What a very strange summer which has impacted us in so many ways. All Saints like all Churches was required by law to close in March , and only now are we beginning to see our small congregation hold services albeit with certain restrictions such as face masks and no singing. We would love to be able to open fully but current legislation has put the brakes on. One thing that I have learnt over that past few months is patience: what will happen will happen in its own good time and when it is safe to do so. However, we are now open and holding the monthly services on the second Sunday of each month as usual – bring a flask and have an outside catch up and cup of coffee after the service, weather permitting. Also, the monthly Compline services, usually alternated with Billingford, have been held at All Saints until the church at Billingford opens up again.
One thing that has done well this year has been the garden and for us the allotment with all manner of things needing a bit of extra TLC when water was not forthcoming from the heavens. That lack of water has also impacted on the wildflower population in the Churchyard particularly that very dry Spring. Mind you the normal residents of whatever flowers they are did make an appearance although not in as great a number as normal. Shortly we will be getting in the guys to cut and manage the wildflower areas with my good old trusty Scythe having done its bit too. Due to the restrictions on access to the Churchyard we have reduced the amount we normally cut and it has been lovely to see the huge variety of bugs of all shapes and sizes that now enjoy the longer grass.
The Swifts as always were very active in Thorpe Abbotts where the older properties provide both the height and nesting spots they need, often the roof edges which means that the birds crash land into the gutter then clamber on under the roof. Often these spots are favoured by the Sparrows who of course nest prior to the Swift’s arrival in May. This happened with one of my Swift Boxes and it was interesting to watch the Sparrow’s eviction by the Swift with the ex-resident sitting close by waiting to try and reoccupy. I didn’t see any house martins nesting in the village this year. I am told that the weather in the spring with the wind having a predominately northly set prevented many from completing their spring migration which will have reduced the numbers in the UK. My martin box got taken over the sparrows in any case! I will shortly be taking down my Swift boxes for cleaning so it will be interesting to see how many have been used.
A big thank you for all those who have had the lights on celebrating or remembering over the recent months it is so lovely to see the church alight. It costs just £5 a night and the money goes straight into our Maintenance Fund from which we draw frequently in the upkeep of this Grade 1 listed 900 year old Church. If you would like the lights on please contact Sue Williams on 07855414941. Payment will be needed before the night if you could please.
Having just published the March bit for th Village magazine it show just what an impact on Church activities the current situation has had. As will many many public places All Saints has closed until some time in the future, hopefully that will not be too long.
The Church has stood on this spot at least since Domesday 1087 and will will have seen many things both joyous and frightening. This is of course not the first time this country has been struck, remember the plague which absolutely devastated the country. No matter how bad that impact was we as a country came through it. Staying at home and local distancing is the best way to help defeat this virus. In the 13th Century they did not understand what was happening, we do today and have the tools to cope let’s facilitate the use off those tools…primarily our outstanding NHS which has in the past has been unfairly criticised. Now we all understand how blessed we are with a comprehensive healthcare system staffed by exceptional people.
We can do without mangetout and avocado pears and other such luxuries and so what if you are running short of wine, enjoy each others company, we will come out of this and before you know it Churches will again be open to welcome you all.
Well what a wert wet wet yet more wet month we have had but glad we have now settled to normal Spring weather which means we get most things most weeks. Thank you all of you who came to a very fun Quiz at the end of January, delighted that both the winner’s prize and wooden spoon stayed in the Village, the first time this has happened for a while.
February’s Church Service was a little different. Just as we started the electricity stopped!! which also I seem to remember effected the whole village. Well what to do as the manual pump on the organ has not worked for years? We came up with a solution….. something a little different with David our organist humming the first few lines to give us start. All went very well all be it a little cold as of course the heating was off too.
MESSY CHURCH 4th APRIL Coming up we are putting on a Messy Church on a rainbow theme in the Village Hall on Saturday April 4th 10.30-12.00. Children under the age of 13 are invited to come and join us for a bit of fun. All children need to be accompanied by an adult so it will be nice to gather for all age groups and so allowing a bit of a catch up. Entry is of course free, if you would like anymore details please contact Mary Alderton on 01379 668537.
EASTER Easter is just around the corner following on from our Messy Church. We will have short Evening Devotional Service on Holy Tuesday at 6.30pm and then a devotional ½ hr on Good Friday at 2.00pm. On Easter Day we plan to have a family Communion Service at 9.30am with Lynda Mansfield and Rev. Sue Auckland
CHURCHYARD As I write the church yard is ablaze with Aconites and Snowdrops particularly around the north side. Daffodils are making an appearance before our Meadow Saxifrage making their annual appearance in May/June. June is a very good time to have a wander around the church yard which you will know is managed for its wildflower population. Every year I am surprised by the appearance or even non appearance of various flower species there. Please do feel free to pop up there, many of our wildflower species are in decline and church yards often havens of which All Saints is a very good example. Additionally the church will be open at weekends and Bank Holidays after Easter. Some peeps think that just because the Church gates are closed means that you cannot go in, nothing could be further from the truth, these gates whilst physically together are never closed to those who wish to enter, a gentle push is all it needs.
CHURCH LIGHTS. A big thank you for all those who have had the lights on celebrating or remembering over the recent months it is so lovely to see the church alight. It costs just £5 a night and the money goes straight into our Maintenance Fund from which we draw frequently in the upkeep of this Grade 1 listed 900 year old Church. If you would like the lights on please contact Sue Williams on 07855414941. Payment will be needed before the night if you could please.
We had a lovely service on Sunday with a well filled church in good voice singing our favourite carols and enjoying the readings by the youngsters who did really well. Many Mince Pies and Stollen Cake consumed as we caught up, delighted to say that the Mulled wine proved very popular indeed too!! Thank you Tim and Lynda for a lovely service and the team who decorated the Church.
Well wasn’t it nice to be called the Village with Poppies. The youngsters did a great job with the pump after alot of hard work in th Village Hall painting them all. The Church looked wonderful with the Poppy on its Tower, big thanks need to go the the Parish Council and Village Hall who helped us with the finances of it.
Talking of lights, we have had a number of enquiries about having the lights on for special occasions and you will have seen the Church aglow on a number of occasion. I will have to say that seeing it alight as I drive past always brings a smile to my face wondering what event or person we are celebrating and of course appreciating what a good idea it was when we installed the lights way back in 2003. In fact the idea was born during the celebration of the Millenium in 2000 when Rosemary Barham who lived in School Lane, and a leading light on our Church Council organised some mobile lighting and showed us all how lovely a floodlight All Saints could be. If you would like the lights on to celebrate or remember a loved one please contact Sue Williams on 07855414941 or myself on email@example.com.
Now it’s almost got to the stage when we can mention the “C” word. In fact although as I right it’s a touch early when you read this its will definitely
ALMOST BE CHRISTMAS!!!!!.
As we have in the past we will be having a Christingle Carol Christmas Celebration with something for all together with festive fare at All Saints, on Sunday 8th December at 4.00pm which I am pretty sure will be preceded by a celebrations round the pump with Carols in the days before. This though is very much still in the planning stage so I will not be stealing the Village Hall Committee’s thunder by saying more. Suffice to say there will be a chance to celebrate the lighting of the tree decorated as always with decorations from around the Village.
Let me close this final edition of All Saint News by wishing you all a very happy Christmas, may yours be a joyous one and in the hope that 2020 is all you could wish for.
Well the summer has rather come and gone I am afraid as we settle into autumn. A quiet summer with our regular monthly service which alternates between morning Prayer and Communion. We always think that 9.30am is a great time to meet up as it does not really get in the way of the day although the chatting over tea/coffee often lasts longer than the service!
By the time you read this we will have had our Compline Service which happens during the week at 6.30pm. It is above all a short service of quietness and reflection before rest at the end of the day so really does bring it to a close in a truly lovely way. The next one will be at Billingford St Leonards on 12th December.
Coming up in October we have a Christening when we will welcome Esme Rose together of course with family and friends. Then onto 23rd November when we have the Gary and Simon double act with Simon putting on a talk about the Royal Naval Division in WW1 and Gary will bring in a good number of items with WW1 history to talk about. So very much a date for the diary, as always there will be a Light Supper, Bar and Raffle on offer. Further details will be forthcoming.
Our famous Messy Church will be running in the Village Hall on 12thOct 10.30-1200. As those who have been will tell you this is great fun for the youngsters and a chance for parents to catch up too. The last one earlier in the year was an absolute gas. The theme this time will be Harvest and everything that is made will go up to the Church for our Family Harvest Festival service on 13thOct at 4.30pm.
Church Lights.Driving down the A143 you will notice every so often that All Saints Church is alight, and without doubt it looks absolutely fabulous. It’s all about remembrance or celebration so if you have something or someone you would like to remember, or an event to celebrate let us know. We already have la ist of events and celebrations we mark with the lights and would love to light the church more often. It costs just £5 a night and the money goes straight into our Maintenance Fund from which we draw frequently in the upkeep of this Grade 1 listed 900 year old Church. If you would like the lights on please contact Sue Williamson 07855414941or myself on firstname.lastname@example.org. Payment will be needed before the night if you could please.
May I close wishing you all a bountiful harvest and a successful Conkerfest on the 28thSep