By Martin Gibson; contact email:

Services Sunday 29th August: 9:30 Holy Communion led by Rev David Bone. 6pm Choral Evensong with Paul Harrod

The choral evensong is highly recommended. The choir has been singing only in the mornings during August but this is the 5th Sunday of the month and therefore is a special performance.

This is very much a week of reminders, which in a way is reassuring since it does mean that we are really opening up again.

First of all – the Church Fete. Saturday 4th September in Church Hill outside the church. Start time 2pm. The road will be closed with diversions in place. If you can bake a cake or just offer yourself as a helper, Debbie would be thrilled – contact her on 07870 557961.

Next – the Monday Movie Club – this starts again on Monday 6th September. Doors open at 7pm for tea, coffee and other drinks. The opening film of the season is A BEAUTIFUL DAY IN THE NEIGHBORHOOD. It’s a powerful story about friendship and forgiveness. The cast is led by Tom Hanks – who hasn’t made a bad film yet! Admission is free but if you want to leave a donation towards our costs it will be welcome.

Finally, the Bristol Sinfonietta is performing in St Mary’s on Saturday 18th September. There is a limit of EIGHTY people only – we normally expect 140 – so it is a TICKET only event. Tickets available from Debbie, phone number above.

The tower pinnacles are currently being removed. Their condition varies from poor to please don’t touch. However, some people have expressed an interest in buying one or more. Certainly one has been sold. They will make amazing garden furniture. If you are interested please ring Mike Wright 07967 473020.

The refurbished play area at Old Down is rapidly nearing completion. The activities were all chosen by local children and a competition was held whereby children were asked to draw their idea of the perfect playground. The winner will be announced shortly and a prize awarded.

You will have seen that the VAS speed cameras have been moved from Alveston Road and The Street (by the church) to outside the parish hall and Haw Lane. The camera on The Street, facing Aust, recorded one car travelling into the village centre at 65mph. And at 5.30 in the afternoon. Beggars belief.

The PCC meets next Wednesday 1st September at 7.30pm in St Mary’s. One subject for discussion is “intincting”. This is the practice of dipping the wafer into a chalice of wine. It reduces the risk of transmitting infection but is not foolproof.


Have you heard about this organisation? It is a grouping of C of E clergy & laity who want to preserve the parish system – whereas powerful voices in the “big” church want to change (they would say “improve”) the whole concept, effectively abolishing the centuries old practice of a vicar leading a parish. Below is their new logo and a statement recently issued by them:

“This is your church. This is not the Archbishop of Canterbury’s, nor the House of Bishops’s, nor the clergy’s, not even the General Synod’s. It belongs, in a broad sense, to the people of England (regardless of your faith or lack of it — which is why parliament is still its ultimate decision-making body) and very specifically to the laity of the Church of England. You have a say.”

And finally:

 A grandmother telephoned Southmead Hospital and she timidly asked: “Is it possible to speak to someone who can tell me how a patient is doing?”The operator responded: “I’ll be glad to help, dear. What’s the patient’s name and room number?”

The grandmother in her weak tremulous voice said: “Norma Findlay, Room 302.” The operator replied: “Let me place you on hold while I check with her nurse.”

After a few minutes the operator returned to the phone: “Oh, good news. Her nurse has told me that Norma is doing very well. Her blood pressure is fine; her blood test has come back as normal. And her consultant Dr McGregor, has scheduled her to be discharged Tuesday.”

The grandmother said: “Thank you. That’s wonderful. I was so worried! God bless you for the good news.”

The operator replied: “You’re more than welcome. Is Norma your daughter?” The grandmother said: “No, I’m Norma Findlay in Room 302. No one tells me anything.”