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      The Parish Magazine on line  December 2004
  
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Ouse News is published by Felmersham Parochial Church Council and Sponsored by
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Candlelit Christingle and Crib Service - Gillian Whiteway
This year's candlelit Christingle and Crib Service in aid of the Children's Society will take place at St Mary's on Friday December 24th at 3.OOpm. All are welcome at this enjoyable service, which takes children as its focus. The children of the parish will be given collecting boxes at school, but if you would like one, or have any queries regarding the collection or service, please contact me on 782686. We are looking forward to another memorable family service and hope to see you there.

All over the world - Rev David G Mason
The celebration of Christmas varies throughout the world. In Austria, they enjoy the colourful and bustling "Christkindelmarket". Whilst in Spain, they prepare an elaborate nativity scene called "Nacimiento" and in Mexico, there is the festival of 'Los Posadas'. The people of Colombia meet together to eat and dance and remember "El Nino Jesus" and in India, their gift giving is called 'baksheesh'. Wherever people are in the world, Christmas is traditionally associated with rejoicing and celebration. It is a time when people can spend time with family and friends, to share hospitality and to enjoy the pleasure of giving and receiving.
But, Christmas can also be a distressing as well as a happy time. For some it can emphasise isolation and loneliness. For others, it can be a reminder of loved ones who are no longer with us, which is why it is important for us to remember others, not only with a card or a gift, but also with kindness and compassion. Whatever our beliefs or our circumstances, whether we believe that the season is Scripturally inspired or commercially motivated, there is always something good that can come of it. Across the world, it provides the opportunity for people to think of others and to demonstrate friendship in giving and goodwill.
Christmas is often dismissed as too commercial or over sentimental. But, in a year when we have experienced human rights violations, suicide bombings and terrorism, there can surely be no better way of proclaiming peace than by showing kindness and the love of Christ to one another? And perhaps it is then that we discover the reality of the Christ child, lying in a manger in Bethlehem over two thousand years ago.
       "Today in the town of David, a Saviour has been born to you, he is Christ the Lord" (Luke 2 v 11)

Baptism Roll - Paul Keeble
The Baptism Roll in the church situated close to the font has not been updated for sometime and I am looking for help from a parishioner who has neat, small hand writing and can afford to give a couple of hours of their time. The work can be carried out at home and there is no deadline date to get completed. Please contact me on 782134 if you can assist.

Thank You - Jessie Turner
My family and i would like to thank friends and neighbours for their kind messages of sympathy received on Fred's death, and to those who attended his funeral.

RNIB Coffee Morning - Lorraine Shrimpton Many thanks to all who gave so generously at the RNIB coffee morning on 25th November. My special thanks to those who contributed cakes and goods to sell, and to the friends who helped - I couldn't have done it without you. The sum of 310 has been passed to the Charity, who have written to express their own "thank you" to the people from Felmersham and Radwell.

Annual Boxing Day Walk - Ken and Lorraine Shrimpton
We assemble at 11.00am at Felmersham bus shelter for our annual walk on Sunday 26 December. You are welcome to join us with your family and friends for this short Boxing Day walk, which will take 1'/2 hours maximum. Please dress to walk across wet and possibly muddy fields and be prepared to climb stiles. There will be plenty of opportunities for short cuts home so don't be put off if you can't walk far. This is a very popular walk and provides an opportunity for neighbours and friends to exchange seasonal greetings.

Coffee Morning - Jane Wells
The Coffee Morning for December, in aid of the Church Heating Fund, will be held at the home Jeff and Karen Stockley, on Saturday 4 December 2004 at 10.30am. Next month's will be hosted by Jennifer Knowles on Saturday 8 January. Home made cakes, toiletries, produce and bric-a-brac for the bring and buy stall will be greatly appreciated. All welcome.

Bridge Club - Truus Boyce
The bridge club meets on the 1st and 3rd Mondays in the month and starts at 7.30pm. For further information please contact me on 781133.

Reporting Incidents To The Police - Joan White
Felmersham residents have been very conscientious in taking the trouble reporting incidents to the Police and this shows that we are actively concerned with the quality of life of our community. However, it has come to light that sometimes these incidents are not recorded and so do not appear in the planning ; of crime prevention measures.
After informing the Chief Constable of this and following subsequent correspondence, Felmersham and Radwell Homewatch have been given the following advice.
1. Make a point of asking the operator if your call has been logged.
2. Make sure that you are given a UNIQUE REFERENCE NUMBER, or URN. 3. Keep a note of this number and the date and time of your call.
Apparently in the present climate of targets these measures by the caller are necessary if incidents are to appear in the statistics. It is also helpful to be I precise about the place where the incident happened.

Christmas Gifts for Bapatla Children's Home - Rosalind Templeman
Once again this year we will be collecting your gifts, at the Carol Service on 19th December, for the boys and girls at the Bapatla Children's Home in Andhra ! Pradesh, India. The home is going through a difficult time, and the children will be especially happy to receive their presents from Felmersham.
Nayomi is a bright little girl, who is top of her class, and loves learning English. Dharma Rani, aged 16, has passed her Secondary Certificate exam and is staying for further study, hoping perhaps to be a nurse.
They are just two of the many orphaned or destitute children aged 5+ who are benefiting from the shelter, food and education provided by the home. They are always very pleased to receive your gifts, and to share them with their friends. Could you donate a very small, very light item, suitable for a boy or a girl? Items such as hair ornaments, shampoo sachets, very small (light) toys, inflatable balls, small games, soap etc would be suitable, or perhaps something to help the children with their studies - crayons, pencils, erasers, rulers, notebooks etc. Such gifts are very welcome and are light enough to be sent by air. Presents may be wrapped if you wish. For security reasons, we cannot send anything made of metal or glass.
Monetary donations are very welcome too of course! This year these will be sent to Goodwill Children's Homes to support children in the Tamil Nadu orphanages. In recent years your generous gifts have brightened the lives of so many poor children. Please help to make their Christmas special again this year!

Pre-School Quiz Competition - Mark Whiteway
Here's a chance to exercise your brain, while your body handles the festive food. The Pre-School quiz competition is a set of cryptic clues leading to the names of 40 British rivers. The quiz sheet costs 1, with all proceeds going to the PreSchool appeal. There will be a prize for the entry with the most correct answers, plus a prize draw for all entries with at least one correct answer. If you're not familiar with cryptic clues, hints (but not answers) can be provided. Please support us and buy copies for any family and friends who might like the challenge. Quiz sheets can be obtained from Mark and Gillian Whiteway (782686), or Christine Callaghan at the Pre-School, from December 10th

Visit by the Bishop of Bedford - Paul Keeble
The Bishop of Bedford, The Rt. Revd Richard Inwood, will be preaching and taking part in our service on Sunday 5th December 2004 at 10:15 am and I hope as many parishioners, as possible, will be able to attend the service. There will be an opportunity to chat Informally to the Bishop after the service.

Family Charity Day - Bedford Museum
Every year Bedford Museum hosts an event to raise funds for local charities at Christmas. This year all your pennies (and hopefully your pounds as well!!) will help the fantastic work of the Children's Wing at Bedford Hospital. There will be a display of some works of art by local schools, festive music, a host of activities, quizzes and games for all the family. As well as the chance to sample some festive fare. Entry is free so come along with all your pennies, and pounds, between 1.45 and 4.30pm at the Bedford Museum and help support a very worthwhile local cause, and have some fun too.

W.I. - May Mills
Can you be sure that the healthy sandwich you bought really contained less than 3% fat? How do you know that the meat content of your favourite sausages is as stated on the packet? What about the accuracy of supermarket scales or petrol pumps? Can you trust the plumber you plucked from the yellow pages? Never fear, 'Trading Standards' is here! Alexander Austin, from Beds Trading Standards Services, reassured us that the 30 officers in the Bedford department worked tirelessly on our behalf, testing weights and measures, testing food composition and safety, and testing the safety of products such as toys and car seats. They also investigate under-age sales, using young volunteers with hidden cameras to buy forbidden goods. Guilty traders are prosecuted. No need to worry about that plumber - assuming that you were able to find one - the Trading Standards Approved Scheme issues a list of approved traders who are given a yellow flag - find them on the web-site. They have to deal with mountains of EU regulation as well as our own law, and even find the time to offer a comprehensive consumer advice service - our speaker is an expert in 'statutory rights' despite her age (she was very young)!

Restoration of Church Organ - Paul Keeble
The Nicholson organ in St Mary's Church Felmersham was purpose built in 1873 and has served many generations. It has survived in its original condition except for the introduction of electric blowing, changes to the pedal action and some minor tonal changes that were made in 1936.
The major items of the organ such as wind reservoir, chests and soundboards have lasted 130 years but they are now suffering from the effects of wear and tear. They are all perfectly restorable and the organ manufacturer is still in business and capable of carrying out the work. Once restored the organ should last for many generations to come.
Funds are now needed to carry out the restoration, which is estimated to cost about 40,000. The PCC has so far raised 15% of the total needed and any financial help from parishioners would be welcomed and most appreciated.
Gifts of money can be given to Stephen Hill the Church Treasurer at 46 Marriotts Close or included in gift envelopes available in the church (please indicate the gift is for the organ). Income Tax payers can increase their gift by means of Gift Aid, forms to sign are via the Church Treasurer.

Village Hall Committee - Janet Cook
The Committee are currently looking for both a Secretary and a Treasurer. This is your opportunity to make a worthwhile contribution to the community life of Felmersham and Radwell. lf you feel that you can help, please contact Janet Cook on 781373.
The Disability Discrimination Act requires us to provide, amongst other things, a toilet for the use of disabled people. Paperwork has all but been completed and work should commence in the New Year to provide the Village Hall with a new toilet. We plan to carry out renovation work once the Pre-School have moved to their new building.

Poppy Appeal - Geoff Hulatt
The poppy collection amounted to 177.49 in Radwell and 259.13 in Felmersham. Donations to the war memorial wreath amounted to 50 and the church collection raised 55 making a total of 541.62.
I would like to thank all who contributed to the appeal and particularly the collectors: S Evans, D Hulston, M Leach, M Mills, G Stevenson, D Stevenson, C Hulatt, D Horsford, M Jones, S Carr and the Sun and Swan public houses and Pinchmill Lower School
Felmersham and Radwell Community Care Mike Thomas Felmersham and Radwell Community Care Scheme is changing - its 'phone number that is. As from the 1st January 2005 the new number to ring will be 07786 344176. New cards are being distributed during December, so please look out for them and destroy your old yellow cards which display the discontinued pager number.
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Ouse News will print items of interest to the community not just reports of past village activities or reminders of forthcoming ones.
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