(stained glass border from the Margaret Rope window)
2017 OCTOBER NOTES FROM CLIPPESBY
A Message from the Fund-raising Team, Sara, Jane and Rachael:
We would like to say a huge ‘Thank you’ to all the people who helped and all who came along to the three Garden Parties which we held at Clippesby Hall over the Summer months; they made £1697.70.
We three love fund-raising but we realise we couldn’t have achieved this excellent amount without everyone’s help and time so we thank you, all of you, again.
This year for the Norfolk Churches Trust sponsored Bike Ride we made our way to Norwich and walked around the city visiting twenty-eight churches.
Our next fund-raiser is in St. Peter’s on the weekend of the 14th and 15th of this month; it’s our annual “Harvest of a Quiet Eye” exhibition, when we hope to attract people who had friends and relatives who lived or worked in Clippesby in past years.
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More Notes, from Jean:
September has seen two milestone events, for which we offer good wishes and congratulations. One is the Christening of baby Lincoln Lacey on the 23rd. and the other was the Diamond wedding of John and Yvonne McCarthy on the 14th.
We have been experiencing some untypical showers for September more reminiscent of April instead of Autumn, and these have hampered Jonathan’s work on the church path but he still hopes to have it finished for Harvest Festival and for our “Harvest of a Quiet Eye”, which is a contemplative look back at Clippesby, its way of life and people in past times. The photos in the display for the Valentine’s weekend created quite a lot of interest so we thought we would develop this a bit more, concentrating on the period in living memory rather than further back as we sometimes do. Please come to have a look round and enjoy a cuppa and a mardle – we really love mardling – there is no charge and everyone is warmly welcome.
Harvest Festival is on the 22nd of October starting at 11am and will be followed by a simple Harvest lunch in the church. If anyone has flowers or produce and time to give we would be delighted to have some help and we plan to decorate on the 21st (Trafalgar Day)
Coffee, Cake and Chat is on the 4th October, the first Tuesday in the month as usual, do just breeze in if you’ve nothing better to do for an hour or two.
If I was put on this world to help others why were the others put on?
We begin this New Year with a fresh start, opening a new page for St. Peter’s, and, since this is to be my last regular monthly Notes for the Parish Magazine, I thought I would like to glance back at some changes I have seen in Clippesby since attending Annual Parochial Church meetings in the 1950s, these were held after afternoon services either in the church or the church room. The PCC didn’t appear to meet much at any other time in those days; now we have concurrent PCC meetings with the other churches of the Benefice three times a year plus we each have one or two separate meetings, things move on.
As well as accommodating church meetings the little church room – having been requisitioned - was home to the CO of the Newfoundland Regiment for a time during WW2. Mrs. Annison’s Sunday school lessons took place in that little room, also community gatherings, such as funeral wakes, wedding breakfasts and some very popular whist drives. There was just enough room to cram in fifteen tables for whist but the four players on the fifteenth had to stand up! With only a small open fire and a kettle Mrs. Annison would make tea for everyone and offer her famous Norfolk Rusks. Now we have a proper kitchen – not very big – in the church tower with a water tap, such luxury!
At one time I think the Sunday school numbered up to forty two children, it closed in 1958 when there were twenty two on the roll. I remember when the Sunday school outings by coach to the seaside at Great Yarmouth were the highlight of the year. Now there are few children in the village and no Sunday school. In times past children could safely walk round the village carol singing and now because of the traffic it would be too dangerous.
There have been several costly restorations of St. Peter’s over the years, not all were good; I recall how sad I felt on seeing that our beautiful wall paintings on the Arches and in the Chancel had been plastered over and obliterated. Other changes have been for the better though. The Electric heaters are so much more efficient than the two little oil stoves of long ago. The pews being made moveable let us stage exhibitions and have hospitality areas. A paved path makes the church accessible and the compost loo fulfils a need.
The list of things needing doing is still quite a long and costly one but I’m confident that our new churchwardens together with the Rector and the Clippesby Church Fund-raising Team have this in hand. We all have a task to do for Our Lord and His Church and over the years so many dear friends, long gone, have played their part in the life of Clippesby church, some of them lie buried in the churchyard and others live on in the memory; they handed on the baton to us just as it was given to them, and so it goes on.
Jean January 2020
Blog by Jean
Since my previous blog in Januarywe have experienced some very strange times, when our familiar way of life as we knew it and our full calendars and diaries for the weeks and months ahead just died; a worlwide pandemic was declared due to Coronavirus and more or less everything shut and we were in lockdown. I won't go into more details as, since March, so many millions of articles have been written about it in billions of words I just want to highlight the effect this has had on Clippesby Church.
In March the government and the Church of England decreed that all churches were to close and no public services would be held, this ruling has relaxed slightly and we have been allowed to open St. Peter's for private prayer only which we do on Wednesdays from 10am to 6pm. The rules we follow are very strict with regard to ensuring that the church is thoroughly cleaned to keep everyone safe. A few people have been into the church each Wednesday and we long to get back to having regular services even though initially it will be without music and singing, but hopefully it won't be too long before we can joyfully praise the Lord in song.
My fellow Beaver, Pauline, who does most of the work maintaining and keeping this website up to date, has been nagging me to update things as I have not written much since the ‘Looking Back’ Notes at the start of the year.
When I wrote those notes it was inconceivable that Clippesby Church – in common with all churches in the country – would be shut within weeks and remain closed for worship until such a time as the authorities considered it safe to reopen. So, here we are five months down the line and figuring out the best way to keep worshippers safe as we are being allowed to hold services which we plan to resume on the 23rd of this month.
All the church events that we enjoy during the year, usually at least one per month, haven’t been able to happen which is quite sad but the Fund-raising Team held a mini, mini fete last Saturday and raised just over a hundred pounds for the church so it’s a start for us to build on. We know that our annual ’Harvest of a Quiet Eye’ weekend cannot take place in the church but perhaps we can do something on line? It may be too difficult for us to figure out how it could happen; we shall see. What we were hoping to display this year were the activities that people got up to during Lockdown.
October 3rd 2020
Whilst I can blame the pandemic for curbing our village and church activities I can't really blame it for my lack of energy in keeping up with a monthly blog.
It seems incredible that with the extra time that should be available due to not being able to take part in so many regular happenings some things just aren't getting done! I know I speak for myself in this as others have done wonderfully creative things like painting, writing books, making imaginative props for 'Open the Book' and baking sour dough bread.
Anyway I think I should fill you in with the few events that have been taking place. The sponsor monies have gone off to the Norfolk Churches Trust for this year's Cycle Ride which was on the 12th of September; Sara, Pam, Fran and Felix got their bikes out or their walking shoes on (Cecily was sponsored for manning the church) and between them raised £587.00. That is a splendid amount, it will help St. Peter's as well as the NCT.
Sara and the Fund-raising Team held three small events - mini fetes - they had to be low key of course so as not to attract crowds , and they were more for showing the flag for Clippesby Church rather than fund-raising ,nonetheless they did make several hundred pounds and these together with Karen Williams's Fleggburgh Quiz and Treasure Hunt, have been so helpful in meeting the outgoing direct debits that still continue to be taken.
We are glad to be able to hold church services again; we wear our masks; we may not socialise and we are not permitted to sing nor to offer hospitality; curbs which go against the grain of our relationships with one another but we put up with them for the moment and we pray this situation will end very soon. One day we will be able to keep the church open again for visitors every day instead of only on Wednesdays. One day we will be free to worship without these Covid-19 constraints; we'll be praising the Lord with a cheerful voice and be able to offer one another hospitality and the brotherly/sisterly kiss as urged by St.Paul. One day soon, please God.
Meantime we have reinstated the first Tuesday in the month's Coffee, Cake & Chat get together but moving it to Basecamp, it's at the usual time of 11am. This went well on Tuesday for a little group of five. Pauline brought her book, that she wrote in 'lockdown' to show people. It is incredible. Pauline started it to help an eight year old Rumanian boy who is learning English but it could be developed to help more children she feels so she was grateful for the feedback that she received, she found it very helpful. Amongst other topics we discussed the almost insurmountable difficulties in putting together a Carol Service for Clippesby without being able to sing carols.
We look forward to our Harvest Festival Service on Sunday the 11th. of October. The church has been simply decorated as befits the climate in this pandemic. The flowers are mostly in Autumn shades of bronze, orange and gold. (There are a few photos on the latest news page.) Our Rector will lead the Service and a sermon written by Sandy will be preached. We will have some recorded music. As singing is not permitted we won't be bringing in the sheaves or ploughing the fields and scattering the seed. Nor will we be having our Harvest Supper afterwards but if by following all the rules we can help eveybody to stay safe it will all have been worthwhile.
The pattern of services for Clippesby of the second and fourth Sundays in the month is resuming so our next service which is on the 25th of October is when we put the clocks back to Greenwich Mean Time meaning that Evensong (we wish) I meant Evening Prayer will be at the winter time of 3pm as it was in times of yore. How many things go full circle !
I'm running out of space and things to say so I'll sign off for now. God bless.
Today we rejoice in the excellent news about the Oxford University vaccine for Coronavirus that is to go into production and the hope that this gives us; maybe the nightmare will soon be over. We have good news too that on the 2nd December restictions will be eased somewhat and things can open up again, so Clippesby Church can hopefully have a Christmas by Candlelight Celebration on the 17th. It won't be a Carol Service and we can't have a choir but it will be a lovely experience in a warm church with beautiful music. The church will be lit only by candles and there will be appropriate seasonal readings telling the wonderful Christmas story in different ways. I will give more details when the programme is finalised and we begin taking bookings which we will be obliged to do as space will be limited by Covid 19 restrictions
Oh dear! We were just beginning to have regular twice monthly services again in St.Peter's and now, sadly, we have another lockdown, which means the Church will be closed once more - for at least this month.
We hope and pray that the measures being put in place by the Government will be enough to stem the spread of this horrid virus.
Yesterday we had a benefice All Soul's Service at St. Mary's, Martham which will be the last one until December at the earliest. Till then we have to make do with services on our various devices; laptops, ipads and smart phones. When we have the Zoom meetings I use my phone to join in which is not ideal as the picture is really quite small and my arm aches with holding the phone up for a half an hour or so, but it is amazing that we can actually do all this anyway.
The uncertainty of how we can celebrate Christmas this year is definitely going to have a big impact on our preparations. Will some of the inevitable changes be for the better? Possibly less materialism with shopping curtailed? Who knows? But what we do know is we have had to cancel our popular Carol and Christingle services and Midnight Mass at Thurne. However I am sure our Rector will do what he can to help us mark this dearly loved season and, in due course, we will hear about these plans.
Meantime we must concentrate on doing our best as a church to reduce our carbon footprint. We need, as a church to actively work towards increasing the bio-diversity of our countryside and surroundings. I expect many of us have seen the wonderful David Attenborough film, documenting his ninety years and highlighting the catastrophic losses he has seen take place in the natural world; these, together with the pollution, deforestation and devestation and the figures to back this up, send a very powerful message. His passionate plea to humanity to halt this rapid decline is very moving and inspiring, for he says it's not too late to reverse things if we act together and we act now. I urge everyone to watch this film, read the book and do everthing they can to increase biodiversity in their own patch..
Things have moved on since last month and with much sadness we cancelled the Christmas by Candlelight Service planned to take place this week. But there is good news that some of us have received our Coronavirus vaccine giving us hope that life will be less scary and restrictive as we go into the New Year. We will be decorating the Church ready for our Christmas Service on Sunday the 27th of December. Places will have to be booked. Happy Christmas everyone!