There is an annual competition and award for the best sermon by a lay minister. It is organised by PREACH magazine. This year the competition had to be held online, with preachers addressing the examiners via a Zoom style media. The subject matter was “Made by God” – a pretty broad topic! Entrants had to deliver a 7-8 minute address.

The runner-up, this year, announced last Monday, was our very own Paul Harrod. Well done Paul, your sermons are always worth listening to.

A much loved member of our congregation who has been shielding due to being in her 90s, has specifically asked to be remembered to one and all. Elizabeth S. sends love to everyone and hopes to return to St Mary’s in 2 weeks time.

Some social events take a bit of time to organise and advertise. One of these is Monday Movies in St Mary’s. The Movie Club wishes it to be known that ALL THINGS BEING EQUAL they will show their first Autumn film on Monday 19th October. The selected film is “A beautiful day in the neighbourhood”. It stars Tom Hanks and has received excellent reviews. It is a “feel good” film made in 2019 and just the sort of thing we need to see this year.

Everyone in the parish – Tockington, Olveston, Awkley, Old Down, Ingst & Lower Hazel, is interested and concerned by the volume and speed of traffic. Representations have been made by the Parish Council Traffic Committee to South Glos Council and there seems to be a strong possibility that there will be a blanket 20mph speed limit throughout the parish to be announced shortly. This move, coupled with the planned re-invigoration of the Speedwatch team, should have a significant effect on road safety here.

Last Sunday a total of 44 people attended the 10am Holy Communion service in St Mary’s, led by Rev Steve Oram. Consideration is now being given by the Buildings Committee for the purchase of a further 10 stackable chairs. These chairs are the easiest to clean and the safest to use in current conditions.

South Glos Council is giving grants to small businesses. Please tell anyone you know who is a small business owner, even if they work on their own from home.

A visit to The Swan in Tockington yesterday was an eye opener. Every table occupied! Thank you Rishi Sunak for not just giving us a cheap meal, but thank you for bringing us out of hibernation – it’s what we all need to be doing. And of course, it is good for the economy.

And finally, your weekly dose of humour: