Colin Dixon, Friends of St Mary’s Chairman, writes:
We are now looking forward to the Friends of St Mary’s Nine Lessons and Carols service just before Christmas on 18th December at 7pm. We have set it later than normal to allow football fans to attend after the World Cup Final. This service is one of the highlights of the Christmas season and is a lovely service for families.
(Photo by Pauline Dixon)
We are hoping that the new gate on the west wall of the Church, that is being funded by the Friends, can be installed before the Christmas services start. Or at least before the old one falls to pieces.
The same goes for the notice board on the South side of the West Wall which is clearly on its last legs.
We are thinking hard about what to do on the South side of the Churchyard where the large fir trees were removed two years ago. Since then there have been many workgroups trying to reduce the weeds and clear the debris of many years, that was hidden behind the trees and is now in plain sight.
We are now pretty convinced, after two seasons of work, that it needs a professional landscaper to deal with it – unless there are some young fit and healthy people out there with time on their hands, looking for something to do.
We are open to suggestions for what to do with the area – we already have a very nice bench on the South East side of the Churchyard.
If you have any ideas please let me know.
Sunday 4th December Holy Communion (9.30am) Sunday 11th December Evensong (5pm) Sunday 18th December FOSM Service of 9 Lessons & Carols (7pm) Saturday 24th December Christmas Family Service (4.30pm) Sunday 25th December Holy Communion (9.30am)
November is the month of Remembrance which will have a special significance with the horrors of the ongoing war in Ukraine. We will think of their suffering and of those families now living with us in the Parish and separated from their loved ones.
At 7.00pm on Tuesday 2nd November we will celebrate, as usual, All Souls with a simple service remembering those who are no longer with us. Then on Friday 11th November we will have our annual service of Remembrance at 7.30 pm which, this year, coincides with that day in 1918 when all finally went quiet on the Western Front. Both these services deserve your support.
The new family-orientated service will take place at 10.30am on Sunday 20th November when there will be free tea/coffee, croissants etc afterwards. All will be most welcome especially those with young families.
The Parochial Church Council have recently met to consider the re-ordering of the West end of the church, with some or all of the pews possibly being removed at the back of the church. The options will be on display in the church and opposite Hawkesbury Stores for all to see and make comment. Do take the opportunity to express your views on what is your Parish Church of England church.
Some still seem to be unaware that St Mary’s has been open every day since April. It will have been closed for the winter by the time you read this but opened again when the clocks go forward in the Spring. It may also be open at weekends during the winter if the weather allows.
Looking further ahead, make a note in your diaries of the Annual Nine Lessons and Carols on 18 December (after the World Cup Final!) and a family service.
Churchwardens Lisa Overton and Ian Macfadyen write:
Starting in October, and on the third Sunday of every month, there will be a new kind of service specially designed to make families with children feel welcome in our beautiful ancient parish church.
The new Family Service will provide a calming, uplifting start to your family Sunday, and a welcome break amongst friends in a safe, dry meeting place, whatever the weather. You’re also welcome to stay for free coffee and croissants afterwards as a late breakfast or elevenses.
The Family Service will start at 10.30am, a little later than our usual morning services, to give you a bit longer in bed before you set out, and because we know how time-consuming it can be to get children ready to go out in the morning.
The Family Service will follow a very simple format in language that is easy for everyone to understand.
Each month it will be on a seasonal theme, so that it will be interesting and different each time.
Here is the programme for the first few months:
16th October – Harvest 20th November – Advent 18th December – Nine Lessons and Carols (note different time of 6pm) 15th January – St Wulfstan & the Goose 19th February – Lent 19th March – Mothering Sunday
During the service, children may either stay with their parents or come to our supervised children’s area at the back of the church to enjoy fun activities relating to each month’s theme. We’re hoping that children will want to get involved with the Service, for example by giving a reading, singing a song or performing a little play on the month’s theme for the grown-ups to enjoy.
Even if you’re not a regular churchgoer, or have never been to a church service before, you will be made to feel very welcome and at home at our Family Services.
If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact Lisa Overton on email@example.com.