Today the Archdeacon, Neil Warwick, will be making his 5 yearly inspection of St Mary’s church. He will inspect the building, asking what repairs have been carried out and what are planned, the graveyard for general maintenance and wobbly headstones, the condition of the interior, the various artefacts (silverware in particular), the inventory and all the record books – burials, baptisms, weddings and service books. He will also need to see minutes of the recent APCM and a report from our treasurer. Should be fun.

Congregation numbers at the 10am service on Sundays remains constant. There are generally 40 -50 people attending and a restricted number of pews have been brought back into use to accommodate everyone. This takes the pressure off the mobile chairs around the altar. Only alternate pews are used and each one is restricted to a maximum of 3 people so as to preserve social distancing.

On Sunday, 1st November, the annual All Souls service will be held at 4pm. This is an opportunity to remember those who have left this world and who were loved by us.

And an advance notice: Remembrance Sunday falls on 8th November. Normally the church would be packed for this service but current regulations make it impossible to hold the service inside the church. Therefore, there will be a gathering at the War Memorial on the corner of Church Hill, starting at 10:45. A simple act of remembrance will follow. As it is likely up to 100 people will attend, please do be careful to observe social distancing.

The PCC will meet on Wednesday 4th November as a continuation of the 10am Holy Communion service. The meeting will be split into 2 groups; those who are physically present in the church and also a 2nd group “attending” via Zoom.

The Tower Appeal, although not fully launched, has attracted considerable attention with a number of financial pledges being given already. Shortly, a presentation package will be available. This will detail the history of the tower, its current condition and ways people can help us reach our target of £200,000. St Mary’s is an iconic building, a visible part of community life and a great visible asset. The tower is exceptionally worthy of preservation by us all – churchgoers or not.

Just as Covid 19 struck and lockdown commenced, a bench in the Tockington play area, behind the Parish Hall, was removed, it being rotted and unsafe. The Parish Council has now replaced the bench with a very smart new one.

Yesterday, Old Down Hill was closed to allow for removal of an Ash tree which had died suddenly and was overhanging the road. The work was carried out on behalf of the Parish Council.

And finally:

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