Ouse News
      The Parish Magazine  September 2003

 
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Ouse News is published by Felmersham Parochial Church Council and Sponsored by Chesham Insurance Brokers

Harvest Time - David Mason
As I write this it is past the middle of August, the weather has been warm and dry, and as I drive to Felmersham I notice that almost all of the grain harvest has now been gathered in. The fields are being prepared for the planting of next year's crops. What a contrast this is to the pictures we see on the television and in the newspapers of many parts of the world, where the ground is dry and dusty, and the crops are non existent. A large part of Africa has had years of failed rains and harvests. Many people are going hungry, illness is rife, and the outlook is poor for those who live there.
I have just received information from the organizers of the Bishop of St Albans' Harvest for the Hungry Appeal, further details of which appear below.
The Bishop's Appeal is concentrating its efforts on supporting rural communities on the Malawi/Mozambique border who have been badly affected by drought and crop failure. We have had a dry spell for a few weeks, and the grassy areas are beginning to look brown. Just try to imagine how it would be if we had very little rain for a whole year, or for several years, as has been the case in these parts of Africa. At the beginning of October we will be having our traditional Harvest Festival Service in the morning, and a special service of Thanks and Praise in the evening. After the evening service there will be refreshments, and a Harvest Produce Tombola will be held. The proceeds of the Tombola will be given to the Bishop's Appeal.
Jesus stressed the importance of loving and caring for our neighbour, whoever and wherever that neighbour may be. It is our Christian duty to care for those who are in need, and it is all too obvious from the news and the pictures from that part of the world that there are very many people there who are in desperate need. In our rejoicing at our good fortune we must not forget those who are in need, they must also share in the bounty the we have been given. Please be generous in you gifts and giving at our harvest celebrations

Companion Dog Show - Theo Gibbs
Dog Diary!! Don't forget the Show on the riverside grounds of Sharnbrook Mill Theatre on Sunday 7t September from 11am Judging 12 noon. 5 Pedigree & 14 Novelty classes including Fancy Dress. Trophies to keep, rosettes to 6th place, stalls, refreshments, licensed bar.

Harvest for the Hungry - Rev David Mason
Each year we send the proceeds of the Harvest Festival to the Bishop of St Alban's 'Harvest for the Hungry Appeal'. This year the focus of the appeal is a food security programme on the Malawi/Mozambique Border. The programme is responding to immense hardship in the region, helping rural communities that are facing serious food and water hardships after years of droughts and failed harvests. Please support this appeal as a way of thanking God for our successful harvests. In addition to our usual morning Harvest Festival Service we will be having a special evening Service of Thanks and Praise followed by refreshments and a harvest produce tombola in aid of the Bishop's Fund

Sponsored Cycle Ride - Stephen Hill
The annual sponsored cycle ride and walk organised by Beds and Herts Historic Churches Trust takes place on 13th September. Cyclists choose their own route visiting local churches, so you can make the ride as long or as short as you like. Sponsorship proceeds are divided equally between the Trust and the church of the rider's choice. This is an ideal opportunity to exercise yourself and your bike while contributing to St Mary's restoration fund. Contact me on 781064 if you would like a sponsorship form or for further details, or if you would like to man the checkpoint at St Mary's for an hour to sign through visiting cyclists.

Coffee Morning - Jane Wells
The Church Coffee Morning for September is to be held at the home of Tony and Jo Morris, on Saturday 6th September at 10.30am.
Next month's, also in aid of the Church Heating Fund, will be hosted by Laurie and May Mills, on Saturday 4th October 2003 at 10.30am. Home made cakes, toiletries, produce and bric-a-brac for the bring and buy stall will be greatly appreciated. All welcome

"And the Winner Is....." - Candace Rankin
The Sunflower Extravaganza Tea Party held on 24 August saw Ken Shrimpton receive the coveted First Prize Award. Thunderous applause echoed throughout the village as he accepted a hand-crafted birdhouse, trophy, and experienced the thrill of having the much sought after "First" medallion slipped around his neck (a bit too tightly I thought) by last year's winner, his wife, Lorraine.

Before this moving moment, Lorraine delivered her last speech as Sunflower Chump (Champ) adorned in a resplendent sash and a fairy wand that would have made Julian Clarey quiver with covetous thoughts. She explained that her year as Queen of the the Sunflower had taken her to many exotic places. She was a huge hit in the North Pole, Finland, and Outer Mongolia. She performed many good deeds, and has decided to devote her life to children, but let slip that the favourite thing she opened all year was a bottle of gin! She did a final "Sunflower Catwalk" parading past the 34 entrants lined up ;n a row for judging

For those statistical buffs, there were 29 winners called forward during the Awards Ceremony, and we would like to say a huge congratulations to Sue Middlemas for 2nd place, and Leanne Turton for 3rd. The Teddy Bear Hunt was won by Fraser Hocking and Chloe. Anna and Joan Ure did magical things with face painting for the children. An unforgettable image of the day in my mind was the removal of the Middlemas' sunflower by a tractor at the end of the day! So huge was its height and perfect its flower and foliage in the glorious summer sunshine as it drove away! A resplendent specimen !!

Many entrants arrived with flair and pride as they steadied their pot and stepped back with a smile of satisfaction. Those smiles made it all worth the effort! Some made a couple of feeble excuses as to why their sunflower was not the winner. David Cook insisted that his truly WAS bigger than Ken's, but couldn't bring it along as a squirrel had nested in the flower and he could not disturb it! Jeff Stokley claimed that 10 feet of his sunflower had been left in the ground at home!
Judge Marjorie Pipe arrived with Dolly, resplendent in her diamante collar. Dolly looked nice, too. There was a bit of excitement early on when Dolly fell into a bowl of crisps! Apparently she had just had a pedicure at Pretty Pooch Emporium and her nails were still wet; she lost her balance whilst airing them. Dolly had her own minder for the day, Chloe, so her mother would not be distracted from the serious work and reflection called for as our esteemed judge.

The children were kept busy all afternoon with a Teddy Bear Treasure Hunt, and an assortment of ingenious games thought out by my child at heart husband!

An enormous thank you goes to those who helped with cakes, sandwiches, wine, chairs, tables, pouring tea, minding the bar, and all those other essentials that make for a great village affair! In the 3 years of this event we have gone from 2, to 12, and now to 34! Shall we try for 70 entrants next year?! One of the nicest things said to Peter and me was that the afternoon was what village life used to be like and still can be. We are a community of and for each other that deserves celebration, so come join us next year

W. E. (Ron) Draycott  M B E - Chris and Joan Ure
It is with much sadness that we have to announce the death of Ron Draycott, who lived in Felmersham for many years and died on 1st September 2003 at Kettering General Hospital at the age of eighty-seven. The funeral will be held at St Mary's, Felmersham at 2pm on Tuesday 9th September.
Ron, will perhaps best be remembered for his comprehensive history of Felmersham and Radwell: 'Grain and Chaff', which was reprinted in 2001. Ron spent most of his working life in the Royal Air Force, during which time he was awarded the MBE. He also worked for Hunting Engineering in Ampthill. Ron leaves his wife Greta, their two daughters, Diane and Lynn and their grandchildren, Donna and Jenny. Ron also leaves a surviving sister Gladys, who lives in Nottingham.
Messages of condolence can be sent to Greta and her family.

Felmersham Yoga Club - Hilary Foot
Yoga classes restart at Pinchmill Village Hall at 7.30pm on Monday 1st September. You are invited to join us for eight sessions on Monday evenings from 7.30 to 8.30. Please bring a yoga mat, large towel or blanket.
All ranges of ability are welcome, from beginners onwards. Even if you can't make the first session, we will be pleased to see you for some or all of the others. If you have any queries, please telephone me on 781340.

Save the Children Quiz - Andrew Evans
The postponed quiz in aid of the Save the Children Fund has been re-arranged for Friday 26 September at Sharnbrook Upper School with a 7-30pm start. Teams of between 6 and 8 members are most welcome and tickets can be reserved from Andrew Evans on 782523 at 5 per player including a glass of wine and table nibbles. Chris Spoor has kindly agreed to be the question master ably assisted by Maggie so it promises to be an entertaining evening with all the proceeds going to this worthy cause. A bar selling wine and soft drinks will be available. I look forward to seeing a number of teams from Felmersham.

Save the Children Fund - Jacky Phipps
In giving advance notice of the annual SCF weekend for the sale of Christmas cards and gifts, I apologise for mentioning the dreaded word so early! The sale will take place on October 11 and 12 at East Grange. More details will appear in the next issue.
I shall be distributing catalogues around the village in the very near future. Even if you aren't able to come to the open weekend, you can order through me at any time between now and the end of November and save the postal charges (increased this year). I was very grateful for your support last year and hope that we can raise even more this year for this excellent cause.

 

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Page last updated: 09/10/03  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.
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