By Martin Gibson

The Wednesday morning Holy Communion service on Zoom, led by Steve Oram will, until the end of March, be hosted by Ann Lloyd. Steve has been recalled to the BRI to continue his bereavement work. He will be comforting those families who have lost loved ones. This will be every Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday mornings for the next 6 weeks. Steve wishes it to be known that outside these times, he will still be available for pastoral duties in the parish and of course on Sunday mornings.

Are you a donor to the Foodbank? All gifts are greatly appreciated and greatly needed too. One individual left 2 mobile phones in a bag containing food gifts in the porch at St Mary’s last week. Very kind, but if you were that person please contact Paul Harrod or Thornbury Foodbank.

Each Tuesday up until Easter there is a Lent Discussion Group. It starts at 11am and you can join using the Revs Rural link.

Amazing News! The Tower Appeal has surpassed £200,000 following a tremendous response to the recent fund raising effort. More money is still needed but we are very close to meeting. Our thanks to Mike Wright and Peter Floyd in particular.

Sorry to have to report that Rita Hitchcock has died after a long illness. Rita and her late husband John were great supporters of St Mary’s for many years. They were both highly regarded members of the choir.

Films for Lent start on Wednesday 3rd March with the 2nd one being shown on the 17th. Films start at 7:30pm and can be accessed via the Revs Rural link on Zoom.

The Buildings Committee met by Zoom yesterday. Matters discussed included handrails around the step into the church by the main door, the scaffolding which will be needed around the tower, the siting of the font, solar panels for the roof and the storage of the 50 grey plastic chairs currently inside the sheds at the back of the church.

The Speed Visor (camera) owned by the parish council which until a couple of days ago was sited on Haw Lane has produced some interesting data. Prior to its installation, the number of speeding motorists accounted for 20% of the traffic. Whilst the visor was in place, it reduced speeding by almost 10%.. Experience shows that there is a lasting effect on traffic speeds, although this does diminish over time. The visor also revealed that in the last week of January and the first 2 weeks of February, approximately 250 cars pass down Haw Lane towards the village. There is very little difference in numbers between week days and weekends. The visor is now sited on Alveston Road opposite the football pitch.

And finally:

A newly qualified policeman went out on his first shift with an experienced partner. They were driving along when the young one spotted a group of people hanging around.

Thinking quickly about Covid 19 and social distancing rules he asked the older policeman to pull up by the group. Lowering his window he said to them “Come on now, move along please.”

No one moved, though they did look embarrassed. This time he shouted at them “Move along NOW.” Gradually they began to disperse.

He turned to his partner and said “How did I do?”

“Not bad” came the reply “For a bus stop.”