Welcome to St Swithins Church

We are part of The Oldbury Benefice.
A group of 5 rural parish churches in North Wiltshire

See full benefice services diary
Rev Matt Earwicker

Rev Matthew Earwicker

Rector to the Oldbury Benefice since June 2018

History
  • bibleRector of the Oldbury BeneficeDiocese of SalisburyDiocese of Salisbury Jun 2018 - Present
  • bibleAssistant Curate at Salisbury St Marks and Laverstock St Andrews Church of England Jun 2014 - May 2018
  • bibleRidley Hall, University of Cambridge CTM, Theology 2012 - 2014
  • bibleLondon School of Theology DipHE, Theology 2003 - 2004
  • bibleSt John's College, Oxford BA (Hons), Loterae Humaniores 1996 - 2000

Matt arrived with us in June of 2018 and moved into The Rectory with his lovely wife and family. With the five churches of the Benefice under his direct care, together with his team of ministers, lay ministers and administrators he has looked after us through perhaps the toughest of times with the arrival of Covid 19 in our midst.

Services This Coming Month (December/Janary)

17/12

Carols and Crib Service

04.30 pm

Led by ?Rev Matt Earwicker

25/12

Holy Day Communion

11:15pm

Led by Rev Linda Dytham

14/1

Morning Worship

10:00 am

Led by Mrs Pam Evans

21/1

Evensong

4:00 pm

Led by Rev Matt Earwicker

Special Services From The Church

SpecialServices From The Church

For regular church services across the Benefice please look at our services diary.

Christenings at St Swithin's

So you would like have your child baptised? Or perhaps you yourself are seeking answers and think that maybe baptism is the first step towards finding them.

Here you will find information relating to baptism

More details

Your Wedding at St Swithin's

Arranging Your Wedding in St Swithin's

The moment when a couple face each other and make promises about spending the rest of their lives together is a moving as well as a joyful event and it is our desire to make your special day just that - very special.

More details

Funerals at St Swithin's

A funeral is used to mark the end of a person's life here on earth. Family and friends come together to express grief, give thanks for the life lived and commend their soul into God's keeping. These can be a small, quiet ceremony or a large occasion in a packed church.

More details

Verse of The Day

Portfolio

Portfolio

Take yourself on a quick walk around our lovely church using our portfolio of images

  • All
  • Nave
  • Chancel
  • Altar
  • Aisles
  • Font
  • Grounds

Altar & Chancel

Choir stalls in foreground

Nave

Several brass memorials to the families who owned the big house

Church Cemetery

Snowdrops in early spring sunshine

Old pews

Pulpit in background

Priest Door

Religious passage over door

The Crossing

The Rood Screen beyond

Font

With pulpit in background

North Aisle

With font by north door

Altar

From Priests Door

Library of Prayer Books and Hymn books

Morth Door in background

Night Time

Church with winter lights ln

January

A Quiet corner in the south-east of our cenetry

South Aisle

The South Aisle and font

Font

The South Aisle and font

Central Aisle

The Central aisle and the Rood Screen

North Aisle

The Morth Aisle with the Rood Screen and Pulpit

The Nave

The Nave and choir stalls

Snowdrops

Snowdrops in our graveyard to the west of the church

Messages From Our Church

A Message From Matt

A Message From MATT

By The Rev Matt earwicker

 

Bishop AndrewVillages - February  2024...

Dear Friends

Rain

We’ve had a lot of it recently, haven’t we?

It’s been so lovely to have a bit of a dry spell lately (I’m writing in mid January, I have no idea what the weather will be like between now and you reading this). Last year we had more rainfall across the UK than we have had for a decade, and I’m pretty sure North Wiltshire was even wetter than that. The flooding was on a scale many of us haven’t experienced, although thankfully for the vast majority of our area the damage caused was short term. It was miserable.

And yet, when you are a child, weather is exciting, isn’t it? The rain on the roof, the wind blowing the trees are spectacles to watch. A thunderstorm lights up the landscape with dramatic flashes. Waves crash against the sea wall.

To a child, weather is only a problem if it stops you having fun, but for the most part a fallen tree, heavy snow or floods blocking a road meant a school-free day; which was a treat even for someone who loved school.

As adults we have to look at the bigger picture. Not being able to get to work might have financial implications, storm damage affects our insurance, but perhaps most of all we learn to worry about what might go wrong. It is our responsibility to keep ourselves, our families and possibly our employees safe and well-provided for, and anything that makes that harder is a problem to be addressed rather than a minor inconvenience to be embraced. While it is right and understandable that things change as we get older, not everything is necessarily an improvement.

When covid went from being a daily important news item to a thing to leave behind us, many of us were good at seizing the moment. Long-delayed holidays were finally taken, families visited, major decisions finally made. There was a freedom in feeling justified in being a little more care-free than before.

Since then, as time has gone on, I wonder if some of us have lost sight of the things that are truly valuable. I know times are hard, and some of you are possibly struggling just to keep your heads above the water; if that is you, then you have my heartfelt sympathy. But maybe some of us have simply got back into bad habits, giving competing priorities the wrong respective values. If you have, as I have, then all I want to do is remind us of what mattered then, and encourage us to pause and reflect before we let ourselves get sucked back into a way of thinking and acting that isn’t right.

This is not a call for living for today only—we all know we need long term thinking to solve many of the issues facing the world today. Nor am I suggesting we all become Polyannas (although I do find a good song does boost the spirit). It is rather a call to keep things in perspective. I don’t know if you’ve heard of the 5x5 rule: “If it won’t matter in 5 years, don’t spend 5 minutes on it now.” While it’s not perfect — anyone under 18 years old or facing an exam please ignore it! — it’s not a bad rule of thumb to help us save wasting energy on things that don’t matter, and save it for the things that do matter. There will be enough of those, after all.

If you do a search in the Bible for “rain”, it’s almost universally a good thing (with the obvious exception of Noah’s flood). A part of the world which suffers regular, devastating droughts finds it hard to be critical of rain! But flooding is equally dangerous when the ground is hard and dry. The prophet Isaiah comforts his people who were facing disaster after disaster with the following promise from God:

When you pass through the waters,
I will be there with you;
and when you pass through the rivers,
they will not sweep over you.

There are times in life when it feels like we are wading through deep, dangerous, fast-flowing floods. If that is you, may you know the strength of God’s hand preventing you from being swept away.

With every blessing, Matt

Midweek communion for Lent

As a bit of an experiment, this year we will be having a communion service every Wednesday in Lent (not including Ash Wednesday and Holy Week). This will be a short service beginning at 9.30am and lasting about 30 minutes, held at St James’ Cherhill.

For clarity, the dates are:

21st and 28th February, 6th, 13th and 20th March

More details to Holy Week itself, including the walk up to the cross, will be in next month’s Villages magazine or at our website https://www.oldburybenefice.org.uk.

Source

A Message From Matt

A Message From The Diocese

By BISHOP ANDREW ~ BISHOP OF RAMSBURY

 

Bishop AndrewMarch 2024...

Now the green blade riseth

Christmas has so much potential. The potentialto be a time of fun, celebration, joy and being together with loved ones. There are village eventsto attend, special food to make and eat, time off work or school to share with those most dear to us, as well as possibly to make new friends. Wherever you live in our villages, you are most welcome to anything anywhere

Sadly, it also has the potential for stress and lonliness. I know some of you are thinking of survival, rather than celebration.

For all of us, however we are approaching the seaon. It's good to hear again the songs of angels that first Christmas night more than 2,000 years ago.

"Glory to God in the highest, and on earthpeace, goodwillto all men!"

The birth of Jesus was God's response to the suffering of his people, but more than that, to a world lost in sin, selfishness and pain. A little Jewish boy, born in what is currenly Palestine, would bring hope and light to both his own people, but also to those whowere their enemies, and everyone else in between.

The gift of Christmas is not something you find under the tree, nor on the meal table. It is the free offer of God's love and forgiveness, of a fresh start of a life of love lived with God rather than in fear of him, of being invited in to join His family. It is not the offer of a new international organisation to sort out all the world's problems, but of a new heart to sort out our own.

The hope of Christmas is that in responding to that offer, we can together create a world of peace rather than conflict. Of a global and local community, where eveeryone has their place and no one is left out. Where we do not need to fightto protect our interests because we all want the best for everyone.

The promise of Christmas is that God is personally committed to this. He doesn't just think it is a good idea, he was Himself willing to suffer to make it possible.

AI pray that this Christmas, wherever and however you celebrate, you may also know that greatest gift. That the love of God may fill your homes and bring you peace, wherever you most need it. And that you may face the future with your hand in God's hand, knowing that to be "better than light and safer than a known way."s. The difference was not about how much I could do, it was about how much trust I had in the intentions of the person I was having to trust.

In my former parish, there were various experiments we made to make the most of the unique atmosphere of preparation and excitement accompanying Advent. Shortest-lived was what we called the Nativity Crawl, which involved the familiar festive cast dressed in costume and released in stages onto the high street, to work their way along the five pubs situated there, finding ‘no room at the inn’ until culminating (with carols and swaddled doll) in carols at the last pub en route. It was fun but didn’t quite catch light.

Team

Team

Please meet our team

Matt Earwicker

Rev Matthew Earwicker

Rector mattearwicker@gmail.com

Tel: 01249 821329

Rev Linda Dytham

Associate Priest

In the first instance please email or call the administrators office to contact Linda

Mrs Pam Evans

Licensed Lay Minister

In the first instance please email or call the administrators office to contact Pam Evans

Emma Marsh

Administrator email: oldburybenefice@gmail.com

Tel: 07821 836233

Contact

Contact

The Benefice office is only open on select days but the benefice administtrator is working mainly from home. If you send her an email on the address below she will ensure yor message gets to right person in a timely fashion.

Our Address

The Oldbury Benefice

8 Court Farm Stables, Heddington
Calne SN11 0PN

Email Us

oldburybenefice@gmail.com

Call Us

01380 815198