#404: feeling very much like April!

My dear friends,

I have finally got my land-legs back and it is lovely to be able to eat the richest, creamiest cheeses I have again- for the last week I have only been able to face a soupcon of Wensleydale and a piece of ryebread which is really not me! It has been an exciting week of catching up with friends and showing contractors the oak tree and enjoying hearing the choir live and in person again. It is nice to go travelling, as my old Grandad used to say, but it is nice to come home. Here is the news…

News and Notices

This Sunday sees the feast of Christ the King, the final Sunday before Advent starts on the 3rd of December. [It is not the Advent Carols this week but on the 3rd of December. Apologies for the confusion]. On the 26th we have services at 8, 9.30, 10 and 11. It will be lovely to see you there!

The last lecture in the series on Climate Change which Andy Clark has organised at All Sts will happen this Thursday at 7pm- with our very own Professor Chris Merchant, on Our Changing Climate.

At PCC last night we passed a motion thanking the Bishop of Oxford and the Area Bishops for their leadership on the blessing of same-sex relationships. They have shown courage and it is great news that we are now expecting, following a PCC vote, to be able to offer the blessing of same-sex relationships from late Spring 2024. Please see the separate article on the website for more details!

We also agreed to accept one of the four quotations we had to reduce the large oak tree in the Churchyard to 4m in height as soon as that can be arranged. If anyone would like to donate or fundraise for the work we can now confirm that it will cost over £14,000 to do the work, plus the £2,000 we have already spent on surveys and whatever the Borough Council charge for the permissions to do the work. We will keep you posted on progress and timings. The bat survey showed that there were no bats currently resident in the tree which does make life easier.

Notes, queries and leaflets

There will be more about our keeping of Advent next week but here is a fine resource which Judi recommends as a way of doing something every day to focus on the light coming into the world at Christmas… Advent Calendar 2023 | VCS (

It’s nearly Advent which means it is nearly Christmas! Here is what will be happening, after the Service of Lessons and Carols for Advent on the 3rd of December at 6.15pm.

And here are the Lucky Numbers for this month, hot off the press…

The Lucky Numbers draw for November took place over coffee after Communion at St Nicholas on Sunday 19th November 2023

Congratulations to the lucky winners:

£50     No. 83    Diane Tuck

£25     No. 29    Ann Mayers

£15     No. 65    Diane Tuck

£10     No. 56    Michael Dyer    

The Lucky Numbers Draw raises funds for repairs and renewals to the church building. Funds remaining after the distribution of the prizes go to the Restoration Fund for this purpose.

One share (number) costs £24 per calendar year;  you can have as many shares as you wish, paying annually or monthly by Standing Order.  For more information, please contact Tony Roberts (979 5351), Liz Gallagher (989 1176) or Mary Cassidy (979 5096) – or talk to Mary at St Paul’s, or Tony or Liz at St Nicholas’.

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