Community Health and Government Updates

Face Masks

Wearing a face covering will become mandatory in shops and supermarkets in England from 24 July.

Matt Hancock
Health and Social Care Secretary Matt Hancock spoke about plans to make face coverings mandatory in shops and supermarkets from 24 July 2020.

Coronavirus: A user’s guide to wearing a face mask to the shops

The BBC have made a simple guide to how this effects you. Click on the link here:

Coronavirus: What are the rules for face masks or face coverings?

This next BBC article explains how this effects you. Soon there will be almost no excuse for not wearing a face mask while out shopping in England – covering your face will be as essential as remembering your cash or bank card.

Click on the link here to access the complete article from the BBC:

Face coverings: when to wear one and how to make your own

This official link explains what face coverings are, their role in reducing the transmission of coronavirus (COVID-19), the settings in which they are recommended, and how they should be safely used and stored. This information is based on current scientific evidence (as at 14 July 2020) and is subject to change.

This information relates to the use of face coverings in public spaces where social distancing is not always possible. It is important to follow all the other government advice on coronavirus (COVID-19) including staying safe outside your home.

The evidence is clear that people should wear masks to reduce virus transmission and protect themselves, with most countries recommending the public to wear them.

Oxford COVID-19 study: face masks and coverings work – act now

Click on the image or link below to access a simple guide to making a face covering.

A cloth face covering should cover your mouth and nose while allowing you to breathe comfortably.

The Big Community Sew

If you would like more detailed information on how to make a face covering and to discover local initiatives which you might like to get involved in then please visit the Big Community Sew website whcih is packed with useful and inpirational information, including instructions, patterns and help, plus detailed videos and help guides.


Message from Dorset Race Equality Council

Dorset Race Equality Council (DREC) is an independent race equality charity in Dorset that has been operating in Dorset since the 1990s. It is based in Bournemouth but covers the whole of the County. Its aims are as follows:

  • To support people from different ethnic backgrounds who feel they have been discriminated against because of their race or their religion
  • To challenge racism and any kind of prejudice
  • To promote and celebrate the cultural diversity of Dorset
  • To work towards the reduction of the inequalities of access to services encounter by certain groups within the Dorset communities
  • To support statutory, voluntary organisations and local businesses to embed the Equality and Diversity agenda in their activities

Over the years DREC has developed trust and good relationships with settled ethnic minority communities, especially in the conurbation. However, DREC is conscious that there are constant changes in the population make up and that more and more families from a different ethnic background now prefer settling in the more rural parts of Dorset. This makes it difficult for DREC to engage individual families or small group of individuals who are not necessarily closely linked to a established and structured ethnic minority community group.

As a community group, we would like to share information about DREC with you. If you are interested in discovering more about this organisation, you will be able to find more information on the DREC website at


Community Health and Government Updates

An Important Message from the NHS in Dorset

‘The NHS in Dorset would like to thank you for everything you are doing to support our staff during the global coronavirus pandemic. We are incredibly proud of all that our amazing NHS staff have achieved with the help and support of other key workers’

Thank you from your local NHS in Dorset
We’d like to say a huge thank you to them too.

In the letter from NHS in Dorset (which you can download by clicking on the button below). They share with us an update on the way they’re having to deliver local health services, explaining that it will need to continue to be different and that returning services quickly to how they ran before this pandemic is not possible.

It will take time, and as we know coronavirus is likely to be with us for a while.

Download the letter.


LiveWell Dorset


Live Well Dorset are a public health service funded by Dorset Council.

They are here to support the health and wellbeing of residents in Dorset.

LiveWell Dorset supports you on your journey to a happier, healthier you through FREE advice and coaching. Want to become more active, lose weight, quit smoking or drink less alcohol? Click here….

Making a lifestyle change is tough. Seven in ten of us have two or more unhealthy habits. Two-thirds of us are trying to lose weight most of the time. You are not alone! Live Well Dorset are here for you. Daily, they will hear stories of their clients overcoming mountains to achieve a goal of a healthy lifestyle.

Making a lifestyle change is possible. Live Well Dorset are here for you. Take your next step to LiveWell by registering today.

Every adult in Dorset can receive free healthy living advice and coaching.

Gillingham Foodbank

Gillingham Foodbank, Helping Local People in Crisis

As we move towards a new normal, the economimc and social impact of the COVID-19 pandemic will still be effecting many individuals. Should you wish to find out more please visit their website. Click here to access.


Parish Virtual Garden Competition

During lockdown many of us have spent such a long time in our gardens without being able to show them off!

Now is the time to grab your camera and share your hard work.

All entries will be available to view on the Parish of Upper Stour website and people will have the chance to vote for the garden they would most like to enjoy this bottle in!

The winning prize is the very same bottle of ‘bolly’

This competition is open to absolutely anyone so please do encourage people to send in their virtual gardens!
To Enter

Please email with the following:
– Your full name
– A contact telephone number
– Four good quality photos of your garden
– Up to 50 words description if you would like
– A donation of £10 for Church Funds per garden (cash in a sealed and named envelope to The Rectory, Portnells Lane, Zeals, BA12 6PG or Zeals’ Garage – Please make sure you put your name on the envelop so that we can cross reference it with your entry)

Entries received up until 24th July to give you enough time to keep sprucing!
To Vote

All entries will be available to view on our website between 27th July – 7th August with the winner announced on the website 9th August.

The four pictures and short description will be available to view on the Parish website with the gardener’s name and which village the garden is from, along with a simple online voting form.
If you would like to distribute posters, a copy can be found here.

People Without Computers 
If you know someone who has a fabulous garden or just fancies having a go at winning a bottle of ‘bolly’, but ‘doesn’t do that wizzy computer stuff’, please do volunteer to take photos and send them in on their behalf.
Spread the word and GOOD LUCK!
Community Local Supplier News

Stay In : ‘Eat Out’

It’s time to treat yourself, have a ‘night out’ at home. Amazing Sourdough Pizza prepared for you at the Bell & Crown, Zeals.

Working for the community through COVID-19

Following the success of the Bell & Crown at Zeals transforming themselves overnight into an amaizing community centred Pie Shop – #pieitforward , they still recognise that being closed at the moment is the best thing they can do. ”We want this to blow over and we want people to stay safe and well. We also want people to enjoy a break from the monotony of home cooking”

So, in addition to the Great British Pies offering that’s been running since March; on Friday and Saturday night it’s now Pizza Night.

If you’ve been missing really tasty crispy pizza, well you don’t have to anymore, because on Fridays and Saturdays you can now collect these, freshly cooked, from the kitchen at the Bell & Crown, Zeals.

It’s a proper sourdough base pizza. Traditionally, these take ages to prove but only minutes to cook, meaning the crust is crispy on the outside and wonderfully chewy in the middle. With a variety of delicious, locally sourced ingredients used for the tasty toppings if you close your eyes when you eat – you could almost be in Napoli.

Call 01747 840404 to order yours and don’t forget to ask about dips and drinks if you want to add these to your order to collect.

The current menu is shown below:

Bell & Crown Pizza Menu.

There’s never been a better time to enjoy staying in but ‘eating out’.


Local Updates

May’s Upper Stour Parish Magazine

Over the weekend, your May Parish Magazine was delivered by some of the volunteers from the Bourton Community Support Group. The usual delivery team, who do such an excellent job each month, are sensibly following government advice. So, apologies if your copy wasn’t delivered to the usual spot. If you are missing your copy you can either collect one from the garage or call us and, subject to availability, we’ll can drop it off for you.

Alternatively you can view May’s parish Magazine on-line by clicking here.

Celebrate VE Day at Home

On Friday 8th May we calebrate the 75th Anniversary of VE Day. Despite social distancing you can still engage in the event by having you own VE Day ‘party at home’ as featured in the Parish news. If you take part in celebrations safely from home, why not join your BBC Local Radio station initiative in making your own VE Day Great British Bunting. Download everything you need at

VE Day, May 8

The Royal British Legion are right behind this initiative and their website has some great ideas, including a nationwide singalong at 9.00pm.

SSAFA, the Armed Forces charity, are also encouraging a varirty of activities through their website, including the chance to take part in the ‘Nation’s Toast to the Heroes of WW2’ at 3pm on the 8th May, from the safety of their own home.

Message from The Rev’d Ben

In this weeks e-newsletter, for the third Sunday of Easter, Rev’d Ben references the Rev’d Dr. Sam Wells, Vicar of St Martin-in-the-Fields, central London in the thought for the day

“The Bible isn’t interested in going ‘back to normal’. Set back and despair provoke us to see what was wrong and what we’ve become accustom to, and realize that there is no ‘going back’. We may feel bewildered and powerless, but we will never get a better chance to consider how we can make a future bigger than the past. If all we aspire to in the face of months of lock-down is to go back to normal, we will have squandered a once in a century invitation to imagine something richer, truer and deeper than normal ever was. After the war, people didn’t aspire to go back to the hungry 30s, they wanted to build a land, fit for heroes to live in. This isn’t a time for looking back – it is a time for imagining the future and starting to live that future, now.”

Rev’d Dr Sam Wells, Vicar at St Martins -in-the-Fields, London
Thank you NHS – from Zeals, picture Lyndi d’Ambrumenil.

The Rev’d Ben then asks us the following “I would love to hear how you think things may change for the better after this time, and how this ‘once in a century’ opportunity has transformed our way of being. I pray that as a community, we will care for one another as we prayerfully consider what a new world could look like. 

The Great Global (Solo) Cleanup.

The date of the Great Global Cleanup: Earth Day Networks flagship volunteer program to remove litter from our public waterways and spaces was officially 22 April, but this year there’s nothing to stop us from taking this as an opportunity to reflect on our own locality and take this opportunity to safely and individually contribute to cleaning the world by us each taking responsibility for a little bit of our own neighbourhood.

The Great Global Cleanup

Bourton WIldlife Group

During the period April 26th to May 2nd, Bourton Wildlife Group are involved in a programme designed to help improve the public footpaths in the area. See below for an overview. Full details of this can be located on Facebook



Easter Sunday, Services and Hymm for the Day

From the Rev’d Ben Rundell-Evans, Priest in Charge, Parish of Upper Stour 

For those of you who wish to share in this Easter period of worship, the Rev’d Ben has shared with us the latest e-newsletters and videos.

Easter Day Service from Salisbury Cathedral

In this special additional Easter Day e-newsletter you will find an opportunity to share in the Salisbury Cathedral Easter morning service.

Joyous Easter Blessings to you all! 

Easter Sunday

The Easter Sunday e-newsletter contains blessings for all this Easter. Some lovely images, a link to the church bells and some wonderful examples of community spitit in the Parish, plus one of the most humourous cartoons I have seen, shared below. As ever, please look through the link and take this opportunity to share Easter in a most unique way.

The Lenten journey which started on Ash Wednesday 26th Feb, ends here with joy! Alleluia Christ is Risen!

While it has been quite easy to get in the mind set of Holy Week and Lent this year, Easter Day seems that bit harder. At this time of suffering in the world, where do we see signs of new life? While we can see the very real suffering that has been caused by the Covid19 outbreak, the love and compassion of so many in our communities, and in particular the loving sacrifices made by NHS workers at this time is where we find the love and life of God this Easter.

Rev’d Ben, Easter Sunday, Parish of Upper Stour, e- Newlstter

Holy Saturday

The wait…

Holy Saturday‘s e-newsletter is a simple reminder about the gap that is left between Good Friday and Easter morning. Jesus is taken down from the cross, and we enter into what Pierre Abelard described as “the night of tears, the three days’ space, sorrow abiding of the eventide”.

Olivia and Felicity Gillett’s Easter Garden , taken from Holy Saturday Parish of Upper Stour e-Newsletter

Good Friday

The Isolation of the Cross
This Good Friday, we have a very real understanding of the isolation of the cross. As people are forced to mourn and suffer in private, we can see the isolation of the cross in a different and very painful way.

The Good Friday newletter also reminds us of the importtance of staying safe and being compassinalte.

One of the sereral excellent videos help us mark the events of Good Friday. It features the Chaplain Reverend Richard Horner of Rugby School leading a very moving service with hymns, readings from some of the school’s students, and an anthem while the altar is reverently stripped of its finery. It is definitely worth a watch.

The Maundy Thursday newsletter helps to mark a new beginning, the beginning of the end. From this point on, our Christian worship is a continuum through to Easter morning,

We hope you enjoy these communications and are pleased to be able to share these with you this Easter.

If you missed previous newsletters, then they are available to access, including Holy Saturday, Good Friday’s and Maunday Thursdays, through this link to the achives.

Future ones will also appear there in due course.

Hymm For The Day

Royal School of Church Music; A Hymn for the Day 

As part of the Parish of Upper Stour’s offering in the current situation, the RSCM are encouraging everyone to join us in singing the chosen Hymn for the Day, found here (click here), updated daily Monday to Saturday usually in the early afternoon. The words will appear on screen as the music plays. The full playlist can be found here.

For Sundays, you can access the Sunday Self-Service: a short service including hymns, readings, and prayers, which you can find updated each week at the bottom. Via the bnewsletter, you will be able to follow using the order of service which accompanies the recording.


Age UK gives computing help to keep in touch. PLUS Parish of Upper Stour Palm Sunday Newsletter


Age UK, a very active charity and pressure group that represents and takes actions on behalf the people it helps and represents, has an incredibly useful website. It is well worth a look. contains a vast amount of very relevant and practical information. One thing that could be really useful for us all is section it carries which features how the internet helps us in everyday tasks, including keeping in touch. The site has a section deveoted to this.

The internet and digital technology can be invaluable for staying in touch with family and friends, as well as helping with everyday tasks such as shopping, ordering prescriptions, and banking.

Age UK has recently published a specific feature that looks at how you can keep in touch using a smart phone, iPad or similar tablet or even your computer, for video calls. Whilst this technology can be quite daunting, it is probably easier than we all think, and this article helps us get that bit closer.

Why not give it a try, impress yourself and surprise the youngsters!


The latest Newsletter from the Parish of Upper Stour was released on Saturday. It features a really good link to the Palm Sunday ‘virtual service’ in Salisbury.

Click here to access the Palm Sunday Newsletter