A- A A+

Church News Archive

 All Saints Church – article in November 2018 Village Views

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


 All Saints Church – article in October 2018 Village Views

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


 All Saints Church – article in September 2018 Village Views

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


 All Saints Church – article in August 2018 Village Views

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


 All Saints Church – article in July 2018 Village Views

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 Michaels 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


 All Saints Church – article in June 2018 Village Views

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


All Saints Church – article in May 2018 Village Views

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


All Saints Church – article in April 2018 Village Views

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


All Saints Church – article in March 2018 Village Views

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


All Saints Church – article in February 2018 Village Views

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


All Saints Church – article in January 2018 Village Views

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


All Saints Church – article in December 2017 Village Views

We were blessed with good weather for our annual churchyard maintenance day on 14th October.  There was a very good turnout of volunteers this year and as a result we achieved a great deal of tidying which there is not time to do when the grass needs to be mown.  Some of the ladies were also able to accomplish some tidying and cleaning inside the church.  We all enjoyed a picnic lunch.  My thanks to all those who helped both before, during and after the day and for those that prepared the snacks and lunch.

Over 50 people from all three parishes of the benefice gathered to celebrate our Patronal Festival on 29th October and to hear the excellent sermon preached by The Very Revd Professor Martyn Percy, Dean of Christ Church, Oxford. The choir from St Michael’s with Dr Stephen Holmes at the organ led our singing and, conducted by Susan Holmes, gave a rendition of John Stainer’s “What are these arrayed in white clothes” for the anthem. During the service, the congregation placed lighted candles in the Sanctuary in memory of their loved ones that had passed away. It was also one of the services at which we use our 14th and 15th Century chalices which were withdrawn from the Christ Church Treasury for the occasion. The church was beautifully decorated with flowers, so thanks to all the flower arrangers for their hard work. Many of the congregation stayed on after the service for a chat with Pro. Percy over a cup of coffee or tea and biscuits.

Many thanks to all those who sponsored my walk in September in aid of the Berkshire Churches Trust. The sum donated was £227 and the trust will be able to reclaim tax of a further £40 under the Gift Aid scheme. All Saints Church will receive £113.50 from the trust which is our share of the sponsored amount.

The Chancellor has granted the faculty for the installation of under pew heaters. Due to the capacity of the single phase electricity supply, it has only been possible to fit these to the front seven of the eleven rows of pews on either side of the nave plus one heater behind the priest’s chair. The contractor has scheduled the installation for 23/24 November so I hope that next month I will be able to report that this was carried out successfully.

Bob Briant

Churchwarden



 


















 




 


All Saints Church - article in November 2015 Village Views

Thanks to the team of men and women who turned out for our Churchyard Maintenance Day on 10th October. We were very pleased to welcome several new, younger and stronger members to the team. The weather was very kind to us and we were able to achieve a lot but it seems like a never ending task and so we will need at least another day before we can relax a little (the date will be announced shortly). Thanks once again to the loyal band of labourers.

Seventy people of all ages attended our Harvest Festival on 11th October. The church had been beautifully decorated by some of the children and our team of flower arrangers. There were also displays of garden produce, vintage garden tools and the story of grain production and the uses to which it is put. Children assisted in the service by "meeting and greeting", reading some of the prayers and taking the offertory. We were joined by West Berkshire Strings who played the introduction to the first hymn and later performed Largo from Dvorak' New World Symphony. The Vicar dedicated some new chairs which had been donated to provide seating for the Strings. After the service, many of the congregation shared a wonderful Harvest Lunch in the Village Hall. Thanks to all who helped to make both occasions successful. Part of the offertory of almost £320 will be donated to the Royal Agricultural Benevolent Institution.

The Vicar also read a short report on the Foodbank from Trevor Butcher:

This Harvest Festival is the 3rd Anniversary of the start of East Garston Food Bank. Over the past 12 months the people of our village have contributed 669lbs / 305 Kgs of food. Thank you so much for this food which will be gratefully received by people in the area who need a little short term help to get them through a difficult period in their lives.

Short term helps means that the food bank will supply only 3 days food per week for 3 weeks in a period of 6 months. It is not used as a long term option. Thank you once again for all your contributions and please keep giving if you can.

Thanks to Trevor and Janet for their hard work as coordinators in keeping the scheme alive in East Garston.

Bob Bryant

Churchwarden


All Saints Church - article in October 2015 Village Views

I am pleased to be able to report that, with the help of Martyn Wright and the hire of a stump grinder, we have been able to remove the stumps of the trees that were felled last year as well as some old stumps that were left over from previous years.  The holes will be filled and grass seed sown. This will make the grass mowing easier next year and improve the general appearance of the churchyard.  Please come and join the working party for our churchyard maintenance day on Saturday 10th October from 10 am onwards when we will be tackling some of the other tasks that are essential before the onset of winter. 

I stated last month that there would also be church cleaning on the maintenance day but this has been postponed because the church will be being decorated for the Harvest Festival which will take place at noon on Sunday 11th October.  Vikki Brooks will be organising the children’s decorations and Ann Phillips will be coordinating the floral and other decorations.  Please let them know if you are able to help.  The service will be followed by a Harvest Lunch details of which will be circulated.

We started September on Thursday 10th with the funeral and burial of Margaret Keneally (nee Weir) who had spent all her working life serving the valley community in the Lambourn pharmacy.  The service was attended by over 70 family and friends.

On Saturday 12th September, I walked 13 miles and visited 10 churches with some of my family and my dog for Ride & Stride in aid of the Berkshire Churches Trust.  The trust provides grants to churches to assist with restoration and other projects such as the current building work at St James, Eastbury.  We will be applying for a grant from the trust when we start on our own heating project.  Please let me know if you would be willing to sponsor me as apart from any grant that may be awarded, 50% of any money raised by participants comes back to their nominated church.

On Sunday 13th September, in addition to our normal service, there was another happy occasion as Amelia Mary Chapman was welcomed into the church at her baptism. Amelia is the daughter of Thomas and Nicola who live in The Waldrons.

Bob Briant

Churchwarden