ensure that anyone isolated or in need of help in the current situation can be supported.

If you need help with anything, please contact one of the following:- Sandra Hartley Tel. 731523, Margaret Manley Tel. 731564, Carolyn Crocker Tel. 852754, Helen Greer (Thornhill) Tel. 731092, Kate Orton Tel. 731536, Caron Lubin Tel. 731076

or email:


We have had 3 very successful collections to date which has enabled us to donate nearly 1,000 items of food and toiletries. The next Food Bank collection at the Village Hall will be on the 13th and 14th June from 9am to 5pm each day. Thank you to everyone who has donated.


A small group of ladies in the village are making these. If anyone would like one, please contact one of the Volunteer Co-ordinators (Tel Nos. above).      Any donations for these will go to The Alzheimer’s Society.

Are there any other ladies (or gents) in the village who would be willing to help make face coverings/masks ( material and elastic can be provided ) IF the demand is high?           Please contact any of the above numbers.


Clap for NHS and Key Workers  -  Every Thursday at 8pm
Light a “Candle of HOPE”  - On Sunday Evenings

Thank you to the children (and adults) who have displayed Rainbows  .  Also for the Pebbles of Hope appearing on garden walls with some beautiful and inspiring thoughts on them.


Please ignore the Church cleaning rota for the rest of the year. There will be a new one to start in January. If we are back in Church before Christmas, then I will ask people if they are prepared to do a Saturday, in time for a service.


Grasscutting /strimming is continuing with people taking their daily exercise - following government guidelines - in the Churchyard and it is lovely to see it looking so well cared for.

Thanks to Chris Bailey and family, Ivor Turk, David Button and Nigel Crocker plus other people who have also been “doing their bit” from time to time.


Due to the current situation it has not been possible to carry out the 100 Club Draw and distribute the prizes during April and May. I plan to carry out the draws for April, May and June early in June and will then announce the winners and deliver the winnings to the lucky people.


With the lockdown restrictions, we were unable to hold our planned Parish Council meeting in April. Now the Government have issued guidelines on how local council meetings can operate via virtual meetings, we held our May meeting on Zoom. There were a few technical challenges but on the whole we were able to conduct the required council business and to engage in good discussion including public participation. We will continue to hold our monthly Parish Council meetings on Zoom until such a point as we can reconvene physically in the Village Hall. The next meeting is planned for Monday 8th June at 6.30pm. Details on how to join and the agenda will be posted on our website and on the Village notice boards. All our welcome.


Please keep safe, look after yourselves, get your exercise and enjoy your gardens.


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