There’s just 5 weeks to go before St Mary’s Christmas Tree Festival and this year we want to make it even bigger and more magical than ever.
Could you get your tree down from the loft a bit early, bring it along to St Mary’s and decorate it for the festival? There’s no charge and if you run a business we’d welcome you to use it as an advertising opportunity.
More details and booking form (FREE) here. Go on, give it a go!
St Mary’s is celebrating its Harvest Festival with an All Age Service at 9.30; Walford have an All Age Communion at 11.30, and in St Michael and All Angels Church in Brampton Abbotts at 11.15 there will be an informal Patronal service, which marks a new beginning for this building as a community venue.
A large contingent from St Mary’s traveled to Lugwardine on Thursday evening for the installation of our last curate, Simon Tarlton as Rector of the Bartestree Cross group of parishes by the Bishop of Hereford.
If you were unable to be at the service you may like to take a look at some of the recording of the service.
The next bishop of Hereford will be Richard Jackson. Bishop Richard, who is currently Suffragan Bishop of Lewes in East Sussex, will take up his role in the New Year and will be the 106th Bishop of Hereford, a church position that dates back to 676.
The announcement was released by Downing Street this morning. You can read more about the appointment here
At Sean’s Collation Service an extract from the Benefice’s Statement of Needs was read out which identified the personal and leadership qualities the Ross Benefice was looking for in their new Rector. You can download and read this document below, it also expresses something of the vision and mission of our parishes in which Sean will lead us.
A number of people from St Mary’s have been on a trip to the Severn Waste Services Ltd, Envirosort. The visit was arranged as a result of one of the bible study groups recently looking at caring for the environment. All agreed it wasn’t actually a rubbish trip at all and that it provided many top tips to help them be more environmentally friendly.
8 couples at St Mary’s were celebrating their 50th Anniversaries this year including our own Reader Canon Freda Davies who organised a special service of celebration where couples were invited to renew their vows and display memorabilia from their own wedding days. There were also several Silver Wedding anniversaries and many other long unions. A wonderful atmosphere and a joyous occasion were enjoyed by all who attended.
We had a fantastic Come & Sing event at St Mary’s on Sunday. Faure’s Requiem in a devotional service for Holy Week, with a choir of around 40 singers. Well done and thank you to everyone who came along either to sing or to form a congregation. Thanks also to all who provided cake, to Adrian for playing and Cameron and Fiona for their wonderful solos.
We hope the next one will be at Christmas, as part of the Christmas Tree Festival.
We are delighted to report that the Revd Sean Semple has been appointed as the next Rector of the Benefice of Ross with Walford and Brampton Abbotts.
Sean is currently the Incumbent in the Weobley and Staunton Group of Parishes (7 churches) and so is no stranger to Hereford Diocese. Prior to his appointment there, in 2015, he has worked in the Presbyterian and Anglican Churches in South Africa, and in the Anglican Church in Cyprus. Sean was born in South Africa.
He will be moving to Ross later in the year (date to be confirmed) with his wife Jenny and son Lex. Sean and Jenny have four older children currently living in South Africa, North Carolina and Scotland.
We’re about half way through phase 2 of the reordering work at St Mary’s and the spaces that already opening up now that pews are almost out of the way are very attractive – a sight not seen since 1862.
We are keeping the church open when possible, that is now most of the time but please be careful when visiting.
If you’re interested in a pew there are still one or two left and we’d like to get them out of the church as soon as possible. Please contact us. There is more on pews (and reordering) at http://www.reordering.org
This morning (Sunday 3rd February) was the last time that members of our congregation will sit in the pews that have been in use since 1862. Tomorrow the builders move in to begin removing them and the floors beneath.
This is the end of an era. We don’t know when pews first appeared at St Mary’s, probably around the time of Henry VIII and we know that there have been at least three different lots over that time. This year we move on again and the chairs that will replace them will provide far greater flexibility and allow us to appreciate the medieval building currently obscured at ground level.
There are still just a few pews up for grabs if you’d like one. There is also a large pile of embroidered kneelers, free to a good home, by the entrance to the Markye Chapel – please help yourself to some.
The next phase of the exciting redevelopment work at St Mary’s begins on 4th February. This will see the removal of all the remaining pews and the renewal of all the flooring beneath them.
There are still just a few pews needing to find new homes. There is just one complete one left and a few with only a good left / right end that are being sold as a pair (same price for the pair as for the complete pew) and require a bit of DIY. The added appeal here is that you can make the finished pew any length you want before warming yourself by a quality fire of 1863 fire wood! They are priced at £150.
If you’re able to visit the church (open each day until around 4.00 pm) the pews still up for grabs are the ones without a white label stuck on them.
Pews will be available for collection on or after Thursday 7th February.
There are also some hassocks (kneelers) up for grabs – free to a good home but donations via the donations safe by the north door welcome). You’ll find them stacked up by the Markye Chapel. Please help yourself.
Please note that once the building work begins on Monday 4th February access to the building may be limited, at times, for the 8 week duration of the work.