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      The Parish Magazine on line  July 2004
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Ouse News is published by Felmersham Parochial Church Council and Sponsored by Chesham Insurance Brokers

"All for Thee" - Chris Ure
Driving around the Gower Peninsula last summer, we took a wrong turning and found ourselves outside a house in Caswell Bay displaying a sign saying that it had once been the home of the Christian poet and hymn writer: Frances Havergal Ridley. I recognised the name but couldn't remember the hymns, so returning to Felmersham, I checked the internet to find a most impressive list of over seventy of her hymns that are still in common use today. Among them 'Who is on the Lord's side' and 'Take my life and let it be'.
Her biographical notes revealed that she was a quite remarkable Victorian woman. She was a Greek and Hebrew scholar, who spoke several modern languages and was both a prolific writer and a concert soloist. But despite her many achievements, she maintained a simple faith based on her absolute trust and confidence in God. Her most famous hymn speaks of serving God in every way: in mind, hands, feet, wealth, influence, love and self. And that is exactly what she did. She lived her life recognising and using every gift that God had given her.
Few of us can possess her extraordinary linguistic and musical talents and yet, as her hymn reminds us, we all have something to give, whether it is passing on skills or supporting and encouraging others. Perhaps the true measure of how much we have in life is reflected in how much we give.
The life of Frances Havergal Ridley was a relatively short one, living only forty-three years and yet her accomplishment was enormous, leaving a legacy that remains an inspiration throughout the world, to the present day.

Christian Aid - Gill Greenish
 Many thanks to all who collected for Christian Aid in May. The total raised was 304.79 so thank you for giving so generously.

Arthritis Research Campaign - Jennifer Knowles
A total of 309 was raised in the recent collection. Grateful thanks to all who contributed and also to the collectors - Celia Hulatt, Pamela Norris, Valerie Sexton, Betty Taylor, Pauline Tull, Wendy Williamson and Rene Whitbread.

Coffee Morning - Jane Wells
There is no Church Coffee Morning in August. The Coffee Morning for September will be held at the home of Ruth Coxon, on Saturday 4 September 2004 at 10.30am.
Home made cakes, toiletries, produce and bric-a-brac for the bring and buy stall will be greatly appreciated. All welcome.

The good, the bad and the ugly!? - Carol Stork
The Steering Group for the Vital Village project held its second meeting on 9th June, where, amongst other matters, the Committee agreed to set out their stall at the Felmersham village fair on Sunday 18th July.
The stall - nicknamed 'The Good, the Bad and the Ugly' (although rumours that the Committee Chairman will be sporting a poncho and smoking a cigar are grossly exaggerated!) will be an opportunity for you to comment on what you think is good and bad about our Parish. There will be a display of photographs to help trigger thoughts about a variety of aspects of parish life - as well as the chance to 'post' your thoughts and suggestions about future developments in the 'suggestions box' provided.
So please come along and talk to the members of the Committee and take the opportunity to ask any questions you may have about the Vital Village project. If you are unable to make it on the 18tn, but would still like to 'post' your thoughts - you can do so on the Felmersham village website. A 'group' facility has been set up by Ken Shrimpton in the Vital Village area of the site which allows you to post messages about the project for others in the group to see. It's a simple matter of clicking on 'Tell us what you think' from the menu, then clicking on the Felmersham and Radwell Parish Plan Group and following the steps to join the group. You will then be able to post messages to the group whenever you like.
You can also visit this section of the website for further details of the matters discussed at the Steering Committee meeting on the 9th June.

WI - May Mills
Silence is not normally synonymous with Women's Institute meetings, but, not a sound was heard for several minutes, albeit periodically, during the evening. What phenomenon had struck us dumb - thoughts of Brad Pitt in a skirt or the unpredictability of sponge baking? We were collectively mesmerised by Mrs Morgan's extremely skilful demonstration of the Corn Dolly craft, which produced a lavender doll and a countryman's favour (an old-fashioned substitute for today's box of chocolates or flowers for a sweetheart). Traditionally, a corn dolly was made from the seeds at the centre of the field and hung over the hearth until sowing time the following year, when it was sown with the new seeds. Different counties have their own `dolly mascots', some of which she had on display, including the Suffolk Horseshoe, Hereford Lantern and the Essex Terrett. Mark Twain said ' There is something fascinating about silence. One gets such wholesale returns of conjecture out of such a trifling investment of fact.' Did we?

Pinchmill Pre-School Portacabin Appeal - Update - Christine Callaghan
Great news - we have been successful with our application to the Bedford Charity (Harpur Trust) and have been given a grant of 5,000. Work on the building will progress during the summer holidays.

Do You Look After Someone? - Paul Keeble
Do care for a person who is ill, frail, disabled or mentally ill on a regular unpaid basis? Would you like a break from this role for a few hours each month? Then contact the Carers Short Breaks Bureau free on 0800 039 1234.
Part of Bedfordshire Rural Communities Charity, the Bureau gives Carers Free Vouchers to exchange with a professional care agency on an approved listing. Each month you can take a break and know a trained person can look after the person you care for.

Rural Skills Network - Rural Affairs Forum
The Bedfordshire Rural Affairs Forum have commissioned BigBarn, based in Great Barford, to build the Beds Rural Skills Network - an organisation to promote local skills to local people.
There is a large and diverse skill resource in our rural area either in existing farm businesses or from the general rural population. At the same time there is a demand for these skills from people who want to be able to call on local traders for their goods and services.
The Beds Rural Skills Network aims to connect these two groups using mapping on a new website www.bedsruralskills.org. We also hope to work with parish magazines to provide printed versions in magazines in the future. If you have a service or skill you think other local people would like to know about you can register on the site for a listing or phone 01234 871 005 if you are not on-line.

Special Constables - Bedfordshire Police
Why not join Bedfordshire Police as a Volunteer Police Officer, also known as a Special Constable.
Special Constables are people from all walks of life who choose to spend some of their spare time supporting their local Police Force.
Special Constables are asked to volunteer for at least 16 hours duty a month. All necessary training is provided along with Uniform and equipment.
You will need to be aged between eighteen and fifty-two years old. You must be a British, Irish or Commonwealth citizen, or a member of an European Economic Area, with no restrictions on your stay in the UK. All candidates must be fluent in spoken and written English. www.bedfordshire.police.uk

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Ouse News is published by St Mary's PCC
 Ouse News will print anything of interest to the community not just reports of past village activities or reminders of forthcoming ones. Feedback on any of the items published would be most welcome whether for printing or not.
Items for next month's Ouse News should be sent to the editor: Clive Just, 2 The Old Rectory by the 25th of the month. It would help if items were emailed to OuseNews@bigfoot.com; sent on disk; or typed. Phone 781967 for more details. Online version of Ouse News additionally edited by the webmaster.