Evensong on Sunday 25th August will be at the earlier time of 3.30pm, as during this service, Jemima will be baptised and welcomed into the church family. These services are always very happy and all are welcome.

A report on the hugely successful National Garden Scheme, Stowey Open Gardens is given below. Suffice it to say here that it was a superb afternoon, enjoyed by everyone, including all those wonderful volunteers who worked so hard!

Turning to events over the next few weeks, our Patronal Festival Evensong is on Sunday 1st September, at the usual time of 6.30pm. We’ll be joined by the Choir of the United Parish of East Harptree with West Harptree and Hinton Blewett. The Rev’d Karen Spray of the United Parish will give the Address. This is a service where we celebrate this ancient church’s dedication to the Blessed Virgin Mary and it promises to be a very special occasion. The service will be followed by drinks and canapés, hopefully in the churchyard if the weather holds.

The year is racing by and harvesting is already taking place in the countryside around us. Our traditional Harvest Festival Evensong this year is on Sunday 6th October at 6.30pm and our old friend, Rev’d Dr Victor Barley will give the Address. If you’d like to help prepare the church for Harvest Festival, or to give flowers or produce, we shall be decorating on Saturday 5th October at 10am; please come along to help if you’d like to do so.

And we look forward to welcoming you to either of these services, or to both of them!

Jill Nicol, Churchwarden

On Sunday 21st July, the crowds descended on Stowey to see the gardens at Dormers, Stowey Mead and Manor Farm. Over 600 people came to enjoy an afternoon in these beautiful gardens, which were looking magnificent, reflecting the many hours of hard work undertaken by the owners and various helpers. We had a wide range of plants for sale at Dormers and Janet, David and Lydia were kept very busy selling them. At Stowey Mead, the large team of ladies was kept extremely busy; how the ladies coped, we’re not sure, but they did so magnificently! And fortunately, we’d arranged an “overflow” car park, so our parking stewards were kept fully occupied controlling the traffic.

We were blessed with good weather and this must have contributed to the massive attendance, which was nearly double our previous best. Thanks to all of you who came from our local villages, though we had visitors from far and wide.

Enormous thanks are due to everyone who helped to make the afternoon such a success, including garden owners, the ladies serving teas, those who baked the delicious scones and cakes, the plant sales team, the car park stewards, the pond stewards and all who assisted in other ways. Thank you; we couldn’t do it without you!

We raised £2835 for the National Garden Scheme, (for distribution to health and caring charities); and £1500 for Stowey Church, a fantastic result.

Next year’s opening will be on Sunday 19th July. Please note it in your forward planners and we shall look forward to seeing you then!

Graham and Jill Nicol