2022 Event Programme
Please note some details are subject to change once we start to organise them, and hopefully will not be subject to COVID-19 restrictions this year!
Church Open – every day from 10am to 4pm from Monday 18th April to the end of September – you can come to swap (or just take!) a book, look around, or spend some time for personal reflection or prayer in this beautiful quiet space.
Concert – 7pm Saturday 14th May – Finlay & Friends in concert in aid of the St John’s ‘AWellForKerina’ Appeal – our 2022 ECO Church overseas environmental project in Kenya. Tickets £10 on the door or from Sandy Fletcher 01249 715006.
Afternoon Tea – 2pm – 4pm Saturday 21st May – Tea and cakes at the Village Hall. This year, our organiser, Felicity, has chosen to support the Ukrainian people suffering from Russia’s war on their country.
Rogation Sunday – 10am Sunday 22nd May starting at the church – Each year we try to emulate the old tradition of “beating the bounds” (tracing the parish boundaries) by having a short walking service of half a mile or so, stopping at intervals for readings, prayers and hymns. This year, we will be ending at Boyds Farm where welcome refreshments will be provided by the generous Robinsons.
Jubilee Bank Holiday Weekend – Thursday 2nd June (extra bank holidays) to Sunday 5th June – celebrate the jubilee with various events in Gastard. On Sunday we will hold a Jubilee service at 10am and hope to provide some special refreshments.
Summer Lunch – Noon Sunday 19th June – Each year we like to hold a lunch for the community, at our local farm (Boyds), in aid of the church. Tickets available from Sally Robinson.
Patronal Festival AND Baptism! AND Tea in the Garden – 3:30pm Sunday 26th June – Whilst we have a patronal festival every year to recognise Saint John the Baptist, after whom our church is named, this year we are including a Gastard baptism for all the community to share. We will also provide afternoon tea and cakes after the service – in the garden, weather permitting!
Village Thanksgiving AND Songs of Praise! – Date to be advised – This year we want to add on two events to a service . Firstly, we want to recognise the people in the community that responded to our Parish Campaign in January/ February 2020. Due to COVID restrictions this public recognition has slipped two years and we want to show appreciation for the financial support pledged. Secondly, we want to have a Songs of Praise type of service where you can sponsor to have a hymn of your choice in honour of anything you choose – perhaps your wedding anniversary. Watch out for more details!
Safari Lunch – Saturday 9th July (Date to be confirmed) – We hope we can get a number of houses in the village to host a lunch course for a few others. Each person or couple will then be asked to go to another house for a second course. So, small groups of people will meet at a house not knowing who else will be there, then split up and meet another unknown group in another house. It’s all rather good fun and not too onerous for any one host. Details to be worked out, but we do need volunteers to be hosts. Watch out for more details!
Summer Sundowner – 4pm Saturday 20th August (Date to be confirmed) – we hope to hold a casual drinks and nibbles at the church – in the grounds if possible – for the community to chat and get to know each other. Watch out for details!
Ride & Stride – Saturday 10th September – every year, Wiltshire Historic Churches Trust organise a county wide event for sponsored people to walk, cycle or ride between churches to raise money for the Trust. the Trust give grants to churches that need expensive repairs, but also give back half the money raised by our sponsors to St John’s. Consider being sponsored! Watch out for more details.
Climate Sunday – 10am Sunday 11th September – the world is on a dangerous course of permitting too much carbon dioxide to be released into the atmosphere generating higher temperatures in the seas and air with increasingly extreme destructive weather events. Come along to pray for more effective leadership around the world and for those suffering from its impacts.
Climate Week – Church Open daily 10am to 4pm from Sunday 11th September to Friday 16th September. We will have several pop-up events during the days and evenings on ecological topics of interest and to engage you on your journey to help live more sustainably. Watch out for details.
Harvest Festival & Supper – 6pm Sunday 25th September – a traditional service to acknowledge the food grown on the land that sustains us. We normally host a supper for the community to follow the service, but details have yet to be determined. Watch this space!
Charity Service – 10am Sunday 23rd October – we will be asking for donations in aid of a British charity, usually local. Details to be released as soon as possible.
All Saints/ All Souls Service – 10am Sunday 30th October – names from our Book of Remembrance and others who have passed away will be read out.
Remembrance Sunday – 10:30am Sunday 13th November – in remembrance of those fallen as a result of armed conflicts, with a two minute silence at 11am.
Carol Service – (Date to be announced)
Crib Service – 4pm Saturday 24th December at Boyds Farm. The retelling of the Nativity story with props and the singing of popular carols. A hugely popular event in 2021 – don’t miss it!
Midnight Mass – Saturday 24th December
Past Events of 2022
ECO Church Launch Service – Sunday 27th February – Our church has been working towards an ECO church award since January 2020, but COVID restrictions meant we have postponed the formal launch of the initiative. We held not just a launch but a celebration with a clear and simple display complemented by a talk about our journey. Our Bronze Award plaque and certificate were proudly displayed.
ECO Church Open Week – the week following our Launch service – The community and our sister churches had the opportunity to see our Bronze Award and Eco church display if they hadn’t made it to the Launch Service.
Village Quiz & Pizza and Chip Supper – Saturday 5th March, Village Hall – We resumed our popular quiz evening with pre-ordered pizza and chips! Tickets sold out. A raffle was held and prizes given to the smartest team. A thoroughly enjoyable evening raising over £300 for St John’s.
Charity Appeal Service for Gastard’s 2022 Charity – Sunday 13th March – Each year our church chooses a new charity supporting an overseas ecological development project. In 2021 we raised a huge amount (£2,000) in aid of the International Tree Foundation for the Watu Wa Miti project in Kenya helping sustainable forestry and helping in the global battle against Climate Change. This year we funding the drilling of a well for a Kenyan village and raised nearly £200 at the service towards our total target of £850 – a great start!
Earth Hour – 8:30pm Saturday 26th March – we wanted the community to mark this hour to honour our home planet – lights off for one hour at home if they couldn’t join us for our candle-lit vigil in the church. We had a superb spiritual hour with natural sounds and sporadic music with readings and prayers.
Mothering Sunday – Sunday 27th March – we provided posies of Spring flowers in this service to show gratitude for mothers the world over.
ECO Fair – Saturday 2nd April. We had a team ECO Churches Stall where we displayed information on what ECO church is and how each of the 4 team churches were making progress on this award scheme. Gastard displayed its Bronze award for work done over 2020 and 2021. We also had sign up sheets for various mailing lists including our Gastard Congregation Letter, started in the pandemic with a weekly round-up of people news, intercessions, etc., and now published occasionally for new announcements. We had a children’s gazebo so parents could view our stall whilst their children coloured eco-themed pages or learnt how they could make a difference. A most popular stall – don’t miss it when ECO Fair is re-run in 2023!
Leave a Legacy to the Church, Service – Sunday 3rd April – we launched our new scheme so that supporters of our village church could provide something for St John’s church in their will, helping us to maintain a beacon of Christian light within our community.
Spring Afternoon Tea – Saturday 9th April, Gastard Village Hall – We had tea and cakes to raise funds for St John’s – a lovely occasion well-supoorted by volunteer helpers.
Good Friday Vigil – Friday 15th April – We had a quiet time for reflection and prayer on this sombre Christian day.
Easter Sunday – Sunday 17th April – we celebrated this major date in the Christian Calendar. Many joined in with our service ushering in Spring and the good news.
Annual Meeting – Sunday 1st May – we held our annual meeting of parishioners to elect representatives and reported on the past year (2021)
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