By Martin Gibson

Later today, the Government will announce which restrictions on movement and shopping are to be relaxed. Even if South Glos is placed in Tier 3 it is likely that church services – conducted in the same manner as before lockdown – will restart. Won’t it be good to see our fellow worshippers again?

The CHAT (come here and talk) group meets every Tuesday evening, currently by Zoom. This week’s discussion was around people’s need for art. Angus Macaskill led the discussion and in advance had directed members to a very interesting National Gallery video. If you’d like to join the group, just contact Sue Farr.

Those who shop online at smile.amazon.co.uk will be aware that customers can select a charity and AmazonSmile will donate 0.5% of the net purchase price of eligible purchases to that charity. As a charity, St Mary’s is now eligible to receive donations under the AmazonSmile programme, appearing with the rather lengthy formal name of ‘The Parochial Church Council of the Ecclesiastical Parish of St Mary’s Olveston’. So if you are shopping online with AmazonSmile (same prices and selection as on the main Amazon site), please consider selecting us!”

Outside St Mary’s, close to the porch, is a special recycling box which takes lots of items we used to just throw away – tooth paste tubes, crisps packets and writing pens. Please do use it, we are not only protecting the environment but also supporting Olveston Primary School which makes money from selling on these waste items.

Church members who were attending the Wednesday and Sunday morning service prior to lockdown 2, will have been grateful for the stackable chairs which, because of their mobility, allowed us all to safely socially distance ourselves. Two days ago a further 10 of these chairs arrived in church, so now we have 40.

Last week a Zoom meeting was held with an adviser on climate change from the Diocese. Clare Fussell explained some of the many ways we, St Mary’s, can help in the battle. Ideas ranged from turning off heating in church when not needed, to planting trees in Africa to offset CO2 emissions. It was clear that our members, particularly the Green Group and the Buildings Committee, were already well aware of most of the ways in which we can help to save the planet. Nevertheless, we all agreed to look at everything that is currently being undertaken and step up efforts to reduce waste and energy.

A Road closure is planned for 100m of Moor Lane at its junction with Hardy Lane on a short section of New Road on Monday 30th November for up to 5 days. Another road closure, scheduled for 3 days, is the short section of New Road, Olveston between Orchard Rise and Haw Lane on 11th January for 3 days. The diversion route goes up Orchard Rise and down Haw Lane and vice versa.

Children’s Christmas Carols – which children don’t always hear quite right!

Deck the Halls with Buddy Holly
We three kings of porridge and tar
On the first day of Christmas my tulip gave to me
Later on we’ll perspire, as we dream by the fire.
He’s makin a list, chicken and rice.
Noel, Noel, Barney’s the king of Israel.
With the jelly toast proclaim
Olive, the other reindeer
Frosty the Snowman is a ferret elf, I say
Sleep in heavenly peas.
In the meadow we can build a snowman, then pretend that he is sparse and brown
O come, froggy faithful.