By Martin Gibson

The soul can have no rainbow unless the eyes shed some tears” – old Native American saying.

The Christmas Day service this year was the best supported for many years. A number of large family groups attended and there were 41 adults and 8 children under the age of 16. The Holy Communion service which followed the family service had 25 communicants, double the number of last year. Thanks to Rev David Bone for presiding over both.

What do those numbers tell us? Anyone who thought about going to church on Christmas Day must have known that things would be different this year. No singing of carols and no chatting to others, and yet a great many came. Perhaps there is a latent need in people, something hidden, which moves them to go into the house of God. Christmas 2020 has been a time of sadness for many more people than usual. The inability to be with loved ones, family and friends, not being able to offer a simple hug or share a glass of wine has been a terrible hardship. Looking on the bright side however, New Year’s Eve is more or less cancelled so the older folk can legitimately go to bed at 10 o’clock whereas normally they’d have to suffer staying awake those final 2 hours up to midnight.

Mention has been made before of our focal vicar, Rev Steve Oram, having to stay at home in Wales at the moment. Steve lives in Newport which has the highest rate of infection in that country. It would be unwise for him to run the risk of bringing Covid 19 to Olveston, which has one of the lowest infection rates in the region. But this does put a big strain on the remainder of the ministry team. Rev David Moss has 2 active churches to service, plus 3 quieter ones. Rev Ann Lloyd has to be extremely careful self isolating because of husband’s Richard vulnerability and Janet McBride is seriously self isolating too. That leaves only Rev David Bone, whom being over 80 is greatly at risk and Paul Harrod. Services and service leaders may have to change at short notice, but this will always be announced promptly on this website under the Home page banner – SERVICES.

There may well be some, perhaps many elderly people in our community who struggle to pay their heating bills and whose health suffers as a result. The cheapest and very best solution if someone has to make this type of choice, is an electric blanket. These provide a low cost, warm and a comfortable night’s sleep at the coldest time of day.

Someone who had a surfeit this Christmas in the form of TWO Christmas roast dinners, was Richard Powell. His friends rallied round and there was even the offer of a third dinner too. Thanks to all those who support others in need.

Another shopping outlet closing in Thornbury is WILDINGS, formerly Worthington’s. The High Street is rapidly being reduced to banks and coffee shops and they won’t survive without the footfall that shops bring to a town centre.

The Speed Radar Machine with the smiley face outside the Parish Hall, has had an amazing effect upon speeding motorists. Since being installed, the number of drivers travelling faster than 30mph has fallen from 49% to 36% – a drop of 13%.

Why did God make mothers?

Here are some of the answers seven-year-olds gave to the following questions…

Why did God give you your mother and not some other mum?
God knew she likes me a lot more than other kids’ mums like me.

What kind of little girl was your mum?
I don’t know because I wasn’t there, but my guess would be pretty bossy.

What did your mum need to know about your dad before she married him?
His last name.

Why did your mum marry your dad?
She got too old to do anything else with him.

What’s the difference between mums & dads?
Mum knows how to talk to teachers without scaring them.

What would it take to make your mum perfect?
On the inside she’s already perfect. Outside, I think some kind of plastic surgery.