Vicars Letter June 2017

Dear Friends and Neighbours

As we come to the end of another football season we can reflect on some of the good matches and on where we have found ourselves in the league. Thoughts will also turn to what the future might bring. Back in the day, in certain towns and cities it was not unusual to see some of our heroes from the football league appearing in white for the county cricket team. There was a pride in representing the local area and in giving our family, friends and neighbours something to shout about.

Last year saw the Swindon 175 celebrations. A time to mark the birth of Swindon and so much that has been achieved by this town since then. Some have said that history is pointless unless you can learn from it. History is also a place where we can draw great motivation. In the same way as we will never know what’s possible unless we give it a go, the fact that we have gone on to achieve so much by stepping into the unknown is a point also worth bearing in mind. Heroes of a non-sporting kind are very much a part of our history too.

For nearly half of Swindon’s existence a lady called Jean Kent lived and worked and brought up a family in this part of the world. She supported her husband, loved the countryside and loved to sing. Jean was the back bone of our efforts to give thanks and praise to God in the Church Choir of one particular church; and helped it through the changes and challenges that amalgamation brought with it in later years. No stranger to the Wyvern Jean contributed to the dramatic side of life too. Last year we celebrated Jeans ninetieth Birthday together with her two boys. One has taken some of Swindon’s technical heritage to Canada where he lives and works as an electrical engineer.

The other carry’s the baton of Jeans love of music and stage. The fact that he works in a caring profession is another indication of the kind of inheritance that Jean has passed on. Jeans faith was very important to her and she was still singing with the church choir at Evensong until only a few weeks ago. With Jeans passing, there is a gap in the choir stalls that will forever be treasured. Heroes are formed when they make the seemingly impossible possible. They can appear in every walk of life and are a God given gift to inspire us all. There will be some heroics in examination rooms in our schools and colleges over the next few weeks and so we pray for them and all who are caring from them too.

With best wishes and prayers


NHS useful info

Where to go for healthcare this Christmas

Illness and injury rarely take time off at Christmas, but it’s good to know that neither do many of the medical establishments in Swindon and Wiltshire.

Many GP surgeries will close for up to four days from Christmas Eve, meaning local people will need to look elsewhere for alternative healthcare, advice and treatment.

Information on the types of healthcare available throughout Christmas has now been shared with all local media and is also being promoted on the Trust’s website and social media pages.

Dr Guy Rooney, Medical Director, said: “We’re lucky in Swindon to have some really excellent healthcare services available to us at all times of the day, even at Christmas time.

“The Urgent Care Centre and Walk-In Centre at Carfax Street will both be open for business, as will some of the town’s pharmacies for those minor conditions which can be treated with something over the counter.

“One hundred and fifty people attended the Emergency Department on Christmas Day last year and while many would have come to the right place, others could have been seen more quickly elsewhere.”

Tell your friends and family what’s open

The Urgent Care Centre, located next to GWH, will be open 24 hours a day throughout the festive period, with a team of GPs and nurses on hand to care for people who are not emergencies but need to be seen quickly.

Similarly, the Carfax NHS Medical Centre in Swindon town centre will offer its usual walk-in service between 8am and 8pm on Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year’s Day and between 7am and 8pm on all other days.

With no need for an appointment, the centre is usually the go-to option for common Christmas injuries and illnesses, such as food poisoning, minor burns, cuts and sprains.

People suffering from more serious conditions, including broken bones, severe bleeding, chest pains and breathing difficulties, have been reminded to always call 999 or attend the Emergency Department as soon as possible.

Further afield, the Minor Injury Units in nearby Cirencester and Chippenham will be open on Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year’s Day between 8am and 11pm and 7am and 11pm respectively.

Free parking

Any members of staff working at GWH over the next week, along with patients and visitors, will not need to pay for their parking, with entrance barriers staying up on 25 and 26 December, as well as 1 January 2017.

Help spread the news

Please pass this message on to your colleagues.

Copyright ©2016 Great Western Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust. All rights reserved.

December 28, 2016Permalink Leave a comment

Diary dates

Diary dates




Wednesday    24th                              Mobile Library Bishopstone & Hinton

Sunday           21st     6.00pm      Evensong                                                              St. Swithun’s


Sunday           28th   10.30am      Family  Communion                                                 St. Swithun’s




Thursday          1st    7.30pm       Gardening Society                                                     Uffington

Sunday             4th  10.30am       Family Communion                                                     St. Mary’s

6.00pm       Evensong                                                               St. Swithun’s


Wednesday      7th                         Mobile Library Bishopstone & Hinton

Thursday         8th    7.30pm      WI                                                       Hinton Parva  Village Hall

Saturday        10th                    Flower & Produce Show                              Bishopstone Village Hall

Sunday            11th    8.30am      Holy Communion                                                        St. Mary’s

11.00am       Ashbury Market                                           Ashbury Village Hall


Saturday        17th    9.00am      Wanborough Farmers’ Market                  Wanborough Village Hall

Sunday           18th     6.00pm      Evensong                                                              St. Swithun’s


Wednesday     21st                              Mobile Library Bishopstone & Hinton

Sunday           25th   10.30am      Harvest Thanksgiving Service                                 St. Swithun’s

noon      Harvest Lunch                                         Hinton Parva Village Hall




Sunday             2nd  10.30am       Harvest & Family Service                                          St. Mary’s

6.00pm       Evensong                                                               St. Swithun’s




Thursday       24th    6.00pm       Bishopstone Craft Fair                             Bishopstone Village Hall

August 21, 2016Permalink Leave a comment

New West Berks 47 Bus Service from 25th July (replaces GoRide 90 bus service)

Below is a link to the new West Berkshire #47 bus service that replaces the existing GoRide #90 bus service. The service is a Mon – Sat return bus service on the following route: Swindon -> GW Hospital -> Wanborough -> Bishopstone -> Ashbury -> Lambourn. The timetable is different to the old #90 service so please plan your journeys accordingly.


The new #47 timetable can be found by clicking …here….