Gastard Events

2024 Event Programme

Please send updates to our programme OR your event reports to Webmaster@GastardChurch.org.uk

On this page: Gastard Open Church ** Gastard 2024 Events ** Gastard Past Events ** Other Gastard Pages

Gastard Open Church

Church Open – every day from 10am to 4pm from Monday 1st April to the end of September to:

  • Swap (or just take!) a bookBook Swap
  • Leave or take any fresh garden produceProduce Swap
  • Drop off Food Bank donationsFood Bank Donations
  • Drop off Pill blister packs for recyclingBlister Pack Recycling
  • Read our Community noticeboardCommunity Information Centre
  • Read our ‘About Us’ & ‘Visitors’ boards or just look around Visitor Attraction
  • Spend some time for personal reflection or prayer in this beautiful quiet spaceSpiritual Refuge
  • Stay cool in the summer with a book or your friendsCool Hub

Garden Open – every day!

  • Please feel free to walk around the grounds.
  • Have a picnic.
  • Bring your children to run around whilst you rest on our bench commemorating Queen Elizabeth II Platinum Jubilee and her death.
Our bench for our visitors to rest.

Pill Blister Pack Drop-off – Gastard Eco church is pleased to offer a recycling opportunity for pill blister packs that are hard to recycle as neither Wiltshire Council nor the Corsham Recycling Hub is offering this service. Simply drop off your pill blister packs in the container within church when open. Note: the church is closed during the day in winter except for services. Additionally, you can drop off at the village hall during the Wednesday Warm Hub/ Tea & Chatter sessions. Most people who go to the church or the Village Hall session would be happy to receive them if you can’t go directly yourself.
HOWEVER, providing this facility is quite costly and we kindly ask for a donation to the church, if you can. The suggested donation is £5 for 100 blister packs, or £10 for a year’s access PER PERSON. For options & details on how to make a donation, there are instructions at the collection point or contact Treasurer@GastardChurch.org.uk.

Food Bank – As an active member of the Corsham Churches Food Bank, we operate a collection point for donations – please leave your donation of dried, packet or tinned food in the marked box, inside, whenever the church is open. More details of needs.

Gastard Events for 2024

Monthly Litter Pick by Gastard Eco Team

We meet on most months (occasionally we cancel an event in inclement weather). A happy bunch of volunteers meet on the 1st (usually) Saturday of each month starting at 10am from the church where they get a bag with holder, picker, hi-viz jacket and a litter pick route. We keep the streets and verges of our community looking clean whilst engaging in interesting chatter with your picking partner. It is a therapeutic and rewarding task.

Contact Jill B for more information: LitterPickingLead@GastardChurch.org.uk. Expected dates in 2024: Jan 6, Feb 4, Mar 2, Apr 6, May 4, June 1, July 6, Aug 3, Sep 7, Oct 5, Nov 2.

Late Spring Afternoon Charity Tea – Saturday POSTPONED – new date TBC , Gastard Village Hall, 2pm to 4pm – Members of the church and community are invited to enjoy Fairtrade Tea or Coffee with a variety of cakes made by our splendid group of volunteer chefs! We are raising funds for Wiltshire Air Ambulance. As always, this is sure to be a lovely occasion for our community. Thanks to Felicity and numerous helpers.

Summer Lunch – Sunday 2nd June at Noon at Boyds Farm – – We hold a delightful lunch for the community using bio-degradable ‘crockery’. Tickets from Sally sallydrumcovitt@gmail.com

Open Gardens & Afternoon Tea – Saturday 8th June 2pm to 5 pm – After a successful flower festival in St John’s Church in 2023 it was suggested that this year we ask our fellow villagers if they would be prepared to open their garden for an afternoon. Many people in our village are keen gardeners and enjoy cultivating flowers, vegetables and fruit, whilst encouraging wildlife and helping the environment.
Open Garden Visitors We will be serving cream teas at the church during the afternoon from 2pm to 5pm. A map showing the gardens which are open is available from the church from 2 pm on the day. A small charge will be made for the map. Any proceeds made from this event will go to church funds.

Tea in the Garden (from 5pm) AND at 6pm Patronal Festival AND Songs of Praise Sunday 23rd June . Following an enjoyable hour of an early supper in the garden, we will have our annual patronal festival to recognise Saint John the Baptist, after whom our church is named. This year we are again running Songs of Praise for all the community to enjoy. You can Sponsor-a-Hymn (for just £5). Each sponsored hymn may have a personal message read out. More details and to download a form for Sponsor-a- Hymn.

FairTrade Sunday – 8th September – We celebrate the Fairtrade movement and will have a small exhibition. Of course, Fairtrade tea or coffee will be served (as usual).

FairTrade Fortnight 9th Sep– 22nd Sep – see webas a FairTrade church we support local events: to be determined …

Ride & Stride – Saturday 14th 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.

Harvest Praise & Supper – 6pm Sunday 29th September – Final details to comeUsually a well-attended Harvest Praise service in the church where you can donate food – destined for the Corsham Churches Food Bank. A Harvest Supper is usually held to acknowledge the food grown on the land that sustains us. Details to be determined later.

Climate Sunday – 10am Sunday 13th October – Our Eco champion will give an update on how 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. We have effectively already broken the 2025 Paris accord from COP21 to limit temperature rises to 1.5oC by the end of the century – 2023 exceeeded this target! We will pray for more effective leadership around the world and for those suffering from its impacts.

Climate Week – The Church will be open daily 10am to 4pm, Sunday 13th October to Saturday19th October. Climate Week Exhibition throughout. Additionally, talks will be held during the week and evenings. Program to be determined …

All Saints/ All Souls Service – 10am Sunday (Date to determined)- names from our Book of Remembrance and others who have passed away will be read out.

Remembrance Sunday – 10:30am Sunday 10th November – in remembrance of those fallen as a result of armed conflicts, with a two minute silence at 11am.

Carol Service – 6pm Sunday 15th December – 9 lessons and carols by candle light.

Crib Service – 4pm Tuesday 24th December at Boyds Farm. The Nativity story will be retold with props and popular carols sung. A hugely popular event for families and children, following those held in 2021, 2022 & 2023. Details to be determined …

Midnight Mass – Tuesday 24th December. Time to be determined.

Leave a Legacy to the Church, Service – date tbc – a refresh of our legacy scheme so that supporters of our village church can provide something for St John’s church in their will, helping us to maintain a beacon of Christian light within our community.


Past Gastard Events

2024 Past Events

Film at the Pound & Parliamentary Candidates – 6th February 2024 – Corsham Climate Action organised this event which was virtually “sold out” (it was free but donations for the film producers were gratefully received). Gastard ECO Church’s Climate Voter initiative promoted this event as a perfect opportunity to both get a better global understanding of how climate change is affecting people around the world right now and a great opportunity to ask questions of the parliamentary candidates for the new Chippenham constituency. The Film – It was pleasing to see so many people attending from Gastard. The film, entitled “Once You Know”, was harrowing and followed the stories of several people. There was the story of a young man’s enlightenment of the consequences of our currently unsustainable society. Another of the anxiety of young adults, once they understood what lies in their future; their frustration with the collective failure of politicians around the world to make effective timely plans to decarbonise society; of activism fuelled from the frustration; of the futility when denials, constant excuses and lip-service is paid to the crisis. Another story told of the real loss of land in Bangladesh and how they have adapted – for example, by building their schools on concrete stilts so the frequent floods doesn’t destroy their classrooms. Once you know, you can never accept the complacency exhibited by leaders, nor the wasteful way we live. The Candidates – After the film, 4 parliamentary candidates were grilled by the audience and they fielded questions on: “What do you think needs to be done in the next 20 years?”, “How can the ‘system’ be changed to encourage more sustainable demand for air travel?”, “Constant growth will destroy us, so what is your response?” , “What are your views on Carbon Tax?”, and “How do you feel about the ‘Loss & Damage’ funding agreed at COP?”. The answers were quite telling … A great start for Climate Voters in determining how they will exercise their democratic right to vote for a credible future.

Charity Appeal Service for Gastard’s 2024 Eco Charity – Sunday 25th February 2024 – Each year our church chooses a new charity supporting an overseas ecological development project in prayer & and a charity to financially support. 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. In 2022 we funded the drilling of a well for the Kenyan village of Cheputue and raised over £1,000 to fully fund a new well, now in operation. THIS YEAR, we are supporting an NGO called The Nasio Trust – a UK registered charity and Kenyan NGO which supports orphaned and vulnerable children and empowers communities in Kakamega County, Kenya to break the cycle of poverty and thrive, by focusing on three key strands: Education, Healthcare and Sustainable Livelihoods. One of our residents is volunteering for them this year.

Please contribute on our special Just Giving page St JOHN’S INTERNATIONAL CHARITY APPEAL 2024 The Nasio Trust, Kakamega County, Western Kenya – JustGiving, or check for updates through 2024.

Village Quiz & Cheese Supper – Saturday 2nd March 2024. The St John’s Village Quiz (with a light Ploughman’s Supper) was held in the Village Hall. Another sell-out, raising over £450 for church funds through ticket sales and raffle tickets. Thanks to the organiser Jill Kent and here many helpers. thanks also to the many who donated raffle prizes and especially Octavian who donated champagne bottles! The team with the lowest score received a booby prize of a Wagon Wheel each!

Mothering Sunday – Sunday 10th March 2024 – Beautiful posies of Spring flowers were given out to each attendee. Some were taken to those unable to attend. Surplus posies were hung from the railings for passing mothers to take home. The service reminds us of the origins of Mothering Sunday – a calling to attend ones mother church -and is a fitting gratitude for mothers the world over as we share the enduring qualities that mothers have.

Earth Hour Candlelit Event– 8:30pm Saturday 23rd March 2024 – We marked this hour to honour our home planet, lamenting the harm humankind is inflicting on our biosphere – all electric lights were off for one hour. We gathered together to share thoughts about our future on planet earth. Tea, coffee, chocolate provided! Volunteers shared: a short reading, poem, picture, piece of music – Find out more at www.earthhour.org

Walk of Witness –  Good Friday March 29th 2024. Organised and led by the Corsham Area Christian Churches –  we met by the stone cross in the garden opposite the Co-op in Corsham at 10.30am  – with singing of  hymns and the telling of the Easter story, using readings from Luke’s Gospel, as we processed around the town centre with the wooden cross.

Good Friday Vigil – Friday 29th March 2024 – An unstructured quiet time was available for people to reflect and pray on this sombre Christian day whilst the altar was stripped.

Easter Sunday – Sunday 31st March 2024 – we celebrated this major date in the Christian Calendar with tiny chocolate eggs for children (and grown-ups).

How to Address Your MP on Climate Change – 16th April 2024 – Gastard Eco Church promoted this event, hosted by the charity “Hope for the Future”, to complement our Climate Voter initiative. Participants learnt how to query their parliamentary candidates during the one hour Zoom call. It provided a step-by-step guide to having impactful conversations with politicians, from how to find out who they are, to how to move them beyond their party line. There was an opportunity to discuss specific issues participants had faced or were concerned about, and the team offered meaningful support both in the session, and afterwards. Corsham Climate Action are planning a hustings later in the year once the general election is announced – so be ready!

ECO Fair – Saturday 20th April 2024. We had a stall for the ECO Churches group of Gastard, Neston, Corsham and Lacock providing information on what ECO church is and how each of the team churches are making progress on this award scheme. Gastard showed off its Silver Award.

ECO Church Celebration Service – Sunday 28th April 2024 – We started our ECO church journey in 2020 and celebrated in 2022 with our Bronze award, and in 2023 with our Silver Award. In 2024 we celebrated all our achievements on our journey to Gold! We had a clear and simple display about Eco church and another about our current campaigns: BE A CLIMATE VOTER, SUPPORT LIME DOWN SOLAR PARK, and our upcoming ZERO WASTE SUPPORTER. The displays were complemented by a talk about our journey for people to see how transformative and inclusive our work has been.

ECO Church Open Week – 28th April to 3rd May, 2024 – the week following our Celebration service the community and our sister churches had the opportunity to see our Eco church display.

Annual Church Meeting – 5th May 2024 after the 10am Sunday service – we held our annual meeting of parishioners reporting on the past year (2023).

Rogation Sunday Service/ Walk – 12th May 2024. We started from St John’s church and finish at Boyds Farm where refreshments were served. Many thanks to Sally for agreeing to host the refreshments and to Steve & Fiona for their musical acompaniament on the walk.

Previous Years


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