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.