We extend our thoughts and prayers to the Royal Family and to everyone in the United Kingdom, the Commonwealth and the rest of the world, following the death of Her late Majesty, Queen Elizabeth 11. The Queen was Head of the Church of England and her Christian faith guided her throughout her long and remarkable life of devoted service to her people. We give thanks for her life and for all she did for this country and the Commonwealth. Whilst mourning her death, we welcome King Charles 11 as our new monarch and Head of the Church. We look forward to his reign with anticipation and confidence, knowing that he will continue to serve us, as his mother has done through her long reign.

As you will know, our Rector, Mark Cregan, who has been our priest for almost 9 years, is taking early retirement from the end of October 2022. Those of us who know Mark will wish to thank him for his ministry in Stowey and in our wider community through this period and we will want to say goodbye to him. That being the case, there will be a special service of Choral Evensong and Harvest Thanksgiving in Stowey Church on Sunday 2nd October at 6.30pm. The Choir of the United Parish will be with us, and drinks and canapés will be served after the service, hopefully in the churchyard. If you would like to attend, please let me know so we can ensure there’s enough room for everyone, as well as cater for everyone! The Collection at this service will be for the Foodbanks at Keynsham and Withywood, so we won’t be accepting offerings of produce or other food.

On another matter, the Diocese wish to close Holy Trinity Church, Bishop Sutton. I believe this proposal is wrong and Stowey Church and the United Parish are working with Holy Trinity in an effort to ensure it has a future. A Public Meeting will be held in Holy Trinity on Thursday 6th October at 7.30pm. The success of these efforts depends on people attending this meeting and demonstrating their support to keep this Church open for business. Ultimately, success depends on people of good will offering to use their God-given talents, expertise and time to keep the Church open and available to us all now and in the future.

Jill Nicol, Churchwarden