December 2020 News

Lisa Overton, Secretary of the Friends of St Mary’s, provides our news round-up for December 2020:


The 2020 AGM of the Friends of St Mary’s took place by Zoom on Sundy 29th November at 4.30pm. We had hoped to be able to hold the meeting in the church, but Lockdown 2 frustrated our efforts. A report of the meeting will be circulated to all Friends as soon as possible.

End-of-Year Message from the Chairman

Ian Macfadyen, Chairman of the Friends of St Mary’s, writes:

By the time the December Parish News is delivered, we hope that much of the work to the vestry will have been completed. With the new bell-ringing chamber accessed via the old tower staircase, elegant oak vestry storage cupboards, much improved lighting and a beautiful glass screen soon to be installed in the Nave. All parts of the project envisaged and funded by much help from FOSM fundraising along with numerous grants and donations.

Our construction company, Carrek Ltd, whose excellent stonemasons have worked in all types of wind and weather upon the scaffolding, has been raking out decayed mortar, replacing worn away stone drip mouldings and applying fresh lime mortar to opened joints and cracks between the stones. The work is truly impressive, and it will be a wonderful day when the cladding and scaffold come down and we see the tower in all its glory early in the new year.

At the same time the new bells, which without Mr John Appleby’s immense generosity we could never have funded, should have arrived in this country from Milan by the end of December and will be prepared for tuning and hanging by Matthew Higby Ltd, our bells engineering company.

None of this great work would have been possible without the energetic support of the Friends over the last eight years, and many others in the parish and beyond, so I would like to extend heartfelt thanks to all of you.

May I also extend Christmas greetings in the hope that we can all be with family and loved ones.

Ian Macfadyen

December Services

At the time of writing, we have no knowledge of changes to services for December, which are listed below, but there may well be alterations as government restrictions change, so please keep an eye on the Badminton Benefice website for up-to-date information, especially for our Christmas services.

Inevitably some of our best-loved Christmas activities will be cancelled or limited this year, but there will be no lack of goodwill from all on the PCC towards parishioners, regular worshippers and visitors. Let us hope that the new year will bring a return to regular worship.

St Mary’s will be open for visitors on Christmas Eve between 4 and 5pm. There will be simple Christmas decorations and families will be especially welcome. Let us hope to be able to return to regular Christmas worship in 2021.

  • 6th (9.30am) Morning Prayer (Holy Communion)
  • 9th (9.30am) Matins
  • 13th (5pm) Carol Service
  • 16th (9.30am) Matins
  • 20th (10am) Morning Praise
  • 23rd (9.30am) Matins
  • 24th (4-5pm) Happy hour to visit the crib
  • 25th (9.30am) Christmas Morning Holy Communion

November 2020

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

2020 AGM

The 2020 AGM of the Friends of St Mary’s will take place on Sunday 22nd November at 4.30 pm in St Mary’s, followed by Evensong at 5 pm. Current restrictions allow us to gather in the church as long as we can be socially distanced, which we believe will be manageable, but if any members are unable or feel uncomfortable about attending in person please let us know and we will try to arrange a virtual connection to the meeting. It would be very helpful if you could let me know if you plan to attend.

Please wear face masks, sanitise on entry to the church, provide your contact details and take a seat where indicated by our ushers.

Friends’ Christmas Service

At the time of going to press, we are still unclear about holding a service for the Friends at Christmas time, and we are very grateful for your understanding about this.

Progress on the Tower Works

As the work on the church tower progresses, the funds raised by the Friends over the last 8 years are being put to a wonderful purpose. We hope to have some photographs taken from the scaffolding very soon, which will show the way in which the stone string-courses and drip mouldings have been cleaned prior to the replacement of decayed stone and new mortar pointing.

This Month’s Services

1st Nov – 9.30am – Holy Communion
2nd Nov – 6pm – Remembering Our Lost Loved Ones
11th Nov – 7pm – Festival of Remembrance
15 Nov – 9.30am – Morning Prayer
18 Nov – 9.30am – Morning Prayer
22 Nov – 5pm – Evenson
25 Nov – 9.30am – Morning Prayer
29 Nov – 5pm – Advent Sunday Service

August 2020

Lisa Overton, FOSM Secretary, writes:

From Historic Beginnings

On Tuesday 16th July 1980, the Friends of St Mary’s held its very fist Annual Meeting and stated its aim:

  1. to assist St Mary’s PCC to maintain the structure of the church in a consistent, good state of replair
  2. to assist the PCC to preserve and increase the beauty of the interior of the church and its furnishings

After opening a bank account on 5th June with no money at all, the Friends had already raised £758.98 from a Flower Festival, a concert by the Tyndale Choral Society and from other donations. It was noted that the exterior stonework of the tower was in need of conservation, and it would be an advantage to build a new toilet in the churchyard.

Work in Progress

The scaffolding goes up ready for repairs to the tower to commence (Photo credit: Lisa Overton)

Well, forty years on, and many tens of thousands of pounds later, the Friends have achieved so much for St Mary’s – nave roof, windows, gutter, doors, oil tank, tombs, carpet, funds for insurance and heating when no other sources were available, and much, much more. And now we begin, at long last, the conservation of the tower masonry and significant improvements to the vestry, while awaiting the fixing of the new bells. It will be very exciting to see the scaffolding going up and work begin, and it is hoped to have these projects complete by the end of the year. We will provide regular updates on the progress of the work.

As mentioned in 1980, a toilet is still needed, and we hope that when the tower work is complete, this can be our next project. Our architect and the Diocese of Gloucester will help to find the right solution, which we hope could be shared by visitors to both the church and the cemetery.

Friends of St Mary’s AGM 2020

Owing to Covid-19, we were unable to hold our AGM in the usual way in June, but the committee has set a date for Sunday 22nd November at 4.30pm in St Mary’s Church, to be followed by evensong at 6pm. If conditions are not favourable for a usual meeting, we will arrange a Zoom meeting and ensure that all Friends have access to the agenda.


As we celebrate the start of our latest major project, for which we have been raising funds for the last nine years, could we encourage everyone to continue to support St Mary’s through the Friends by renewing subscriptions or taking out new ones – a perfect gift for a member of your family. Visit the “Join Us” page for more details of how to renew your subscription or to join the Friends.