A talk a month is planned, to commence on Thursday 14th November in the village hall, with an introduction and demonstration of Ti Chi given by Susan Geuter – a teacher of Ti Chi in Ludlow. On Thursday 12th December there will be an entertaining talk given by Peter Stretton – subject to be announced. Further talks will take place from January, 2020 – again dates, subject and speakers to be announced later. These afternoon talks will start at 2.30 pm, and will last for about an hour, followed by tea and biscuits. There will be a small charge to cover expenses.
Coffee morning Wednesday 20th November at Ashford Farm
10am to noon
The church was filled on Tuesday, 1st October, for the Service of Thanksgiving for the life of Michael Shallow. The service was led by Stephen Treasure, who gave a moving address on Michael’s distinguished career in the Royal Navy and then at Chichester Cathedral, his marriage to Wendy and his love of family and his unstinted service to the community of Ashford Bowdler. The service was followed by burial in the church-yard and the family then kindly invited the congregation to refreshments at The Old Vicarage. At Michael’s own request, the retiring collection was donated to St. Andrew’s, for which the PCC is deeply grateful.
Stephen also led our Harvest Festival service on Sunday 13th October, and most people stayed on for refreshments afterwards at Church House. The collection of £164.50 was as usual donated to the Royal Agricultural Benevolent Institution. Our thanks to all who attended and donated, and also to those who provided the refreshments. Very many thanks also to our team of flower arrangers, who made the church look as festive and beautiful as ever.
On Remembrance Sunday (10th November) we will be holding our memorial service, starting at 10.50am and including the customary 2-minutes silence at 11am. As we did last year, when we commemorated the centenary of the original armistice in 1918, the celebrant will read out the names of those commemorated on our own memorial in the church, and anyone in the parish or the congregation who had a relative who fell in either of the First or Second World Wars (or any subsequent war) is invited to have that relative’s name added to the list of those to be read out. Please let Ann Lansdell have the names before the day or at the beginning of the service.
Please note that this service will replace the usual Evensong on the second Sunday of the month. There will therefore be no service of Evensong in November, but there will be the usual service of Matins on the third Sunday, 17th November
Our Patronal Festival evensong this year will not be on 30th November (which is a Saturday) but on Sunday, 1st December (Advent Sunday) starting at 6.30pm. Once again, Stephen Treasure has kindly agreed to lead the service, after which there will be refreshments at Church House. Being a Sunday, there will not be a raffle or bring-and-buy this year, but the collection will as usual go to the Church Missions Society.
This service will replace Holy Communion on Advent Sunday, and the usual service of Evensong on Sunday, 8th December will be replaced by Holy Communion at 11.15am.
Looking further ahead to Christmas, we have two important services arranged at St. Andrew’s for the whole of the Ashford’s benefice. On Christmas Eve there will be a late night service of Holy Communion starting at 11.15pm, and then on Sunday, 29th December our customary Carol Service will take place in the morning, starting at 10.30am. Further details will appear in the December magazine.
At this time of year, we remind readers once again of the food bank box in the church porch. As winter approaches and food prices continue rising, help for those in need becomes even more important. The box contains a list of the items that go to make up individual parcels, which are all easily obtainable and long lasting. However, please remember not to donate items which are past their ‘sell by’ date, as these cannot be included in the parcels.
Note for PCC members: The next meeting of the PCC will be on Monday, 18th November, at Church House at 7.30pm
Archive Film Nights will be on the third Friday of each month during the winter season and will alternate between a documentary based ‘archive’ and a vintage film.
I am delighted to be able to welcome Revd. Preb Nick Helm, to the Benefice. Nick will have been licensed to the Benefice as an Associate Priest, by the Bishop of Ludlow on Sunday 22nd September. Nick currently works as Ministerial & Spiritual Development and Curate Training Officer for the Diocese of Hereford but he will be leaving his post at the end of this year and will be working freelance as a writer with the opportunity to develop his interests in spirituality and Spiritual Direction. He and his wife Pat live in Ludlow, and he will be working as a volunteer Priest with us, taking services and getting to know each of our 6 Churches. He will be a familiar face to some as he helped out during the Vacancy before I arrived and has taken occasional services for us since then. We hope to be offering a course that Nick has written, called Soul Spark, that explores Spirituality, in the New Year.
In other news, the Harvest season is now well and truly upon us and I hope you will take the opportunity to join one of our Harvest services in the Benefice and no doubt enjoy some of the many tasty benefits of living in such a rural area that produces wonderful food and drink all year round.
Harvest is a time for us to come together and thank God for all the good gifts He gives to us. It is also a time for us to remember, give thanks for and pray for all those who produce the food we enjoy, our Farmers, Growers, Producers, those who take the fruits of the Harvest and make them into wonderful products for us to enjoy, and those who serve them to us in our shops and supermarkets. It is also a time for us to remember those who struggle to feed their families, and many of our Harvest services are collecting items for the Ludlow Foodbank, so please do give generously during those services.
My prayer for all of us this harvest season is summed up in the words of the final verse of We plough the fields;
We thank thee then, O Father, For all things bright and good, The seed time and the harvest, Our life, our health, our food. Accept the gifts we offer For all thy love imparts, And what thou most desirest, Our humble, thankful hearts.
With my love and prayers Lynn