by Martin Gibson

This year’s Remembrance Sunday was very different to normal. Due to government regulations, services could not be held in church, nevertheless up to 100 people gathered around the War Memorial to watch the solemn proceedings presided over by Rev Steve Oram. Wreaths were laid and the names of the fallen were read out but there were no flags, no bugler and only the National Anthem was sung. At 11am a two minute silence commenced. All that could be heard was the pitter patter of rain on umbrellas, the craw of crows and the occasional whining of an impatient hound. So in the end the differences from the norm went unnoticed and solemnity was properly observed.

The PCC met on Zoom last week. The discussions centered mainly around the Parish Share. This is the amount of money each church has to pay to its diocese and which is used to pay clergy salary, pensions, diocesan expenses, various projects etc. St Mary’s share in 2020 was £58,000 and despite a deficit in its budget of £17,000, the PCC agreed to pay the amount in full, the shortfall being covered by using our reserves. The ongoing effect of Covid 19 means that in all likelihood social restrictions will continue into and through 2021. That, in turn, makes another deficit probable. The PCC decided that it would seek the Archdeacon’s advice before making a final decision on how much St Mary’s should pay in 2021.

CHAT (come here and talk) zoomed each other on Tuesday evening. The topic was “Does freedom impose any responsibilities?”. The general consensus was – yes – everyone in the free world has a duty to inform and act responsibly towards those less fortunate than us.

The Woodlands Trust is offering countless free trees to all suitable organisations including Olveston Parish Council. The Council is suggesting that there might be small landowners who have space for a few trees. If anyone knows of such an area of land, with a willing owner, please contact the Clerk, Malcolm Evans: clerk@olvestonparishcouncil.gov.uk

The Parish Council has purchased a half share in a Speed Visor from Oldbury parish. These are the speed limiters with a smiley face – if you are driving within the speed limit. Olveston Parish is also hoping that a local businessman will donate another new speed visor.

Always at the bottom of the page but…..

William’s mother walked into his bedroom and said “Get out of bed, it’s Sunday and you must go to church.” William sulkily replied “No. And I’ll give you 2 reasons why not. First, they don’t like me and second, I don’t like them.”

“Nonsense ” replied mother. “I’ll give you two very good reasons why you should get up. First, you are 48 years old and second, you are the Vicar.”