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On sources of Hope February 2021

I don’t know how it is for you – I tend to find February a tricky month.

Being in Lockdown 3 possibly doesn’t help and I’ll admit, I wasn’t that keen on Lockdown 2: The Sequel. The proverb may be ‘third time is the charm’ but I was not charmed by the thought of Lockdown 3.0

I have found hope in several places – pushing its way through cold and sodden earth with the persistence of the spears of snowdrops with their pendulous bud of luminous white and then the courage of the lamp shape of the full flower nodding with humility and lighting up the churchyard in the gloom.

Across the churches and villages there are people who like the snowdrops bring me hope and encouragement  - people who have made facemasks, and phoned up the vulnerable, offered shopping and prescription collection. People who have arranged foodbank collections or underwear collections for Doorway or earthquake relief collections for Fiji. And I have seen amazing creativity in the responses to all the things we can’t do in things that people have done with outdoor carols, and trees and lights and Shelters for Hope.

I’ve seen such kindness and courage in the sharing of breadmaking advice and the sharing of the struggle of homeschooling. For the beauty of the snowdrops will pass and new delights will take their place but the kindness and activity  of the people who have been ordinary heroes in these villages will always remind me that the glory of God is a human being fully alive.

Sometimes it is also helpful to see or read or hear something that acknowledges that things may be tough. Being real about the struggle can also help me recharge with hope and rebuild resilience. So I’m sharing a poem written by a friend and priest called Tina Hodgett. In a February which has been trickier than most there is hope in the crafting of a lovely poem out of lockdown losses.

May you too find snowdrops in the ground and in people’s eyes above their facemasks renew and strengthen your hope.

when I see you again

I will trace the tears on your face

with a wondering finger

as we both weep

when I see you again

I will hold you close and long

as if we were lovers

and I would never let you go

when I see you again

I will marvel at your fragile form

and imagine holding your precious life

in the palms of my hands

when I see you again

we will laugh like thirsty travellers

finding water in the desert

flinging gouts of joy into the sky

when I see you again

I will be grateful for all I took for granted..

and by God’s grace

we will live fresh-eyed and wondering in the world

like creatures newly born

Author Tina Hodgett 3 January 2021.                                             Rachma

PROSPECT HOSPICE  The following is an extract from a letter received from the Hospice. “At this time of difficulty and great concern for us all, we were delighted to receive your donation of £420.00 as raised as part of your Village Christmas celebrations. On behalf of all of us here at Prospect Hospice, I would like to thank you all for your generosity during what has been a challenging time for so many of us. I am so thrilled that you were able to celebrate Christmas as a community last year, albeit in  a very different way to previous years!  Nevertheless, we loved seeing the creativity of so many of you shining through to create a memorable festive season for all to enjoy. Thank you so much for your support, it is greatly appreciated by all of us here at Prospect Hospice"

LINK SCHEME     Wiltshire Council have asked for the following to be shared with members of our Community:

“Link schemes in Wiltshire are currently operating with 70% less volunteers than they did 12 months ago and are massively supporting the transportation of individuals to receive a Covid-19 vaccination.  The demand for this support will only increase over the coming months and they need volunteers now.   If you would like more information, please contact Sam:     or

Harry Tipple:  Tel; 01380 732824  Mob. 07802 68803

SHELTER    Inspired by Malmesbury’s “Hope Springs Eternal” we have converted the Nativity Shelter into “Broad Town Shelter of Hope”. We invite anyone to add anything to it:  A Flower, A Message, A Pebble, A Rainbow etc.


Although places of worship are still allowed to remain open both for private prayer and communal worship, on reflection the PCC of Broad Town have decided that for the duration of the period of lock down announced by the government (currently due to end on the 21st February) we would not open Christ Church Broad Town for Sunday worship or at a regular time for private prayer.

 We remain confident in the robustness of our COVID-19 processes to reduce risk and are aware that numbers attending here are small and so easily able to socially distance.  However, we are also aware that the picture both nationally and locally, the pressures on our local healthcare services and our local hospital, alongside the government’s message Stay Home, Protect the NHS and Save Lives mean that the practical expression of ‘loving our neighbours’ make this decision seem a way of supporting the whole community in our shared observance of lockdown 3. 

 During this time we have looked afresh at our risk assessments and in the light of various changes in the government guidance we have decided to remain open for occasional offices, funerals, weddings and christenings, that fall within those permitted under the government regulations. Our risk assessments permit a maximum of 15 people in the church, for a funeral, although it will continue to be possible to have the government maximum of 30 people in the churchyard.  If government regulations reduce the numbers permitted, then we will adopt whichever figure is the lowest.

The Reverend Rachma Abbott

Rector of the Benefice of Lyneham & Woodhill serving the churches and parishes of Bradenstoke, Broad Town, Clyffe Pypard, Hilmarton, Lyneham & Tockenham

FOODBANK  The next collection at the Village Hall will be on the weekend of 6th & 7th February from 9am to 4pm.

Foodbanks remain extremely busy, so please be as generous as you possibly can.


Broad Town Village

In 2020, Your Organisation Kindly Donated An Absolutely Fantastic

                                                                           234 Kgs

Of Food To Help Feed People In Crisis.

Amazing Support – Well Done To You All






Parish Council – headlines from January meeting

Parish Council Budget and Precept for 2020/21: Given the current difficult financial climate for many of us, the Parish Council is keen to hold our precept flat with last year. This means that the annual budget will be set at £9,600 (a reduction of 2% on last year) and the annual amount requested from a household in tax band D in the village should remain at £35.85 as it was last year. The Parish Council precept forms a small part of the overall annual Council tax requirement which will be communicated by Wiltshire Council direct to householders. We hope that holding our precept flat will help in these difficult financial times whilst still allowing us to deliver our core services and responsibilities.

Parish Council Elections: The Parish Council is elected every four years and the next election is due in May 2021. In a normal year, those wishing to be considered for election would need to submit their intention and paperwork to Wiltshire Council by 4 April. It is not clear what impact lockdown and the pandemic will have on the process this year and we are asking for more information which we will communicate in due course. The current Council would be delighted to see more members of the parish consider standing for election. Joining the Parish Council is a very rewarding way to support our village. Please reach out to any of the current Councillors if you would like more information.

Wiltshire Local Plan Review: The consultation into the Wiltshire Local Plan review, and separately the Gypsy and Traveller Local Plan, will run from Wednesday 13 January 2021 until 11:59pm on Tuesday 9 March 2021. Wiltshire Council has to allocate sufficient land to satisfy housing and employment needs up to 2036, and is seeking the views of local communities and stakeholders to see if the suggested distribution of numbers across the county is correct, and which of the proposed sites are most suitable. Feedback during this review consultation will help to shape the draft Local Plan, which will be finalised later in 2021. It will then be used to guide decisions on whether future planning applications for housing, infrastructure and land for employment can be granted. More detail about the consultation can be found at

Lyneham and Bradenstoke Neighbourhood Development Plan: Wiltshire Council will be coordinating a virtual public consultation on this document between Thursday 7th January 2021 and Thursday 4th March 2021. The draft Lyneham and Bradenstoke Neighbourhood Development Plan submission can be viewed and commented on from the Wiltshire Council consultation portal at

Notification of the virtual planning appeal hearing for 19/03874/OUT – Housing Development on land South of Broad Town Primary School: This planning application was refused by Wiltshire Planning in December 2019 and the developers are now appealing that refusal. The appeal hearing is set for Thursday 11th March 2021 at 10am.  The Planning Officer from Wiltshire Council has advised that representatives from the Parish Council and residents are encouraged to attend as local opinions are welcomed. Anyone wishing to attend/observe the hearing should read and follow the information on the Wiltshire Council Planning portal or contact the Parish Clerk

Wiltshire Council grant funding to support pupils engaged in virtual schooling: grants are available to help fund laptops/digital devices and broadband connection costs for children and families who need support at this time.  Residents can contact their school or Wiltshire Council for further information

Applications to the Good Energy Community Fund: the next discussion on grant applications will happen at the March Parish Council Meeting so the deadline for community fund applications will be the 22nd February 2021. The Fund can award grants to community groups and schemes which add value to our local community and support the village. At this time, it can also help with community needs related to the pandemic. If you would like to make an application then please see the information on our website  or contact the Parish Clerk.

Next Meeting is Monday 8th February 2020 at 6.30pm. All are welcome and joining details and the agenda will be posted on our website and on the notice boards in due course.


Deadline for next Broad Town News is 20 February 2021


Text Box: Deadline for next Broad Town News is 20 February 2021










You are invited to join us

See the source image

See the source image



2.00.p.m. – 3.00.p.m.

Everyone welcome



Come and join us for a relaxed atmosphere amongst old and new friends.

On-line activities and sharing with maybe a quiz/music/lockdown tales and top tips

also with plenty of time for a chat

See the source image

Organised by

Friends of St. Michael’s Church, Lyneham and surrounding Villages

For details to join Zoom Meeting contact:

Karen Rizzello 


Lynn Thrussell


Jenny May

01249 891783


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