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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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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