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Thriving, swapping and watching TV

by Michael Ford last modified 19 Mar, 2019 05:01 PM

The work of Christian TV in the Middle East and Africa, the Sarum Mission Swap Shop and learning how they could become involved in THRIVE produced a packed agenda for the Wiltshire Wellspring Group.

Thriving, swapping and watching TV

Photo courtesy

'Wellspring' is an ecumenical group of mainly ladies from villages in the Chalke Valley and beyond, who meet on Tuesday mornings in term time and begin with a time of worship.

Claire Horton, Rural Field Officer for Sarum Archdeaconry, believes groups like Wellspring are ideal places to promote rural mission and so she joined the Revd Dr Anna Claar Thomasson-Rosingh, Team Vicar in the Chalke Valley, and visited the Wellspring’s March Meeting at Broadchalke Village Hall.

Top of the agenda was the THRIVE Course for rural churches, which is being run as part of the Diocese Rural Hope programme. Claire invited local church members to encourage six members of their Benefice, both lay and ordained to join this two year shared learning experience that helps to enable churches to tailor a bespoke programme for mission, outreach and growth, led and sustained by the parishes.

Claire also mentioned the Sarum Mission Swap Shop, where ideas and resources for Mission will be 'swapped', which takes place on 21 May at St Francis' Church, Salisbury.

Claire said:
"We shared coffee and sweetmeats together and then heard from John Broadley about the work of Sat7, which broadcasts across the Middle East and North Africa through Christian television and Digital media - ‘making God’s love visible’.

"John showed a PowerPoint presentation with some video clips illustrating individuals’ experiences of being able to access the Christian message in an uncensored way via satellite TV in Arabic, Farsi and Turkish. We heard the Lord’s Prayer sung in Arabic.

"The morning session finished with a song from Debbie Friedman of Jewish descent, 'L'chi lach' - 'Go Forth' (on your journey I will bless you and you shall be a blessing). Afterwards there was still a real buzz as many had been inspired by the variety of gifts shared and conversations continued in the Hub over lunch. How blessed we are!

"Wellspring started over 30 years ago - its vision remains the same as when it started and that is to bring good biblical and lively teaching, worship and fellowship to mainly women who worship in rural areas. It is based in the Chalke Valley with around 45 members and meets weekly on Tuesdays in term time in Broadchalke Village Hall from 10am to 12noon.

"The weekly meetings in one location give rural spiritual life continuity and a strong sense of belonging - this is particularly important in a rural setting where church members worship in different churches and groups each week."

The group has initiated many spiritual ventures over the years, notably men’s breakfasts, Open the Book, the biennial Chalke Valley visit to Lee Abbey, an annual Christmas Fair, and numerous church suppers.

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