On the fourth Sunday in June, the first All Age Communion Service took place at 9.30a.m. with all the “Pebbles” taking part. Many with their Mums and Dads. The church was full and the informality of the service went down well with the congregation, with gusty hymn singing, some with actions, clapping etc. The next All Age Communion Service will be on the last Sunday in July.
The past month has seen much work carried out in the churchyard. For many years the churchyard has been left to “mother nature”, and she has been a vigorous grower of lots of vegetation which we do not need. Contractors, at a cost of £500, have taken away the ivy, saplings and undergrowth which has been festooning the boundary walls of the churchyard and the collapsed dry stone wall between the churchyard extension and the Community Cemetery. This wall is an important feature of the churchyard, being the old boundary wall of the Rectory Orchard, and the wall will be rebuilt, using a local craftsman, once the trees which have been allowed to grow on the top have been removed. This is likely to be a costly exercise but one which the Parochial Church Council agreed to be the correct course of action to take. It will make a much better and well built wall for future generations to admire.
The large Poplar Tree near to the Churchyard Cross has also been removed at a cost of £350 and the stump will be ground out during the coming weeks. It is sad to have to remove trees at any time, but this tree has been cause of much damage around the plinth of the Cross, and as it was likely to grow much taller, removal was the sensible action to take.
The table tomb dedicated to the memory of Morgan Morgan who died in 1776 had been giving concern for some time becoming unstable. So in accordance with Health and Safety Rules it has been lowered to ground level. The vault entrance stone to the Nell family grave near the Tower has also been repaired and made safe, Mossfords carried out this work at a cost of £2010.
The PCC at its recent meeting authorised the payments for all these works which amounted to £4709, the bulk of which has been taken from the results of the Church Appeal which has raised £3875 to date and will remain open to receive additional funds to enable us to carry on with the other jobs scheduled for the next five years.
From the Church Quinquenial Report of December 2014 the lightning conductor on the church tower needed to be checked, this has been carried out at a cost of £127.20 and it was reported that remedial work needed to be carried out, again at a cost of £628 plus VAT to ensure the safety of the building.
Also the church and church hall has been checked for any Asbestos used. The church was found to be free of it, but the church hall has low grade Asbestos in the Artex used on the ceiling and in the roof tiles. The cost of this survey came to £780. The building has had smoke and heat detectors fitted and a carbon monoxide detector in the kitchen area.
The congregation of St Mary’s has risen to the challenge of providing the funds for this work to be done, and as we today enjoy the work done by previous generations, we too have a duty to ensure that the buildings we worship in are fit for purpose for the generations which lie ahead of us. We get no funding from central church funds for this work to be carried out, and our income comes from what is given freely on the collection plate at our services, the 200 club contributes from its funds towards the repair of the building and of course we make sure that we get our contribution from H.M Gov on Gift Aid refunds. That is why the St Mary’s Appeal remains open for future contributions to this vital work to keep the roof secure, the lights on and more importantly the church door open.
Plans are being made for events surrounding our celebration of the Harvest on September 26/27th Scary things will be going on in the churchyard with a Scarecrow Competition for scariest, the funniest, on the Saturday and Sunday afternoons. The church will be open to view the Harvest Decorations, there is planned to have a talk on our church history, refreshments will be available in the Church Gazebo erected in the churchyard, all in all this is going to be a great occasion to show the church to the village and also to welcome our new villagers from the “Redrow” Grange site, who should have moved into their new homes by that time. The scarecrow competition is open to all ages, all groups and families so get your thinking caps on and join in the fun.
We continue supporting the Food Bank with regular weekly collections in church, Tradecraft products are on sale at The Chattery and the Coffee morning on the 4th Sunday of the month and this year the fresh produce from the Harvest will be donated to the Salvation Army and the canned and dry goods passed on to the Food Bank in Barry.
Summer seems to be late in arriving this year, but who knows what August has in store for us.