Church News

Dear Friends

The wedding season is upon us and I have already had a very anxious mother of the bride being concerned and worried about the arrangements for her daughter’s wedding. I wonder if Jesus had weddings in mind when he said to some of his followers:

“So do not worry, saying ‘What shall we eat’, or ‘What shall we drink;’ or ‘What shall we wear’”
(Matthew 6:31)?

As part of my address at weddings, I tell the story of the nervous bride who was worried about her wedding day – but you will have to come to a wedding to hear that story … !

Despite Jesus’ injunction to not worry, there are some of us who do worry about things; sometimes everything! The next task; the hold up in the traffic; or how we are perceived by others. What we have or haven’t done. What we should or shouldn’t do or say. We are all at risk of worrying about something or other.

I heard a story about a rocking chair, which made me think : a rocking chair occupies us and give us something to do, but also a rocking chair doesn’t get us very far. Worry is like that chair, our minds are continually occupied going back and forth, but actually we aren’t moving on.

In the area of your life where you struggle - busyness or your reputation or something else - perhaps allowing God in on your worries might be a start in moving out of the well-used and comfortable rocking chair and discovering each day and each moment for the gift it is.

Perhaps a prayer might be needed:

God allow us to discover the gift of each moment of the day.
God allow us to lose our worry.
God allow us to find the beauty in each day and hour.
God fill us with peace. Amen.

And, by the way – the wedding service and reception which the bride’s mother worried about so much went really well – no worries!

The Rev’d Canon John Swanton

01285 851309

Services at All Saints’ Church

Sunday 30th June: St Peters Day (transfered)

10.00am  Parish Communion at Ampney St Peter

Sunday 7th July:  3rd Sunday of Trinity

10.00am Parish Communion at Down Ampney

6.00pm Evensong at Ampney St Mary

with Swearing-in of Churchwardens

Sunday 14th July:  4th Sunday after Trinity

10.00am Parish Communion Service at Driffield

6.00pm Evensong at Amney Crucis

with The Bamsfird Singers

Sunday 21st July: 5th Sunday after Trinity RIAT Weekend

10.00am Parish Communion at Ampney Crucis

6.00pm No "Word and Worship" Service this month

 Sunday 28th July: 6th Sunday after Trinity

10.00am Parish communion at Poulton

6.00pm  Evening prayer and Meditation at Ampney Crucis

Sunday 30th July

6.00pm  Holy Comminion and Meditation at Poulton

Sunday 4th August

10.00am Parish Communion at Down Ampney

when we dedicate the new pew cushions

Coffee Morning

4th Wednesday of each month – at 11am in the Dakota Room. Please do come along and join us for tea/coffee, cake and conversation.

24th July


An engaging and dramatic audio-visual presentation with question and answer time with RAF personnel who have operational experience

at All Saints’ Church, Down Ampney

Tuesday 23rd July at 7.30pm

Doors open at 7pm with refreshments available

Tickets £5 on the door or
at Down Ampney Village Shop

The Rev’d Canon John Swanton
01285 – 851309

Caring for God’s Acre

Churchyards are special places where friends and relatives are buried in consecrated ground and people come to pay their respects and remember those whom they love but see no more.

The upkeep and maintenance of the open churchyard at All Saints’ Down Ampney is the responsibility of the Parochical Church Council (PCC) – which is made up of a group of volunteers who oversee the ministry of the church and its property. Down Ampney Parish Council (the civil authority) kindly provides the contractor to cut the grass.

A churchyard is not a private place in which anything is acceptable, but rather a place where many people have an interest in its appearance. The Church of England therefore has regulations about what is and is not permissible in a churchyard. These regulations are designed to help ensure that churchyards have a pleasing appearance, to allow the wild life to flourish, for the maintenance of the grounds and safety of those who look after them.

A copy of the Churchyard Regulations can be found in the church and are also available at

We recognise that churchyards should not be absolutely uniform, however standards have to be acceptable to the wide variety of people who come to mourn their own relatives. For this reason there are general principles which have to be applied and in Gloucestershire many of our churches – like the Grade I Listed All Saints’ Church - are of national importance and their surrounding churchyards deserve special care.

In English law, no one has the right to be buried in a churchyard, but there are eligibility criteria – i.e. people who live or die in the parish are eligible to be buried in a churchyard. When the Vicar or PCC agrees to a burial, the grave remains in the ownership of the church – unlike in local authority or private graveyards where a (usually 75 year) lease is entered into. In Gloucestershire there are rules about what type of unpolished stone can be used for a headstone or memorial plaque.

There are other regulations to do with flowers and ornaments, which we shall cover in next month’s edition of Down Ampney News.

These regulations are not to prevent people from mourning and remembering their loved ones, but rather to help maintain order and a seemly appearance to our churchyards for everyone who visit.

RAF PRESENTATION TEAM : Tuesday 23rd July at Down Ampney Church 

Find out about ‘The RAF Today’ – through an engaging and dramatic audio-visual presentation and question and answer time with serving RAF personnel who have operational experience.

7pm Doors open and drinks & nibbles

7.30pm start (30 minute presentation)

8pm Question and Answer (20 minutes)

Tickets £5.00 towards the Arnhem 2019 Commemoration costs; available on the door or locally from The Vicar; and from Down Ampney Village Sho

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