The Harvest has already started in the fields around us and there are plenty of combines going back and forth along our roads, making sure that the grain is gathered in and that we shall have bread to eat in the months ahead. At Stowey Church we shall celebrate this season with our Harvest Festival Evensong on Sunday 3rd October at 6.30pm. Our good friend, Rev’d Charles Roberts will take the service as Mark will be on holiday. And we’re hoping to welcome the Choir of the United Parish of the Harptrees and Hinton Blewett to lead the singing in a Covid secure way. I’ll be taking bookings for the service, as larger numbers than usual are expected. And we’re again giving the Collection to our local Food Banks (the Trussell Trust in Keynsham and St Pius X in Bishopsworth). Consequently, the Church won’t be decorated with produce, but we will have a glorious display of flowers to remind us of the beauty of the natural world. Please let me know if you’d like to attend.

Some of you will have seen the work at the base of our C14th tower, undertaken in early September by Adam Roberts Groundworks. We’ve had a chronic and worsening problem with water penetration causing deterioration inside the tower. After initial investigation by hand digging around the tower base, Adam identified the cause, which was that the system of French drains installed many years ago could never take the water away; the way they had been laid rendered drainage an impossibility. Under the supervision of our Architect, everything was removed and a new, robust system laid at the correct depth and joined into the existing soakaway. Adam and his team have made an excellent job of it over 4 days and have left the churchyard very tidy. The interior will now have to dry out and remedial work undertaken after that has happened. Sadly, this will deplete our funds significantly….we have to find the money ourselves. But the need to do the work was critical, so it is money well spent.

And as a result of that work, Nick Roberts, Adam’s cousin, volunteered to give up a Saturday to carry out repairs to a section of the boundary wall near the gate, with Adam donating the materials. Nick’s generosity has resulted in the most unstable section of wall being made secure for years to come, as well as looking beautiful. All thanks to Nick for giving his time and expertise. We’re tremendously grateful!

Jill Nicol, Churchwarden