Sth Glos Trading Standards are warning of rogue traders operating in our parish. In particular they are offering work on ROOFS. If someone approaches YOU about a slipped tile, poor roof felt or anything associated with the roof BEWARE. Another current scam is on EBAY. Unscrupulous crooks are offering to sell all sorts of goods at VERY, VERY cheap prices. Don’t be fooled.

Last week when we had 2 power cuts, the church alarm went off each time and was, frankly, quite annoying. Today, the security company went into the church and found a failed back-up battery problem. It has now been replaced and so should we have another power cut, the alarm will not go off.

St Mary’s Standing Committee met via Zoom on Tuesday. Two items were on the agenda: the finances of the church and the church tower appeal. Quite obviously, our income has dropped considerably. We hope that those of us who use the envelope scheme are putting our regular weekly donation into the envelopes and stashing them away until we re-open. Sue & Martin are thrilled by the thought of counting the contents of 500 envelopes at that time! On the other hand, and this would make a lot of sense – why don’t you convert to a monthly standing order? Think of the advantages – not having to wonder where you left this week’s envelope, do I have any cash in the house, oh dear, forgot to bring it etc etc. A Standing Order is sssooo simple.

The Standing Committee was also very concerned about the Tower Appeal. Virtually all the bodies which grant money towards a worthy cause, have shut their doors to anything but Covid19 related matters. Which leaves us with a £40,000 headache. How do we raise that money? The Summer Ball is cancelled, we can’t get into the church to promote a fund raising appeal, no quizzes in the foreseeable future and so on. What we can say is that Mike Wright and his helpers are looking at all sorts of alternative money raising ideas. Do you have any thoughts?

The Parish Council is looking for a Footpath Warden following Rod Williams retirement after 6 years in the post. It is an unpaid voluntary post and well suited to anyone who does a lot of walking in Olveston Parish. It’s possible that the warden might have a number of helpers – so if you walk around the Common and Sally Bloggs walks in Old Down and Jim Smith does the same in Tockington – you might be happy to report footpath issues to a central focus man/woman warden? The work (work?) involves advising the Parish Council of broken stiles, overgrown paths, unmarked public rights of way etc – hardly a chore. If you are interested just email the clerk, Malcolm Evans: clerk@olvestonparishcouncil.gov.uk

Have you noticed that the Tockington Tardis, aka the phone box, has been refurbished? Thanks to Dave Webb & the Parish Council. All the bus shelters have also been tarted up.

The BIG question everyone is asking is WHEN WILL ST MARY’S BE OPEN AGAIN? We all know the restrictions in force and the reasons for them and it has been suggested that 1st OCTOBER is a likely date. All the lay members of the Standing Committee believe that the church can be safely opened much earlier than that and are currently working on a viable plan to get us together again.

AND as you all enjoy a bit of humour:

Sister Mary was a very religious and kind-hearted woman. She even worked in her spare time in hospitals caring for the sick. One day on her way to a hospice she ran out of petrol. The only container she could find was a bedpan (remember them? Brass with a wooden handle) so she walked half a mile to the petrol station, filled it up and returned to her broken down car and poured the liquid in. By now a crowd had gathered and a man shouted out ” My God, if it starts I’m going to become a Christian.”