Rector's letter - February 2020
February sees what is nominally the 475th Olney Pancake Race. It takes place on Shrove Tuesday (or in most other parts of the world it is known as Pancake Day or Mardi Gras). It is believed that traditionally it was a feast to use up the luxury foods (sugar and eggs) before the spartan seson of fasting during Lent.
Lent was a time of self-examination and purification before celebrating the great feast of Easter. It was a time for people to consider what wrongs they need to repent, and what amendments of life or areas of spiritual growth they especially need to ask God's help in dealing with.
This is no strange practice. In business, education and the government there are regular reviews and evaluations to see how things can be improved - both for the organisaiton and for the individual.
So why not take advantage of the tradition to take some time to pause and reflect on how our own lives and the life of our community is going? Is there anywhere we could, or should, make changes? It might be we need to make more time for our family (or maybe even oneself). Perhaps we could review what changes we could make to reduce our carbon footprint or our use of plastics. Or maybe we should explore becoming more involved in our community in helping it to become a better place.
Or here's a really radical idea. Something like 70% of people in the UK say they believe there is a 'god' or some sort of higher being. But most say they don't know what that being is like. Perhaps you would like to try coming along to church or possibly even a short enquirers course to find out what Christianity says God is like and what difference he can make in your life.
If you are interested, I would love to hear from you. Any takers?
Improvements to the Church Building
New comfortable chairs and tables have been purchased for the gathering area, and these are to be stored in a new storage area in the south aisle.
We now have sound enhancement. A system was installed at the end of May 2019, and this will make a big difference at services and events in church.
All Saints’ new heating system now heats the church, and we are now beautifully warm for our Services in the cooler months! Come and see for yourself and enjoy being warm at All Saints'.
All Saints’ regularly supports the MK Food Bank, the Tearfund, and Crisis at Christmas. Various charities are also supported at the monthly Thursday lunches.
All Saints’ has an enthusiastic small choir, who lead the singing at Sunday Services. Choir members enjoy joining the Royal School of Church Music for some of their ‘Come and Sing’ events. The Choir is supported by the "Emberton Occasionals" at Weddings and special Services. For further details please contact Hilary Proud via the Rector.
There is an active band of bell ringers, who ring All Saints’ 6 bells before Services, and also practice on a Tuesday night 7.45 – 9.00pm. New recruits are very welcome. Please see the Bell Ringers’ page on this website, or contact Sheila Watts 07703 279165 for more information.
The Children’s Church meets in the Institute on the 2nd Sunday each month at 11.00am under the leadership of Maddi Forrester and Judith Taylor. See the photographs for some of their activities, and please contact Maddi Forrester, 01234 714903, for more details.
The Homegroup meets on alternate Monday evenings to discuss various aspects of the Christian message. The group includes people from other parishes, and new members are always welcome. Please contact Judith Taylor on 01234 240690 to find out more.
Friends of All Saints’
All Saints’ is supported by the Friends’ group (FOAS), who are a registered charity. They work with the Parochial Church Council to preserve and protect the fabric of the Church and Churchyard and to raise funds to assist with improvements to make the building suitable for use by the community for a wide variety of activities. Please see the FOAS page on this website.
A Brief History of the Church
It is believed that the building was constructed between 1340-1410. It is in the ‘Decorated Gothic’ style. Work began on the Chancel, with its magnificent east window and progressed through to the building of the tower. During this period, England was at war with France and the Black Death killed thousands of the population resulting in a shortage of skilled masons. This led to wages and prices soaring, which explains why the decoration becomes plainer on the west side of the Church.
Unusually we have a portrait in brass of Reverend John Morden, who was the priest when the Church was completed. His brass records that he gave two bells, one of which had the inscription ‘In Multis Annis Resonet Campana Joannis’ (John’s bell shall sound for many a year).
An interesting ‘rumour’, for which there is some corroborative evidence is that the remains of Sir Everard Digby, hung, drawn and quartered for his part in the Gunpowder Plot, lies buried in the Chancel.
By the mid 19th Century, the Church was in danger of falling down. Very extensive restoration work was undertaken by the Reverend Campbell Hulton - many of his relations and descendants gave generously to the scheme and are commemorated in the mural tablets and windows which are such a dominant feature of the Church interior. Restoration and improvements continue to this day, with the recent addition of cloakroom and kitchen, as we strive to bring the building into the 21st Century.
Rector: Revd Richard Caddell, The Rectory, High Street, Haversham, MK19 7DT. 01908 312136
Churchwardens: Maddi Forrester, Cedar House, High Street, Emberton, MK46 5JB. 07769 923787
Sheila Watts, 28 Gravel Walk, Emberton, MK46 5JA. 07703 279165
Parochial Church Council Secretary: Janet Gamlen 01234 711729
PCC Treasurer: Warwick Clarke 01234 713174
PCC Members: Louise Cook, Candy Godber, Bill Moody, Hilary Proud, Libby Wemyss
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