By Martin Gibson. Contact: mrtngibs@aol.com

The new Reflective Space in the play grounds of Olveston Primary school is complete. St Mary’s Sow and Grow appeal together with a donation of £1,500 from the Parish Council provided the £5,000 cost. This part of the playground used to be an unloved dark and dank area, today it provides emotional shelter for the children. Below are pictures of parts of the new garden including the timber shelter for days that aren’t sunny. In the top photo, Little Ted is making a management inspection.

By the time this article appears we hope to have welcomed Tim Auburn back into the village. Tim has been in resting in Yate for several weeks gathering his strength. Even then he was able to join us on Zoom for church services.

Your thoughts and prayers are sought for David & Jennifer Bone, both of whom have been struggling with health issues over the past few weeks. Also for Trevor Cook following the sad loss of his mother.

The PCC met online yesterday. They discussed a number of matters, the most important of which was the reopening of St Mary’s. It was unanimously agreed that Palm Sunday 28th March would mark the day and that the 10am service would be a celebration of Morning Prayer. Then on Wednesday 31st March a 10am service of Holy Communion will be held followed on Friday 2nd April by a Good Friday Service. Easter Day falls on Sunday 4th April.

Under normal circumstances the PCC likes to see 3 days between services so as to allow any Covid 19 viruses to perish. As reported immediately above however, there will only be 2 days of the church being unused between 28th March to Good Friday and Easter Day. The PCC carefully discussed the matter and decided that, as virtually all those likely to attend would already have had at least one vaccination and that a strict cleaning protocol was already in place, it would be safe to shorten the time between services at least for the Easter period. After Easter, services will be held in church on Wednesdays and Sundays.

Mothering Sunday falls on the14th March and is normally many families and uniform groups attend the service. The PCC thought that although it was a great shame, this service could not be held for obvious safety reasons. Nevertheless, Sue Farr and friends will be making posies the day before and will then be outside the Village Stores on Mothering Sunday giving them away to everyone passing by.

There have been a number of comments regarding the Memorial Wall in the graveyard. It has been said that it can look a little bleak. A few months back the PCC agreed that placing pots with flowers around the wall would soften its impact. Pleased to report that Debbie Harries has undertaken to carry out this scheme. Flower pots should start to appear very soon.

And finally: here are 6 little stories with lots of meaning:

  1. Once upon a time all the villagers decided to pray for rain. On that day they all gathered together, but only one boy came with an umbrella. That is FAITH.

2. When you throw a baby into the air it laughs because it knows you will catch it. That is TRUST.

3. Every night we go to bed without any guarantee of being alive in the morning. That is HOPE.

4. We plan big things for tomorrow despite having zero knowledge of the future. That is CONFIDENCE.

5. We see the world suffering but still we marry and have children. That is LOVE.

6. An old man wears a shirt with, written on it, “I am 80 years old But really I am sweet 16 with 64 years of experience. That is ATTITUDE.

And the moral – value your friends and family and trust in God.