By Martin Gibson. Contact: mrtngibs@aol.com

Services this Sunday: Rogation Sunday for those who are able the service starts 9:00am at St John’s Elberton and then goes onto St. Mary for 9.30am, some will walk between the churches admiring God’s creation as the go.

6pm Holy Communion led by Ann Lloyd

In the graveyard pots and plants have appeared around the Memorial Wall thanks to Debbie Harries and Chris Smart. The effect is to very much soften the appearance of the structure.

Attendance in church since the ending of Lockdown 3 has been remarkably strong. Last Sunday 43 people came to Holy Communion. This is in line with the numbers we had prior to Covid striking. As from 16th May the choir will be able to sing once more and so swell the numbers even higher.

The PCC met yesterday. Thanks were given particularly to Bernard Amos for his efforts in preparing the annual TAR (Trustees Annual Report) in advance of the APCM which will be held IN St Mary’s at 6pm on Sunday 23rd May.

Other matters discussed included finances. David Prothero has had an almost impossible task in preparing a budget for the coming year because of all the certainties created by Covid. As social events are still not permitted (but see below), income will be lower than in previous years but this is balanced to some degree by the church having been closed for 3 months this year thus reducing running costs. Nevertheless, our treasurer is predicting a loss of around £2-3,000 this year.

The Publicity and Social Committee met recently and has started to plan a number of social events including a concert by Bristol Sinfonietta, the annual Church Fete on 4th September and a Quiz in November. In addition the Movie Club Team is meeting today to discuss which films it will show during the Autumn. All being well, movies will start again on Monday 6th September.

On Sunday 30th May the Archdeacon Ven Neil Warwick will visit us again and host our 9:30am service. Afterwards he will hold a meeting with the churchwardens to discuss the situation surrounding Rev Steve Oram. The Bishop of Bristol promised to support our parish during Steve’s temporary absence but to date that help has not been forthcoming.

And finally:

A race of aliens visits earth one day; they come in peace and surprisingly, they speak English. Obviously all of the heads of government and religious leaders want to speak to the aliens so they set up a meeting with our new visitors. When it’s the Pope’s turn, he asks: “Do you know about our lord and savior Jesus Christ?” “You mean J.C?”, responds the alien. “Yes we know him, he’s the greatest isn’t he? He comes by every year to make sure that we are doing ok”.

Surprised, the Pope follows up with “He visits every year?! It’s been over 2 millenia and we’re still waiting for his SECOND coming!”

The alien sees that the Pope has become irate at this fact and starts trying to rationalize “Perhaps he likes our chocolate better than yours?” The Pope retorts “Chocolates? What are you talking about? What does that have to do with anything?”

The alien says “Well, when he FIRST visited our planet we gave him a huge box of chocolates. Why? What did you guys do?”