By Martin Gibson, contact: mrtngibs@aol.com

Our church community is never silent, never absent, even if the church itself is locked up. And so it proved last Sunday when Pauline, Sandy, Debbie, Sue and Natasha from St Mary’s and a Methodist team led by Maggie Spooner created and distributed beautiful bunches of posies for Mums throughout the villages. It was of course, Mothering Sunday, and fortunately a lovely day. There’s always some humour in these events and so it was that one little boy, when offered a bunch of flowers for his Mum said “No thank you.” Obviously well instructed in not accepting gifts from strangers. Or perhaps he was miffed with his mother that day. A big thank you to all concerned.

The CHAT group always has an interesting topic to discuss on Tuesdays, but 2 days ago they were right up to speed questioning whether it was permissible to remove a person’s citizenship. By coincidence a photograph of Shemima Begum appeared in some daily newspapers that day. The young lady had forsaken her niqab for Western style clothes and makeup. The consensus of the meeting seemed to be that, if she had a right of appeal, then it would be necessary for her to be present in the country for it to be heard. There is, of course, no appeal from a Supreme Court decision, but that court had conceded that circumstances surrounding Ms Begum might change, in which case the door for her return was left open.

The funeral of Mrs Rita Hitchcock takes place today in St Mary’s at 10:45am.

There is some concern among people who are shielding that to receive the holy sacraments in their own home might be a risk. However, Rev David Moss is keen to point out that the bread and wine for home communion are placed in sealed and sterilised containers prior to transport. There is therefore, no risk attached. If you want communion at home please ring Rev David.

There are signs of new roots appearing – not just in the garden. Plans are being prepared for the Church Fete to be staged once more in August or perhaps early September. As with our Fete in 2019, it will be in Church Hill with the road being closed off for the afternoon. The Monday Movie Club is also preparing to start showing films in church again from September.

Our Director of Music, Dr David Shaw, is restlessly awaiting news from the Government. Not personally, but for details of when choirs can re-commence in church. Over the past 9 months, 6 or so choristers have provided limited, permitted vocal music for us, but perhaps on 12th April the Government might permit more choral music in churches.

An important date for your diary: the Venerable Neil Warwick, Archdeacon of Bristol Diocese, is preaching in St Mary’s on Easter Day. The service starts at 9:30am.

Nine years ago the Buildings Committee investigated the possibility of placing solar panels on the church roof. This was a very attractive proposition as two of the three roof pitches are hidden from view. The plans were well advanced when it was found that the construction of the roof was structurally incapable of safely carrying the weight of the panels and the scheme was dropped. Technology has moved on since then and once more the committee is looking at the practical detail. Better still, as solar panels, by themselves, only provide electricity in “real time”, the advances in battery technology now make it possible for power to be stored until it is actually needed. Exciting times.

And finally:

Miscellaneous observations on daily life…

Marathon runners with bad footwear suffer the agony of defeat.

If you think nobody cares whether you’re alive or dead, try missing a couple of mortgage payments.

In order to keep a true perspective of one’s importance, everyone should have a dog to worship him and a cat to ignore him.

The trouble with doing something right the first time is that nobody appreciates how difficult it was.

The most effective way to remember your wife’s birthday is to forget it once.

I ate a kid’s meal at McDonald’s today. His mum got really angry.