February 2021 News

Lisa Overton, Secretary of the Friends of St Mary’s, provides our latest news round-up:


We are at last seeing the church tower appearing from its strange white cladding and scaffolding and the excellent conservation done by Carrek of Bristol will be visible.


When Covid restrictions are lifted again, and spring is on its way, we hope to be able to gather to see all the improvements to the church, inside and out, which Colin’s photos show already. The new bells (should we call them ‘Applebells’?) are being tuned, the frame to hang them from prepared and before they are hoisted through the tower hatches, we hope the Bishop of Gloucester will come to bless them at a special service. So there is much to look forward to.


Many thanks to those kind supporters of hunkypunks and gargoyles who sent in donations for their conservation. We hope they will now be able to glare down on us and many future generations in Hawkesbury.


It’s that time of year again! We will be turning our attention to a good clear-up of the churchyard once the scaffolding comes down, and would appreciate some strong and energetic helpers when the time comes and Covid restrictions are eased. We need to clip and clear ivy, clean gulleys and gutters and weed paths. If you would like to help, please contact me.

With thanks to John Seager for allowing us to use his beautiful photograph of St Mary’s against the Milky Way, taken at three o’clock in the morning!


Due to lockdown, all services will be online this month, hosted on the Badminton Benefice’s YouTube account here.

6th – 10am – Presentation of Christ in the Temple (from Hawkesbury)
13th – 10am – Sunday before Lent (from Leighterton)
20th – 10am – 1st Sunday of Lent (from Oldbury)
27th – 10am – 2nd Sunday of Lent (from Badminton)

PLUS Midweek services on Zoom – every Wednesday at 9.30am
(Please contact the Vicar if you would like to attend)

Listen to St Mary’s Singular Medieval Bell in Action

Thanks to our bell tutor James Joynson for kindly providing this impressive video of St Mary’s singular medieval bell being rung just before Christmas.

Both the bell and its frame are listed and will remain in place after our new ring of eight bells is installed later this year. The new bells will sit comfortably beneath it in our tower.

January 2021 News

The 2020 AGM of the Friends of St Mary’s took place on Sunday 29th November by Zoom, delayed from the regular date in June by all the problems of the pandemic. Full minutes of the meeting will be circulated in due course.

Extracts from the Chairman’s address are given here. As he said, “Quite a lot has happened since our last AGM nearly 18 months ago”, and he reported on all the work that has been carried out to the tower, the vestry, and the commission of the new bells.

He reminded the Friends that 2020 was the 40th anniversary of their foundation and thanked all those who have guided the work of the Friends down the years. He remembered Friends of St Mary’s who have died during the past year, and a minute’s silence was held for them, including:

Canon Iain Marchant
Mary Broad
Judy Chancellor
Tony Harris

He paid tribute to the excellent work carried out by Carrek Conservation, and to the generous support of many individual donors and organisations, and especially to the Gloucester and Bristol Association of Bellringers and the Appleby family. He thanked Debbie Young for revising and expanding the Friends of St Mary’s website, Mike Bendry for his unstinting work as Treasurer and Colin Dixon for his persuasive fundraising.

The Chairman was delighted to announce that Mr John Appleby had been invited, and had accepted, an invitation to become a Vice-President of the Friends.

The Treasurer gave his financial report for the year 2019-20, which consisted of the substantial funds raised and received towards the major project of the tower conservation, while expenditure had been kept to the regular work of yew clipping and maintenance of the mower. The Friends had received donations towards the conservation of the Jenkinson banners and the installation of the new bells, which had been passed to the PCC. Mr Peter Setterfield was reappointed as Auditor of the Accounts which had been sent to the Charities Commission as usual.

The meeting reelected Sir Ian Macfadyen as Chairman, and the members of the committee en bloc:

Prof William Fairney (Vice-Chairman), Mr Michael Bendry (Treasurer), Mrs Lisa Overton (Secretary), Mr Peter Setterfield, Rev Pauline Setterfield, Mrs Linda Fairney, Mr Neil Fozard, Mrs Mary Beresford, Mrs Hilary Rogers, Mrs Debbie Young, Mr Michael Cox, Mr Colin Dixon.

And finally, finally: remember to continue supporting us through membership.


Membership assists us to support the church in a vital way, by helping to keep its fabric in good repair, while hopefully once again enjoying many different fund-raising events during the year, from mulled wine and mince pies in December to the delights of Jazz on the Lawn in July, and all sorts of other events along the way.

Annual Single Subscription: £10
Annual Double Subscription: £15
Annual Single Life Membership: £200
Annual Double Life Membership: £250

For further details of membership, see the “Join Us” page of this website. 

A happy, safe and peaceful new year to all Friends of St Mary’s.


3rd January – 9.30am – Holy Communion

10th January – 6pm – Evensong

17th January – 10am – Morning Praise

24th January – 5pm – Evensong

7th February – 9.30am – Holy Communion