In Stowey, we hold several fund raising events every year in order for the Church to keep open and to cover all the running costs involved. If you would like to make a one off or a regular donation to help with the upkeep of the Church, we would be very grateful. Please contact the Treasurer (see contact page on this website) for methods available and Gift Aid forms.
Our Easter services started with a very meaningful Service of Meditation on Good Friday morning, followed by hot Cross buns and coffee. After this the church was beautifully decorated for Easter; Henry, assisted by his mum and dad, Wendy and Duncan, made a super Easter garden, depicting, amongst other things, the empty tomb following the Resurrection. On Easter Sunday evening, Holy Communion was celebrated by Mark, during which we sang the rousing Easter hymns to express our belief in Christ rising from the dead. Easter is the most significant event in the Christian calendar; without Easter there would be no Christian faith. I’m left wondering why so few people who profess the Christian faith attend Church at Easter. Death will come to all of us, but Easter gives us hope that death is not the end, but rather the beginning.
We had an amazing Organ Recital on 27th April, given by the very gifted, virtuoso performer, Dr David Bednall. David’s performance left everyone enthralled and he had compiled a very varied programme, appealing to a wide audience. To close the first part, Nicholas Tall, a young man with a big future in church music, played a lovely piece by Bach. After complimentary drinks and nibbles in a cold and windy, but mostly dry, churchyard, the second part proved equally superb. The Recital was made more enjoyable by the fact that the playing of the manual and pedal board was screened on the large screen at the front of the church, thanks to the Bristol and District Organists’ Asscn. After the Recital, many of us repaired to Manor Farm for a delicious supper. We are immensely grateful to our hosts, Alison and Richard, for their hospitality and hard work in opening their home and cooking the main course. But thanks are due to everyone who helped in any way to make this event such a success. There are many unseen people who contributed, from Zoe Lake who did the artwork for the posters and tickets, to Sue Skinner who sold the tickets and the ladies who made the puddings and worked so hard during the supper. Many thanks to all of you! And Jill has already started work on next year’s Recital!
Finally, we would just like to remind you that the 3 Stowey gardens will be open again on Sunday 21st July from 2 pm to 6 pm under the National Garden Scheme. People come from far and wide every year to see these gardens; perhaps more local people might attend this year? You may be surprised by their beauty and diversity! Please put the date in your diary! The usual delicious teas will be available as well plants for sale.
On Passion Sunday, 7th April, we were joined by the Choir of the United Parish of East Harptree with West Harptree and Hinton Blewett for Choral Evensong. Andrew Day played our lovely, Bryceson organ, which is sounding better than ever following work by experts from Harrison and Harrison, Organ Builders of Durham, following damage caused by mice. Around 50 people attended the service, which was meaningful and uplifting, marking as it did the start of Passiontide. Mark's address on the true nature of the events at the meal at the house of Lazarus and his family was very enlightening.
The service was followed by drinks and canapés, which were enjoyed by everyone in the churchyard , in good Stowey weather! Thanks are due to the Choir, to the Rev'd Karen Spray who led the prayers, to all who provided the refreshments and to all who attended and made this such a memorable service.
Please note that we will not be holding the Teddy Bears Parachuting afternoon this year, but we hope to be able to do so in 2020. if anyone would like to help by making parachutes, please let me know, as I have a template and instructions and some fabric!
As I write this, I am pleased to tell you that we are sold out for our Organ Recital by David Bednall on 27th April. I’ll report next month on this and on the post-Recital Supper, but if you failed to get a ticket for this year's Recital, I can confirm that plans are in hand for another one next year!
Jill Nicol, Churchwarden