The weather was perfect for the latest effort to get the churchyard into good fettle. Having cut the grass a few days before, just before the rain, last Saturday saw half a dozen keen gardeners tackling the overgrown drainage channels surrounding the church walls. These are designed to keep water away from the walls and so reduce rising damp, but over the years the channels of cobbles have become over grown with grass and weeds- and the stones just under the surface make for a difficult mowing experience!
Well we managed to get about half of the walls cleared of growth, and in due course we’ll need to remove the soil from amongst the stones, but for now that can wait, so hopefully we cna finish the job in the autumn, when it will also be time for the next ‘Haveringland Rake Off’ which hopefully will once again see a large group turning out, especially with the promise of more cake!
The Rogation Service held the following day was a lovely event with the congregation giving thanks for all things natural, and especially seeds sown at this time of year. We even held part of the service in the open air, where we spent a few moments appreciating the beautiful place we live in…the barley starting to push up, the buzzards screeching over head, trees coming into leaf and the churchyard starting to resemble a managed conservation area. It was also great seeing some people new to the church, including a couple from Stratton Strawless who had heard about the event via ‘Nextdoor’.
I couldn’t resist sharing this wonderful picture of our friends’ son Reggie. Last Harvest time he came along to see me on my stall at the Harvest Festival event at St. Peter’s, where children (and adults) could sow a Broad Bean seed to take home in a pot, nurture on the windowsill and plant out in late autumn…here’s the result! (I must say it’s rather more impressive than my own efforts). Well done Reggie!
Woofs of delight were heard at the first ‘Pet Blessing’ Service held on St. George’s Day at St. Peter’s Church. Pets from the parish and beyond came to join in the hymns and make friends…so did their owners!
A good turnout was able to appreciate the newly cleaned church and tidied churchyard, enter a raffle for some pet related prizes and have a nice piece (or two) of cake and tea. The day was cold, in fact it seemed colder inside than out, but this didn’t dampen the enthusiasm of all involved.
We had pet and animal related readings and prayers, suitable hymns (‘All Things Bright and Beautiful’ was a shoe- in for starters), and some very interesting contributiions from the RSPCA and Pets as Therapy, who brought along a few of their suitably trained dogs, that play such an important role with people who might otherwise lose connections with the world around them. There was even a pet parade and rosettes awarded for the best turned out pets (and owners). All in all a very satsifactory outcome for our first try at something a little different!Thanks to Ken’s Corn Stores, Tesco Aylsham and Pets at Home, Longwater, for their kind donations and sponsorship.
The next service, rather more traditional, will be Rogation Sunday, 21st May, and hopefully, if anyone out there is up for it, a further day of churchyard weeding the day before…watch this space.
After the Service there was a meeting about setting up a new Parochial Church Council for the church and as well as several people wishing to join the Parish Register, five volunteers were duly agreed as the core of the new P.C.C. It’s first meeting will hopefully be soon.
Talking of meetings, if you’re interested in helping to plan and organise events at the Church, please come along to the next planning meeting on May 9th at 7.30pm, to be held at the Old School, School Road, Haveringland.
Once again, the parish has been visited by “The Flying Squad” of cleaners,this time at St Peter’s Church.
For the second time within 3 days, parishioners have been giving their time to make a difference. On this occasion, it was the Church which had a deep clean… and the churchyard had its first grass cut of the year. You might recall the plan to create a conservation area here, so much of the churchyard is being left to grow naturally until the autumn. But we also need access, so paths were cut and areas where graves are still being tended cut close, too.
Although the church is not in frequent use, during the winter months, dead flies and bat droppings cover the window sills and pews and need to be removed. After 20 hours of work, it was agreed they HAD made a difference, both inside and out and St Peter’s was ready to open for business at the end of the month.
If you have never been inside, [it is kept locked at present for security reasons], why not take a peek on April 23rd at 2:30 and join “All Creatures Great and Small” – the first ‘Pet blessing’ service. It is an opportunity to show off your “best friend” (bring a picture of those departed or unable to be brought along), and meet with others to give thanks for the wonders of nature. There will be a parade of pets, a raffle, refreshments and stalls – a fun afternoon for everyone!
A candlelit path will welcome you to the magical church of St. Peter’s next week. On Thursday, 15th December, commencing at 6pm the church is hosting a ‘Follow the Star’ event.
You can jump straight into star gazing (weather permitting) and there will be a range of childrens’ activities, seasonal refreshments and a short service including insights into some astronomical wonders delivered by our local expert, Rebecca Whitehead.
And to extend the ‘star’ theme further we’ve come up with a candlelit ‘Graveyard Trail’ that will get you to ‘unearth’ (not literally) some of Haveringland’s former stars! A series of graves will be illuminated, but even so, it’s probably a good idea to bring a torch.
A small band of ‘Friends’ are planning to clean the church tomorrow from 9am, so if you can lend a hand with that, brilliant. If you can help with stewarding, manning children’s activities, refreshments or in some other ways on the night that would be great, just let me know as soon as possible, please.
This promises to be a fascinating evening– with or without clear skies!
If you can’t make this event, may I wish you and yours a very happy Christmas and New Year…maybe we’ll see you at the meeting to firm up next year’s programme on Thursday 16th February commencing at 7.30pm. This is being held at The Old School, Haveringland. I hope you might be able to come along and give us your thoughts; so if you can and it is of interest, please put it in the diary.
Nigel Boldero (email email@example.com)
Groundforce Day #3 was on the morning of 22nd October (aka the Great Haveringland Rake-off). This was definitely harder going than our previous efforts; several days of rain meant even modest piles of grass weighed a ton. But undaunted, Brian Canavan and Mary Beatty joined us and the job was tackled systematically so that eventually the whole area was cleared. This will reduce the vigour of the grasses and hopefully see even more wild flowers establish in coming years.
The front section alongwith other areas of tended graves and paths through the proposed meadow habitats were given a closer mowing and will not only look tidy for the winter, but will start to reveal the areas to be regularly mown during the growing season. Alongside this, Mary spent her morning raking up a huge amount of dead fir leaves and branches from under the trees which form the southern boundary inside the wall. This was used as a mulch to cover and hopefully kill off the weeds the other side of the wall.
Although there is plenty which could still be done, this should see it through to the spring when new growth returns. Dates for working parties will be advertised in the magazine as well as on this site or on posters around the parish. If you would like to be on our Friends email contact list, drop a note to firstname.lastname@example.org
Thank you to everyone who has given up their time- some of whom don’t even live in Haveringland – to make such a difference at St. Peter’s. Whether you came once or every Saturday, to borrow a well known phrase, “every little helps!” There have been many favourable comments from visitors both regular and casual who appreciate what has been achieved.
Why not join us for a warm welcome at the Christmas event “Follow the Star” on Thursday 15th December, when there will be lots of stargazing- related activities, a short carol service and refreshments- including mulled wine, mince pies and hot dogs. It kicks off at 6pm.
Deborah and Nigel Boldero
Thanks to Brian, Dave and Deborah for their help on yesterday’s Groundforce Day, where we made more progress on the churchyard. We managed to cut away most of the ivy from the western wall and mowed about three quarters of the grass.
Unfortunately we didn’t quite do all we needed to so I’m hoping to have another session this coming Saturday (22nd) between 9am and 1pm. Anyone who can come along and help finish off the ‘must do’s’ before winter is upon us would be very welcome. We need to complete mowing and raking off the grass, and if we have time and enough people, we could make further progress on removing ivy and weeds from around the church walls.
So, if you can come along and spare us an hour or more of your time next Saturday morning (weather permitting), that would be a great help! (anything longer than an hour and you’ll be eligible for a ’Rake Off’ cake!)
Sorry if you turned up on Saturday to help in the churchyard and found nobody around. It was raining steadily at 8.30am and the forecast wasn’t too promising, so I decided to postpone for a week. Thanks to those who did turn up , and, I gather did some useful work!
Well, if you can make this Saturday (15th) between 9am and 1pm, we’d love to see you. Tools and refreshments provided.
We’ll concentrate on cutting the grass and raking off the cuttings and have another go at the clearing of ivy from the churchyard walls and weeding around the church walls.
Thanks to Graham Payne for burning the large pile of tree and other cuttings from our first effort a few weeks ago.
Dates for your diary, apart from the above:
20th October 2016- 7.30pm at the Vicarage Ames Court, Cawston- planning meeting for anyone interested in helping to work out the details of our next event and some initial discussion of next year’s programme.
15th December 2016- 6.30pm at St. Peter’s church- ‘Follow the Star’- stargazing in the churchyard, children’s activities, a talk about the bible and astronomy, family carol service, refreshments.
29th January 2017 – 10.30am Oulton Parish church- group service followed by a chance to talk to Oulton about their experiences and ideas for improving and developing their church.