April 2022 News

Colin Dixon, Chairman of FOSM writes:


As you saw in last month’s news, we are beginning to get the south side of the churchyard under some control. It is taking a while to wrest it from the clutches of the alder, laurel and nettles, but we are making good progress. Do come and join us! We are next having a churchyard clearing session on Saturday 9th April.

The area we cleared from undergrowth to create a light and open space ready for greening


After the forced cessation of our fundraising for the past two years courtesy of Mr Covid, we are back in business! Fundraising for St Mary’s is our raison d’être, so it has been a difficult two years.

Despite being unable to fundraise over the past two years and paying out vast sums of money for the bells and to assist with the refurbishment of the church, we still have a healthy balance in the accounts, and have been doing our other job, which is to help with irregular outgoings for the church.

Many of you will have seen the sad condition of the west gate of the church and that that it was about time it is replaced. Probably the same can be applied to the noticeboard by the side of the west gate, which is also in a poor state. The Friends thought so too and have commissioned a new noticeboard and a new gate, so watch this space – actually, it’s probably better to watch the west side of the church!

The new LED energy-saving light bulbs have been installed in the church, and they seem to be very good replacements. The Friends contributed £1,000 towards the cost of the lighting and their installation. The new bulbs use less than 10% of the energy of the previous bulbs for the same amount of light, giving considerable savings in energy costs.

The new lights were installed in time for our Ukraine vigil on 1st April



Our first fundraising venture of 2022 is the concert by the Bristol Male Voice Choir on 14th May. Tickets are now on sale via Eventbrite here, from committee members, and from the Hawkesbury Stores.

photo of Bristol Male Voice Choir

This concert has been planned for the past three years, and it is good that we have now got it off the ground. In addition to the Bristol Male Voice Choir, we also have our own St Mary’s Choir in the programme, and the amazing Ben Humphries playing the church organ during the interval.

OPEN CHURCH WEEKEND (23rd-24th July)

We are currently planning an Open Church Weekend in July with the bells being available to ring and access to the bells themselves for the energetic. There will be other activities including music and picnics in the garden of Church Farm House.

James Joynson’s beautiful working model of a full-circle bell will be on display at our Open Weekend – James, Bell Master for the Wotton branch of the G&BDABR, is pictured above left presenting the model to Tower Captain and FOSM Chairman Colin Dixon


We will be running our ever-popular Pimms tent at the Hawkesbury Show on 27th August so make sure it is in your diary to come and visit us. We will be in our new position on the far side of the arena near to the Hawkesbury Stores and Hawkesbury Upton Literature Festival tents.

photo of FOSM Pimms tent at the village show


The Friends will again be entering a scarecrow in the Hawkesbury Scarecrow Trail over the autumn half term. The theme has yet to be decided by the Pre-school, but the Friends will be actively participating.

Last autumn Bellinda the Bell Ringer was FOSM’s Scarecrow

NINE LESSONS & CAROLS (18th December)

The FOSM Christmas Service of Nine Lessons and Carols will be held on Sunday 18th December at 5pm. This is a wonderful service of readings and carols and is especially good for children. Following the service, mulled wine and mince pies will be served at Church Farm House, courtesy of Christopher and Lisa Overton.


Sunday 3rd April Holy Communion (9.30am)

Sunday 10th April Palm Sunday Ecumenical Service combined with Methodists,
meeting at Farm Pool to walk to the Methodist Chapel (9.30am)

Sunday 17th April Easter Sunday – Morning Prayer (9.30am)

Sunday 24th April Evensong (6pm)

Online video services will continued to be streamed at 10am on the first and third Sundays and live-streamed from Hawkesbury on second and fourth Sundays at www/youtube.com/c/badmintonbenefice

March 2022 News

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

This time last year we greeted the newly conserved church tower, its scaffolding and sheeting removed to reveal the excellent work carried out by Carrek Conservation of Bristol, and the transformation of the vestry and bellringing floor was nearing completion. Now we are all used to the changes and improvements, and enjoying the wonderful bells: how quickly we have adapted!


Our next target is to support the PCC with the improvement of lighting in the chancel, completing the tidying of the south side of the churchyard and providing a new noticeboard and gate by the entrance to the churchyard: the old ones are definitely due for recycling!

New energy-saving lights needed!


As spring comes, with longer days and we hope, the end of Covid and the arrival of warmer weather, we hope to resume fund-raising events for St Mary’s. So far we have planned the following events, so please make a note of these in your diaries and check the FOSM website for details and tickets.

14th May: Concert by the Bristol Male Voice Choir

2nd-6th June: Platinum Jubilee Holiday: St Mary’s bells will be ringing and the church decorated for Matins on  Sunday 5th June. We hope to keep the church open all over the weekend.

23rd-24th July St Mary’s Festival weekend: we are planning events for Saturday afternoon and evening, with the AGM and Annual Evensong for the Friends of St. Mary’s on Sunday 24th July at 6 pm.

Saturday 27th August Hawkesbury Show: Our ever-popular Pimms Tent will provide refreshment for overheated and weary show-goers!

October half-term: Scarecrow Trail will once again have a suitable figure appearing outside the church.

Sunday 18th December, 5pm: Friends of St. Mary’s Service of Nine Lessons and Carols, followed by Mulled Wine and Mince Pies at Church Farm.


We also hope to have the church open every day during the summer
months and need volunteers to open and close the building. If you can
help by offering to unlock and lock the church between April and
September, either for regular days or a week, your help would be
appreciated enormously.

We also hope to offer refreshments to visitors at the weekends, so if
you would like to assist with making tea or soft drinks, or even
providing cakes and biscuits, please let us know – and THANK YOU!


We really appreciate helpers in the planning and delivery of all our events, so if you would like to join our team, please talk to one of the committee:

Colin Dixon – Chairman
Lisa Overton – Secretary
Mike Bendry – Treasurer
Debbie Young – Marketing
Bill Fairney
Linda Fairney
Rev Pauline Setterfield
Neil Fozzard
Sally Macfadyen
Peter Setterfield
Mary Davis
Hilary Rogers


The Churchyard is beginning to look a lot tidier. As you will see when you venture into the churchyard, you can now see the dry stone wall on the south side. This is a bit of a mixed blessing as we can now see how much it needs repair. If there is anyone out there who would like to turn their hand to dry stone walling please let us know.

The next churchyard gardening session is 10am-12noon on Saturday 12th March. Please do come along if you would like to make a difference and help ensure that the churchyard looks its best for the summer. No expertise necessary – enthusiasm is always welcome. Bring tools or just yourself as we always have spares. It’s amazing how therapeutic a couple of hours working in the churchyard can be!


Wednesday 2nd March Holy Communion with Ashing (9.30am)
Sunday 6th March Holy Communion (9.30am)
Sunday 13th MarchEvensong (6pm)
Sunday 20th March Morning Prayer (9.30am)
Sunday 27th March Evensong (6pm)
Online video services will continued to be streamed at 10am on the first and third Sundays and live-streamed from Hawkesbury on second and fourth Sundays at www/youtube.com/c/badmintonbenefice.

February 2022 News

FOSM Chairman Colin Dixon writes:

We held our Nine Lessons and Carols service for the first time in two years on 19th December with a larger than expected congregation. Once more a very satisfying service led very ably by Reverend Tunnicliffe.


In the intervening two years since the last Nine Lessons and Carols Service, the Friends have provided over £200,000 to St Mary’s Church for the new vestry cupboards, the wonderful new glass vestry screen, the new bell ringing floor (pictured above), and of course the bells themselves.

This was only possible through the good offices of members of the Friends who donated their hard-earned money or went out and garnered charity grants from a variety of sources. We also raised money through events held over the past few years.


At the same time, the Friends continued with their normal maintenance work, such as mowing the churchyard, clearing the weeks and paying for the cutting of the yew hedges. The yew hedges always look so wonderful when they have been cut and it is the Friends who pay for it.


There are still more things that are in need of replacement or repair in this ancient and lovely church of ours. Most pressing is probably the boiler which is on its last lets and will need to be replaced by an environmentally-friendly option at an horrendous cost. We still haven’t forgotten the desperate need for a toilet for use by the congregation and visitors to the cemetery and the management of the churchyard now that the large conifers have been removed.


Please join the Friends of St Mary’s if you are not already a member and support a dedicated group of people determined that this beautiful church should not fall into decay. Details of membership can be found here. If you are already a member, don’t forget to renew your membership for 2022.


The Friends of St Mary’s has The Right Honorable The Earl of Liverpool as President and His Grace The Duke of Beaufort as Patron. We also had one Honorary Vice President in Sir George White, one of the original founders of the Friends.

However, in the past year it has been our great pleasure to elect three new Honorary Vice Presidents. This honour goes to people who have given outstanding service to The Friends of St Mary’s and to the church. The new Honorary Vice Presidents are:

  • Mr John Appleby
  • Mr William Fairney
  • Sir Ian Macfadyen

The first two were presented with their scrolls at the Service of Nine Lessons and Carols, and Sir Ian, who was on holiday at the time, received his scroll at the St Wulfstan Service on 19th January.


We are planning a number of maintenance forays into the churchyard this year to see if we can at last get it under control. The first will be Saturday 12th February at 10.30am. Please do come and help – no experience necessary, just enthusiasm and whatever tools you have to hand.

NEW FUNDRAISING EVENT: Bristol Male Voice Choir (14th May)

To end on a brighter note, as we see the light at the end of the Covid tunnel, we are beginning to plan new fundraising events for the coming year. The first of these is the Bristol Male Voice Choir singing in the church on Saturday 14th May. Don’t forget to put it in your diaries.

Best wishes to all Friends and potential Friends.

Colin Dixon


Sunday 6th February Holy Communion (9.30am)

Sunday 13th February Evensong (6pm)

Sunday 20th February Matins (9.30am)

Sunday 27th February Evensong (6pm)

Online video services will continued to be streamed at 10am on the first and third Sundays and live-streamed from Hawkesbury on second and fourth Sundays at www/youtube.com/c/badmintonbenefice.