Monday 29 September 2008

Out of the Mouths...

The kids were great at the Harvest Festival yesterday. Bob had this idea that they should go out during the sermon and produce something to display at the end of the service. Then he left me to implement it!

Those in the 11+ group used the time to prepare for next Sunday's Youth Event - and the remainder [post toddler] came with me, and two great helpers, Kara and Deb into the Small Hall.

We began by practising the Harvest Thank you from the BMS resources CD. I'd prepared a series of 7 pictures [world, field, wheat, flour, bread, meal, "today"] and the children held up each in turn, whilst we read a poem. Each verse added an extra line [ a bit like The house That Jack Built} "This is the bread that is made from the flour that is cooked by the baker, from the wheat that is ground by the miller that grows in the field that is part of the world that God made" etc.

Then we made ears of corn and coloured in letters and stuck them onto a banner which we carried in at the end off the service.


The sermon slot was a tiny bit longer than I was anticipating [not complaining here - I hadn't anticipated the intercessions and hymn!]so I decided we would have an extra prayer time ourselves.

"We collected lots of tins of food this morning. Where are the tins going, can anyone tell me?"

"To the playground in Tanzania"

"Err, no, not Africa. Alex and Tom did show us their video this morning, but that's not where the tins are going"

"To the middle!"

"Sorry? what did you say?"

"To the middle of Leicester"

"That's right!" said Debs, who had worked it out "You mean THE CENTRE PROJECT in Leicester!"

Centre/Middle/it's all the same when you are only 7!

I suggested we should also pray for baby Charis, born the day before -and the youngest child in the group, only 5, said "She has breathing difficulties" Which amazed me - that fact had been mentioned once, briefly, in the notices at the start of the service. Many adults do not listen to the notices, and yet this little dot had taken in the fact of the new baby's needs.

A Stitch In Time

Last Monday, I discovered a new crafts anIM002847d haberdashery shop, and bought this little DMC purse.

It was less than £2, and I thought it might make a good birthday gift for my favourite Aunt.

On Saturday evening, I sketched out a design, using one of my Jo Verso cross stitch books. I find that working out a design on graph paper is a very relaxing activity.



I have a number of books by the late Jo Verso, and they are brilliant for ideas for cards and small gifts.

She uses simple ideas and her diagrams are easy to follow and adapt.

On Sunday afternoon, [after a hectic morning service] while Bob watched IM002872the Grand Prix, I stitched the purse.

It was very therapeutic, and I was really pleased with the result.

Inside I cut a piece of white fabric to shape and stitched it neatly round to line the side with the back of the embroidery. All ready for Auntie Peg's birthday next month!

Saturday 27 September 2008

A very dear friend

Peter Grange died this evening. Bob has already posted so I won't add much more. I shall miss his wise counsel, gifted preaching, and good friendship. My thoughts and prayers are with Janet, Rachel and Suzanne.

I wish I wasn't so Fubsy!

According to a recent article in the Times, Collins are planning to remove some little used words from their dictionaries, to make room for more modern ones [credit crunch, sub-prime, etc] This seems such a shame to me.

I shall endeavour to learn, and then use a few of them in conversation. Of course, I shall speak with mansuetude, and avoid being oppugnant!

But for now, I shall return to abstergent activities in the kitchen, and make the hob nitid.

I believe passionately in developing a good vocabulary and encouraging my pupils to do the same.

Abstergent Cleansing or scouring

Agrestic Rural; rustic; unpolished; uncouth

Apodeictic Unquestionably true by virtue of demonstration

Caducity Perishableness; senility

Caliginosity Dimness; darkness

Compossible Possible in coexistence with something else

Embrangle To confuse or entangle

Exuviate To shed (a skin or similar outer covering)

Fatidical Prophetic

Fubsy Short and stout; squat

Griseous Streaked or mixed with grey; somewhat grey

Malison A curse

Mansuetude Gentleness or mildness

Muliebrity The condition of being a woman

Niddering Cowardly

Nitid Bright; glistening

Olid Foul-smelling

Oppugnant Combative, antagonistic or contrary

Periapt A charm or amulet

Recrement Waste matter; refuse; dross

Roborant Tending to fortify or increase strength

Skirr A whirring or grating sound, as of the wings of birds in flight

Vaticinate To foretell; prophesy

Vilipend To treat or regard with contempt

Butch Cassidy R.I.P.

paul newman

Just heard that Paul Newman has died. I will always think of him primarily in Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid [made in 1969] but his film career lasted from 1952 to 2006. He was married to Joanne Woodward for over 50 years.

I think his greatest achievement was the Salad Dressings though - they started as a joke, but have now raised over $250million for charity, salad dressing helping sick and disadvantaged children. His company motto was "Shameless Exploitation in the Pursuit of the Common Good"

Twenty years ago, Newman created the Hole in the Wall holiday camps for children with life-threatening conditions. More than 135,000 children have attended the camps.

paul newman2 The Vice chairman of the Newman Charitable Foundation has just said "Paul took advantage of what life offered him, and while personally reluctant to acknowledge that he was doing anything special, he forever changed the lives of many with his generosity, humour and humanness. His legacy lives on in the charities he supported and the Hole in the Wall camps, for which he cared so much. We will miss our friend Paul Newman, but are lucky ourselves to have known such a remarkable person."

He made some good films, and used the money he made to help others. And he had amazing blue eyes!

Genesis 8:22





Tomorrow is Harvest Thanksgiving,so I spent a pleasant morning in the chapel with Barbara, our efficient Flower Steward, receiving the baskets of flowers which various members had arranged. I think we had sixteen or seventeen in the end. I just photographed a few of them, but they were all splendid.

After Sunday's services, they will be distributed to sick or housebound friends in the village.

In my Norfolk childhood, Harvest meant the chapel was festooned with sheaves of wheat, mega-marrows, and neat heaps of apples and scrubbed potatoes. Listen to John Betjeman's wonderful poem about the Church Mouse. Our display now is just flowers, and tomorrow children will bring cans of food for The Centre Project. The kids understand food from supermarkets, cans of soup and packets of biscuits - they are not quite sure about farmers with combine harvesters and baler twine!

Maybe it isn't the same as it was then - but Harvest Thanksgiving is still a valid reminder of God's continued goodness to us, and our need to share His Blessings with others.

Be prepared!


The Village is peppered with signs for this event. I am quite amused by the idea of a "Scout Auction"

Should I go and bid for one? [might be quite useful around the house, could walk dog, wash car etc]

Are there of the lads called Lot?

If there's a crowd of boys all called Lot, would that be Lot Number One, Lot Number Two...?

Where did the auctioneer get them from - did he go round the village like Baden-Powell, Scouting For Boys?

Friday 26 September 2008

A Smashing Time

Bob's away and I fully intended to get up really early and get on with my tasks. But I never set the alarm and managed to sleep till past 8am, which is really unusual for me, I am normally awake around 6.30am.

So of course I got up and rushed around trying to catch up [never a good idea] Following a HUGE shop at Aldi last night [they've got all their dried fruits etc on offer this week] I was able to start my Christmas Baking.

Out with the two trusted cookbooks


I have been using the GH one for thirty years and the Martha one for about half that time. It was the first MS book I ever got, and began my long fascination with this utterly bizarre woman. But I do like her method for cooking Christmas Puds [in a Bain Marie in the oven] It makes them lovely and moist, and doesn't steam up the kitchen. Also [confession] the long slow steaming seems to realise any baked on crud inside my oven, so it is easier to give it a thorough clean afterwards! [It's OK, the puds are covered with greaseproof - it's not as if grot can drop into them while they bake]

Here are the results of this morning's labours. I will cook the cake and puds on my return from this afternoon's Christian Aid Tea Party.


The pudding mixture is "developing its flavours" in my wonderful Mason Cash Mixing Bowl - a treasured Christmas gift from Liz and Steph many years ago. I do miss having the girls around for pud-making. We had a tradition of everybody coming to stir the mix, and then we wrote down our prayers for the forthcoming year. [none of this superstitious Wish Stuff round here!] We would look at the previous year's list and realise just how many of the prayers had been answered. Everyone had three things on their list

  1. A prayer for themselves [usually related to Xmas gfts!]
  2. A prayer for someone else
  3. A prayer for our church fellowship

There were originally eight jars of marmalade, but [rushing about as usual] one went for a Burton.


Question 1 - Why does a dropped jar scatter bits of glass SO FAR across the kitchen?

Question 2 - Why do I fret that my marmalade won't set, only to discover it DOES set, instantly, into viscous, sticky patches, across a range of about 6 feet!

Question 3 - Why did I spend 10 minutes hunting for the missing lid [bearing in mind there is no longer an intact jar to screw it on to] and how did it get round a corner, and underneath the freezer in the Utility Room, where I found it ages later after I had given up searching?

I remembered a wonderful Ogden Nash poem I learned whilst I was a student. He wrote about milk - marmalade appears to follow the same rules.


Either old magic or new math

into our house has beat a path

How else could Einstein or Diogenes

Explain an exploit of our progeny's?

While at the table with his milk

A child upsets a glass of milk.

The glass held half a pint when filled -

And half a gallon when it spilled!

Thursday 25 September 2008

Can't go over it, can't go under it...

The Year Ones at school are busy writing adventure stories.


If I have to read "Going on a Bear Hunt" any more this month I may explode! It is a wonderful book and has great pictures and lots of opportunity for expressive reading - but it gets a little monotonous after a while!

Today as part of literacy we went round outside, looking at things in the playground and deciding how they could be 'transformed' for our story. The children took notes on their clipboards.

I was in charge of the camera and the children told me what to photograph. Back inside we connected it to the PC and added captions to the pictures. The PE Shed became "The Haunted House". A drain cover was "The Secret Entrance to the Castle Dungeon. A car tyre was "A Giant's Magic Wedding Ring". As you may have gathered, I am not related to David Bailey and my camera skills are not brilliant- and one of the little darlings helpfully pointed out "Ooh look Miss, that's a picture of your foot!" Thankfully they could not come up with a gruesome caption for that one.

Another class has begun a wall display, which presumably will be completed once they have written their stories. Thus far, for the past week, we have just had the title written up. It simply says


- and there is inadequate spacing between the first two words. Which has probably gone unnoticed by 99% of those walking past. But it catches my eye every time, and I think of the character in Genesis chapter 38 [and, I am afraid to admit, I also smile to myself, as I remember Dorothy Parker's canary!]chalice

After school, I took a Communion Service at the OAP Home [should have been Bob,but he is in Derbyshire] It all went well, but one lady, a Roman Catholic, was quite miffed that the wine was non-alcoholic! But she didn't seen at all bothered that the service was conducted by a non-Catholic, non-ordained, non-celibate, non-male!!!

Bob's enjoying his conference but I shall be glad when he is home again tomorrow.

See a Pin and Pick it Up!

The girls at Sewing Club are unbelievably keen! IM002849 Bethany arrived with a bag she had made, using an old duvet cover. She had worked out how to incorporate the poppers along the top so th#e bag can be closed. Clever girl! She says her mum likes it because it is big enough to take files and folders.

All the girls worked on their pincushions last night and got them finished. They look very pretty, and were remarkably easy to make.

Ann is a great teacher and her enthusiasm is infectious.










They asked me to post a simple tutorial for them, so that has meant I had to make a pincushion this evening. Ann used Reynolds Freezer Paper to make iron-on patterns, but you could get your circle using a teaplate and a saucer!

You need 4 pieces of fabric, and 40cm elastic, plus 6 spools of thread [to save money, we wound some thread onto some spare empty spools. the girls can change them for new reels when they have some spare cash!] and some stuffing.


Take 4 pieces of fabriIM002852c approx 40cm square and mark out 35cm circles on two of them.

Sew in pairs, right sides together, sewing a COMPLETE circle. [One pair should include your chosen "top" fabric, the other should include your chosen "underside" piece. the other two bits are the "inners"]IM002853

Trim round the circles as neatly as you can.


Carefully pinch the fabric apart and cut a small cross shape in the "inner" and [ull the two circles out through the hole, so you have two neat discs.


Now you need to put the two discs together, with top on top, and bottom underneath.

Carefully sew a 20cm circle leaving a small gap, and then six equally spaced lines towards the centre.


Leave a small gap between the straight lines and the inner circle.

Stuff the central circle, and sew up the gap.

Now take a length of elastic [cord elastic, or other fairly narrow elastic] 50cm long.

Fasten one end to a small safety pin, and thread on one spool, then through a gap. Repeat till all six spools threaded.

Go through the last gap, tighten the elastic to achieve a good appearance and then knot the ends of the elastic. IM002855

Voila! your pincushion.

I made mine with 2 plain blue circles and 2 floral circles. I chose a floral one for the top and a blue for the underside.

Wednesday 24 September 2008

Tie One On!

Just off to sewing club - I missed it last week [complicated pastoral crisis involving the Rector and Frozen Pizzas, but that is another story!] The girls want to make aprons now, some for themselves, some to use as charity fundraisers.

Found this useful idea on the net, last night, which involves using a miimagexture of prints and fabrics. This is obviously Very Good for those of us who are Thrifty and want to use up our stash, and not spend any money unnecessarily.

This morning I went through the stash and found some green stuff - that IKEA £5 quilt cover again [which has already made loads of bags, pencil rolls and jugglIM002848ing sets] and assembled this one.

I have spent the afternoon sorting out bits and pieces so the girls can start putting their aprons together later.

It will be a long evening - Sewing club and then a Church Meeting. Bob is away at his annual Ministers' Conference in Derbyshire, and returning briefly for the meeting. He has been rushing round for the last few days trying to fit in loads of tasks and prepare for Sunday, [Harvest] knowing that he will be away for 2½days this week. There is some corollary of Murphy's Law that says "If there are two or more church people in hospital, they will be in different hospitals - thus complicating the process of Pastoral Visiting"

In some parts of the country, spouses get to go to their Regional Ministers' Conference, and when we were in London, it was something I really looked forward to each year. My Dad came and looked after the girls, and I got to listen to great preaching, discuss theology, meet up with friends and have my meals cooked for me! I have been muttering about the injustice of the East Midlands Approach for years now, but I don't see any signs of change. I'll just have to make do with listening to the recordings of the sessions when Bob gets back! After all, I Corinthians 14: 35 says "If [women] want to inquire about something, they should ask their own husbands at home" . Mind you, I am not sure how that applies to Lady Ministers going to the Conference without their spouses!

Monday 22 September 2008

Here's To You Mr Robinson!

robertrobinson One of the delights of Monday-Day-Off is listening to the 1.30pm Radio 4 Quiz together. So I read with interest this article about Robert Robinson in today's Times. I was sitting in a coffee shop with Bob at the time - and suddenly I squeaked loudly. There was a reference to the appearance of the Almond Family in Ask The Family!

Follow the link above to see the UTube clip. They are Bob's cousins, and back in the 1970's they WON the final. I think they got a music centre or something [The BBC never gave big prizes] At the time, I'd not been married very long, and the kids at school were well impressed that I had joined such an intellectual clan!

I am not sure many of today's families could manage some of the questions they asked in those days. Robert Robinson is 81 and sounds just the same as he did 30 years ago.

Thirsting after God

Great sermon last night, on Psalm 42. john mills Bob explained the Hebrew word "Nephesh" -usually translated "soul" really means neck, or throat [the Hebrews loved assigning characteristics/qualities to parts of the body] and spoke about thirst, and thirsting after God. According to Bob [and I think I agree] one of the best illustrations of thirst being quenched is that final scene in "Ice Cold in Alex" where John Mills drinks his Carlsberg.

johnmills2 Bob also referred to the film "In Which We Serve" - another John Mills classic - where some of them end up in the life raft after their ship is torpedoed. One thirsty sailor foolishly drinks sea-water, which does not slake his thirst, but simply drives him mad. So often we think that the world can satisfy our deepest desires, but the more we drink of its pleasures, the less satisfaction we find. It was a goodsermon, and reminded me that when I was really tiny in Sunday School, we used to sing

I am feeding on the living bread

I am drinking at the fountain head

and whose drinketh, Jesus said

Shall never, never thirst again.

Saturday 20 September 2008

Satisfying Saturday!


It is SO good when the finished product looks just like the picture on the packet. What am I going to do when I get to the end of my stash of foreign supermarket foods? [Must speak to Liz, she's off to Paris next week, having won a holiday in a competition]

Awarded myself a housework break - with tea, a crossword, and Weekend Woman's Hour. Bliss!


I love Leicester Market!

About 10 years ago, we went to the wonderful Tea Rooms in Masham for the first time masham- and had some splendid Tea Cakes. But I was really taken with their PVC tablecloths - which had a lovely  "Plants of The Bible" print. We asked, and were told where the fabric came from [about 5 miles up the road] So since then, I've had Bible Plants on my kitchen table too. So useful to be able to eat breakfast and improve bible knowledge at the same time.

IM002840 However the cloth has acquired a few indelible stains over the years, and I fancied a change. Having cleaned the floor today, I went off to Leicester Market and got a new length of cloth.

IM002841 Here's the old cloth. Please note Charlie sulking in the garden because he has been shut outside during floor cleaning!

New cloth is rather less spiritual, and dottier!

Yes it does look a bit like Cath Kidston cloth - but the woman cannot claim polka dots were her idea, can she?


I didn't feel like spending £18 for a metre when the nice man on the market has it for just £5.

I did request 2 sample swatches from the CK website recently, [and got sent 4 unexpectedly]

Not sure what I'll do with the swatches.

Her dots are spaced further IM002844apart, and the fabric is a bit pinker. I am very happy with the bright new look of my scarlet cloth.

I can feel waves of domesticity washing over me. I had better go and bake a cake! I did buy some plums on the market too, to make a plum crumble.

A strange looking girl, but Solomon loved her!



Thanks Catriona for pointing out this cartoon on the ASBO Jesus site.


A little bit of humour to brighten the day!

Friday 19 September 2008


It has been a hard week for a number of reasons - and our Scripture Union daily notes are continuing to plough through Job which doesn't help. We had a whole load of Job readings on holiday [whilst stuck in the tent in the pouring rain - didn't really lift my spirits much]

But there was one good thing this week - a child came up to me at school and logo1 said "I saw you at Champion's Challenge. You were running the Holiday Club" "Yes that's right" I replied.

"Can I tell you something, Miss?"

"Go on"

"Well, when I was a baby, I wasn't christened, cos my Dad said it was something I had to decide for myself when I got older. Well, I rang him up last night, and told him I wanted to be christened now. And he said I can be" And she skipped off down the path towards home.

I have no idea if the seeds were sown at Holiday Club, or if she has been going to her local Parish Church, or what - but I was so thrilled that she wanted to come and tell me.

One small positive thing like that can help make a lot of larger negative ones feel less significant.

I was working with another Supply Teacher today, a young NQT girl. She was on playground duty, so I offered to bring out a coffee for her "No thanks, I'm fasting" she said "Oh, it's Ramadan isn't it?" "Yes, so I can't eat or drink anything till 7.20pm tonight"

I don't think I could last twelve hours without even a glass of water, certainly not on a busy day of school teaching. Jesus took prayer and fasting very seriously though. Maybe it is time that we Western Christians rediscovered its benefits and blessings?

Slow Cooking

Earlier this week, I decided to list everything in the fridge and freezer and plan a series of meals to use it all up. Having found an online recipe for Chicken Tagine in the Slow Cooker, I thought I'd try it out on Wednesday - so I prepared everything Tuesday night, and got up twenty minutes earlier than usual Wednesday to put it in the Slow Cooker. Despite a midmorning power outage [again!] It worked out really well.


Moroccan Chicken Tagine for a Slow Cooker. Serves 4

· 4 boneless chicken breasts chopped into large chunks

· 1 tablespoons cornflour

· 2 large onions chopped

· 3-4 garlic cloves, chopped finely

· 1-2 tablespoons olive oil

· 6 ounces dried apricots

· 1 tablespoons tomato paste

· 1 (14 ounce) can chopped tomatoes

· 1 (14 ounce) can chickpeas

· 2 tablespoons honey

· 1/2 pint chicken stock

· 1 teaspoon turmeric

· 1 teaspoon ground ginger

· 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

· 1 teaspoon ground cumin

· 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper ( I hadn’t got any, used paprika)

· salt and black pepper

· 1 carrot, peeled & diced

Heat up olive oil in a frying pan/skillet & saute chopped onions & garlic for 5-10 minutes. Add chicken stock & gradually mix in flour or cornflour until well mixed & not lumpy. Add honey & tomato paste & mix well. Add herbs,spices & finely chopped ginger with salt & pepper to taste. Finally add tinned tomatoes & mix well.

Pour the above tomato,onion & spice mix into slow cooker . Add chicken & chickpeas & mix well. Add apricots and carrot. Give it a gentle but good stir to mix everything together well. Slow Cooker - Cook on high for about 3 to 4 hours OR automatic with keep warm facility for up to 8 hours.

Serve with couscous, rice, fresh flat bread, pitta bread or salads. It is also good (if not traditional) served with fluffy pureed or mashed potatoes & pasta.

I served it with couscous - and froze half for another day.

Sewing notes

Other people seem to use their sewing machines for dressmaking, or curtains, or beautiful patchwork projects. I seem to be stuck in a rut, producing functional items like PA covers and the like.

This week I have made my young friend Matthew a bag in which to carry his keyboard to school. It was entirely from The Stash, so cost nothing. I was especially pleased with the zip top - two zips meeting in the centre [rescued from old, discarded garments, probably from the last millennium] OK, one is white, the other blue - but they both work!



The rest of the week has been taken up with teaching [three different schools in three days - but all great fun] and pastoral stuff.

I wasn't planning on teaching today - so the housework has been neglected [again] - I'll think about it tomorrow [after I have planned my Sunday School Lesson]

Tuesday 16 September 2008

Easy and Greedy

When I got home from Knitting Group last night, Bob looked up hopefully, and said "Did you get my text?" - only I hadn't noticed it [we are a Very Noisy Group and so I didn't hear the bleep] It had said "Any chance of a cake for supper?" No wonder he looked disappointed!

Felt a bit guilty then and offered to go back out for chips or something. He declined, but this morning I made a cake - using another of my hoarded French Supermarket purchases [Lille, February 2008 - this packet had NOT  expired!]

IM002837 According to BabelFish, "facile et gourmand" means "Easy and Greedy"

I have to report the chocolate fondant cake was very easy to make - and is rather delicious. We had one eighth each for pudding at lunchtime, and we will have to be strict with ourselves, as it would be too easy to be greedy and eat it all up too quickly! It was only after I had carefully lined the cake tin [with one of my Lakeland Silicon Paper Circles] that I realised that "Avec une feuille de papier sulfurise" meant "that crumpled up bit of paper in the bottom of the carton is for you, to cut a circle from, to line your tin with"

The inside is really gooey and chocolatey...

Monday 15 September 2008

Hot Sauce Award


I just got awarded this! I am following the rules and mentioning it.

I also bought a bottle of hot sauce in Aldi so I can make some attempt to understand the whole thing better.

Amish humour!


Thank you Tammy  in Ohio for this one!

Consider the lilies

One gloriously colourful bunch of flowers received last Monday


Split it up today to make FOUR arrangements to distribute round the house.





"Walk into the fields and look at the flowers.

They don't fuss with their appearance—but have you ever seen colour and design quite like it?

The ten best-dressed men and women in the country look shabby alongside them.

If God gives such attention to the flowers, most of them never even seen, don't you think he'll attend to you, take pride in you, do his best for you?"

Fabulous Funday

It didn't rain - so the waterproof covers were not needed. And it wasn't windy, so the sandbags were unused too.But that is not important - we had a brilliant day! I got my picture taken with Cliff Richard


- well, no, it is Will chandler, the Cliff-as-if Tribute who came along to promote next month's concert.  Some very positive response to his performance today. But that was at about 2.30pm - by which time some of us had been there for 6½ hours!!

The team from the church were brilliant - I collected Nick at 7.45am and we met Bob at the site, and were joined almost immediately by the rest of the crew.

We spent ages setting up gazebos and putting the sound gear in place.IM002785 There was Dave's massive gazebo - three times the size of a normal one. The final stages of erecting that one require eight people [one at each leg] to lift it into place!

Then there was Paul's tent for the main sound desk, and my story tent [which began life as a plain gazebo but acquired pink and purple sides to make it a circus tent]


Everybody worked so incredibly hard - both with setting up and staffing the tents.IM002799

In the 'Churches Together' tent, Sue had prepared a Prayer Tree, for people to write prayers, and we had display panels showing the activities of the various churches. We also had FairTrade goods on sale, and a table of [free] craft activities for the children to paIM002791rticipate in.

Here's Betty next to the display boards, preparing bits for the Prayer Tree.

Round the other side of the village hall was Sound Desk Two, manned by Mike and Jon.

IM002793 Janice and I told Bible stories throughout the afternoon, but the take-up was nothing like as good as last year [eight children as opposed to forty] So maybe I'll give that a miss in 2009!

"Churches Together"  had also arranged to give away free cups of water.


This was much appreciated by people, especially mid-afternoon when it got quite warm. It was hard to persuade people it was free - parents also tried to pay for the kids craft stuff and even for the stories! IM002787 I had been very careful to put up a disclaimer ***Parents-  please note that these are all Bible stories but some may contain moderate violence***

I didn't want anyone complaining because David cuts off Goliath's head!

Members of the Parish Council, on the other hand, who were officially opening the new "Children's Play Facility" gave children large pairs of scissors, stood them 10 feet from the pink and blue ribbons, and shouted "Ready, Steady, Go!" Somebody there had not done their proper Risk Assessment!!

IM002817 Here is a picture of PC Karl, Jenny and Elaine - the three people who work hardest to arrange the day - watching the ribbon cutting.

Lots of people came, and as well as Cliff's spot, we had baton twirling, dancing, tug-of-war contests, and singing by some of the musicians froIM002808m church.

   At the end of the afternoon, we had a worship service, and I counted between 50 and 60 people standing round joining in the singing, which was really encouraging. Bob and Tom [the Rector] led that. Bob interview Jenny. Her teenage son Kris died in a motorcycle accident a few  years back, and since then she has worked tirelessly on behalf of the other young people  in the Village.                        IM002809         


Here are Ian, Lynda and Brian doing their bit.


We have some amazingly talented people around!







Please notice that Bob and I are both wearing matching "Welcome/Back to Church Sunday" T shirts!

That's next Sunday's special event.

Everybody was pleased with the day. Bizarrely a number of people were grateful to Bob, not just for the excellent sound system, but for also "Having a word with Him up there about Good Weather"

IM002819 IM002823









The kids loved the new swing, Karl was happy and a good time was had by all.


 IM002826At the end of the day, we took Nick home, and then collapsed with exhaustion. But we were both grateful to God for so many many answered prayers

  • all those people who helped with the stands - putting up, staffing, and taking down again!
  • the lovely weather
  • the positive reception for the 'Cliff as if..' stuff
  • the opportunity for Christian witness at a major community event
  • being able to show we were working at Churches TOGETHER
  • the chance to chat to people and strengthen friendships
  • for Brian leading the morning service at KMFC, enabling Bob to be free to set up properly.
  • everybody enjoyed the activities provided
  • nobody got hurt [not even when running with scissors!]
  • there was no need to test the waterproof quality of the PA Covers!
  • LOTS of friends stayed behind to load all the gear back into our cars and help us wind cables and move speakers.
  • did I mention the lovely weather??

One song we sang at the service was for the children, and two little girls came out and stood with me to do the actions - it is my favourite children's song this summer [even better than Boing!Boing!]

Our God is a great big God and He holds us in his hands

He's higher than a skyscraper and He's deeper than a submarine

He's wider than the universe, and beyond my wildest dreams

And He's known me, and He's loved me,

Since before the world began

How wonderful to be a part of God's Amazing Plan

Our God is a great big God and He holds us in his hands

Amen to that!!