Welcome to the Benefice & News

New Priest in Charge

We would like to welcome and introduce Tim Starling, who has been appointed as the new Vicar for Wye Reaches Tim will be joining us later in the year and we look forward to greeting him and showing him around the Parishes A few words from Tim Starling

I am delighted to be joining you all, in the beautiful Wye Reaches Benefice, from next summer. I grew-up in Great Shelford, a little village on the outskirts of Cambridge. After university I spent my working life living in England, Scotland and Ireland working for Marks & Spencer in Human Resource Management, and then using some of these business skills working for a charity called New Wine. I was raised attending church as a child and through my local church was introduced to faith in Jesus Christ which had a profound effect on my life. I completed my training in theology, ministry and mission at Cuddesdon, a college in Oxford, and then was fortunate enough to be accepted as an assistant curate with in the StowCaple group of churches (Bridstow, Foy, How Caple, Peterstow, Sellack and Sollers Hope). I have loved the past three years and didn’t quite expect to fall in love with the people, churches and communities in the way that I have and I am excited to be working with you and joining in with all that God will be doing in us and through us.

This is the website for the churches of the Wye Reaches Benefice

Our group of parishes is at the far south of the Diocese of Hereford.
We span the England/Wales border with the River Wye often
forming a parish boundary.

 St. Dubricius, Whitchurch  St. James, Wyesham
 St. Peter, Dixton  All Saints,  Bishopswood
St. Swithins, Ganarew

Acting VICAR

On 29 September 2019 Revd Kevin Cecil retired from his ministry as Vicar of the Wye Reaches Benefice. The Diocese has begun the search for Kevin’s replacement and in the meantime we are delighted that  Revd Penny Powdrill has agreed to become our Acting Vicar  with Revd Jill Stephens as the other half of the team.



from the Clergy

Changes to the Border News

We would like to introduce our new Compiler/Editor who is Michael Poynton. Michael has taken over at a time of great uncertainty. Many of the regular features concerning parish events and news are very short or non-existent. This gives us extra space so starting next month, if anyone wants to contribute please email your copy to Michael, Penny or Richard and we will use our discretion as to what we publish.

Prayer Requests.

This is a worrying time but God is always with us and loves us all. Please don’t hesitate to contact any of the clergy if you want us to pray for you, your family or friends or an issue about which
you are concerned.

Worship Resources.

We are developing easily accessible resources to help you pray and worship. The Wye Reaches parishes are putting out a weekly newsletter and a simple service for each Sunday. This can be emailed out to you, or if you are not on email but still want a copy then contact your Church Warden or Rev Penny Powdrill and we can arrange to send you a hard copy (a book of stamps from you will not go amiss!).

Life Events. (Christenings, Weddings, Funerals)

The Church of England has provided guidance to clergy with reference to Life Events. If you need to organise a Christening, a Wedding or a Funeral please contact a member of clergy.

Update on Wyesham Vicarage

At the meeting with the Archdeacon Wednesday 4th March we were informed as follows:

  •   As of last Friday (Feb 29th) Monmouth Housing Association (MHA)are now the owners of the land in Wyesham that includes the Vicarage.

  •   Detailed planning is well advanced and building will start soon with an estimated date for completion of the Vicarage as this time next year, 2021, or at the latest September 2021.

  •   Although the Vicarage will be built by the MHA developers it will come into the freehold ownership of Hereford Diocese on completion. The sale of the land to MHA was such that the deal included this return of the new vicarage to the diocese.



“And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins.” (1 Corinthians 15.17) I still remember Canon Lawrie Skipper, Rector of St Mary’s Eccleston, my home church in Cheshire, preaching on this verse some time in the 1970s, even if I don’t remember all his words. Lawrie preached at my mother’s funeral in Llangarron in 1986 and I carried a copy in my work briefcase for a couple of years afterwards. The resurrection of Christ is the key fact on which everything else hangs. If it’s not true, our faith is empty and we’re wasting our time. But the apostle Paul’s point is that he knew the resurrection of Christ was true because he had met him on the road to Damascus. What can we say about where we have met Christ?


Holy Spirit of God,
invisible like the wind,
we do not see you moving among us, but your effect we see:
come to our hearts
that we may be renewed and reborn.

Open our minds that we may see your kingdom;
lift up our eyes
to where the cross of Christ stands for our healing;
that we might believe,
and in believing not die
but have eternal life; through your Son
who in your love for us
you sent into the world, Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen

Prayers for the People, ed. Michael Perry, 1992

Dear All, in light of the present situation we feel it is imperative that we keep in touch.

Please note:

 No church services will be held for the present.
 We intend to circulate a service and other worship material on a weekly

 If you, or anyone you know, are in need of prayer then please contact Val

Thomas, Rev Penny Powdrill or Rev Jill Stephens. (Contact details below).  Revs Penny and Jill are also available to discuss issues or answer queries

relating to church matters.
 Starting this Sunday, there will be a Church service on BBC TV during the

morning. This Sunday will feature the Archbishop of Canterbury.

 If you would like to receive the magazine but cannot collect, please let

Daphne Smith know and she will happily post it to you but please send a book of Large Letter stamps to her to cover the cost. Alternatively the magazine can be accessed on line via our website, www.wyereaches.com or just Google Wye Reaches. .

 Financially, the coming weeks will be difficult for us all as Offerings will be greatly reduced. Envelopes can be kept until the church re-opens, but it would be greatly appreciated if offerings could be made direct to our bank account, please ask for details.

 With reference to Dixton flooding, we have now received a report concern- ing may of the items that were removed from the church for cleaning or restoration. The church remains locked because there are dehumidifiers and air exchange equipment in the church that work best in a closed situa- tion. We remain in the hands of our Loss Adjustor but issues are being dealt with.

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If you know someone who used to come to church but is now unable to come, or if you are no longer able to make it to church but would like to receive Holy Communion please contact Rev Jill Stephens or Rev Penny Powdrill.


 Benefice Prayer

O, Come Holy Spirit come
Come as holy fire and burn in us
Come as holy wind and cleanse us
Come as holy light and lead us
Come as holy truth and teach us
Come as holy forgiveness and free us
Come as holy love and enfold us
Come as holy power and enable us
Come as holy life and well in us
Convict us, convert us, consecrate us until we are wholly yours for your using
Through Jesus Christ our Lord
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Hi all

For a little while at any rate we are going to slot into the Border News a conundrum, something to get you thinking, and even discussing, with passion. This month’s is about food.

Revd Ben

This Month’s Conundrum – keep a clear head for this!

Max had been a vegetarian for most of his life. He liked the taste of meat, and missed it, but his principles were strong. Now, however, he was sitting down to a feast of pork sausages, crispy bacon and fried chicken breast, and with an absolutely clear conscience.

Priscilla the pig had provided the sausages and bacon and Max had been talking to her only the week before. She had been genetically engineered to be able to think, and reason, and speak, and to want desperately to be killed and eaten.

And the chicken breast was from Harriet the hen. Harriet had been ‘decerebrated’ that is, had all awareness removed. She had no awareness of self, environment, pain or pleasure. Killing her would cause her no more suffering than you could inflict on a carro So – try these questions

Is it wrong to engineer genetically a pig to a human level of intelligence but also to want to be killed and eaten? Why or why not?

Is it wrong to kill and eat an intelligent animal whose main ambition in life is to be killed and eaten?

Is it wrong to kill and eat an animal which does not experience life and cannot feel death?


Stuck indoors? … Never had the time before? … Try these


 Church of England daily prayer https://www.churchofengland.org/prayer -and -worship/join – us -daily -prayer

 Audio daily prayer https://pray -as -you -go.org httstps://www.24 – 7prayer.com

 BBC Radio 4:

 9:45 Daily Service- also available at https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/ m000gbdz

 Sunday 8:10 Sunday Worship
 BBC Radio 3:
 Sunday, 15:00 Choral Evensong  Apps for your smart phone:  Pray -as -you -go

 #LiveLent Entertainment/Learning:

Georgia Aquarium: https://www.georgiaaquarium.org/at-home-learning-with- georgia-aquarium/

JStor- JStor offers articles and chapters form books on a huge range of subjects. It’s predominately a scholarly site, but offers a bunch of free articles and books to the public as well. https://www.jstor.org/open/
Free online courses: https://www.futurelearn.com/

Learn computer programming! https://blockly.games/ Ted educational videos: https://ed.ted.com/
Tour Mars: https://accessmars.withgoogle.com/
Learn a language: https://www.duolingo.com/


Stories: https://www.storylineonline.net/
Reading and maths games: https://www.funbrain.com/

Animal Games: https://switchzoo.com/
Craft ideas: https://www.redtedart.com/
National Geographic Kids: https://www.natgeokids.com/uk/
Mo Willems teaches drawing: https://www.kennedy-center.org/education/mo- willems?fbclid=IwAR0VXuM4ehpW4vB6mOVX-PIgwdPearYjknw-lwgHNI5t2HX9COS9I__Kmx4

Need even more?:
This website has a HUGE list of different resources. https://2simple.com/blog/using-purple-mash-when-school-closed/


If you are concerned that someone you know is at risk of, or is being abused, or presents a risk to others, please seek advice from the Diocesan Safeguarding Adviser, or if necessary, report the matter to your Local Authority Social Care Services or the Police

Diocesan Safeguarding Adviser: Mandy McPhee 07875757396 or m.mcphee@hereford.anglican.org

Herefordshire Council Multi Agency Safeguarding Hub  
Children – 01432 260800      Adult – 01432 260715   (week day office hours)  
Emergency Duty Team – 0330 123 9309  (after 5 pm, weekends and Public Holiday)  
Shropshire County Council  
Child or Adult Concern – 0345 678 9021 (week day office hours)  
Emergency Duty Team – 0345 678 9040 (after 5 pm, weekends and Public Holiday)  
Telford and Wrekin County Council – Family Connect  
Child or Adult Concern – 01952 385385 (week day office hours)  
Emergency Duty Team – 01952 676500 (after 5pm, weekends and Public Holidays)  
Powys County Council  
Child or Adult Concern – 01597 827666 (day time)  
Emergency Duty Team – 0845 054 4847 (after 5 pm, weekends and Public Holiday)  
Worcestershire County Council  
Children – 01905 822666      Adult – 1905 768053    (weekday office hours)  
Emergency Duty Team – 01905 768020  (after 5 pm, weekends and Public Holiday)  
NSPCC:   0808 800 5000 Child line (help line for children):  0800 11 11
National Domestic Violence Helpline:  0808 2000 247 Action on Elder Abuse:  0808 808 8141

The Wye Reaches Benefice