Introducing our new curate, Jo


Dear all,

I’m writing this surrounded by boxes in my new house. It seems only a very short while ago that I first came to visit Berrow and Brean to see whether God might be calling me here for curacy. The warmth of welcome that greeted me then has only continued to grow – I was blessed by arriving to not only a spotlessly clean house but one with supplies of essentials (and goodies!), a beautiful hanging basket and greetings from neighbours. A huge thank you to all who have contributed to the welcome, either in time, finances or prayer. The generosity and kindness that has been shown to me, reminds me of the One who called me here in the first place, and who’s Spirit is alive and active.

This is not my first time living in the South-west; I am a Devonian by birth and lived the first four years of my life down in Torquay. It is a joy to me to return to my coastal roots and to once again be within a stone’s throw of the sea. My boyfriend Sam and I went for a wander over the golf course to the dunes yesterday evening (keeping an eye out for stray golf balls as we went!) and, as I was taking in the beauty around us, I noticed a footpath sign pointing toward the path and the sea beyond. Today, I am thanking God for the people whose welcome is pointing me to God’s goodness and the promise of all that is to come.

Rev Jo Barr


Update on the building works at St Mary’s, Berrow

As many of you know, St Mary’s has been closed since 18th March for substantial reordering works which have been planned for over a decade. The works are to make the church building more accessible to everyone who would like to come in either to visit, to attend worship, or simply to find a place to rest.

Work is going well as we speak. The walls and ceiling have been given some fresh coats of limewash, the new ramp at the door has been installed. The floor platforms have been lifted, a new limecrete base has been laid, and the wood floor will start to be relaid on Monday 17th June. Repairs to the heating system, and electrical system are underway and should be completed in the next week or so. The frames to hold the casing for the heating pipes have been built in, and the casing will be installed in a few weeks time. The pews at the rear of the church have been adapted ready to go back in, and the new chairs ordered for the front section of the church have arrived ready to go in. The handrails for the ramp are currently being constructed and should be fitted soon.

The programme of works is running slightly behind schedule because of the length of time taken for the limecrete floor base to dry out to a point where the wood floor can be relaid. At the moment, we are planning for our first Sunday back at St Mary’s to be on 21st July, but more information will follow in due course as we get nearer that time. We will be planning something to celebrate our return and the future possibilities that lie ahead with a more flexible building. Watch this space, and thank you for your patience as the works have been carried out.


There will be a coffee morning to be held at St. Mary’s Church Room on Friday 12th April from 10.30 to 12.00. Food will be available along with tea and coffee. There will also be a raffle.

All proceeds will go to The Children’s Society, along with the contents of your collection boxes.

Please bring these boxes to Church either in April, or to this coffee morning. If you can help on the day and/or provide a raffle prize it would be greatly appreciated.

Many thanks

John Hance

For The Children’s Society


Partnership for Missional Church


Earlier this year I attended a training course in Wells and saw a video about something called Partnership for Missional Church. I thought it looked really exciting, and fitted in with discussions that we had already been having here. After a great deal of prayer, we have decided as a PCC and ministry team that it feels right for us to take part in the next Diocesan cluster who will be participating, and so I wanted to share a bit about it.

PMC is not a course or programme. It is all about encouraging churches to experience a sense of freedom in God’s mission by understanding how God is at work and then discovering the joy of joining in with him. There are 3 parts to the journey which we will be travelling over the next 3 years. The first phase is about listening to where God is at work already, discovering the story of the churches here in Berrow and Brean, and developing some spiritual practices – listening together as a church family. The second phase is about experimenting – trying things based on what we have discovered together already, and seeing what might work in our communities, as well as what might not work! The third phase is about focusing on God’s particular mission call for our churches here, and how we are going to put that into action.

PMC works with 2 teams of people – a steering team who will attend some events with clusters of parishes from across the Diocese, and a listening team who will be talking to people here in our parishes to get a sense of what God is doing, what they think about church etc. We are in the process of putting these teams together at the moment. But it will work best if we can all get behind it in prayer, and support one another as we really explore God’s beating heart for Berrow and Brean. So you can expect to hear lots more about PMC over the next few years – at least it might take our minds off Brexit discussions for a while!!

Rev Jonathan Philpott