There will be no signs of a ‘soapbox’ or a ‘hobby horse’ this month because I want to seriously discuss the future of our News Letter.
In the foreseeable future I may well have to go into hospital and my period of incapacity may well cover a period when I should be about News Letter business and I feel I ought to be doing something about looking into the question of ways of keeping the News Letter going, not only over this period but for the future if our little publication is to survive
I thought I would sound you all out as to how we could do this and at the moment I just don’t know the best way to go about it. I have been thinking of getting some of you who might be interested together just to talk it through. In addition to people ready to edit and/or prepare copy we need some computer brains to tell us the best way of going about it. So that we do not all have sit round the same computer! If you are interested in having some sort of ‘input’ into the problem perhaps you will give me a ring or e-mail me as a prelude to my getting a meeting of us all together.
A word or two about how we go about it at the moment might help. We work back from the last Sunday of the month and try to get it out before then. In the preceding week we do the final editing, ‘running off’ on a quite excellent latest type duplicator, the collating (by one of five teams who take it in turns) and finally the distribution by a team of volunteers throughout our parishes. This means that by the Sunday before I must have all ‘copy’.
Now it would not be very manageable if all contributions arrived on that date so we set a ‘deadline’ for the Wednesday before.
This deadline is generally published in the previous issue of the News Letter and we hope most would-be contributors will send us their copy by that date. We also get out a timetable for the issues yet to come and send this to all our known contributors. Out of the kindness of our heart we usually give people a bit of ‘leeway’ but do ask that you let us know that it is coming. We can usually accommodate people with a ‘last minute’ problem for which a piece in the News Letter would be useful (but of course we don’t ‘broadcast’ this fact in case every body left it to the Sunday before doing anything about it!)
We also over the weekend before the deadline send out an e-mailed reminder to all known contributors who have an e-mail address. We also try to remember to give verbal reminders to those who send me copy through the door or through the post and do not have the luxury of an e-mail facility
So if you have any ideas of how we can proceed or would like to be involved in an editorial team please let me know. Actually if you have any ideas but do not actually want to be involved we would still like to hear from you. DAVID BAGE
As you read this there is probably enough time to book places at our Quiz evening on Saturday, 8th April at Bapchild Village Hall; It starts at 7.30 pm and the price is £4.50 per person. We can promise you some challenging (but not too challenging) questions and a good supper; bring your own ’strong’ drinks and glasses if you wish. Advance booking is essential – please phone [Tel no.] now if you would like to come along to this popular event in aid of local charities.
We are, it seems, already into the ‘quiz season’- a group of us , representing the ‘Men of Kent’ were glad to take part in the recent Sittingbourne Hospital event. We were well placed towards the end but were beaten in a ‘tie break’ play-off; a very fair result and a nice conclusion to a very pleasant evening.
Some of us are off to Boulogne later in April while, in May, we shall be having our Car Treasure Hunt – always a popular event – and a Country Walk – also very popular, perhaps because we generally finish and kick off our muddy boots at an attractive country venue for a pint or two. Details for both these events can be had from [Tel no.]
Results of March Draw
£25 No. 160 Wally Elvy Whitstable
£15 No.165 Arthur Phipps John Nash Close
£15 No. 81 Marianne Allen Doddington
£10 No. 04 Graham Durward-Akhurst The Vallance
£10 No.104 Susan Pickering London Road
£10 No.195 Charlotte White Bogle Cottage
Peter & Jennifer wish to express their thanks to all who have re-joined and to the new members and they wish you all good luck!
[Note: Some letters are very touching and personal and were never intended for wider circulation outside the Parish - so they are not transcribed.]
Judith Childs Tribute to Jim Vesey
A Tribute To my Wonderful Friends and Neighbours of Norton
Jim Vesey 02/02/1944 – 18/02/2006 How happy we were – I feel robbed.
Norman Laslett, Lion Yard, Lewson Street - Thank you to friends for thoughts during Kath's illness.
Would anyone wishing to make a contribution towards flowers to decorate the Church at Easter please contact me on 521243 or you could put a note through my door at 74 London Road Teynham..
If there is someone special in whose memory you wish to make a donation, please let me know and a list of the names will be printed and placed on the Notice Board at the back of the Church for Easter Day.
In answer to your questions:
The Post Office. 'The Parish Council is keeping a watching brief on the situation, but has no definite information at present.'
Phase 2 of the footway on Lynsted Lane. 'The Parish Council continues to seek funding for the construction of Phase 2 of this much-needed facility, but has no news to report at this stage.'
Since 1984 Lynsted has, every two years, run a very successful Flower Festival over a period of three days (Friday to Sunday) in the summer. It has always been a joy to go to and brought, from far and wide many visitors to our lovely old church and these visitors often included many past residents of the parish. As the years have gone on the work of organising the event has fallen on fewer and fewer people and those that are left now feel that they cannot continue.
It has occurred to me that we should widen the event rather as we have the village fete. No longer is that event dependent on a few ageing ‘elders’ of the church but embraces the whole community in its organisation, inspiration and its running. If we feel that such an approach would help to get a flower festival ‘off the ground’, or in an age when flower arranging is not so popular, an extended event which included crafts and representations of our life in the parish, perhaps we ought to get together to discuss it. May I suggest if you are interested in being involved in such a venture you contact me in the first instance (telephone 521273 or e-mail at the address on page 1) and if there is sufficient interest we could call a meeting to discuss the way forward. If there isn’t, of course, we sadly lay the whole thing to rest and give it decent burial!
My apologies for a slightly shorter column this month. Hopefully all will be back to normal in the Heriz-Smith household next month.
I can hear the murmur throughout the Parish. “Is she mad, it’s not Christmas.” But it is true, honestly. In the South of England figgy pudding was traditionally served on Palm Sunday, although in the North it was traditionally served on Mothering Sunday. It is said that the custom is connected to the parable of the barren fig tree (Luke 13:6-9).
We love this pudding, which tastes and smells rather like a bread pudding, and could be served as an alternative to Christmas pudding for those who prefer a lighter dessert (and I use the term “lighter” only in a relative sense). It will not keep as well as Christmas pudding and I would recommend preparing in on Christmas Eve rather than weeks before.
|6oz (175g) dried figs (soaked overnight)||4oz (125g) shredded suet|
|2oz (50g) self-raising flour||8oz (225g) dates, stoned and chopped|
|½ teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg||3oz (75g) raisins|
|6oz (175g) fresh white breadcrumbs||Grated zest and juice of 1 orange|
|2oz (50g) preserved ginger (chopped)||2 large eggs|
|2 tablespoons brandy or sherry|
Now is the time to make the most of the spring lamb that is arriving in the butchers.
Ingredients: Spring lamb
Method: Roast it!
Personally I believe it would be sacrilege to suggest some fancy recipe for this. The taste is so succulent that you can do nothing better than to just roast it simply. Oh all right! You can add a sprig of rosemary. But nothing more than that, OK?
To enjoy spring lamb at its best and tastiest pleeeeeeeeeeeeeeease buy it from one of our local butchers shops. They are always happy to give advice on which cuts are best for your needs and on cooking methods. Some of these shops also give you the opportunity to pick up some locally produced vegetables (a perfect accompaniment) and other local produce.
Don’t forget there are an ever growing number of recipes on the community website (www.lynsted.com/recipes) Hit rates are still rising on this website so if you have a favourite recipe you would like included just contact me on [Tel] or via [WWW]. Lis Heriz-Smith
The ironwork and notice board at the Church need painting. Are there any volunteers out there who would be able to help?. Paint would be supplied, just a pair (or pairs) of willing hands required
If there are a phone call [Tel] or [Tel] would be most welcome!
The PCC would like to thank all those who helped and supported the lunch at
Doddington Village Hall on Sunday 19th March.
We raised £550
We also wish to thank the Friends of Kent Churches, Affiliated to the Historic Churches Preservation Trust
They have kindly agreed to help fund the recent work on the north roof and have generously promised a grant of £1000
The Friends of Kent Churches have been making grants to the county’s churches for more than forty years, and whether you are a church-goer or not, they feel that everyone appreciates the importance of these buildings in the English countryside and townscape. We are a corporate member, but new individual members of the Friends are much needed. Membership is £7.00 a year and the Society organises interesting visits throughout the county. Please help to carry on the work by joining the friends.
Enquiries to the Honorary Secretary: The Old Rectory, Ruckinge, Ashford, Kent TN26 2PE, [Tel]
At the meeting of 13 March 2006, Councillors decided to hold a competition to design a logo for Norton, Buckland and Stone Parish Council which will be used on the new website and headed letter paper. Designs must be scalable and can be produced in black and white or colour. Entries should be submitted to the Chairman, Tony Trim by 30 April 2006. A prize of £10 will be given to the winner of the competition who will be announced at the following meeting:
As mentioned above, the parish council is currently constructing a website which will contain documentation associated with meetings plus up to date community news. Details of the website address should be available for the next issue of this newsletter. Meanwhile, if you have any relevant news that you would like included, please let Tony Trim know (tel).
As detailed in the last newsletter entry, the parish council was looking at the possibility of reinstating the mobile library service to Lewson Street. However, this is not possible as the larger vehicles now used for this service have difficulty accessing the roads around Lewson Street. We have, however, been sent a number of application forms for the Home Library Service which offers an alternative service to people who are unable to visit their nearest library. If you would like a form, please let Louise Mendham know (tel).
The following planning application was discussed at the meeting:
Provender Lane Construction of 1 six bedroom house and four 2 bedroom cottages to fund repairs to Provender House.
The parish council will be objecting to this application as it was felt that development in green space could not be condoned.
To be held at 7.30 pm Monday 8 May 2006 at Norton Village Hall
Michael Owen from Mid Kent Water will be speaking on the subject of water and its effect on the community. Everyone is most welcome to attend
Next meeting will be the annual parish council meeting on Monday 8 May following closure of the parish meeting.
Louise Mendham, Clerk
After a short business meeting of the Teynham and Lynsted Horticultural Society, Mr Graham Mart, the community Liaison Officer gave a talk on his work in the village of Teynham.
Also attending the meeting was his colleague in the area, Ric, who covered the Urban areas at this side of Faversham. Between them they could cover the weekends and evenings, although they have to finish their shifts at 11pm. Graham had been working in the area for over 2 years now, and felt he was gaining the respect of local people
Unsociable behaviour, and vandalism had reduced in the last year, and he was getting more and more contacts from ordinary people, which had often led to crimes being solved. He emphasised several times that it is always worth reporting small and insignificant irregularities. It is nearly always the case, that these apparently trivial facts are part of a big jigsaw, which leads to arrests, especially in a settled community like Teynham.
The introduction of Community Liaison Officers had been successful, and many others were to be introduced across Kent. Teynham had also had a Dispersal Order placed on it's centre, which had been successful in cutting down petty crime. The order by which Motorcycles, and quad bikes could be seized if they were a nuisance, was also being used. Graham Mart had also been vocal in his support of youngsters, and others, having a legitimate place to ride their motor bikes, off road. He had been very disappointed that various schemes had not been approved by the local planning authorities.
The meeting was about to break for refreshments, when they were called away, so thanks were very brief!
The first show of the season will be on April 1, in the Labour Hall, and will be open to the public from 3.30pm to 5pm.
The persistent cold and miserable weather did not deter thirty members and friends of the Lynsted with Kingsdown Society from attending a fascinating illustrated talk about Kentish barns on 15th March. Ray Harrison, a Faversham-based conservation architect, shared his enthusiasm and great knowledge of his subject as he took his audience through the history and function of the rural barn.
We learned that the barn, being a place where grain was threshed from the harvested cereals or pulses, and stored away, was a ‘prestige’ building. It was erected close to the farmhouse to proclaim the farmer’s wealth. Ray explained that the barn was an early, and very functional, structure in the evolution of farm buildings. Often there was a stock enclosure attached, so that over-wintered beasts could be conveniently fed from the stored crops. The dung would be spread on the fields, providing nutrients for the following crop, and completing a never-ending cycle.
All barns have the same basic structure: pairs of large doors opposite each other, with storage bays on each side. The through-draft aided the ‘winnowing’ of grain from straw as the sheaves were threshed on the threshing floor. A ‘threshhold’ of planks would keep the grain in place prior to bagging.
Ray illustrated the development of the barn, from a timber-framed, often aisled, building with a thatched roof, through wooden walled, slab-sided structures coated with tar, to brick walled barns with gable ends and tiled roofs. Along the way, modifications were often made to allow access for animal- and then steam-driven threshing machines.
Sadly, but inevitably, barns are going out of use, and those that are modified for residential or office use have their original structural features hidden by floors and partitions.
Ray’s detailed answering of questions (mainly from occupiers of barn conversions!) rounded off a very enjoyable and informative evening.
Sat 1 Horticultural Society Spring Show: Labour hall 3.30 pm
Tue 4 Coffee ‘Pop-In’: Norton Village Hall 10.30 am-12 noon
Wed 5 Women’s institute meeting: labour Hall 2.15 pm. Speaker: Mr Harrison - “Hanging Basket demonstration”
Thu 6 Horticultural Society Meeting: Labour Hall 7.30 pm
Fri 7 Association of Men of Kent & Kentish Men Lynsted branch meeting: Black Lion 7.30 pm. Speaker: Peter Meiklejohn “Inn Signs of Kent”
Sat 8 Association of Men of Kent & Kentish Men Lynsted branch Quiz .
Evening: Bapchild Village hall
Sun 9 Lynsted with Kingsdown ACM; Lynsted Church 12 noon
Mon 10 Norton Village hall AGM: Norton Village hall 7.30 pm
Wed 12 Cleaning Working Party meets: Lynsted Church 9.15 am
Fri 14 Good Friday
Fri 14 Clematis railway Open day: 2 pm—5 pm
Sun 16 Easter Day
Mon 17 Easter bank Holiday
Wed 19 School ‘Summer Term 5’ starts
Wed 19 Deadline for May issue
Wed 19 Study/discussion group restarts 1.30 pm
Thu 20 Drones meet: Black Lion noon
Sat 22 Malawi Project Committee 60’s/70’s Disco: Doddington Village hall. 7.30 pm until 11 pm
Sun 23 St George’s Day
Sun 23 Blossom Day: Park Farm Cherry Orchard noon till 3 pm
Sun 23 “Come and eat”: Lynsted Church 4.30 pm-5.30 pm
Sun 23 Evensong and dedication service for Millennium Window; Lynsted Church 6.30 pm
Mon 24 Friends of St Mary, Norton AGM: Norton Village Hall 7.30 pm
Wed 26 St Mary, Norton ACM: Norton Village Hall 8 pm
Thu 4 Polling day for local elections
Mon 8 Norton Buckland & Stone Parish Meeting: Norton Village hall - 7.30 pm (see page 20)
Fri 26 School ‘Summer Term 5’ ends
The New Build Project Update
As you have probably seen things are really getting underway now with the refurbishment of the old school house. Mrs Stewart and I are acclimatizing to our new accommodation, and we are both praying that the rain and hail will stay at bay as when it hits the portakabin it rather feels like we are sitting inside a drum.
Over the last few weeks Oak class have done a sterling job of keeping up with their studies despite being within the confines of the school hall – they certainly have proven themselves to be a mature and committed class and a credit to their teacher Miss Hogbin.
They have finally been rewarded by moving into their rather lovely, new classroom, which after the spring term holiday was in jeopardy of being completed on schedule due to a large majority of lead being stolen from the roof. The theft was reported to the Police but unfortunately there has been no satisfactory outcome at this point. The set back was very disheartening to all involved and caused further inconvenience to us all. BBS Construction however, have supported the school spectacularly and pulled out all the stops to complete Phase 1 (the new classroom) on time.
As for Phase 2 (refurbishment of the old school building) the demolition, dust and debris is a good indication that things are seriously underway and we are assured that this too will be delivered on schedule.
World Book Week
As a result of all the hard work and dedication from both staff and pupils World Book Week here at Lynsted was a phenomenal success. Thank you to all those parents who helped their children with their fantastic costumes. The Governors, who were invited by Jessica Bell (children’s Fundraising Committee Chairperson), had a rather difficult job in selecting the winners but this was a worthwhile expenditure of effort as over £35 was raised. Thank you also to those parents who volunteered to share their favourite children’s book in assemblies, and to all those of you who donated books and came along to our Bring & Buy Book Sale and enjoyed our cooking delights in the Rainforest Café, which together raised £102.52. I would also like to thank the PFA for their support and the Traveller Support team for their help. The children’s Fundraising Committee is due to meet soon to finalise arrangements for the purchase of a plot of rainforest, so we will keep you posted on their progress.
The Library Mural which we have commissioned is looking super and we now have our four representatives of Lynsted who will appear in the mural, have had numerous sketches and photographs taken in preparation for artist Mrs Rosemary Hignett to complete the masterpiece.
Our team is expanding ! We have been very fortunate to recruit two additional Lunchtime Supervisors so I would like to take this opportunity to welcome Mrs Donna Allen and Ms Wendy Godden to Lynsted & Norton School. Mrs Allen has also been appointed as a part-time Teaching Assistant in Ash Class.
Smart Brothers Road Safety Theatre
As part of our commitment to ensuring Personal, Social and Health Education on Friday 17th March we organised for the Smart Brothers Road Safety Theatre to visit the school on to enhance the education of the children in relation to Road Safety. It was a super experience, enjoyed by all.
Preparation forthe new ICT suite is well underway and this has been greatly advanced by a generous donation of £3,000 from the PFA. The school is now on Broadband and we hope to have full access shortly. To complete our full complement of interactive whiteboards Willow and Elm Class are now the proud owners of their very own Smart Boards. We will keep you posted.
Sainsbury’s Active Kids Vouchers
Please send into school, in an envelope any Sainsbury’s Active Kids vouchers that you have as we are definitely collecting them, thanks.
Summer Term 5 starts on Wednesday 19th April 2006 and ends on Friday 26th May 2006.
School is closed for Polling Day on Thursday 4th May 2006.
Best wishes, Mrs Deborah Ward, Headteacher
The President, Mrs. Bid Trim welcomed members of Lynsted-w-Teynham W.I. to the March meeting. Also welcomed were two new members, Mrs. Marlene Disney and Mrs. Jenny Sargent. Birthday sprays were presented to Mesdames Silvia Armstrong, Yvonne Tatton and Joyce Cheeseman. Mrs. Jean Ambers had written thanking everyone for a lovely time at the birthday party. An invitation for two members to attend the birthday party at Faversham W.I. on the 16th March had been accepted by Mrs. Barbara Hodges and Mrs. Dorreen Parish. Mrs. Ann Diamond and Mrs. Francis Greenfield will attend Painters Forstal birthday party on the 18th April. The Stitch and Craft Group and The Book Group are very popular and members are asked to put their names on the lists for 8th March and the 15th March. On the 28th March Mrs. Bid Trim will hold an informal meeting to discuss Recruitment and Publicity. Mrs. Ann Diamond has invited all members to a “Bring and Buy” on the 29th March at 10.30am.
Refreshments were then served by hostesses Mrs. Joyce Cheeseman and Mrs Barbara Skilton.
Mrs. Bid Trim then introduced Mrs.Sophi Jeffrey who demonstrated products from The Body Shop. Mrs Ann Diamond was the volunteer model, and Mrs. Jeffrey demonstrated cleansing, toning and moisturising. Members were invited to try hand and body lotions, and to look at the numerous shampoos and cleansers available. They are all produced from natural ingredients and never tested on animals. She was thanked, on behalf of the members, by Mrs Marian Finch.
The winner of the Flower of the Month was a Violet entered by Mrs. June Ackhers; Mrs. Barbara Hodges was the winner of the monthly competition for an object beginning with “T” with her model of a Totem.
The next meeting will be on the 5th April at 2.15pm at the Labour Hall, the speaker will be Mr. Harrison on a “Hanging Basket Demonstration”.
Following the funeral service at the Faversham Roman Catholic Church and internment in Love Lane Cemetery, a Thanksgiving Service was held in St. Mary’s Church Norton, when Judith and the family were joined by friends and neighbours to celebrate the life of Jim Vesey.
During the service several paid tribute to Jim, including Keith Langford, Ray Russell, Dave Mohen, and Jim’s son Gareth. They all spoke of the high regard and esteem in which Jim was held, recalling his love of Golf and his membership of the Faversham Golf Club. His love of life, a man who lived life to the full, a man who loved a good “craic” (Irish for joke), a man who was fond of music and dancing, he was also a good friend of Mr. Jameson (Irish Whisky), a man who loved nothing better than a good laugh with his friends, and will be remembered for his hospitality.
Jim will also be remembered as a loving family man, born in Ireland in 1944, the youngest of 5 children, being survived by his 3 brothers Jack, Bill and Andy and his sister, Bernadette, his sons Shaun and Gareth and daughter, Natasha. His loss is also mourned by his partner Judith and her sons, Stacey and Kelly.
In his address the Revd. Gordon Sherwood reminded the congregation that Jim was trained as a carpenter, working in Downing Street, and then going on to become an experienced builder and inspiring Stacey and Kelly to enter the trade. He was always available with words of advice and at times practical help in their work.
He and Judith greatly enjoyed the trips back to Ireland, especially to the family farm in County Mayo. When he was 60 Judith hired Lisheen Castle, Tipperary, to celebrate and Jim greatly enjoyed the entertainment including the singing of Emer. Emer was also present at the service and at the end sang one of Jim’s favourites, “When Irish eyes are smiling.”
The lesson, taken from St. John’s Gospel, was read by Norman Laslett and the words of the lesson were then repeated by the organist Christina and Emer in song – “Let not your hearts be troubled”
Jim’s grandson Adam, aged 18 months, is currently undergoing treatment for cancer and a retiring collection was held amounting to nearly £800 to support the work of Giraffe Ward at Gt. Ormond Sstreet Hospital. Judith wishes to thank all the family friends and neighbours for the kind help and support, the many messages of condolence she has received at Jim’s sudden death, and especially neighbours Sandra, Dave and Helen who fought to save his life.
Thoughts on…Easter & Forgiveness.
Contributions for this page to Nicky Lord on 886473, or at Doddington Garage or via email@example.com or Joyce Glover via firstname.lastname@example.org
Adrian Plass 1995
Happy Easter everyone. Enjoy the chocolate, the spring weather (I hope!) daffodils and crocuses, nesting birds and all the signs of new life. Enjoy the forgiveness Jesus has earned for us, given freely if we ask, and enjoy the chance to forgive someone you know too. A new start for everyone.
I went to the Harvester
You ate the Passover
I visited the Garden Centre
You were on trial
My ordeal was shopping.
You died at Golgotha
You lay in the grave
I sat in the traffic
I visited my parents
You the dead.
Sunday I lay in
I played Tomb Raider
“I forgive you”
(Adrian Plass has just spent much blood, sweat and tears preparing a sermon. He describes how it went)
When the praise session arrived, it threatened never to go away again. Those musicians and singers got completely carried away and gave us a real foretaste for eternity. An exaggeration of course – it only lasted about three days. By the time I got up to speak, everyone was exhausted. I forgave the music group of course. In fact, I took the trouble to go outside and find a sharp stone with which to scratch “I forgive you” on the bonnet of the worship leader’s car.
Adrian Plass 1995
Some Easter Announcements
A selection of quotations from parish magazines around the country.
This being Easter Sunday, we will ask Mrs Lewis to come forward and lay an egg on the altar.
Thursday night pot luck supper. Prayer and medication to follow.
Tuesday at 4pm there will be an icecream social. All ladies giving milk please come early.
At the evening service tonight the sermon topic will be “What is hell?” Come early and listen to our church choir practice.
The associate minister unveiled the church’s new tithing campaign slogan last Sunday.
“I upped my pledge; Up yours.”
Christ- like Forgiveness
(This prayer was found on a scrap of paper beside the body of a child at Ravensbruck concentration camp.)
O Lord, remember not only the men and women of goodwill.
But those of ill will.
But do not remember all the suffering they have inflicted among us;
Remember the fruits we have brought thanks to this suffering
Our comradeship, our loyalty, our humility, our courage, our generosity,
The greatness of heart which has grown out of all this;
And when they come to judgement,
Let all the fruits which we have borne
Be their forgiveness.
Hush . . . the EU wants quieter ceremonial gun salutes. What will Brussels bureaucrats interfere with next – could it be the death knell for church bells? asks Fred Nixon
I can’t believe that the Ministry of Defence has ordered the Royal Horse Artillery to try ways of cutting down the noise of traditional gun salutes fired to mark the Queen’s Birthday and other ceremonial events. According to newspaper reports the gunners are experimenting with canisters of reduced explosive force to cut out the risk to the eardrums of any nearby members of the public who happen to be looking on. Big bangs are on their way out: time to cut down on the jolly old decibels. It’s a case of the EU meddlers at work again, of course; soon the faceless ones in Brussels will be calling for silencers to be fitted to all small arms in case the crackle of rifle and machine gun fire upsets the enemy!
There is no end to the daft legislation people with no sense and too much time on their hands will attempt to inflict on us. The next target could be church bells and bell ringing, and sad to say some of our countrymen and women would wholeheartedly support any move to cut down or ban altogether the sound of ‘bells across the meadow’. The ringing of church bells arouses strong emotions in the breasts of the inhabitants of every city, town and village across the land. Church bells come into the same category as bagpipes: people either love or hate them. There are those, like me, to whom a Sunday morning is not complete without hearing the ringers exercising the time-honoured skill of change ringing. To others, perhaps still abed after a heavy Saturday night, there is nothing worse than to have inflicted on them what they consider to be a sheer cacophony. And as for practice nights that disturb their peaceful evenings during the week . . .
Where feelings become so strong that the situation in a community threatens to boil over into civil war between those for and against, good old British compromise usually comes into play. On some church towers louvres direct the sound upwards; the antis recognise that the ringers have to practise and for their part the ringers usually cut the number of practice nights to a minimum. But some people refuse to be mollified by this and continue to campaign against church bells. Sometimes they’ll even enlist the aid of the local environmental newly bhealth department. Hotel owners have also been known to claim that their businesses have suffered because guests protest about being kept awake during the night by the chimes of the local church clock striking the hours. One particular hotelier running a uilt establishment beside a centuries-old parish church declared that the bells on a Sunday morning marred the enjoyment of people on holiday.
I can never understand the reasoning of those who buy a house next to a church, pub, school or garage and then complain about the noise. Some twenty years there was a spot of bother about the ringing of Lynsted Church bells from a resident living nearby. One weekday night when the ringers were practising, the complainant stormed up the tower stairs and into the ringing chamber, where he made his feelings about the bells known in no uncertain terms. Vernon Page, captain of Teynham bell tower, who happened to be supervising the practice that night, waited quietly until the protester had said his piece, then countered with: ‘This church and its bells were here long before your house was built; and the church will still be here long after your house has gone.’
Dear old Vernon was a great character who could reveal many stories of Teynham and Lynsted of yesteryear and their people. Our family sang in the choir with him and I can still remember his powerful bass voice. He could look back to the time when the Teynham choir had so many members that, when it processed two abreast up the aisle at the beginning of a service, the first boys entered the choir stalls just as the last men choristers were leaving the vestry. He was an excellent teacher when it came to bell ringing and I can still hear his ‘The treble – she’s going’ as he led the peal. When there was a need for bells, but no ringers available, Vernon would perform the difficult feat of chiming the bells by pulling on two of the bell ropes with his hands and with one foot in the loop of a third. At wedding services when the vicar’s words, ‘Those whom God has joined together, let no man put asunder’, was always followed by Vernon’s summing up of the bridegroom’s situation: ‘There’s no turning back for him now!’
Controversy is never far away when it comes to relations between bell ringers and clergy. The ringers are inclined to be an ornery lot and a law unto themselves. Apart from those who are enthusiastic ringers themselves, most parish priests tend to look upon bell ringing as something of an esoteric art and wisely rely on the captain of the team. Even so, there is a continuing dispute over the bells of our local Westham parish church, parts of which are Norman and date from 1068, leading to its claim to be the first church built by William of Normandy on English soil. The vicar and bell ringers are arguing as to whether the bells are in a condition to be rung safely.
The parish is divided on the issue, some welcoming the silence on a Sunday and others expressing their disappointment at the vicar’s safety ruling. I suppose the argument could be resolved should Brussels step in and decide to muffle all church bells on the grounds of noise pollution.
Among the points discussed at the the meeting on Tuesday, 14th March at Forge Cottage were:-
Millennium Window: This would be completed by Easter and the Dedication Service led by the Bishop of Dover would be at 6.30 pm on the Sunday following Easter
Churchyard Extension The trees at the Churchyard extension, including the dying tree, would shortly be attended to.
The Midnight Mass on Christmas Eve would continue to be at Lynsted. The Carol Service hitherto alternating between Lynsted & Norton would now rotate round the benefice
Annual Church Meeting: This would be after the service on Sunday 9th April.
Flower Festival: If this as to go ahead this year it would have to involve the whole community and David Bage was asked to write up something in the News letter.
Paint was available to paint the recently restored church gates. Volunteer(s) were needed. The Secretary agreed to put a notice in the News Letter .
The repairs to the stonework over the South Door should be completed by Easter
David Bage reported that the fete committee was about to start its deliberations for the 2006 fete
Jo Sidney reported that in conjunction with the Malawi Project forthcoming fundraising events included a ‘disco’ in Doddington Village Hall and a Barn Dance in the Community Cherry Orchard. A donation of £60 had been received from Teynham Church Youth
Jo Sidney also reported on Youth matters and reported that she and one of the Youth Club members had been asked to give a presentation to the Deanery
Lent was originally the period of preparation for those wishing to convert to Christianity, through baptism on Easter Sunday. And traditionally it has become a time of reflection following the events that lead to Easter and culminating in Holy week itself.
This year we shall once again take part in a Passover celebration on Maundy Thursday, at Lynsted Church, and recall the events of ‘The Prince of Egypt’. The Jews understood the power of ‘acting out’ events, passing down the pattern for the Passover ritual centuries before scriptures were written. By sharing the meal and telling the story, they involved themselves in the celebration of their freedom from slavery under the Pharaohs. Jesus grew up with the yearly festival just as Jewish children do today, making it the story of their own liberation.
Our faith builds on that tradition, seeing Jesus as the great liberator for all people, who enters into our pains and tragedies giving his life and transforming them by his death and resurrection. His death liberates us from the fear of death, taking us into the freedom of a new life.
The signs of death and new life are everywhere, new shoots push through last year’s dead leaves, hot cross buns, chocolate eggs, all remind us of the cross and resurrection that follows. Join with us in bringing the story to life and letting it come to life in you. We begin with the re-enactment of the Passover in an ‘Upper Room’, if you would like to come please let me know so that we can cater for those who will be coming. On Good Friday we shall observe the Stations of the Cross at Doddington Church at 10.30 am and then in the evening we will have Readings and Music suitable for Good Friday at Lynsted Church at 7.30 pm. On Easter Day there will be a celebration of Holy Communion at four of our churches. Discover how your story, your life, links with Christ’s and how his can bring new meaning to your questions, sorrows and triumphs.
Jill and I wish you all a very happy Easter and look forward to seeing you at one or more of the services during Holy Week and Easter.
Yours in Christ, George Baisley
Norton Village Hall - ‘Coffee Pop In’ - Tuesday 4th April - (and every month on the 1st Tuesday) - 10.30 am – 12.00 noon - 50p
St Mary, Norton - The Annual Church Meeting - will be held on Wednesday, 26 April at 8.00pm in Norton Village Hall
Norton Village Hall AGM - Monday April 10th 7.30 p.m. at Norton Village Hall - Please come and voice your ideas and comments. Light refreshments
Friends of St Mary, Norton - The Annual General Meeting will be held on Monday, 24 April at 7 30pm in Norton Village Hall
THE CHURCH OF ST MARY NORTON will be open to visitors EVERY SATURDAY 2-4 pm From EASTER to HARVEST
We are in the midst of a bit of an identity crisis aren’t we? We are afraid of politeness and manners, we must be PC, our faith is…?
The following was written by Ben Stein last Christmas in the USA.
(for Nick & Jessica read Posh & Becks for example)
‘I am a Jew, and every single one of my ancestors was Jewish. And it does not bother me even a little bit when people call those beautiful lit up, bejewelled trees Christmas trees. I don't feel threatened. I don't feel discriminated against. That's what they are: Christmas trees.
It doesn't bother me a bit when people say, "Merry Christmas" to me. I don't think they are slighting me or getting ready to put me in a ghetto. In fact, I kind of like it. It shows that we are all brothers and sisters celebrating this happy time of year. It doesn't bother me at all that there is a manger scene on display at a key intersection near my beach house in Malibu. If people want a crèche, it's just as fine with me as is the Menorah a few hundred yards away.
I don't like getting pushed around for being a Jew, and I don't think Christians like getting pushed around for being Christians. I think people who believe in God are sick and tired of getting pushed around, period. I have no idea where the concept came from that America (GB) is an explicitly atheist country. I can't find it in the Constitution, and I don't like it being shoved down my throat.
I have no freaking clue who Nick and Jessica are. I see them on the cover of Hello constantly when I am buying my dog biscuits and cat food. I often ask the check out staff at the supermarket. They never know who Nick and Jessica are either. Who are they? Will it change my life if I know who they are and why they have broken up? Why are they so important? Or maybe I can put it another way: where did the idea come from that we should worship Nick and Jessica and we aren't allowed to worship God as we understand Him?’
Billy Graham's daughter was asked "How could God let something like Katrina happen?" She gave an extremely profound and insightful response, "I believe God is deeply saddened by this, just as we are, but for years we've been telling God to get out of our schools, to get out of our government and to get out of our lives. And being the gentleman He is, I believe He has calmly backed out. How can we expect God to give us His blessing and His protection if we demand He leave us alone?"