The Platinum Jubilee celebrations in Stowey, started with the ringing of our 6 bells during the early evening of Thursday 2nd June. A Quarter Peal of Plain Bob Minor, conducted by Andrew Ball, was achieved in 46 minutes. Well done to our ringers, including our Tower Captain, Pete Rogers. I hope that some of you heard the bells, of which 5 are Bilbie bells, cast in Chew Stoke in 1730 and still giving excellent and tuneful service!

Lots of lovely events took place over the long weekend, but in Stowey the celebrations ended with a special service of Choral Evensong on Sunday 5th June. The Choir of the United Parish were with us and led some truly glorious singing, supported by their Director, Tricia Rees-Jones, and by Jean Routley on the organ. Our Rector, Mark, led the service and gave an Address befitting our Queen’s dedicated service to this country and to the Commonwealth.

A total of 55 people attended this wonderful service and afterwards, instead of going out into the pouring rain, we served drinks and canapés in the church. It was so enjoyable that most people stayed far longer than they would have done in sunshine in the churchyard! It was a service which we’ll remember for a long time to come and which brought to a close this very special weekend.

Very sadly, Canon John Simpson couldn’t be with us, as he was already in hospital. At this moment, mid-June, he remains in hospital and is now gravely ill; we continue to pray for John and for Carol and for the relief of his suffering.

On a happier note, 3 gardens in Stowey will be open for the National Garden Scheme on Sunday 17th July from 2pm to 6pm. There is an article about this elsewhere in this magazine. But this is to remind you that home-made Teas will be available at Stowey Mead and plants will be on sale at Dormers, all in aid of Church funds. If you’d like to give plants for our plant stall, (suitably labelled if possible), please bring them to Dormers in the week before the opening. We’ll look forward to seeing you on 17th July!

Jill Nicol, Churchwarden