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.
HOW TO BECOME A FRIEND OF ST MARY’S
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.
NEW VICE PRESIDENTS
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.
PLEASE HELP US TIDY THE CHURCHYARD
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.
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.