By Martin Gibson. Contact:

Services: Sunday 24th October 9:30am Holy Communion with Rev Ann Lloyd. 6pm Evening service with Rev David Moss.

Last weekend there was an ART IN LOCKDOWN exhibition in St Mary’s. It was organised by Sue Farr and featured many different types of work made by local people during the past 18 months. One could say it was Covid inspired. There were paintings, quilts and various crafts to admire. Lunches were provided on the Saturday and people were dropping in all day long on both Saturday and Sunday. Over £100 was raised towards church expenses. Thanks to everyone who contributed either with their work or their time.

A collection of art and crafts in the Chancel

Our very own Ann Lloyd and husband Richard achieved a personal milestone last weekend. Since the first lockdown Richard & Ann have tried to walk 3 miles every day and have now reached 1,000 miles of walking around the parish. Well done.

The Rev Philip Rowe has announced that he will be retiring next August. Philip spent 19 years as our vicar (with Roly at times) in St Mary’s and oversaw many changes including the major refurbishment of the church in 2009. It seems likely that the Benefices of South & North Severnside will be amalgamated soon afterwards and there is a chance that David Moss will have to take on responsibility for all 8 churches. The Diocese seems reluctant to provide additional clergy.

Tomorrow (Friday) sees the funeral of Revd Ann Parker at Compton Greenfield. Ann organised the service herself and it will be led by the Revs Philip Rowe and Ann Lloyd. All the seating inside the church has been reserved fro family and close friends so other mourners must stand (or bring your own chair) in the graveyard. Hopefully the weather will be kind.

A lot of paperwork is created by a church and St Mary’s is no exception. This was recognized last week at the Buildings Committee meeting. One problem is that many of these papers, and other memorabilia, tend to be stored in people’s houses and not in church. This could lead to them being lost for ever. Now, however, the Bldgs Comm has acquired a metal, lockable, fireproof filing cabinet which is located in the North Aisle store room. Many plans, records and old documents including photographs will in future be stored here. Audrey Shepherd has been invited to be the Archivist and she will register and record everything in the cabinet. If you have anything which you think is relevant to our history and should be safely stored, please talk to Audrey or Martin.

The Monday Movie Club committee has been in a dilemna. The club was founded in 2012 by Rev Roly Bain, Rod Williams and Trevor Anderson. There were 3 tenets in its reason for existing. Firstly, it should be for the benefit of the community; secondly, it should entertain and thirdly, as a church based organisation, the films to be shown should, more often than not, deliver a social or ethical message. Never was this more true than last Monday when HARRIET was shown. The subject was slavery in the Deep South and emancipation. HARRIET is an amazing film and enthralled everyone present. Even more poignant was the fact that it was being shown on world wide Anti Slavery Day.

Factually, it is the community which supports the Movie Club, and, in truth, very few members of the congregation attend. The committee has noticed that Covid and lockdowns have caused people to want to watch films which entertain rather than educate. So in future fewer socially aware films will be shown. And for that reason, a film which was to be shown in early December about dementia, will be replaced by an Agatha Christie style film starring Daniel Craig.

And finally:

An Australian, an Irishman and a Liverpudlian are in a bar.

They’re staring at another man sitting on his own at a table in the corner.

He’s so familiar, and not recognising him is driving them mad.

They stare and stare, until suddenly the Irishman twigs:

“My God, it’s Jesus!”

Sure enough, it is Jesus, nursing a pint.

Thrilled, they send him over a pint of Guinness, a pint of Fosters and a pint of bitter.

Jesus accepts the drinks, smiles over at the three men, and drinks the pints slowly, one after another.

After he’s finished the drinks, Jesus approaches the trio.

He reaches for the hand of the Irishman and shakes it, thanking him for the Guinness.

When he lets go, the Irishman gives a cry of amazement: “My God! The arthritis I’ve had for 30 years is gone. It’s a miracle!”

Jesus then shakes the Aussie’s hand, thanking him for the pint of amber juice. As he lets go, the man’s eyes widen in shock. “Strewth mate, the bad back I’ve had all my life is completely gone! It’s a miracle.”Jesus then approaches the Liverpudlian who knocks over a chair and a table in trying to get away from the Son of God.

“What’s wrong my son?” says Jesus. The Liverpudlian shouts back, “No way, I’m on disability benefit!”


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