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Time and Talents

St.Mary's Church
Sat. 8th March 2008

A Success

Over 70 people completed forms offering help to St Mary's on Saturday 8th March at the gathering arranged as a culmination of the St Mary's Time and Talents campaign. A further 14 replied to our leaflet campaign who were unable to attend and offered their help - a total of 90 responses. Thank you all very much.

Amongst those offering help were three interested in bell-ringing and we are delighted that we hear them chiming out again. The Swain family were busy all the morning dispensing coffee, tea, soft drinks and buns with bacon or sausages. Our grateful thanks to them. Chairs and tables, each with a flower arrangement, enabled many to stand, chat or talk with those of us responsible for some of the tasks needing extra help.

A powerpoint presentation, projected onto a screen amongst the pews, designed and installed by Tony Gee on his computer complemented a large display beside the font designed by Jo Adams and arranged by her and myself, combined to explain the many jobs needed to keep St Mary's lively, clean and open. The many job descriptions were mostly written by those responsible for organising them; they were edited and typed by Jo and displayed alongside many photos, for which we thank Peter John Gate, Martin Lush and others.

Apart from the many jobs that support our priest, Simon, as he leads Sunday and weekday worship, we need helpers for the concerts, Easter, Christmas and book sales and other social events to which many come who may not worship at St Mary's. The church has been a village gathering centre since it was built over seven hundred years ago; it was then, has been and still is the largest hall in Ashwell and the congregation of St Mary's welcomes the increasing use of the nave as a social centre. This continues an age-long tradition.

We are also proud that St Mary's remains open all day, every day from 9.00 a.m. till dusk in midwinter or 5.00 p.m. as the evenings lengthen. Simon tells me that between five and ten candles are lit beside the prayer board every day by visitors seeking a quiet moment and wishing to share their concerns with our congregation and the Lord Jesus.

By offering your help we keep St Mary's open and active, so thank you, all of you who help now and those who came and offered new help - thank you very much.

Tony Gee

Jo Adams

John Pryke