October News

The Friends of St Mary’s new Chairman, Colin Dixon, writes:

We had a very successful Pimms Tent at the Hawkesbury Show, equalling other years’ profits and boosting FoSM’s depleted coffers after the bells and refurbishments projects at the Church.


It is with some sadness that we report that Sir Ian Macfadyen has recently resigned as the Chairman of the Friends and the committee. However despite his resignation he managed to collect almost £1,000 in donations – he should perhaps leave more often!

On that note, Ian will not be leaving FoSM for good because we have just elected him a Vice-President of the Friends for his tremendous work in raising funds for the Church and acting as the Chairman for the past 15 years. Congratulations, Ian, it is well deserved.

From left to right: Sir Ian Macfadyen, the Rev Richard Thomson, Bishop Rachel of Gloucester & Churchwarden Linda Fairney


Our most recent project has been the clipping of the yew hedges around the Church which is an expenditure that FoSM has traditionally taken on . The yews are now looking wonderful and they set off the Church perfectly.

It is fortuitous that the profits made on the Pimms Tent at the Show exactly matches the expenditure on the yew hedge clipping and has done for years. Buy a Pimms and clip a hedge!

In the spring we removed some old and dangerous pine trees that have overshadowed the Church, leaving a clear space and allowing a tremendous amount of additional light into the Church.


However the nettles – identifying a niche in the market – have now overtaken the space released by the trees and need to be removed. We need nettle-pulling volunteers with stout gloves and a stout heart – send me an email at coldix365@gmail.com and we will arrange a foray into the undergrowth.


We have identified a number of potential projects for the future which we could raise funds for and our help is needed even more after the Covid lockdowns and the Church’s depleted earnings. We will be covering them in more detail in later issues.


By signing up to the Friends of St Mary’s, you are making a statement that our beautiful Church is worth preserving and keeping it at the heart of the community. To find out more about joining FoSM, click here.


3rd October – 9.30am Holy Communion
10th October – 6pm Harvest Festival Evensong
17th October – 9.30am Morning Praise
24th October – 6pm Evensong

October 2020

Lisa Overton, FOSM Secretary, provides this monthly round-up of news.

It is very cheering to be able to attend services in our lovely church again, and we send sincerest thanks to Vicar Richard, Organist Ben and our Churchwardens for keeping our services going so well. We hope that before too long we may be able to sing once more. Sometimes we may have groaned at trying to heat, clean and maintain our very large parish church, but just as the moment it means that social distancing is no problem.

Tower Restoration Under Way

Many of you will now have seen the “wrapped” tower, visible for miles, which provides essential protection for the stonemasons who will be working their way down the tower walls in the coming weeks. Carrek, our conservation builders, are being tremendously helpful in letting us continue with worship and access to the churchyard and cemetery and we send them many thanks.

church tower from a distance
St Mary’s beneath its temporary veil

(Debbie Young chose the wrapped tower as the theme for her column in this month’s Parish News, which you can read online via her blog here.)

News of the Yews

The churchyard yews have been trimmed and look really magnificent. Many visitors to the valley and the church comment on the size and character of our yews and we should be justly proud of them, even if we don’t have quite as many as Painswick

There are many old country tales about yew and its uses, as well as its dangers. Old Jim Harford once told me that rubbing down a horse’s coat with fresh yew just before an agricultural show produced a gleaming coat. Do you have other folklore and tales about yew?

Can You Help?

We need to clear and clean the church gullies in the coming weeks. If anyone has some spare time to help with this on a fine day, it would be a great help. Please contact me if you can offer a hand.

Diary Date: Parochial Church Meeting

The APCM (Annual Parochial Church Meeting) will take place on Sunday 25th October following the service of Evensong. As the clocks go back that day, the service will start at 5pm with the meeting at 5.30pm. 

This Month’s Services

4th October – 9.30am – Holy Communion
7th October – 9.30am – Morning Prayer
11th October – 6pm – Evensong
14th October – 9.30am – Evening Prayer
18th October – 9.30am – Morning Praise
21st October – 9.30am – Morning Prayer
25th October – 5pm – Evensong
28th October – 9.30am – Morning Prayer
2nd November – 6pm – Remembering Our Loved Ones
4th November – 9.30am – Morning Prayer