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

The Healthy Option - Chris Ure
One of the fundamental principles of the Christian faith is the act of forgiveness. The ability not only to put aside our differences but also to forgive the person who has wronged us.
And, however difficult that may be, there is no doubt that it is the healthy option! Holding on to hurt and resentment is for the most part destructive and damaging to our health. So what is it that enables some people, not only to forgive but also to wipe the slate clean and to start again?
Certainly that is what Christ would want us to do. He after all, first set the standard. He died on the cross in forgiveness for our sins. He paid the price and He did it unconditionally as a demonstration of His love and grace.
However, the act of forgiveness can be both controversial and challenging. People in the public eye who have' been able to forgive their persecutors have always been a source of much controversy. Gordon Wilson, whose daughter Marie was murdered by an IRA bomb at Enniskillen on 8th November 1987, attracted both criticism and praise when he expressed forgiveness for his daughter's killers.
Gordon Wilson had every right to store hatred for the perpetrators of that dreadful crime and certainly after Marie's death he said that he knew only darkness and brokenness. And yet, in his extraordinary ability to express forgiveness, came healing and ultimately a release from the pain and the bitterness that had formerly engulfed him.
Thankfully, most of us are not tested in this way but in men like Gordon Wilson we cannot fail to be challenged. Perhaps we begin to see the human significance of those familiar words that we have prayed so often: 'Father forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us'.
'Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another' Colossians 3 v 13

Lent Studies - Rev David Mason
During Lent there will be a Lent Study group meeting on a Thursday evening, please contact me (309737) for further details.
During Lent the Bishop of Bedford will be giving addresses at Sunday evening services using various Churches in this Deanery. The full details of time and place are on the Church Notice Board.

Kilimanjaro - Jane Eiliott 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.justgivinq.com/escaping where you can donate online or send a cheque made payable to SCOPE to Moor End House. Thank you in advance. I will let you know how I get on when I return.

Playground Equipment - Wooden Climbing Frames - Keith Rose
As with most things, the large wooden climbing frame and the wood and tyre climber, situated at the playing field, are showing signs of their age. The bottoms of the vertical posts are now suffering from the effects of being buried in damp ground for many years - they are beginning to rot.
The Village Hall Committee has decided to dismantle these items before the situation becomes dangerous. Suitable pieces of timber reclaimed by this action will be recycled into bench seating for the benefit of those parents and others who spend considerable periods of time supervising their children.
In the longer term, we will be looking into the possibility of obtaining a grant with which to provide replacement climbing facilities together with appropriate safety surfacing both for this and the existing roundabout. Any views and opinions on these matters will be welcomed.

Church Coffee Morning - Jane Wells
Next month's will be at the home of Peter and Pat Hartop, St Mary's Cottage, on Saturday 3 April 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

Felmersham - The History of a Riverside Parish
A new book on the local history of Felmersham and Radwell. 212 pages - 100 illustrations - 28 in colour - hardback - £12:95 Available from: Sally Carr Books, Milton Ernest Garden Centre; Town and County Books, High Street, Bedford. Sharnbrook Post Office

Dick Aitken
Doris, Pauline and Val would like to thank everyone, and especially Rev David Mason, for their letters, cards and messages of sympathy and for all the support that they received during Dick's illness. Donations received in memory of Dick amounted to £810 of which £425 was given to the Primrose Appeal and £385 to the Royal Marsden Cancer Campaign.

Pinchmill Pre-School Portacabin Project - Christine Callaghan
Ofsted visited the pre-school this week and we are delighted to have been recommended for 'outstanding practice' for the standard of care, well being and development and we have also been awarded the highest possible grade for the standard of education provided. Ofsted have praised the staff for the high quality of their work within the constraints of existing premises.
It was good to see so many people at our Open Day Coffee Morning in January and appreciate the ideas and advice contributed. We hope that all those who attended now have a clearer idea of why it is so important to have new premises, the funds required, and some of the challenging issues that we are faced with.
We have now formed a sub-committee for the Portacabin Project to help research grants available and to oversee building work. We still desperately need help and would welcome assistance from any members of the community who have either expertise or the time to help us with this worthy cause. If you have a financial or administrative background, or are involved in the building trade and would like to contribute at any level, please call me on 781173.

Village of the Year - Julia Holmes Is your community one to be proud of? If so nominate it for Calor's Bedfordshire Village of the Year 2004. The procedure is very straightforward and the first step is to express your interest before 16`h April.
On 14th July the RCC will present awards in the 6 categories and one village will be awarded the Bedfordshire Village of the Year prize. For more information contact me at the Beds RCC on 838771 ext 116

Community Champions Fund - Zoe Ashby
Over 16 and have an idea for a small project, club, scheme or training course that will benefit your community? The Community Champions Fund can give you the first bit of financial support to get the project started.
The fund aims to support individuals develop their ideas, learn new skills and share their experiences with others. It also aims to encourage older (50+) volunteers to get involved in helping their communities. The money, usually up to £2000, can be spent on things such as administrative costs, travel costs, meeting costs, training and equipment and materials. Closing date for applications is 16th April 2004. For more information contact me at Beds RCC on 01525 878148 or at zoea bedsrcc.orcyk, or look at www.dfes.gov.uk/community champions.

Sunny Thoughts - Candace Rankin
The wind is blowing bitterly during this last week in February, which means we all need to think of brighter and warmer days. That, of course, means it is now time to begin preparing for the Sunflower Competition! We are entering our fourth year of this annual event, and Ken Shrimpton, last year's winner, is having to prepare himself for handing over the official Sunflower Trophy. Ken has had a remarkable year with the publication of his very excellent book on local history as well as beginning an updated edition to include: "The History of the Sunflower Competition in Felmersham and Radwell."
After two exhausting years of the Shrimptons reigning supreme as growers par excellence, they have solemnly confided in me that they are going to leave the opportunity to a non-Shrimpton. This means that there will be an extra frisson of competitive wind blowing through the village. As per normal, Peter and I will host this event in our back garden, earlier than usual during the first week in July, details to follow later. Please come to Adina any day between 12 March and 16 April to collect your official pot, compost, seeds, and register with us whilst depositing £1 to help cover the costs of the competition. Last year we were a bit short as our rascal cat, Ruth Rankin, raided the" kitty" and held a great BBQ for local felines wherein they roasted mice and shrews. She has once again been disqualified from entering this year's competition.
We have had an excellent suggestion to expand the competition to include a prize for "Best Scarecrow." Your entry, reflecting whatever your imagination conjures up, should be brought to the extravaganza tea and the new sunflower doyen will declare the winner. So, if you haven't got a green thumb but hanker after a bit of creative fun in this direction, please join us to compete in this new category.
We are looking forward to a bumper crop of entrants this year, especially from Radwell, so get growing!!!

Kempston Musical Society
Faure’s Requiem
Saturday 27 March at 7-30pm
St Mary’s Church, Felmersham
Admission £3.50 (in aid of the Organ Fund)
Soprano - Miranda Doggett
Baritone - Dennis Cloves
Organ - Brian Fox
Conducted by Janet Welsh

Antiques Valuation Day - Peter Baldwin
Do you have a Rembrandt in your attic? You never know! Come and meet Sarah Flynn of the auctioneers Cheffins in Cambridge, who discovered the Rembrandt at Emmaus Village Carlton last autumn. Sarah specialises in drawings, prints, watercolours and paintings. With her will be her colleagues: George Archdale, a regular on the BBC Antiques Road Show, will look at your ceramics, porcelain, dolls, toys and a lot more; and Richard Haywood, a specialist in silver, clocks and jewellery, as well as sporting and fishing items.
The Antiques Valuation Day is on Saturday 22nd May from 10am to 4pm. There will be a charge of £2 per item valued, which will go to EVC funds. The Bistro will be open for soup and sandwiches - no hot meals will be served that day.
Before that, on Easter Saturday 10'" April we will be holding a Grand Clearance Sale, again from 10am - 4pm. Our previous sales have been highly popular, everything at bargain prices! The Bistro will be open for soup and sandwiches.
Finally, another appeal for more volunteers to help the Companions to run the retail side of the Community. This includes working in the Bistro and Bric-a-brac Shop, or driving the van, both on a regular basis per week, or helping in the Store Rooms when you can. The site is becoming more and more busy, and, until accommodation is ready to enable us to increase the number of Companions, more volunteers are needed. Please think about sparing a few hours each week to work in this exciting project. For more details, please ring 01234 720826

W. I. - May Mills
When asked about women workers during the Second World War The Land Army, WRVS and factories may spring to mind but not necessarily canal workers! However, they did exist, although small in number; they wrote about their experiences, but no official records were kept; they had to team the 130-mile route from London to Birmingham - there were no maps; they soon became disillusioned with the gruelling work of unloading their cargoes of coal, grain and cement - the factories were known as 'The Gates of Hell'; they worked under the watchful gaze of the boatpeople who christened them 'the idle women'. Our speaker -Runnells Davis, whose delightful slides illuminated a comparatively unknown area of wartime effort, commandeered this title. Despite its ad hoc and small-scale nature, the scheme nevertheless was worthwhile. It was certainly a revelation.
Mr Davis had difficulty in choosing a competition winner from the variety of wartime items but finally settled on a marvellous diary owned by Kath Morrissey.
We are arranging a Spring Tea Party for Senior Citizens on Sunday, 18th April, 2004 at Pinchmill Hall. Invitations will be on their way very soon.

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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.
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