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

A Happy New Year - Rev David Mason
By the time that you are reading this we will be well into the new year, I write it as the old year comes to its end. The past year has been marked internationally by the events in the Middle East. The misgivings that many had about the projected conflict in Iraq that we were aware of a year ago have not been resolved by the subsequent events. That sorry country is still a place of violence and conflict, and the threat of international terrorism has not receded. Peace for many nations still seems far away, and is likely to do so as long as the gap between rich and poor continues to widen. The Christmas message of peace and goodwill to all peoples needs more than words to bring it to reality. It needs action to deal with social injustice and the recognition that loving our neighbour involves the care of the poor and dispossessed wherever they may be, in our prayers let us remember those who are working for the coming of God's kingdom to our world.
We have all appreciated the new heating system, particularly during the recent cold weather. I have heard it said, and quite believe it, that Felmersham Church is the coldest one in the county (perhaps in the country). We thank all those who have contributed to the cost of the system, and those who have worked so hard to bring it to completion. We are very fortunate to have such a magnificent building in our village, and I hope that now it is not so cold we will be able to make more use of it. It was good to have children from the school taking part in the Carol Service, they sang so well for us. The school goes from strength to strength, and we thank the staff for all their hard work for and dedication to the children, and parents for their encouragement and support.
We thank you for your kindness and encouragement to us over the last year, and wish you a belated Happy and Successful New Year.

Thanks - Rev David Mason
I would like to thank all those who worked so hard to prepare and decorate the church for the Christmas festivities. I would also like to thank all those who work throughout the year to clean and maintain the church, those who support our worship week by week in many different years, and those who support the church and community in so many different ways. Visitors often comment on how clean and beautiful the church is, and how it is kept in such good order. This is only achieved by a lot of hard work by many, and it is very much appreciated.

Kilimanjaro - Jane Elliott Poxon
In June 2004 I am hiking to the top of Kilimanjaro to raise money for SCOPE. I have pledged to raise 3,000, If you would like to help with a small donation then please go to http://www.justgiving.com/escaping where you can donate online. Thank you in advance. I will let you know how I get on when I return.

Yoga Club - Hilary Foot
A reminder that our Spring yoga classes begin at Pinchmill Village Hall at 7.30pm on Monday 1 st March. You are invited to join us for nine sessions on Monday evenings from 7.30 - 8.30. Please bring a yoga mat, large towel or blanket. All ranges of ability are welcome, from beginner 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.

Coffee Morning - Jane Wells
The Church Coffee Morning for February is at the home of Paul and Mary Freeman on 7th February at 10.30am.
The Coffee Morning for March in aid of the Church Heating Fund will be held at the home of David and Judith Folbigg on Saturday 6th March 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

WI -  May Mills
Are you feeling stressed, unhappy, or lacking in vitality and in need of an energy boost? If you answered 'yes' then your chakras are in need of cleansing and balancing! Chakras? No, not an MOT for your car, but energy centres in the body which govern the state of our health physically, psychologically and spiritually,: according to the healing therapy of Reiki. A very personable young man called Justin introduced us to this Science of Energy, which has its roots in ancient India and Tibet, and is in fact a Japanese word meaning Universal Life Force Energy (called 'prana' in India and 'chi' in China). Anyone can learn Reiki and its benefits appear endless - from holistic healing to meditation technique to dissolving of negative attitudes - it is the perfect self-help system which reconnects us with life force energy, affecting a deep sense of relaxation by releasing blocked energy and cleansing the body of all toxins. Justin was accompanied by three Reiki practitioners, who demonstrated the technique, thus enabling many of us to sample the treatment. Justin recommends a holistic approach and to this end has opened a Centre in Bedford called 'Inner Peace' where various complementary therapies and treatments, including Reiki, can be taken. He is in good company - in 400BC Plato said 'The cure of the part should not be attempted without the cure of the whole'. Now you know where to go - you heard it here first - the W.I.!

Parish Council Meeting 6 January 2004 - Maggie Spoor
7 Councillors and 15 members of the public attended this meeting.
Radwell's Festival of Britain village sign is being refurbished.
The Pre-School Committee have been unsuccessful in their bid for a Rural Grant. During Parishioners questions, Lisa Parrish reported they are now looking for other ways of raising the money and welcome any ideas or suggestions.
Litter in the parish, and in particular, broken glass on the playing field was discussed. There are many unsung people in the parish who regularly litter pick and, for example, keep the bus shelter clean. There will be an organised intensive "Spring Clean", probably in March. All volunteers will be most welcome. (A date has since been set for the weekend 27t''l28rn March. Meet at the Church at 10.00 am Saturday, 2.30 pm Sunday. More details next month).
Finance: The precept for 2004/05 was set at 8000, the same as last year. This equates to approximately 24 per household per year. (The precept is the money that comes to the Parish from the rates - it pays for street lighting, grass-cutting, insurance, admin. expenses, repairs, etc. etc.).
It was agreed that the contracts for street lighting maintenance and grasscutting should remain with the present contractors.
The Parish Council will again apply for the mobile skateboarding ramp run by the Police, Hopefully we will be successful this year.
Highways: The Clerk will again contact DSD regarding road sweeping. Some areas have not been swept for months.
Concerns regarding footpath maintenance will be referred to the P3 group.
Parts of the elevated walkway beyond Felmersham bridge (actually in Sharnbrook parish) are in a poor state of repair. The clerk will contact the appropriate body.
Mrs Pipe reported that the bus service from Bedford Bus Station was currently unreliable - buses leaving from the wrong bays or not running at all.
Planning: The Clerk reported that the Bedford Local Plan is being re-named The Local Development Framework.
Vital Village Update: Peter Hartop reported on the meeting with Zoe Ashby, the Rural Communities Charity fieldworker. The meeting had been positive, particularly as the criteria for a grant have changed slightly in our favour - a small community which has not recently carried out a village appraisal. A general meeting will be arranged in February when all parishioners will be invited to attend. Feed back from this important meeting will determine whether the project will proceed. (See separate notice).
Correspondence: We heard about the work of the Rural Support Group - a charity with volunteers, who will provide a listening ear, help and advice to people in rural areas. Details are with Mike Thomas of Felmersham Community Care.
Date of next meeting: Tuesday 2`1 March 7.30 pin Pinchmill Hall

Bell Ringing - Colin Payne
Bromsgrove Bellringers will be visiting Felmersham on Saturday 13th. March from 4.00pm. to 5.00pm.

Vital Village - Parish Plan
The Parish Council is inviting all residents of Felmersham and Radwell to influence the villages' future by helping to prepare a Parish Plan.
Parish Plans are being encouraged as part of the Government-backed Countryside Agency's Vital Villages Initiative. The Vital Villages programme is making a real difference. It puts community decision-making in the hands of the people who live there. Advice and grants of up to 5,000 are available to cover costs of preparing a Parish Plan.
Parish Plans can provide a blueprint for the future of the community. They can also provide:
A way to influence decisions by other bodies such as local authorities and service providers
A basis for action where the parish can help itself
A way of improving our chances of securing funds for local initiatives
Who is involved?
Every member of the community will be given an opportunity to contribute their views, skills, energy and experience to produce the plan.
Parish Plans belong to the community, it's up to you!
To this end there will be a meeting in Pinchmill Hall on 25th February at 7.30 pm when more information will be available and ideas discussed.
For more information contact Peter Hartop 782165, Chris Poulter 781049, Maggie Spoor 782031 or Mike Thomas 781722.

Cottage To Let in Felmersham
Available shortly. Please contact Tom Parrish on 07818 438635  Top of page

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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.