By Martin Gibson. Contact: mrtngibs@aol.com

Services, Sunday 8th August: 9:30am Matins (Book of Common Prayer). 6pm Holy Communion led by Rev Ann Lloyd

Rev David Moss is away on annual leave until 15th August

St Mary’s church is now open every day of the week 10am to 5pm (earlier & later times on Sundays)

It’s getting closer! The church fete of course, only a month away, on Saturday 4th September from 2pm and in Church Hill. The road will be closed for the afternoon. Debbie is keen to get more helpers to run the stalls – so please put yourself forward to her or Martin. There is also a planned “Dog Show” for the afternoon.

And another regular event from days past is the restarting of the Monday Movie Club. This is on Monday 6th September in the church. The first film of the season is “A Beautiful Day in the Neighbourhood”. This was a highly acclaimed “feel good” film of 2019. Admission is free and there is a bar, tea and coffee.

Talking of coffee, this and tea, is now being served again after the Sunday morning service. Furthermore the Thursday morning coffee shop which used to take place in the Village Stores has now moved into church. Details from Sue Farr.

Work on refurbishing the Old Down play area has started. a new fence has been fitted and the new equipment goes in over the next 2 weeks. This is a Parish Council sponsored project.

At long last the scaffolding has started to go up around the tower. The repairs to the tower, the adjoining vice-tower and the clock will probably go on in to December, which also means that we won’t be having any bells until Christmas at the earliest. What’s worse is that there is a shortage of bellringers.

Raising the money to fund the tower repairs has been a monumental task and it could not have been done without all the preliminary work in finding and appointing architects, builders, masons, clock repair people, scaffolders etc. Mike Wright and Peter Floyd have led this venture, almost single handedly. Future generations will thank them, and we should too. Perhaps a knighthood each?

And finally:

A Churchgoer wrote a letter to the editor of the newspaper and complained that it made no sense to go to church every Sunday. “I’ve gone for 30 years now,” he wrote, “and in that time I have heard something like 3,000 sermons. But for the life of me I can’t remember a single one of them. So I think I’m wasting my time and the vicars are wasting theirs by giving sermons at all.”

This started a real controversy in the “Letters to the Editor” column, much to the delight of the editor. It went on for weeks until someone wrote this clincher:

I’ve been married for 30 years now. In that time my wife has cooked some 32,000 meals. But for the life of me, I cannot recall what the menu was for a single one of those meals. But I do know this: they all nourished me and gave me the strength I needed to do my work. If my wife had not given me those meals, I would be dead today.”

No comments were made on the sermon contents anymore.