to Knowlton Circle Benefice which unites 5 parishes and 6 churches in Dorset as a single local church, at the same time having respect to particular Christian worship traditions within the individual parishes: formal and less formal, the contemporary and the ceremonial.

Our Benefice of Six Churches

From A Churchwarden

The Revd Robert Simpson, our last Rector left for his new post in February; our prayers and best wishes are with him and we hope all is well in his new post. When he went he cleared the Rectory of all his possessions but left a lot of Benefice paperwork and files in the study. The Rectory has now been redecorated and the garden is ready for letting in the short term.

In order to cope with the influx of paperwork and files from the Rectory I needed to make space in the filing cabinet in the church vestry. I have been meaning to do it at some point in the last 35 years, but never got around to it . This was the perfect opportunity to do it and as always once you start looking at old papers you find the history of the church and the parish fascinating. Some of the paperwork was pre war with letters from the old Lord Salisbury, the present Marquis's father, and beyond. There were also a lot of papers and files kept by the then incumbent, the Revd Bill Haydock (1957 -1975) who I don't think ever threw anything away; letters, receipts, masses of things to do with the 1st School of which he was chairman of the Governors.

Interestingly there was quite a lot of paperwork from Robert Prance and quite a lot from David Paskins. Important documents such Original Faculties, Quinquennial Reports and similar things have been distributed to the various churchwardens to keep in their own records.

The one absolutely fascinating thing that I came across was the very first ever Quintet Magazine written at the beginning of January1977. Robert Prance had just arrived in the Benefice and wrote a piece which, on reading it, is so relevant to today and to our new Benefice that, with Robert's permission, I am going to reproduce his article for you to absorb and mull over.

" The Quintet not only marks the start of the new year, but also the start of the new church set-up in our five villages. There have had to be a lot of changes in the time of the services and I am grateful to the PCCs for being so helpful and understanding with all of this. I am sure you will eventually get used to the new pattern.

A number of things come to mind as to what we as a church should be trying to do and I offer them to you as briefly as I can.

We must see that our own house is in order. By that I mean we must try and see what the week by week running of our church is as effective and as efficient as possible. We should take the trouble to see that our worship we offer is as good as we can possibly make it, the music is the best we can give, that people are made welcome when they come to the church. I hope many of you will continue to help in the important job of keeping our churches clean and tidy. It is such an insult to our faith when churches become dusty, hymn books battered and kneelers tatty.

We must offer a variety of worship. Of course we respect those who love the services of the prayer book and there should always be provision for them.

We must move with the times and at least offer new expressions of faith and worship to the young folk of our parishes and indeed all who are young at heart. Let nobody from our villages say that they don't like their church because it is too high, low, trad, or mod. That is not so and we are trying to provide a good variety of worship.

We must also find time to laugh together. Parish parties, social events, coffee gatherings after church are, I believe, essential to help the church grow. Why is Christianity so often considered dull and gloomy ? It is liberating and hopeful - so let's have plenty of time to laugh together."

Well something to think about if we haven't already done so.