December 2021 News

Lisa White, Secretary of Friends of St Mary’s, writes:

Our annual service of Nine Lessons and Carols is scheduled for Sunday 19th December at 6pm in St Mary’s, and we look forward to welcoming everyone back for this lovely occasion, which heralds the start of our Christmas worship.

Last year, Covid closed the church and our service could not take place, so we hope restrictions will not deter us this December, and we will celebrate with traditional carols, readings and a welcome from St Mary’s wonderful bells.

Following the service, mulled wine and mince pies will be served at Church Farm House. Please come and join us!

Despite everything that hit our community and country, 2021 proved to be a time of tremendous achievement for St Mary’s, with the completion of the stonework repairs to the tower, the refit of the vestry and south porch, and the installation of the splendid bells. Once again, we thank all those who have contributed to and supported this work which will be honoured for generations to come.

The Friends of St Mary’s Committee wish everyone a joyful, peaceful and hopeful Christmas and New Year.

Photo of crib scene in St Mary's Christmas 2020
Photo by Pauline Dixon taken at St Mary’s Christmas 2020; header photo by Brenda Brock

PS Have you ordered your Badminton Benefice 2022 Calendar yet? Filled with beautiful images from around the benefice, taken by Musical Director and Videographer Ben Humphries, it’s available now in a limited edition, from Hawkesbury Stores, from the parish churches, or via online ordering.
Click here for more details.

DECEMBER SERVICES

Advent 2 – 5th December 9.30am – Holy Communion
Advent 3 – 12th December 5pm – Evensong
Advent 4 – 19th December 5pm – FOSM 9 Lessons & Carols
Christmas Eve – 24th December 4.30pm – Carols by Candlelight with Live Nativity
Christmas Day – 25th December 9.30am – Holy Communion
Christmas 2 – 2nd January 9.30am – Holy Communion

November 2021 News

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.

NOVEMBER SERVICES

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)

Join the Livestream Broadcast of the Dedication of the Bells

On Friday 10th September at 1.30pm, the Bishop of Gloucester will visit St Mary’s Hawkesbury for a historic service to dedicate our new ring of eight bells, the restored tower and refurbished vestry.

It will be an exuberant service full of music, with the bells rung both by the new Hawkesbury Bell Ringers and an invited guest band of expert ringers, and singing by the church choir and by the top class from Hawkesbury Primary School.

Wherever you are in the world, you are warmly invited to join us online for the service via this livestream link:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qs2chovwn7c&feature=youtu.be