Colin Dixon, Chairman of Friends of St Mary’s, writes:
Following the years of concentration on the refurbishment of St Mary’s Tower and the installation of the new set of eight bells, the Friends of St Mary’s need some new projects to concentrate its fundraising on.
NEW TOILET FACILITIES
As it happens, there has for many years been an issue that has exercised the Friends of St Mary’s, amongst others, for many years, and that is the lack of toilet facilities at the church. Lisa and Christopher Overton have been very kind to allow the use of the toilet in the Malt House, but it is about time we had one that we do not use on a grace-and-favour basis.
The installation of the toilet will not be a simple matter as the Diocese will not allow a toilet inside or attached to the fabric of the Church, so that means it must go outside in the churchyard. Although we have identified a reasonably suitable place, there are additional complications: the churchyard (because it is a closed churchyard) belongs to the District Council and not to the Church.
Visitors to the cemetery would also benefit from the provision of toilet facilities and the cemetery belongs to the Parish Council. Furthermore, it would not be possible to restrict the use of the toilet so it would be available to walkers and cyclists also.
NEW LANDSCAPING PROJECT
While considering the siting of the toilet facilities, it would be advisable to landscape the churchyard where the old pine trees were removed earlier this year. That area is now distressingly overgrown and needs professional help to get it back into reasonable shape.
A couple of very important projects for FoSM to become involved with in the coming months, if not years. If anyone can offer advice, guidance or help with these projects, especially in the short term by pulling nettles and clearing the brush, then please contact me or Lisa Overton.
NEW SEAT CUSHIONS FOR CHOIR
The Friends have recently contributed towards new seat cushion kits for the Choir in the Church. These cushion kits will be completed by the WI which has also benefited from a legacy from Judy Chancellor.
NEW ROOF ALARM
The Church insurers had required that the Church has an alarm system installed on the roof to deter thieves from stealing the lead. FoSM granted the PCC a contribution of £1375 towards the cost of the roof alarm system which has recently been fitted. This was match-funded by the All Churches Trust which has also donated £1375.
WULFSTAN SUPPER REPORT
The Wulfstan Supper to celebrate the installation of the Wulfstan windows in the Church 10 years ago, hosted by Mark and Fiona Steeds, was a great success, and a good time was had by all. Mark gave a very informative talk on the life and deeds of St Wulfstan, the Hawkesbury Saint.
7th November (9.30am) – Holy Communion
14th November (10.50am) – Service of Remembrance at the War Memorial
21st November (9.30am) – Morning Praise
28th November (5pm) – Evensong (Advent Sunday)