Common as wine

| Simon Bale | Vicar's Blog

During lockdown, first there were no services in church, and then, when there were, there was only bread, no wine except for the President at the Eucharist. Then, eventually, came the opportunity for “communion in one kind”, and a handful of messy bread made sodden by the wine. Now, at last, priests are able (indeed, directed) to offer the common cup once more. And the people said, “Amen!”

The return to the common cup has been possible for a few weeks, but I have chosen to reinstigate it now at Trinity Sunday because it seems highly appropriate and fitting. At the start of May the following guidance was issued by the Church of England: “Holy Communion should now be offered in both kinds ‘unless there are clear and objective reasons not to’ do so”. Therefore, tomorrow, at the united service in North Curry, for the first time since February 2020 there will be “the bread” and there will be “the wine”, separate and distinct. A platen and a chalice. This is important for me, and exciting, and good. But, why?

You’ll know by now how much I love words. Their sound, their meaning and their history. When it comes to the Eucharist or Holy Communion, I am in my element.

The “Eucharist” is a time of great thanksgiving. Indeed, that’s the meaning of the word, “eucharistos”: to give thanks. In contemporary Greek, on holiday in Corfu, we might say efharisto: thank you. Same word. We give thanks to God during the Eucharist for Christ’s great sacrifice on the cross, for the grace we receive through that act. “Eu-” means “good” and “charisto” suggests “grace”.

Then there’s Holy Communion, another term for the same thing as Eucharist. “Communion” is from Latin, implying being together in unity: com-, with, and -union. We give thanks, together!

The permission to be able to distribute the Holy Communion or Eucharist in this way, using a common cup, where we all share together, is such a profound matter since it combines both the symbolism of the Eucharist — the thanks for Jesus’s ultimate sacrifice — with the symbolism of unity. Having to keep the wine away from people for so long was a painful, although understandable, necessity.

Now, you might think, “crumbs, the vicar’s gone all pious on us… normally his letters are far less theological than this,” and you’d be right. But I am simply so excited that we can return to sharing the cup because it embodies (literally) the way we encounter Christ in our world. We speak at Christmas of the incarnation, when God is made flesh. We speak at Easter of the resurrection of the body, when the flesh is seen as frail but eternal, and now, at this Trinity Sunday, we are at last able to share in the “re-membering” of these things by once more sharing the blood of Christ: not just noticing each other participating, but actually sharing in the blood of Christ.

Worship is filled with ritual and symbol, and this is a deeply symbolic moment. It is a moment of hope and thanksgiving because it also reminds us that we have gone through the pandemic and we are here today. I know that along the way many have lost loved ones to the virus. Being able to share in the common cup is a moment of remembering, and a moment of grace and thanks.

Covid Update

Given the significant rise in cases locally (not just among the clergy!), I think it is important that we reconsider the way we distribute communion. For the present time, until things settle down again, we will be reverting to the previous system of “priestly intinction” whereby the president offers an “intincted” wafer to communicants. Please do not feel obliged to receive the wine in this way. It is perfectly acceptable to receive only the bread: please let the president know.

Lyngfest! Saturday July 30th, 7pm

Join us in the Village Hall garden for an evening of live music accompanied by Cheese and Cider tasting. Ticket £10 available in advance only. Kids go free. A Pop up Pub will also be available with a good selection of drinks on offer for a suggested donation.

Evening of Romantic Song and Popular Favourites, Sat 20th Aug

Saturday August 20th at 7.30pm in North Curry Church: Gregory Steward, tenor, presents an Evening of Romantic Song and Popular Favourites. Tickets £10 to include a glass of wine/juice: available from North Curry Post Office or from This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or on the door. Under-18s free.

Lyng Harvest Supper, 3rd September at 6pm

Come and celebrate the season with friends and food. Delicious fare for us to share. Ticket £5 available in advance only to include supper and a glass of wine, beer or a soft drink. We will be collecting donations for the local food-bank.

A Pop up Pub will also be available with a good selection of drinks on offer for a suggested donation.

Lyng Quiz Night: 1st Oct at 7pm

Get your thinking caps on for a fun flled quiz evening kindly hosted by Chris Barrington. Prize for the winning team. Followed by raffle. £10 per team of 4. In advance.

A Pop up Pub will also be available with a good selection of drinks on offer for a suggested donation.

A prayer for Ukraine

Father of all,

We hold before you today the country of Ukraine and its people. We have no words to express the sadness we feel for them. We pray that your Holy Spirit will act to bring peace; that violence and brutality will have no place in its lands; that you will hold your people safe

Lord have Mercy

We pray that the people of your world will work together

To protect the poor and the afraid To heal the sick and the dying To free those oppressed and in prison We hold them all before you

Christ have Mercy

We hold before you those we know who are caught up in the situation. We pray for our armed forces. We pray for all those who stand for good in the face of evil. We pray for those hurting and grieving for their country. We hold them all in your love

And above all we pray for hope.

Lord have Mercy


Athelney Prayer

Almighty God, who made all things and sustains all things, we come together remembering the past and full of hope for the future.

We thank you for the part you call us to play in our Benefice's continuing story.

Lord, bind us more closely together and unite us in the work of your kingdom in our communities. Help us to draw on the gifts and talents in our midst and to use them in your service.

May we be a welcoming and loving community, united in worshipping you and open to your guiding Spirit.

Holy Spirit guide us and fill us with vision and energy; make us faithful in prayer and worship, that we may discover your way for the future and see your kingdom grow.

We ask these things in the name of your Son our Saviour, Jesus Christ.


Choir practice
19 Aug 2022
04:00PM - 05:00PM

Lyng Coffee Morning
20 Aug 2022
10:30AM - 12:00PM

Wedding: Michelle and Matthew
20 Aug 2022
12:00PM - 05:00PM

Lyng a summer Fete
20 Aug 2022
02:00PM - 03:00PM

An Evening of romantic song and popular favourites with Gregory Steward (North Curry Church)
20 Aug 2022
07:00PM - 10:00PM

Eucharist: BCP (North Curry)
21 Aug 2022
08:00AM - 09:00AM