By Martin Gibson

The PCC met yesterday via Zoom, primarily, to discuss whether or not St Mary’s should reopen for services now that lockdown 2 has ended. Churches are permitted to hold services, subject to the same safety guidelines as we had in the Summer, but Rev David Moss has made the decision that services will not resume until 20th December (the assumption being that on 16th December South Gloucs will be moved to Tier 2). He did, however, allow members of the PCC to put forward their views whilst stating that his decision was final.

There has been great sadness that Paul Harrod, who favoured restarting services immediately, has, as a matter of principle, resigned his post of PCC member and that of lay reader. Many people look to Paul as the bridge between the older generation and young families.

The Parish Council sponsored SPEEDWATCH, is very active. The idea of this organisation is to EDUCATE motorists, not to CATCH them. The rule is that if anyone is driving above the speed limit PLUS 10% and 2mph (for example 30mph + 10% + 2 =35mph) you will receive a warning letter from the police. If recorded a second time, there will be a policeman on your doorstep. What will that look like to your neighbours? The ones with the twitching curtains!!

The Parking and Traffic Committee of the Parish Council has succeeded in persuading South Gloucs Council that a 20mph speed limit on most roads in the parish is desirable. Implementing this policy will take about 2 years.

Have you ever wondered what is the point of a Parish Council? What on earth does it do? Well, it maintains three play area (Old Down, Tockington and Olveston), it has contractors who cut the grassy areas and the hedges throughout the parish on a regular basis, it watches over the public footpaths, its supports the football teams (men, women and youngsters) at Old Down, it leases land to the Tennis Club, the Bowls Club and the Scouts, it advises South Gloucs on planning applications and pressurises the council to improve traffic and parking issues, it listens to the concerns of residents – and above all – it aims to make the parish a better place to live in.

LONELINESS. It is thought that in Olveston alone, there are 11 people who are seriously lonely. This is only hearsay, but it is likely to be a fairly accurate number. There is no substitute for personal contact, so if you think your elderly neighbour (and they don’t actually have to be elderly, the young suffer just as much) might be a bit lonesome, why not pop round and say hello, how are you? It doesn’t cost anything – and you’ll feel like a better human being.

Spare a thought for Sarah Riggs in Olveston Stores. Always cheerful, always helpful – but suffering badly with a ricked neck which causes her great pain. Thank you Sarah for running the best stocked village stores anywhere.


You never really learn to swear until you learn to drive.

You never learn to pray until your kids learn to drive.