Tue 30 July 2019
With the feast day of Mary, Martha and Lazarus on 29th July, you can imagine we've made a bit of a fuss of this weekend ever since we launched the Society of Mary and Martha in 1987. This year we held the Community Rededication on Friday evening and the Bishop of Exeter presided and preached at our Annual Eucharist on Saturday morning. Thank you to all our wonderful Friends, volunteers and staff team members who joined us for one or both, and to the many more who were with us in spirit and sent greetings by cards, email and on our Facebook page. Coming at the end of a hot and tiring but very productive workweek when we did lots of practical work around the site together, and a fortnight with six concerts in the open air theatre, we were ready to let our hair down. Friday night in the marquee was a very moving occasion as we welcomed Andrew and Rhian into full membership of the Community after a year of testing their vocation here.
"Together we commit to each other
our time and talents
our passion and purpose
our resources and relationships
our loyalty and hopes"
Then we were also delighted to welcome Alison Wedgbury as an Alongsider for a year or so. She has gone back to Cambridge now to finish packing up home there and rejoins us in September.
Read the full text of the Community Rededication here.
After the service the Fat Pigeon bar did a brisk trade along with the hog roast which had been wafting delicious aromas our way for the previous hour. Then Sue and Trevor got us up and dancing in the Pound House dining room (congratulations to them on their recent marriage), while John Barlow made his debut as caller.
On Saturday morning we re-set the marquee for the Eucharist. Although he had visited for other events taking place at Sheldon such as the ordination retreat, it was Bishop Robert's first visit to us as a Community and we were very blessed by his gentle ministry to us, and affirmation of the ministry of this place. Read Bishop Robert's sermon here. It was also the first outing for the liturgical tabards which Rhian had printed with the iconic Sheldon cross, worn by Carl, Phil and William. After the service, conversations over another delicious Sheldon meal followed by farewells to our workweek volunteers. Wash up, tidy up, snatch 40 winks and then ready to receive a £500 delivery from Sainsbury's at 3pm, settling in the next team of volunteers, and preparing to welcome clergy families for their holidays on Sunday.