2024 Event Programme
Please send updates to our programme OR your event reports to Webmaster@GastardChurch.org.uk
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 book – Book Swap
- Leave or take any fresh garden produce – Produce Swap
- Drop off Food Bank donations – Food Bank Donations
- Drop off Pill blister packs for recycling – Blister Pack Recycling
- Read our Community noticeboard – Community 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 space – Spiritual Refuge
- Stay cool in the summer with a book or your friends – Cool 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.
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. 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
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.
Charity Appeal Service for Gastard’s 2024 Eco Charity – Sunday 25th February – 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,
Village Quiz & Cheese Supper – Saturday 2nd March. The St John’s Village Quiz (with a light Ploughman’s Supper) in the Village Hall. In 2023 the quiz was a sell out with 10 tables, so make sure you book as soon as possible. Bring your own drinks – AND GLASSES. Tickets available now from Jill K – please email email@example.com or phone 01249 730981.
Mothering Sunday – Sunday 10th March, 10am in church – Beautiful posies of Spring flowers to be given out to each attendee. Some were taken to those unable to attend. Surplus posies will be 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 2023 – We mark this hour to honour our home planet, lamenting the harm humankind is inflicting on our biosphere – all electric lights were off for one hour. Gather together to share thoughts about our future on planet earth. Tea, coffee, chocolate provided – bring a snack and a different drink if preferred! Volunteer to share a short reading, poem, picture, piece of music – contact Steve Evans on 07762 366916 or Stephen.evans21@gmailcom. Still curious? Find out more at www.earthhour.org
Walk of Witness – Good Friday March 29th 10.30am. Organised and led by the Corsham Area Christian Churches – meet by the stone cross in the garden opposite the Co-op in Corsham at 10.30am – singing of hymns and the telling of the Easter story, using readings from Luke’s Gospel, as we process around the town centre with the wooden cross.
Good Friday Vigil – Friday 29th March – An unstructured quiet time is available for people to reflect and pray on this sombre Christian day whilst the altar is stripped. Contact Sandy for details: Churchwardens@GastardChurch.org.uk
Easter Sunday – Sunday 31st March – we celebrate this major date in the Christian Calendar with tiny chocolate eggs for children (and grown-ups).
ECO Fair – Saturday 20th April – in Corsham High Street. We have a stall for the ECO Churches team providing information on what ECO church is and how each of the team churches are making progress on this award scheme. Gastard will show off its Silver Award.
ECO Church Celebration Service – 10am Sunday 28th April – 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 celebrate all our achievements on our journey to Gold!. We will have a clear and simple display, 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, 10am to 4pm – the week following our Celebration service the community and our sister churches to have the opportunity to see our Eco church display. (The church is open 10am to 4pm.)
Annual Church Meeting – Sunday 5th May after the 10am Sunday service – we are holding our annual meeting of parishioners reporting on the past year (2023).
Rogation Sunday Service/ Walk – Sunday 10am 12th May . We start from St John’s church and finish at Boyds Farm where refreshments will be served. Many thanks to Sally for agreeing to host the refreshments.
Late Spring Afternoon Charity Tea – Saturday 18th May, 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 – Noon on a Sunday in June at Boyds Farm – (2nd June date to be confirmed) – We hold a delightful lunch for the community using bio-degradable ‘crockery’.
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 Hosts If you are interested in taking part and inviting others into your garden for an afternoon, please contact Sandy 01249 715006 firstname.lastname@example.org or Jill K email@example.com. We would love to hear from you.
Open Garden Visitors We will be serving cream teas at the church during the afternoon from 2pm. A map will be produced showing the gardens which are open obtainable in advance from Jill Kent or Sandy Fletcher or 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 web – as 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 come … Usually 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
Other Gastard Pages:
- Home page for Gastard
- Gastard PCC
- The East Window
- Parish Giving Scheme
- Online Giving
- Buddy Scheme
- ECO Church
- Join Us/ Contact Us