May 2023 News

FOSM Chairman Colin Dixon writes:


As we go to press, I can report that the HULF Festival of Words at St Mary’s Church on 22nd April was a tremendous success. Many thanks to Debbie Young for her organising and presentation skills. Organising such an amazing day’s worth of literary enjoyment for just over the price of a pint of beer per person is a great achievement. Thanks and well done to the merry band of helpers without whose stalwart work the day would not have been so enjoyable. Setting up, serving teas and cakes all day and clearing away was carried out so smoothly it was wonderful. Many thanks also to Christopher and Lisa Overton for providing lunch for the attendees, at the Malthouse opposite, which was greatly appreciated by all. We look forwards to hearing how much the event has boosted our coffers.

Churchwarden & historian Lisa Overton speaks about William Tyndale’s impace on the English language, with part of St Edyth’s Scribes calligraphy exhibition in foreground


Sunday 25th June – FOSM AGM and Evensong

Saturday 22-Sunday 23 July – Open Tower Weekend: 2-5 pm on both Saturday and Sunday with bell ringing, talks and guided visit to the tower, short talks about the church ‘s history and monuments, tea and cakes in church or outside if the weather is fine. On Sunday there will be picnics on the lawn and hopefully music at Church Farm. Sunday 6pm Evensong with commemoration of the Liverpool Banners.

Saturday 26th August – Hawkesbury Show Pimm’s Tent. We will be in our new normal place at the far end of the showground between the HULF and the Community Shop tents. This area had such a favourable reception from our customers over the past two year’s that we are making it our preferred location.

Saturday 2nd December – Another Gin Jolly event is planned in conjunction with the Village Hall – details to be announced later.

December – FOSM Nine Lessons and Carols service – date yet to be decided in consultation with the Vicar and the Choir.


The dedicated band of mowers – organised by Peter Setterfield – have begun work on the Churchyard and it is emerging from its winter scruffiness. We have the fresh gravel ready for laying on the paths as soon as the weather perks up a bit.

If you are not a member of the Friends of St. Mary’s – please join us to keep this historic Church alive and beautiful.


Friday 5th May 6.30 Coronation Vigil
Sunday 14th May 6pm Evensong
Sunday 21st May Family Service
Sunday 28th May Evensong
(Please note: no service on Sunday 7th May due to Badminton Horse Trials)

April 2023 News

Colin Dixon, Chair of the Friends of St Mary’s, writes:

Our Next Event

The first Friends fundraiser for 2023 will be on Saturday 22nd April and is the all-day Festival of Words.

This is thanks to the amazing kindness of Debbie Young who has organised the event to benefit the Friends of St Mary’s. Thank you Debbie. The full itinerary and the buying link for tickets is on the Hawkesbury Upton Literature Festival website here. It will be a full day from 10.30am to 5pm with a break for lunch. There will be an optional lunch of quiche, salad and fruit in the Malthouse for £10 per head, bookable only in advance. I shall be giving a talk on the language of bells at the event and there will be a demonstration of bell ringing.

Other Events for 2023

Other Friends’ events for this year will be:

  • An Open Tower Weekend, which was a great success last year – it will be held in the summer and the date will be announced next month.
  • The FOSM AGM will be held this year on Sunday 25th June followed by Evensong.
  • The renowned Friends of St Mary’s Pimm’s Tent which has become established in its new place on the far side of the show ground, on Show Day, Saturday 26th August.
  • We are anticipating a joint event with the Village Hall in the autumn, follow the success of the Gin Jolly last autumn.
  • The Friends of St Mary’s Nine Lessons and Carols will be held on Sunday 17th December.

We are hoping to run other events during the year and suggestions are welcome.

Our famous Pimm’s Tent at Hawkesbury Show on the last Saturday in August

Current Projects

The south side of the churchyard has been cleared by Tom Hodder’s crew and is looking very smart. We are currently debating whether to plant it with shrubs to break up the expanse or to leave it as grass. Any suggestions or help will be very much appreciated.

We have two tonnes of pea gravel ready to go on the paths as soon as the weather permits. We will need to kill off the weeds first to stop them growing up through the new gravel. All offers of help with the raking will be appreciated.

We will soon be restarting the monthly cycle of weeding and clearing up the churchyard and Peter Setterfield has been marshalling his troops to mow the grass during the summer.

The church will be open every day during the summer and we shall need to make sure that the churchyard is tidy as it is always the backdrop to visitors’ photographs. We don’t want the churchyard showing us up.

The discussions about the new eco-toilet for the churchyard are still ongoing. it is a PCC matter and the Friends have an interest but only because we are the fundraising arm of the church and may make a donation towards it in the future.

Please Join Us!

Finally, if there are like-minded people in the parish who are still not members of the Friends of St Mary’s, please join! Our sole purpose is to support St Mary’s Church to stay open and beautiful. You can join online here.