Down St Mary Church News
Weddings. On Saturday 14th November Hayley Tickner married Richard Mears at our Church. On a blustery and unsettled day the bride, dressed in white, arrived by car. Hayley entered the Church, led by their children, to the tune of the Bridal march by Wagner. The Church was beautifully decorated with floral displays and owl shaped candles which gave an unique touch to the decorations. Rev. Lindsey Starrs officiated at the service to many family and friends. Hayley and Richards children were included in the service and probably got the best seat in the Church next to the bride and groom! The chosen hymns were ‘All things bright and beautiful’ and ‘One more step along the world I go’. Mr and Mrs. Mears left the Church to the throng of A Midsummer Night’s Dream.
On Saturday 21st November Hannah Carter married Darren Chapman at 1200 at our Church. On a cold but fine day the bride, wearing a white dress with a fur stole, entered the Church. Three bridesmaids complemented the bride by wearing dusty pink dresses and a page boy and flower girl completed the bridal procession. Rev. Lindsey Starrs officiated to a full Church at the ceremony. The congregation sang ‘Give me joy in my heart’, ‘Lord of all hopefulness’ and ‘Make me a channel of your peace’. During the signing of the register Sophie Sutton, a professional musician, played her guitar and sang and also when the bride and groom left the Church.
I am sure you will join me in wishing both Hayley and Richard and Hannah and Darren every happiness for their future lives together.
Christmas at St. Mary’s. We commenced our preparations for Christmas with Mid- week Advent Evening Prayers. These short services helped us to reflect on the meaning of Christmas and a chance to ‘step back’ for a while from the frantic preparations. Thank you to Fred and Roger for leading our services and to Rev. Anthony Geering who celebrated a morning Communion service just before Christmas Eve.
On Monday 21st we held our Carol Service. I think it was probably the largest congregation we have had in the past few years for a Carol Service. Mr, Fred Cann led the service where traditional Carols were sung and Readings read. We were especially entreated by the Colebrooke Singers who started the service singing Carols by candlelight in their own superb style making our Church truly atmospheric at Christmas. The Church was beautifully decorated with fantastic floral displays, I do hope that you had the opportunity to visit the Church and see them for yourselves. Following the service everyone stayed and enjoyed Mulled wine, mince pies and sausage rolls. A presentation was made to Alan and Heather French who were leaving our village to live by the sea. They have been dedicated worshippers and workers for our Church taking on many roles; they will be greatly missed! The collection from the service, totalled £190.10, has been donated to the Exeter Leukaemia Fund. It was a really enjoyable evening starting Christmas week in great style.
On Christmas Eve we held our ever popular Crib Service led by Mr. Fred Cann. Again the Church was full of excited children (and adults) for this short informal service. The children helped to build the Crib by putting the principal characters, animals and Angels in place, not forgetting the .donkey and the camel with the broken leg! Popular Carols were sung and readings excellently read by children. The collection of £112.49 was donated to CHICK’s a children’s charity giving holidays to inner city kids.
Finally on Christmas Eve, we reached the pinnacle of our Christmas celebrations when we held our Mid-Night Mass service celebrated with the Rev. John Copus. The congregation celebrated the incarnation of Jesus Christ on Christmas Day in a special Christmas ambiance. We thank John for taking the service, especially since he was still recovering from a car accident earlier in the month.
Once again it was a fantastic Christmas at your Church. Thank you to our flower arrangers, organist, our cleaners, Readers and those who led our service. Finally, thank you to YOU for supporting your Church; you help to make the Festive atmosphere so special to St. Mary’s.
Easter preparations. Ash Wednesday, which starts the period of Lent, is on Wednesday 10th February and the Easter weekend starts on 24th March, which is quite early this year. As part of our preparations, we are holding a series of Mid-week Evening Prayer and Morning Communion Services during Lent. Our first Lay led Evening Prayer Service will be on Wednesday 17th February and 2nd March at 4.00 pm. These services will be short and reflective. On Wednesday 24th February a Communion (said) Service with Rev. Anthony Geering will be held at 10.30am. You would be most welcome to any of these services. Further dates and details of Easter Services will be in March’s edition of Cross Country.
Voluntary Distribution Agent required. I hope that you have enjoyed reading this edition of Cross Country and you can help ensure that it continues to be enjoyed by subscribers in Down St. Mary. Now that Alan and Heather have left the area, there is a vacancy for a volunteer to deliver Cross Country, just once a month, in the village. It will give you an ideal excuse to take the dog, cat or goldfish out or just to get a breath of fresh air! (not for the goldfish). If you can help please contact .Nigel Fidock for more details.
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