By Martin Gibson. Contact: mrtngibs@aol.com

St Mary’s congregation turned out in force last Sunday, Palm Sunday, to greet the Bishop of Bristol, Rt Rev Vivienne Faull. Even with social distancing fully operative, virtually every available chair and pew was occupied.

The service was organised by Rev David Bone, to whom we send our thanks.

Bishop Viv gave a fascinating sermon centred on “FREEDOM” in which she intertwined Jesus Christ, CS Lewis’ Chronicles of Narnia and the protests in Myanmar.

She described Jesus’ loss of freedom on the way to his crucifixion, woven into the story of Aslan, the Lion, in C.S.Lewis’ Chronicles of Narnia, who sacrificed himself and was then resurrected and finally the fight for freedom by the people of Myanmar.

The point of her message was that FREEDOM can be won by self-sacrifice.

Tomorrow is Good Friday and there is a service in the church starting at 2pm to commemorate Christ’s death on the Cross.

On Sunday, we welcome the Archdeacon of Bristol, the Ven Neil Warwick, who will preach to us.

The Sunday Evening Service recommences on17th April. Start time 6pm.

South Gloucs Council has just published its plan for speed limits in the Parish. The only 40mph areas will be more or less as existing (Alveston Road, but only as far as Pump Lane, Fernhill and Hardy Lane. 30mph limits will apply on Upper Tockington Road (as existing). Everywhere else will become a 20mph zone – eg, New Road and The Street, Olveston and all of Tockington village centre). Implementing these proposals will probably take 2 years.

Walking around the Parish during lockdown is an eye-opener in at least one instance. Despite what many of us have thought in the past, there are DOZENS, SCORES of young families living here. Why aren’t any of them in our congregation?

And, because today is April Fool’s day, I give you:

Observations on modern life

Common sense is not a gift. It’s a punishment because you have to deal with everyone who doesn’t have it.

Save the earth. It’s the only planet with chocolate.

A bus station is where a bus stops. A train station is where a train stops. On my desk I have a workstation.

A journey of a thousand miles begins with a cash advance.

The journey of a thousand miles begins with a broken fan belt and a flat tyre.

The darkest hour is just before dawn. So, if you’re going to steal your neighbour’s milk, that’s the time to do it.

Don’t be irreplaceable. If you can’t be replaced, you can’t be promoted.

A hangover is the wrath of grapes.

When two egotists meet, it’s an I for an I.

A filing cabinet is a place where you can lose things systematically.

Two choir members recently got married.  They met by chants.

The most welcome guest is the one who knows when to go home.

Why do they lock petrol station bathrooms? Afraid that someone will clean them?