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From St Mary’s

A week in the life of the new Church Warden...

A few months ago, Fr Paul casually wondered aloud who would be the next warden at St Mary’s.

  • Last week was the first full week of your writer being officially signed in as church warden alongside the experienced warden, Douglas. On Saturday we set up and held a concert of amazing local talent, loud music and lights and free food(cake!) and wine.
  • On Sunday we had a service outside to celebrate the end of ‘Cherish Your Churchyard’ week, a well-attended baptism and an afternoon of Cherishing Our Churchyard activities and more cake, oh and Fr Paul, on his way to the hustings, asked for a risk assessment to be prepared for fire-eating and juggling for Friday. Your writer thought he was joking.
  • On Monday and Tuesday it was tidying the gallery with Chris, Pete and Doug, and help and advice from Susan and Kathleen.
  • On Wednesday we set up for a large wedding in the morning and a run-through in the evening, and finished clearing and cleaning the gallery and church.
    On Thursday we enjoyed a large, modern wedding (oooh, no hymns but still very Christian) and then set up for a funeral on Friday. Oh, and there was St Mary’s School Gardening Club.
  • Friday saw Thomas’ funeral – very moving and attended by nearly double the number of people the church could seat, and not forgetting the tractors – over 50. Then we set up for Saturday (Men’s Group… whew- your writer was excused that for obvious reasons) and Sunday church service.

All this has been sprinkled with the usual delightful range of visitors, young and old, looking at the churchyard and church, chatting to us and spending a few quiet moments in our lovely area.

The most wonderful thing about all this is the way so many people have pulled together to make sure all this happens: food and drink served, people helped, music provided, cleaning done, publicity, and more.

If we look a little wider, the same seems to be happening benefice wide – people came from both churches to the music and eco events, and contributed to the Benefice profile sent out recently, seeking our next vicar.

The closing date for this is next Monday, and the interviews will be held 1st August. Please keep the benefice in your thoughts and prayers as we work together and look towards our future.

Another exciting event is the Rush-bearing, on Saturday 13th July. There will be a Rush-bearing Queen and King, a rushcart, a traditional rushbearing song, a short procession from school with morris dancers and music at 2pm, a crowning, a brief service in church and it all ends with activities for children, and even more cake outside the church. It would be so good to see people from the other Pendleside villages and our local schools there. It is a long-held tradition, linking our rural community and the seasons with the church and there is something very reassuring about that.

Do join us. After all, it is free! And yes, your writer is exhausted, very grateful for all the support she has received but amazed at what we can all do together, even the fire-eating. In fact, especially the fire-eating!

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