Village Views East Garston 2018


All Saints Church – articles Village Views 2018

2018_01

Last month I indicated that I hoped that this month I would be able to report that the contractor had carried out the installation of the under pew heating successfully. I am pleased to say that this is the case, although it took place a few days later than was scheduled. At the time of writing we have not had a service at which we could fully test out the benefit but from the few of us that have tested it, it does seem to be a great improvement on the old overhead infra red heaters. I would like to take this opportunity to record my thanks to Martyn Wright, Trevor Butcher and James Pryer for their efforts and great support to achieve this long-awaited result.
There has been a church in the village for hundreds of years and many of us, some more than others, perhaps, take the church for granted and expect it to be there when and if we need it! Sadly, it will not go on for ever unless we as a community pay for it. There is a popular misconception that the Church Commissioners are very rich and can afford to fully meet the costs but actually the Commissioners only provide about 15%, or 15p in the £, of the Church of England’s expenditure. Next year our expenditure in East Garston will be close to £22,200, of which nearly £11,340 will be our contribution towards the cost of keeping a priest in the benefice – salary, housing, pension contributions, etc – and £10,860 will be the cost of keeping the building in use – insurance, electricity, heating and some very basic maintenance. With the contributions of a few regular church-goers, collections, donations and fund-raising our income has usually been just sufficient to cover costs but this year the forecast is that it will not. This is the time of year when we think about giving and so we hold our annual Gift Appeal. We hope that the community will give its church the financial support that it needs by giving as generously as possible.
The East Garston Churchwardens and PCC wish all readers of Village Views peace and happiness as we celebrate the joyous occasion of the birth of our Saviour, Jesus Christ and make our resolutions to lead better lives in the coming year.

Bob Briant
Churchwarden

2018_02

I need to start with a rather disappointing message. At the time of writing, the Gift Appeal has only raised just over £1100, with another £250 in Gift Aid. A very big “Thank you” to all who have contributed so far. For those that have not yet handed in your donation, there is no deadline date so if you can still find the appeal envelope on the mantelpiece or sideboard please give your donation to Dawn Tonge or myself. If you are unable to find the envelope, please don’t let that deter you but just let one of us know and we will happily give you a replacement. We have a long way to go to match last year’s total including Gift Aid of almost £4600. Please help us with your donation to keep your church available for you when you need it .

The attendance at our traditional candlelit carol service on 10th December was very good. This was the first Sunday that we had been able to demonstrate our new under pew heating and I think that it was felt (excuse the pun) to be an improvement. We are grateful once again to the Lambourn choir and their Organist and Choir Master, Stephen Holmes, for their support with the singing of the carols and for their solo items. After the service we enjoyed mulled wine and hot mince pies.

On the 18th December, after a splendid display by the Garston Gallopers in the car park, our “choir” led the singing of carols in a packed Queens Arms. Thanks to Sue and Freddie Tulloch for hosting the evening and to Stephen Holmes and some of the Lambourn choir for helping to enhance the singing. A collection raised just over £300 for church funds.

The church was packed again for the Christmas morning communion service when we used our antique silver chalices withdrawn from the Treasury at Christ Church for this special occasion. Our home-grown violin and cello ensemble of David, Hannah and Rachel Glover, Sophie and Jonathan Pannett-Smith and Hetty Hack played “Do you hear what I hear?”. Kate Brooks (as Mary carrying baby Jesus) and several other children processed around the church during the singing of “Away in a manger”.
We have made donations to Christian Aid and the Children’s Society from the Christmas collections.

Bob Briant
Churchwarden

2018_03

Last month I reported that the Gift Appeal had, at the time of writing, only raised just over £1100, with another £250 in Gift Aid. I am pleased to say that the total has now doubled to £2215, with another £484 in Gift Aid. A very big “Thank you” to all who have contributed so far. We still need another £2000 if we are to reach last year’s figure, so for those that have not yet handed in your donation, please give it to Dawn Tonge or myself and help us to keep your church available for you when you need it.

We are pleased that the West Berkshire Strings, under the baton of Pat Glover, will be joining us once again for our Mothering Sunday service at 12 o’clock on 11th March.

On Palm Sunday, 25th March, the benefice will hold a rolling service of Holy Communion starting in East Garston and ending in Eastbury. Weather permitting, we will walk between the two churches along the Lambourn Valley Way. In Holy Week there will be Holy Communion at East Garston at 7.30 pm on Wednesday evening, 28th March. On Easter Day, 1st April, our Family Communion service will be at the normal time of 9.00 am.

Our Annual Parochial Church Meeting will be held on Monday 23rd April at 7.30 pm. It will be preceded by the Annual Meeting of Parishioners for the Election of Churchwardens starting at 7.15 pm. At the time of writing, the venue is undecided.

In the afternoon of the Early May Bank Holiday, Monday 7th May, there will be a Bluebell Walk at Fairchilds Farm, Goodings Lane, East Garston to raise money mainly for the Thames Valley Air Ambulance with a smaller proportion going to the East Garston Amenities Fund. The church will also be raising money for church funds by providing tea and cakes so please come and enjoy a stroll in the country in the bluebell season and support all of these worthy causes. Donations of cakes will be very welcome.

We are currently in the early stages of planning this year’s Safari Supper so please make a note of the date, Saturday 16th June. If you would like to volunteer to act as one of the hosts please contact Karen Sperrey on 01488 648365 or 07860 693309.

Bob Briant
Churchwarden

2018_04


We celebrated a very happy Mothering Sunday service on 11th March with several children reading prayers and two of our Mums reading from the Old and New Testament. The West Berkshire Strings, under the baton of Pat Glover, made a welcome return and played as the congregation took their seats, accompanied the singing of the first hymn and then played “Cradle Song” by Franz Schubert. Dr Stephen Holmes, our organist for the service, played “Berceuse” by Louis Vierne while the WBS safely parked their instruments and then he accompanied us for the remaining hymns. At the end of the service, the mothers in the congregation received from the children very pretty posies of spring flowers. Thanks to all those who participated in preparing the posies.

On Palm Sunday, 25th March, the benefice will hold a rolling service of Holy Communion starting in East Garston at 9.00 am for the ministry of the Word and walk (weather permitting) along the Lambourn Valley Way or drive to Eastbury for the ministry of the sacrament from 11.00am. In Holy Week there will be Holy Communion at East Garston at 7.30 pm on Wednesday evening, 28th March. On Easter Day, 1st April, our Family Communion service will be at the normal time of 9.00 am.

Our Annual Parochial Church Meeting will be held on Monday 23rd April at 7.30 pm in the Friends’ Meeting House. It will be preceded by the Annual Meeting of Parishioners for the Election of Churchwardens starting at 7.15 pm.

In the afternoon of the Early May Bank Holiday, Monday 7th May, there will be a Bluebell Walk at Fairchilds Farm, Goodings Lane, East Garston to raise money mainly for the Thames Valley Air Ambulance with a smaller proportion going to the East Garston Amenities Fund. The church will also be raising money for church funds by providing tea and cakes so please come and enjoy a stroll in the country in the bluebell season and support all of these worthy causes. Donations of cakes will be very welcome.

We are currently in the early stages of planning this year’s Safari Supper so please make a note of the date, Saturday 16th June. If you would like to volunteer to act as one of the hosts please contact Karen Sperrey on 01488 648365 or 07860 693309.

Bob Briant
Churchwarden

2018_05

The cold weather on Palm Sunday and the muddy path did not deter us from our procession of witness from All Saints along the Lambourn Valley Way (the old railway track) to St James, Eastbury. This followed a Service of the Word in church during which members of the congregation read a narrative version of the Passion of our Lord Jesus Christ according to Mark. When we arrived at St James Church we were greeted with welcome refreshments and a chance to recover before celebrating Holy Communion.

Regrettably it was a very select group of people that attended the Holy Communion service on Wednesday evening in Holy Week. However, the numbers attending our Family Communion service on Easter Day made up for that poor attendance and it was great to see so many families. The church was decorated with spring flowers thanks to the hard work of a few ladies and the service started with the blessing of the Easter Garden which had been constructed in the churchyard.

Just in case you had forgotten, in the afternoon of the Early May Bank Holiday, Monday 7th May, there will be a Bluebell Walk at Fairchilds Farm, Goodings Lane, East Garston to raise money mainly for the Thames Valley Air Ambulance with a smaller proportion going to the East Garston Amenities Fund. The church will also be raising money for church funds by providing tea and cakes so please come and enjoy a stroll in the country in the bluebell season and support all of these worthy causes. Donations of cakes will be very welcome.

Also so please make a note of Saturday 16th June for this year’s Safari Supper. If you would like to volunteer to act as one of the hosts please contact Karen Sperrey on 01488 648365 or 07860 693309.

Bob Briant
Churchwarden

2018_06

On Saturday 28th April we were very pleased to welcome Laura and Joseph Quintin and their family and friends to All Saints Church to celebrate the baptism of Albert Jacob Peter Quintin and to welcome him into the fellowship of the Christian faith.

East Garston was the venue for our Benefice Group Communion on 29th April. We were led in our singing by the choir from St Michael and All Angels, Lambourn. They also sang the anthem “Come, ye faithful” by R.S. Thatcher and were accompanied on the organ by Dr Stephen Holmes. After the service many of the congregation of 45 stayed to chat while enjoying a cup of tea or coffee and biscuits.

Just in case you have forgotten already, the Early May Bank Holiday, Monday 7th May, was the hottest on record but this did not deter over 500 adults together with children and dogs from enjoying the Bluebell Walk at Fairchilds Farm, Goodings Lane, East Garston. The event was held in aid of the Thames Valley Air Ambulance and the East Garston Amenities Fund. The church provided tea and cakes and raised £615 for church funds. Many thanks to all those that baked cakes and to those that helped to organise the church’s participation in the vent and to help on the day.

Please remember that this year’s Safari Supper will be held on Saturday 16th June. If you would like to volunteer to act as one of the hosts or you want to take part please contact Karen Sperrey on 01488 648365 or 07860 693309, Dawn Tonge on 01488 648370 or myself on 01488 648646.

The next event to note will be Garstonbury on Saturday 14th July at which the church will have a refreshment marquee where tea and coffee will be available together with more of those home-baked cakes. We will be calling for donations of cakes as we get closer to the date.

Bob Briant
Churchwarden

2018_07

In addition to our normal Holy Communion services on the second and fourth Sundays, All Saints Church hosted a Group Choral Evensong on the third Sunday in May. It was good to have the Lambourn choir from St Michael’s once again as well as a few others from outside East Garston to boost our singing. It was a lovely warm sunny evening and so that was an added bonus when we enjoyed some social time together in the churchyard after the service.

The churchwardens of all three parishes, together with the Vicar in support, attended the Visitation for the Berkshire Archdeaconry at St George’s, Wash Common on Wednesday, 6th June. This is the service at which churchwardens are admitted to office for the current year and make their legal declaration to perform their duties “faithfully and diligently”.

The next event to note will be Garstonbury on Saturday 14th July at which the church will have a refreshment marquee where tea and coffee will be available together with more of those home-baked cakes and biscuits.

Bob Briant
Churchwarden

2018_08

The Safari Supper held on the evening of Saturday, 16th June was again a great success and thoroughly enjoyed by all who took part. There was an increase in the number of participants this year even though the date did not suit everybody who wished to come. I apologise for missing the event due to a holiday commitment. The evening started for those that could make it with drinks and nibbles kindly hosted by Claire and Christopher Hill at Pounds Farm. Participants were allocated a host somewhere in the village for their starter and a second host for their main course. To round off the evening, everyone gathered together again in the Village Hall for the dessert course and a few more drinks. Thanks to all those who helped with the organisation, those who hosted and those who provided desserts. The total raised for church funds was £1,260.

We were able to wish Joan Jefferys a fond farewell at our service on Sunday, 24th June. Joan has now left for Aldbourne after living in the village for 59 years. She will be greatly missed, although I am reliably informed that she intends to come back for special services such as our Harvest Festival and Carol Service. Joan has served the community in many ways over the years and in particular we are grateful for her support to the church. She was a valued member of the PCC for over 20 years and was Sacristan for many years. Her service to the church was not confined to this parish since she was a faithful member of the Great Shefford church choir. We wish her well in her new home and look forward to giving her a huge welcome when she returns for visits.

Bob Briant
Churchwarden

2018_09

The church provided teas and cakes in our marquee at the Garstonbury music festival on 14th July and raised £122 for church funds. We also had a Teddy Tombola which raised an additional £145. Thanks to all those who helped in so many different ways, particularly for the gifts of soft toys for the tombola.

It was Eastbury’s Patronal Festival on 25th July but as this was mid-week the Benefice Group Communion to celebrate it was held on 29th July. This was followed first by coffee and then by a bring and share lunch which we had to eat in the church due to the threat of rain. However, that did not spoil the opportunity for an excellent social get together.

Now just a few dates for your diaries:

Saturday 8th September: Ride & Stride in aid of the Berkshire Churches Trust. Please contact me if you would like to take part and I can supply Sponsorship forms. I am planning to walk again so please let me know if you would be willing to sponsor me. 50% of any money raised by participants comes back to their nominated church.
Sunday 14th October: Harvest Festival at 12.00 noon
Sunday 4th November: Patronal Festival Group Communion at 10.30 am with guest preacher The Revd Canon Dr Edmund Newey, Subdean of Christ Church, Oxford
Saturday 11th November: Remembrance Service at 10.30 am with Wantage Silver Band
11/12th November: World War I Exhibition arranged by the Historical Society

Bob Briant
Churchwarden


2018_10

In August’s article, I reported that at our service on Sunday, 24th June we wished Joan Jefferys a fond farewell as she was leaving to live in Aldbourne after living in East Garston for 59 years. A number of us felt that we should make a greater effort to thank her for her service to the church and the community and so a “Thank You” tea party was held in the Queens Lodge (by kind permission of Sue and Freddie Tulloch) in the afternoon of 3rd September. Unfortunately, due to space restriction, it was necessary to limit the number of invitations in consultation with Joan. We are sure that if it had been possible to accommodate more, there would have been many others who would have wished to attend. Jonathan Rabbitts, in his capacity as Chairman of the Parish Council, made a fitting tribute speech to Joan, recounting many of the ways in which Joan and husband Robert had served the East Garston community and its surrounds. Martyn Wright took a number of splendid photographs to record the event and I hope that by the time that you read this I will have been able to place an article and a selection of the photographs on East Garston’s website. Many thanks to all those, especially Sally Wright, who contributed to make this a very special event for Joan who was clearly very pleased with the afternoon.

Three generations of my family and our dogs took part in Ride & Stride on Saturday 8th September in aid of the Berkshire Churches Trust. We visited the churches of Shefford Woodlands, Wickham, Welford, Great Shefford, East Garston, Eastbury and Lambourn, covering a distance of just over 13 miles. Dawn Tonge also joined us for the East Garston to Lambourn section. Thanks to those who have already sponsored me but I would still welcome further sponsorship as 50% of any money raised by participants comes back to their nominated church.

Our next special service will be our Harvest Festival on Sunday 14th October at 12 noon followed by a lunch in the Village Hall. Our annual Churchyard Maintenance Day is provisionally scheduled for Saturday 6th October and any assistance at that would be very welcome (refreshment provided!!). A flyer will be circulated in East Garston closer to these dates confirming the arrangements for both events.

Bob Briant
Churchwarden

2018_11

Martin Cawte’s last service in East Garston on 23rd September was well attended and we raised a glass of bubbly after the service to thank him and Jill for their years of service in the parish and to wish them a long and happy retirement. They very kindly presented us with gifts of serving dishes for social events and some cuddly toys and drawing materials for children.


During the interregnum our services will be held at the normal times. We are very lucky that the Venerable Christine Allsopp will officiate at most, although occasionally we will have a visiting celebrant.


Martin’s retirement date is the end of October and then the wheels can officially start turning to appoint a new Vicar. The Wardens have already met with the Archdeacon Olivia who will be steering the process on behalf of Bishop Andrew. The PCCs of all three parishes have also met to start drawing up the Benefice Profile which will describe our parishes and set forth our Mission statement and our Vision for the future. We will do our best to seek your views and input to this important document. On 6th December at 7.30pm in Eastbury church there will be the Section 11 meeting to appoint the representatives who will be involved in approving the Profile, short-listing candidates for interview and appointing the new Vicar. The Section 12 meeting for these representatives to present the Profile to the Archdeacon is scheduled for 8th January. Advertising the post in the Church Times will be 25th January and 1st February with closing date 15th February. Shortlisting is planned for 18th February with interviews taking place on 28th February. If all goes well we could have a new Vicar by the middle of the year.


Our Patronal Festival this year will be celebrated on 4th November at 10.30 am. The sermon at this Group Communion service will be preached by The Revd Canon Edmund Newey, Sub Dean of Christ Church, Oxford.


There will be a Remembrance Service on Saturday, 10th November which will start in the church at 10.30 am and, weather permitting, the Wantage Silver Band will lead us to the War Memorial for the Act of Remembrance. The East Garston Historical Society is organising an exhibition of World War I memorabilia in the church on both Saturday and Sunday. Teas will be available.


Bob Briant

Churchwarden


2018_12


After all of the fine weather, it was extremely wet on the day chosen for our annual churchyard maintenance on 6th October. This may have put off volunteers but nevertheless, we achieved much necessary tidying both outside and inside the church.

Our Harvest Festival on 14th October was attended by over 50 adults and children from the parish. The church was beautifully decorated with the participation of several children the day before.

Over 50 (this seems to be the magic number!!) people from all three parishes of the benefice gathered to celebrate our Patronal Festival on 4th November and to hear the excellent sermon preached by The Revd Cannon Dr Edmund Newey, Sub Dean of Christ Church, Oxford.

Thanks to all those who helped in various ways on each occasion.

Many thanks also to all those who sponsored my walk in September in aid of the Berkshire Churches Trust. The sum donated this year was a record £405 and the trust will be able to reclaim tax of just over £90 under the Gift Aid scheme. All Saints Church has received £202.50 from the trust which is our share of the sponsored amount.

After missing out on a children’s Nativity Service last year, the Mums have selected Saturday 8th December at 3pm for a children’s service this year. This will be followed by a tea party in the Village Hall.

Our candlelit Carol Service will be at 6pm on 16th December and there will be carols again in the Queens Arms on 17th December at 7.30pm.

The Archdeacon of Berkshire, Venerable Olivia Graham will be officiating at our Christmas Communion Service at 9am on Christmas Day.

Bob Briant
Churchwarden