April 2021 News

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

Eastertime, spring on its way and winter behind us, all the conservation work of the church completed, the new bells soon to be hung and start ringing, this is surely a time of hope and celebration for the Friends of St Mary’s.

We hope that the ending of the lockdown will allow us to plan events for the summer and autumn, including a performance by the Bristol Male Voice Choir, so please keep an eye on our website, our Facebook page and the Hawkesbury Parish News.

We hope to hold the Friends of St Mary’s AGM on Sunday 25th July in the church, followed by choral evensong, so please keep the date free.

THANK YOU TO DONORS AND GRANT-GIVERS

At the end of our successful project on the tower, we would like to thank the following for their wonderful financial support:

  • The Friends of St Mary’s, who raised and donated £55,000
  • The Enovert Trust (£20,000)
  • Gloucester Historic Churches Trust (£8,000)
  • The Sandra Trust (£8,000)
  • The Headley Trust (£5,000)
  • The Cottam Trust (£4,000)
  • The All Churches Trust (£2,300)
  • South Gloucestershire Council (£500)
  • The Renishaw Trust (£1,500)
  • The Langtree Trust (£500)
  • The Rausing Trust (£8,000)

I must add John and Stephanie Appleby and many other individuals who have been so generous. Many thanks too must go to the energetic fundraisers, especially Peter Setterfield, who organised the highly successful Waterloo Ball in 2015, to our Chairman Sir Ian Macfadyen and to Colin Dixon.

LIKE TO BECOME A FRIEND OF ST MARY’S?

The Friends of St Mary’s, founded in 1980, exists to raise funds for the fabric and preservation of St Mary’s church, and is open to anyone to join (you don’t have to be a church-goer, though you would be very welcome!)

We have members from far afield who have particular affection for this special building and its history, and who value its place in the fabric of our village and community.

For details of membership, click here. 

APRIL SERVICES

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

4th – 10am – Easter Sunday (from Hawkesbury)
11h – 10am – Easter 2 (from Leighterton)
18th – 10am – Easter 3 (from Didmarton)
26th – 10am – St Mark the Evangelist (from Lasborough)

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

March 2021 News

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

Welcome back, St Mary’s!

It is amazing how far the tower of the church is visible: our Carrek stonemasons commented on being able to see it right across the Sodbury Vale, from the M5, when it was shrouded in its scaffolding and white wrapping.

Now, it is settling happily back into the landscape, but it is well worth coming soon to see the excellent repair work that has been done:

  • new stone and mortar on the five bands of drip mouldings at each stage of the tower
  • careful repairs to the hunkypunks, gargoyles and crenellations at the top
photo of conservation team outside the church in rain
Carrek’s conservation work went on in all winter weathers

The work carried out by Carrek conservation is of the highest standard and the stonemasons have been so jolly, even when working in intense cold through this winter: we thank them and will miss them. Take a look at the Carrek Conservation website (www.carrek.co.uk) to learn about more of their remarkable projects.

And we must thank the brave scaffolders from Clarke who worked through snow, wind and rain to take down the mighty structure in the coldest weather, and kept smiling!

THANK YOU TO DONORS AND GRANT-GIVERS

Along with the support of other donors and grant-giving bodies, this work has been achieved with a donation of £45,000 from the Friends of St Mary’s, raised over the last eight years, to the PCC who commissioned the project.

LIKE TO BECOME A FRIEND OF ST MARY’S

The Friends of St Mary’s, founded in 1980, exists to raise funds for the fabric and preservation of St Mary’s church, and is open to anyone to join (you don’t have to be a church-goer, though you would be very welcome!)

We have members from far afield who have particular affection for this special building and its history, and who value its place in the fabric of our village and community.

For details of membership, click here. 

EVENTS – COMING SOON!

At present we are unable to announce fundraising events for the Friends for 2021, but we have dates and activities in the pipeline and will reveal them as soon as Covid restrictions are lifted, and will put them on our website.

PLEASE HELP US SPRING-CLEAN THE CHURCHYARD

However we would appreciate some volunteers to help with a socially-distanced, open-air clean up of the churchyard from 10 am on Saturday 27th March. If you would like to help, please contact me – and bring trowels and rakes!

MARCH SERVICES

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

7th – 10am – 3rd Sunday of Lent (from Didmarton)
14h – 10am – 4th Sunday of Lent/Mothering Sunday (from Leighterton)
21st – 10am – 5th Sunday of Lent (from Acton Turville)
28th – 10am – Palm Sunday (from Lasborough)

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

(Photos © Lisa Overton 2021)

December 2020 News

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

AGM

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