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14th June – oh, this weather! I can actually see just a bit of blue sky now, but it has been really raining hard. However, this did not put people off from coming to Rattle the Roof last week, it was really fantastic and huge thanks go to all who came, Ron and Margaret for playing and Abbey Piano services for lending the Grand Piano. All who were there really enjoyed themselves and yes, we shall be doing it again next year! Tomorrow we have the Vicarage Garden Open Afternoon from 2.00 – 4.00 and please don’t let the weather put you off. Adam, Eddie and Peter have worked really hard in the last 24 hours to get the garden looking absolutely beautiful. We may well have to have teas in the church hall, but wrap yourself in your waterproofs and come! On Monday we have our Open Hour at John Ashley’s at 11.00 and will be celebrating Tim’s 60th birthday which is actually on Wednesday. After that, the Support Group are meeting to plan future events. You can now see the Deanery Film on the website. The actual page is password protected and the password is Churches (with a capital C. Enjoy it! If you want to see it in church, we will be showing it in Coleford next Sunday 23rd at 9.30 (instead of the sermon!).

7th June – it is certainly pouring today but last Saturday the weather was lovely and we had a fabulous Gift Day, Fete and Barbecue at St Andrew’s. So far have raised about £1,500 but still plenty of time for more to come in. Evensong at Holcombe Old Church was really special, and we had 44 adults + one child which was a terrific number for the summer. The installation of the Loo has now started and we are all feeling very excited about that. On Monday, we had our Open Hour at John Ashley’s and there must have been about 17 people + 3 dogs so it was lovely. Tonight we have the Rattle the Roof in Holy Trinity at 7.00. Please don’t let the weather put you off – we have a really wonderful organist who will be playing the grand piano (thanks to Abbey Piano Services) and of course Ron on his accordion. Singing some terrific hymns as well. Everything is being got ready for our Vicarage Garden Open Afternoon next Saturday 15th June (2.00 – 4.00)but this rain is not helping! Tomorrow, there is breakfast in Holcombe Village Hall (9.30 – 11.00) and then Julia Neesam is having a Garden Party at her home, The Grove, in Lower Coleford, starting at 2.00, in aid of Dorothy House. We are also busy getting teams together for the Huckyduck Carnival Quiz next Friday (7.30 for 8.00 in the Legion).  

31st May – well, it was supposed to be lovely today, and although it isn’t raining it is not exactly hot summer. However, tomorrow the weather for our Gift Day, Fete and Barbecue 11.00 – 1.00 at St Andrew’s is supposed to be glorious, so do come and join us. We have terrific stalls, and there will be a great barbecue. And we need to sell everything because of clearing the church for our Loo installation next week. I have been doing some weeding (though not as much as others) for our Vicarage Garden Open Afternoon on Saturday 15th June (2.00 – 4.00). The garden is looking lovely with all the roses coming out – and on Monday we still had one daffodil though that certainly will have gone by mid June! There will be cream teas, a raffle and a bring & buy. We look forward to seeing as many people as possible. Requests for Hymns for Rattle the Roof (an evening of Hymn Singing in Holy Trinity) next Friday 7th June at 7.00 are coming in. There is still time to choose hymns so do please email me. Music will mostly be provided by a grand piano (lent to us for the evening by Abbey Piano Services – their shop is where the Post Office used to be) and also Ron on his accordion. If you have not looked at our Bibles page recently, please do so. I am adding a Bible each week. Have done a lot this week, but of course never enough.  

24th May – the Quiz last Friday for Holy Trinity went really well, and people enjoyed it a lot. Huge thanks to Heather A for organising it. I was absolutely amazed when our team came Joint Second, although we lost it on the third tiebreaker (my apologies to Heather R who had the answer almost spot on). But then it wouldn’t have looked very good for the Vicar to collect a prize in a church quiz …
In St Andrew’s, we spent a couple of hours last Saturday morning clearing out the 100 Room and the Vestry in preparation for the Loo etc being installed. We have had to leave quite a bit of stuff in for Saturday 1st (our Gift Day, Fete and Barbecue 11.00 – 1.00) but will clear everything completely before Monday 3rd. There will be coffee after church this Sunday (no sherry, Jane has taken the glasses to sort) and the Monday Open Hour this coming Monday 27th will also take place. After that, on Sunday 2nd we shall be far too busy clearing everything, and from Monday 3rd the Open Hour will be in a marquee at John Ashley’s, The Acorns, Brewery Lane BA3 5EG. It’s the Oasis turning next to the Manor. Huge thanks go to John for his hospitality.
This coming Thursday it is Ascension Day, and the start of Thy Kingdom Come (the global wave of daily prayer between Ascension and Pentecost. St Andrew’s Church will be open for prayer from 9.30 – 11.30, which will include our 10.00 Holy Communion service for Ascension. After that, the church will be open most days, and people will be able to come in and pray – in the vestry which can be relatively quiet (the loo will be being installed at the back of the church).
Rattle the Roof (an evening of Hymn Singing in Holy Trinity) takes place on Friday 7th June at 7.00. There is still time to choose hymns so do please email me. Music will mostly be provided by a grand piano (lent to us for the evening by Abbey Piano Services – their shop is where the Post Office used to be) and also Ron on his accordion.

17th May – a lot of events are being planned at the moment, so I will just mention three here:
1. Thy Kingdom Come May 30th to June 9th. St Andrew’s will mark this global wave of daily prayer between Ascension and Pentecost – May 30th to June 9th. A large poster will be placed outside the church advertising this, and lining the path of the churchyard will be pebbles spelling out the title ‘Thy Kingdom Come’. We are asked to identify five areas to pray for daily during this season. We will pray for doctors and nurses in areas of conflict, the growing number of suicide among teenagers; the entrapment of slavery; families suffering in poverty and for people persecuted for their faith. Representing the five issues that St Andrews has chosen, a member of our congregation will take five smaller pebbles on pilgrimage to Rome. Thy Kingdom Come starts on Thursday 30th May. The church will be open for prayer from 9.30 until 11.30 that day, including our Ascension Day service at 10.00, to which all are welcome. Because of the work on our Loo, we will not be holding any extra services after that, but the church will be open for people to come in and pray for much of the week from Monday 3rd June, although we can’t promise it will be quiet as the men will be working there.
2. Gift Day, Fête and Barbecue, Saturday 1st June On Saturday 1st June from 11.00 – 1pm we shall be holding our annual Gift Day, Fête and Barbecue which will include a wide variety of stalls such as cakes and produce, plants and fresh fruit, bric-a-brac, children’s toys, books, raffle and tombola. We shall also be serving tea and coffee, and there will of course be our barbecue. This day raises some much needed funds for St Andrew’s, in order to help us pay our parish share, which went up quite a bit this year and is £12,654, and simply to help pay for the everyday running costs.
3. Rattle the Roof, Friday 7th June, 7.00 in Holy Trinity This is your chance to enjoy singing hymns which you love – perhaps something you have not sung for years, something you had at your wedding, something particularly personal for you, or just something you love to sing. We are hoping to have music provided by both a grand piano and by Ron on his accordion. Several people have already given hymn requests, but there is still time to ask for something you would like. Please email me.  There will be an interval during which you will be able to enjoy a drink and there will also be a raffle. There will be no charge for the evening.
Probably the most exciting news this week is that work will start on our Loo at St Andrew’s on Monday 3rd June. This is thrilling news and more anon.

10th May – There have just not been enough hours in the days over the last week, but I feel a bit as though I am coming up for air today as apart from going to Kilmersdon School for Assembly this morning I am going to be at my desk all day until I go out tonight for the Murder Mystery Play at the Legion to which I am much looking forward. Spent Tuesday in Wells doing Safeguarding Training (all clergy have to do it once every three years, as do our Safeguarding Officers and anyone else who is DBSd) and actually it was a very interesting day as well as being rather harrowing with several case studies. Then in the evening Holy Trinity Parochial Church Council met in my study. On Wednesday, among other things I celebrated Communion in Holy Trinity, led Assembly at Bishop Henderson, and in the evening had what is called the Archdeacon’s Visitation in Midsomer Norton. This is when Churchwardens are sworn in, and our two Holcombe wardens, Ann and Anne-Marie, enjoyed it very much, as did I. Yesterday, after Communion at St Andrew’s, I did a couple of very brief visits before going to Holcombe Old Church. In the evening, St Andrew’s PCC met here in my study. I have just finished reading a book on Eucharistic Prayers, worldwide and from earliest times up until about the end of the 18th century. Absolutely fascinating, and makes me realise how lucky we are to have much shorter prayers in the Church of England now. I think all is in hand for our Quiz on Friday 17th at the Legion – if you haven’t booked yet, please get in touch with Heather Allen on 01373 812137 or email her. Also getting going on Rattle the Roof – an evening of singing your favourite hymns in Holy Trinity on Friday 7th June. In Holcombe, we are busy planning our Fete and Gift Day on Saturday 1st June (11.00 – 1.00) and then both churches are starting to plan for the Vicarage Garden Open Afternoon (2.00 – 4.00 on Saturday 15th June) + cream teas etc. And of course in Holcombe our thoughts are turning towards our Pet Service on Sunday 23rd June and the Gala weekend.

3rd May – Easter seems a long time ago now, but it was wonderful and I also managed a good rest afterwards. Didn’t go away but actually did a lot of theological reading which was surprising – normally I move to children’s books or murders when on a break! I was disappointed that we didn’t have more people at the Jenny Peplow concert last Friday, but they were absolutely incredible – really wonderful singing. And we raised £488.85 which was fantastic, so a huge thank you to all who helped in any way or came. Our next event is our Quiz at the Legion on Friday 17th and you need to book tickets through Heather Allen – either ring her on 01373 812137 or email her. We are busy preparing for the Vicarage Garden being open on Saturday 15th June (2.00 – 4.00) and at St Andrew’s we are also preparing for our Fete and Gala on Saturday 1st June (11.00 – 1.00) and then Gala on 6th / 7th July (more anon). This week has been incredibly hectic today, and shortly I shall be going out – acupuncture in Frome, funeral in High Littleton + the crematorium and wedding rehearsal in Wellow. I am not abandoning the parish but we are short of vicars at the moment.