top of page
Arnhem Service 2021_edited_edited.jpg

 November 2023

see lower down for services!                                   


Dear Friend


I once attended an Act of Remembrance where, at the end, a lone piper played ‘The Piper’s Lament’ and marched away.  The atmospheric drone and music of the pipes faded away into the distance.   It was moving and evocative and appropriate to the sombre occasion.


The tune played was a Scottish folk song – ‘Flowers of the Forest’ – and ancient song that has come through the generations.  The first version was by the Scottish poet Jean (Jane) Elliot.  In her version of the song, it is a lament for the defeat of the Scottish army in the Battle of Flodden in 1513.


The Floore o’ the Forest, that faught aye the foremost,

The pride o’ oor land lie cauld in the clay.


A song can act as a vessel, holding and then pouring out our sorrows.  ‘Flowers of the Forest’ is one such song.  All through its long history, it has rendered mourning in sound.


There is a little known book of the Bible called ‘Lamentations’ and the entire book is poetic.  It contains community and individual laments.  ‘Lament’ is a passionate expression of grief and sorrow, or disappointment and regret.  It laments the destruction of Jerusalem and the pain and loss inflicted on its people.


When we come to Armistice Day and Remembrance Sunday this year, I suspect the tone will be one of lament.  Lament for loss of lives, limbs and livelihoods.  This was seen and experienced in two World Wars; in warfare in the intervening 80-odd years; and is particularly in our minds at this time in Ukraine and Russia; and Israel and Palestine.  And sadly, there are more areas of conflict in the world today, but out of the news.


Words are hard to find to express feelings, thoughts, hopes, sadness about the present situation.  And perhaps being circumspect with words might help.


This November in the silence when we recall those who have been sacrificed in war, I will be lamenting that loss; and praying for those caught up in the current conflicts, and asking for peace in the name of the Prince of Peace.


At the going down of the sun, and in the morning,

We will remember them.


As ever -  John

Services and Events in November & December 2023

Sunday 26th November        Christ the King

8am                                         Holy Communion                                           Harnhill

10am                                       Parish Communion                                         Poulton

10am                                       Word and Worship                                         Harnhill

3pm                                         Choral Evensong                                            Gloucester Cathedral

                                                 the Vicar is Preaching  

Saturday 2nd December       

4pm                                        Advent Community Gathering                       Ampney St Mary


Sunday 3rd Dec                    Advent Sunday

8am                                       Holy Communion                                            Ampney Crucis

10am                                     Parish Communion                                         Down Ampney


Sunday 10th Dec                2nd Sunday of Advent

8am                                     Holy Communion                                              Poulton

10am                                   Parish Communion                                           Driffield

Friday 15th Dec           

6-8pm                                    Christmas Community Gathering                  Driffield


Sunday 17th Dec                3rd Sunday of Advent

8am                                      Holy Communion                                            Ampney St Peter

10am                                    Parish Communion                                         Ampney Crucis

5pm                                     Carol Service                                                   Poulton


Wednesday 20th Dec  

9.30am                               School Christmas Service                                Ampney Crucis

5pm                                    The Harnhill Nativity                                        Harnhill

                                            join in the Nativity Story when Harnhill

                                           The Church is turned into a stable!  Lots of fun for children of all ages!


Thursday 21st Dec       

7pm     (30 mins)               Community Carols by the Old Chapel Bench Ampney Crucis

                                          Near the school.  Wrap-up well and bring a torch!


Sunday 24th Dec            4th Sunday of Advent and Christmas Eve

10am                               Parish Communion                                         Poulton

3pm                                 Crib Service                                                     Down Ampney

5pm                                 Carol Service                                                   Ampney St Peter

8pm                                 ‘Midnight at Bethlehem’ – 

                                        First Communion of Christmas                      Driffield

11.15pm                         Midnight Communion                                    Poulton


Monday 25th Dec        CHRISTMAS DAY

10am                             Family Carols                                                     Ampney Crucis

10am                             Family Communion for Christmas Day           Down Ampney

11.30am                        Classic Holy Communion (BCP)                      Ampney Crucis


Sunday 31st Dec          The First Sunday of Christmas

10am                             Parish Communion                                         Harnhill


Please do get in touch with the Rector - John Swanton - for more information.

01285 851309

bottom of page