Saint Mary’s News November 2017
When the DCC met in October we began the meeting, as we always do, celebrating the Eucharist and reflecting on the Gospel or the Saint of the Day. In the reflections we talked about what ‘encourages’ us in our faith and, as it was Saint Ignatius of Antioch, we focused on his description of the people as the ‘treasures of Christ.’ The conversations all celebrated the diversity of the community that worship together at Saint Mary’s and the hospitality and openness that people seem to find there, feeling confident and comfortable to simply wander in during a service and join in in their own way (which can be very varied!). The month certainly reflected that diversity and openness.
It began with a ‘Do something different day’ led by Jill Phipps – our Older Persons’ Champion – to mark International Older People’s Day. There was a mix of activity, a fish and chip lunch, and ended with a Songs of Praise (thanks, Matt) and, of course, a cake (thanks, Sonya!). This was followed by Brian Moles touring the local Primary Schools to invite children to come to a choir open evening. This gives them a chance to discover what is involved in being in the Choir and to see if it is something they would enjoy.
This exercise normally leads to 3 or 4 coming along, so we were all delighted (and slightly overwhelmed) that 13 children came, with their parents. While the parents enjoyed tea and …. cake (thanks, Maggie), the children were introduced to the Choir Vestry, robes, ribbons and rehearsals and then joined our regular young members in the Choir stalls. So, we had some 23 junior choir members on the evening! Brian led them through a short rehearsal which ended with a great performance of an anthem. Since then, 6 or 7 have continued to come and we hope we will continue to see many of them over the coming weeks. Thank you to Brian, Matt and all the adults who supported this initiative.
The Choir had a busy month, singing at Saint Faith’s and Saint Wilfrid’s Patronals and then hosting a ‘Come and sing evensong’ to support the Music Foundation. 30 singers (mainly adults) enjoyed a Cream Tea and rehearsing and then singing Evensong. It was good to see some familiar faces from the congregation who enjoyed the opportunity to ‘cross the dais’ and join the choir for an evening. They, and any adult, will always be very welcome – please contact Brian Moles.
Just before the Evensong and Cream Tea there was also an open meeting for Parish Panto 2018 …no, Father Bob does not know what it is yet, but will do soon! 26 people have expressed an interest and it is still not too late to add your name – the performances will be on Saturday February 17th, 2018. Please book the date, as we will also need two audiences to perform to!
Finally, the month ended with the Church opening its doors for the Autumn Fair. It is always good to see people enjoying the space and the hospitality we offer. There were many bargains and the chance to win prizes on the raffle, or the infamous bottle stall. The weather, thanks to Brian – we mean Storm Brian rather than the Director of Music – kept numbers of visitors low, but those who were there seemed to enjoy themselves and left smiling and content with their purchases. Thank you to all who sold raffle tickets, baked cakes, bought items to sell, ran stalls or helped in anyway. The event raised £1700.
The month also saw visits from Manor Infant for a Harvest talk, the Royal Marines School of Music – when we said farewell to the Principal Director of Music, Nick Grace, and a team of Bell Ringers for a full peal.
As the DCC reflected, there is much to encourage us and to rejoice in!