Past Events of 2022
ECO Church Launch Service – Sunday 27th February 2022 – Our church has been working towards an ECO church award since January 2020, but COVID restrictions meant we have postponed the formal launch of the initiative. We held not just a launch but a celebration with a clear and simple display complemented by a talk about our journey. Our Bronze Award plaque and certificate were proudly displayed.
ECO Church Open Week – the week following our Launch service – The community and our sister churches had the opportunity to see our Bronze Award and Eco church display if they hadn’t made it to the Launch Service.
Village Quiz & Pizza and Chip Supper – Saturday 5th March 2022, Village Hall – We resumed our popular quiz evening with pre-ordered pizza and chips! Tickets sold out. A raffle was held and prizes given to the smartest team. A thoroughly enjoyable evening raising over £300 for St John’s.
Charity Appeal Service for Gastard’s 2022 Charity – Sunday 13th March 2022 – Each year our church chooses a new charity supporting an overseas ecological development project. 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. This year we funding the drilling of a well for a Kenyan village and raised nearly £200 at the service towards our total target of £850 – a great start!
Earth Hour – 8:30pm Saturday 26th March 2022– we wanted the community to mark this hour to honour our home planet – lights off for one hour at home if they couldn’t join us for our candle-lit vigil in the church. We had a superb spiritual hour with natural sounds and sporadic music with readings and prayers.
Mothering Sunday – Sunday 27th March 2022 – we provided posies of Spring flowers in this service to show gratitude for mothers the world over.
ECO Fair – Saturday 2nd April 2022. We had a team ECO Churches Stall where we displayed information on what ECO church is and how each of the 4 team churches were making progress on this award scheme. Gastard displayed its Bronze award for work done over 2020 and 2021. We also had sign up sheets for various mailing lists including our Gastard Congregation Letter, started in the pandemic with a weekly round-up of people news, intercessions, etc., and now published occasionally for new announcements. We had a children’s gazebo so parents could view our stall whilst their children coloured eco-themed pages or learnt how they could make a difference. A most popular stall – don’t miss it when ECO Fair is re-run in 2023!
Leave a Legacy to the Church, Service – Sunday 3rd April 2022 – we launched our new scheme so that supporters of our village church could provide something for St John’s church in their will, helping us to maintain a beacon of Christian light within our community.
Spring Afternoon Tea – Saturday 9th April 2022, Gastard Village Hall – We had tea and cakes to raise funds for St John’s – a lovely occasion well-supported by volunteer helpers.
Good Friday Vigil – Friday 15th April 2022 – We had a quiet time for reflection and prayer on this sombre Christian day.
Easter Sunday – Sunday 17th April 2022 – we celebrated this major date in the Christian Calendar. Many joined in with our service ushering in Spring and the good news.
Annual Meeting – Sunday 1st May 2022 – we held our annual meeting of parishioners to elect representatives and reported on the past year (2021)
Concert – 7pm Saturday 14th May 2022 – Finlay & Friends in concert in aid of the St John’s ‘AWellForKerina’ Appeal – our 2022 ECO Church overseas environmental project in Kenya. A good attendance with BYO drinks & nibbles enjoyed a lovely jazz themed concert and we raised a good sum of money for our project.
Afternoon Tea – 2pm – 4pm Saturday 21st May 2022 – Tea and cakes were enjoyed by many visitors at the Village Hall. This year, our organiser, Felicity, chose to support the Ukrainian people suffering from Russia’s war on their country.
Rogation Sunday – 10am Sunday 22nd May starting at the church – Each year we try to emulate the old tradition of “beating the bounds” (tracing the parish boundaries) by having a short walking service of half a mile or so, stopping at intervals for readings, prayers and hymns. This year, we walked up Velley Hill ending at Boyds Farm where welcome refreshments were provided by the generous Robinsons.
Summer Lunch – Noon Sunday 19th June 2022 – Each year we like to hold a lunch for the community, at our local farm (Boyds), in aid of the church. Delicious food was enjoyed, prepared by Sally & friends.
Jubilee Bank Holiday Weekend – Thursday 2nd June 2022 (extra bank holidays) to Sunday 5th June – a huge turnout to celebrate the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee at the village recreation ground . On Sunday we held a Jubilee church service at 10am and special refreshments were served.
Patronal Festival AND Baptism! AND Tea in the Garden AND Village Thanksgiving 3:30pm Sunday 26th June 2022. We recognised the people in the community that responded to our Parish Campaign in January/ February 2020. Due to COVID restrictions this public recognition had slipped two years and we showed appreciation for the financial support pledged. Whilst we have a patronal festival every year to recognise Saint John the Baptist, after whom our church is named, this year we also included a Gastard baptism for all the community to share. Many people attended and enjoyed afternoon tea and cakes after the service – in the church and garden.
Safari Lunch –
Saturday 9th July (EVENT CANCELLED) – We hoped to get a number of houses in the village to host a lunch course for a few others. Each person or couple would then have been asked to go to another house for a second course. So, small groups of people would have met at a house not knowing who else will be there, then split up and meet another unknown group in another house. It’s all rather good fun and not too onerous for any one host.
Summer Sundowner –
4pm Saturday 20th August (EVENT CANCELLED) – we hoped to hold a casual drinks and nibbles at the church – in the grounds if possible – for the community to chat and get to know each other.
Ride & Stride – Saturday 10th September 2022 – 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. On a lovely day, we had a team of volunteers to welcome visitors with refreshments. Don & Jill rode bicycles 20 miles to visit 10 places of worship and with sponsorship from the congregation, friends, and a few people en-route (!) raised £155.
Memorial Service for the Life of the Queen – Sunday 11th September 2022 – a quickly re-arranged service was attended by many people to pay respects for the life of our late Queen, with several pieces and an impressive sermon by Stella on the Queen’s life of faith and devotion. This replaced the advertised event of Climate Sunday which will now be on October 23rd. However, we did continue with our planned collection for the Disasters Emergency Committee’s appeal in aid of the devastating climate change fueled flooding in Pakistan; £113 was raised. We also continued with Finlay’s presentation on our 2022 charity appeal where our community and friends entirely funded the drilling of a well in Cheputue, Kenya. A most interesting talk that illustrated how a relatively small cost to us in Britain made a massive difference to the health and well being of this community in Kenya, spawning more enterprise and social benefits.
Climate Week –
Church Open daily 10am to 4pm from Sunday 11th September to Friday 16th September (EVENT CANCELLED). We intended to have several pop-up events during the days and evenings on ecological topics of interest and to engage you on your journey to help live more sustainably. Due the passing of Queen Elizabeth II this event was been cancelled during the period of national mourning.
Harvest Praise & Supper – 6pm Sunday 25th September 2022 – an informal service, in the Village Hall, to acknowledge the food grown on the land that sustains us. A supper for the community followed the service,
Songs of Praise! –
Date to be advised – (EVENT CANCELLED) We wanted to have a Songs of Praise type of service where you can sponsor to have a hymn of your choice in honour of anything you choose – perhaps your wedding anniversary. Perhaps next year …
Climate Sunday – 10am Sunday 23rd October 2022 – 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 prayed for more effective leadership around the world and for those suffering from its impacts. This service was delayed from 11th September and replaced the advertised Charity service.
All Saints/ All Souls Service – 10am Sunday 6th November 2022 – names from our Book of Remembrance and others who have passed away were read out.
Remembrance Sunday – 10:30am Sunday 13th November 2022 – in remembrance of those fallen as a result of armed conflicts, with a two minute silence at 11am.
Carol Service – 6pm 11th December 2022 – a wonderful service. With ice and fresh snow on the ground we worried that we may not have anyone, but the organist made and so did many others.
Crib Service – 4pm Saturday 24th December 2022 at Boyds Farm. The retelling of the Nativity story with props and the singing of popular carols. This was a hugely popular event in 2021 and even better in 2022!
Midnight Mass – Saturday 24th December 2022. A fitting start to Christmas when we were joined by many people not normally seen at services.