So here we are again in lockdown. It is very important to know that the “help” groups are still operating. “Tockington Together” and “Village Volunteers” serve Olveston, Tockington, Awkley and Ingst, whilst Old Down has its own neighbourhood scheme via Cllr Di Buckley. Do please keep an eye open for your own neighbours, it never hurts to pop round or pick up the phone. COMMUNICATION is always the name of the game. The information card which landed on everyone’s doormat 7 months ago is still valid.

Some much needed good news at Olveston Primary C of E School. There had been predictions that the intakes in 2020 and 2021 might fall below 20 pupils. Fortunately, this year’s intake is 30 – which is the maximum permitted. And it looks likely that the same number will apply in 2021.

The PCC met via Zoom yesterday. Details of matters discussed in next week’s Natter.

The Archdeacon, Neil Warwick, carried out his triennial inspection last Thursday. He complimented our officers for their care of the church and its contents and the attention to detail in its records.

He must have been very satisfied, because he has accepted an invitation to return and preach on Sunday 10th January. Neil last visited St Mary’s in December 2019 and there are not many churches which get an archdeacon to visit twice in a year.

And now something to smile at:

There are 3 good reasons to believe Jesus was Italian:

He talked with his hands. He used olive oil. He had wine with every meal

But there are also 3 good reasons to believe that Jesus was black:

He called everyone “brother”. He loved Gospel and he couldn’t get a fair trial

But truly, for 3 compelling reasons, Jesus must have been a woman:

He fed a crowd at a moment’s notice when there was no food. He kept trying to get a message across to a bunch of men who just didn’t get it. And even when he was dead, he had to get up because there was still more work to do.