Let there be lights

Our December printed Tidings ran out of space so we post this contribution from Iain Ward here.
Thanks Iain, for the hard work you and all the team, each year again, put into making the church and lower Wivenhoe look so special!
The switch-on will be performed by the mayor at 6 pm on Thursday 5 December.

“Local traders have decorated their shops and businesses for Christmas since time immemorial, but the idea that they should be coordinated centrally with the church as the centrepiece was first initiated by Councillor Mary Hignall in 1999 during her term in office as mayor.
The main design was conceived by David Sleightholme, who designed and implemented the World War I soldier silhouette projected onto the tower for Remembrance in November 2018.

Quite when someone accidentally rigged one of the street decorations the wrong way up is lost in time, but the error became such a conversation piece that it is now traditional that one of the decorations should be upside down.

The light scheme on St Mary’s church tower is the most complex of the town’s displays – all the ropes, cables, copper poles, spotlights, wooden angels and other gear have to be hoisted up to the top of the tower every year and then be dismantled and lowered down again after the festival.”
Iain Ward

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Christingle and Posada

On Advent Sunday 1 December the annual Christingle service will be held at 4 pm at St Mary’s church.
Always an inspiring and atmospheric event, this year it has the extra dimension of linking  Advent to a pilgrimage as it will also be the starting point for the Wivenhoe Posada.

As explained in our e-Newsletter for December (subscribe here if you don’t already!), the Posada is of South American origin and the tradition involved the re-enactment, by two young people and a donkey, of Mary and Joseph’s journey to Bethlemhem. Posada meaning ‘lodging place’, they would each day ask for shelter for the night and tell their hosts of the imminent birth of the Christ Child. Nowadays the pair are more usually represented by statuettes that are passed from house to house.

The Wivenhoe Posada is a first. It will be facilitated by the three local schools. Participating families will pass the knitted Posada figures from one to another until on Christmas Eve during the Crib service they hopefully will be returned to St Mary’s.
The three sets of figures were knitted by Margaret Bigwood, one set for each school.
We look forward to seeing photos of their progress appear on the church’s Facebook page!

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Tower repairs

As most church members will be aware, there is such a thing as a quinquennial inspection when the church architect goes over the building and draws up a Repair and Maintenance to-do list, suitably prioritised. So there’s permanently a rolling 5-year R&M project underway and recently it was the tower’s turn.

We needed to do some repairs and weatherproofing treatment to the cupola, so that’s why we had the scaffolding up high. Now it has been dropped so lower level repairs to the flint work and pointing on the South side can be carried out.

When that is finished, there will be some work to be done at ground level. All being well, everything is expected to be finished before the Christmas period.

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Welcoming Philip Howlett

At this morning’s service we were delighted to welcome Revd Philip Howlett who will be with us on a three-month placement during his curacy.
It is of course total luxury to have more than one clergy in the parish and we were already blessed with the regular help from Revds John and Janet Driver, so our cup is currently running over!

We’re looking forward to getting to know Philip and for those who cannot wait to lift a corner of the veil: our curate’s Twitter handle is @priestlypenguin and there’s a story behind that – is all we’re saying!

Revd Philip Howlett

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Remembrance 2019

Showing the attendance at the War Memorial at the end of the Royal British Legion’s  service of Remembrance, with young and old of Wivenhoe present.
(Credit to Coralie for the image – thank you!)

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Music for Remembrance

For Remembrance Sunday this year St Marys Singers and soloists, and organist John Rippin will perform choral and organ music by English composers from many periods and ranging from Orlando Gibbons to Bob Chilcott.

Listen here to one of the pieces you’ll be able to enjoy!

All welcome. Free event. Retiring collection for St Mary’s.

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Honey Harvest 2019

It was a real joy to welcome so many people to the Harvest Festival on Sunday 6 October! The three schools’ choirs all sang beautifully and we hope all parents were able to see- it was so full that many were left standing all around the sides of the nave and at the back.

The service was themed around bees, honey and the environment and featured a film clip of Pooh bear, a talk by Steve Allen, a bear in search of honey, lots of buzzing bees and the unveiling of the Wivenhoe Wildlife board in the churchyard afterwards.

Thanks go to everyone who contributed to the enormous pile of Harvest gifts! They were distributed the following day to the organisations and people mentioned in the post before this one.

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Bees, bears and honey

We’re all set for the Harvest Festival service at 10.30 am tomorrow, it will be a ‘buzzy’ one 🙂

Children: don’t forget to bring your BEE pictures and drawings. We’ll need lots of them!

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Harvest Festival 2019

Harvest Festival is on Sunday 6 October. We are looking forward to welcoming pupils from the local schools and their parents, and we’re sure we’ll enjoy the special songs the school choirs have prepared for the service at 10.30 am – we always do!

All are welcome to bring in-date non-perishable goods to both the 8.00 am and 10.30 am services, for example:  food tins, pasta, rice, coffee, tea, soap, shower gel, shampoo etc. The gifts are destined for Beacon House, Night Shelter, Colchester Soup Run, Wivenhoe Foodbank and Wivenhoe residents in need.

We will need help with packing up all the gifts. Just come to the church at 9.30 am on Monday 7th October if you can give a hand, and if you could bring a cardboard box that would be most useful too.

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Film Friday 20 September

WAR ROOM is the title of the film we’ll be showing this Friday 20 September, at 7.30 pm.

In the industry jargon the film is know as a sleeper hit, meaning one that had relatively little promotion or lacked a successful opening but then goes on to play successfully for a long period and becomes a big success.

As is not nowadays surprising in response to a film that deals with the power of prayer, some scathing criticisms had come its way. Possibly the unsuccessful launch may have been related to the initial reviews.
According to the review site Rotten Tomatoes it attained an 87% positive audience rating.

As with our previous films, this one will almost certainly throw up questions with the audience. We have wondered before if there would be any interest in a post-film chaired discussion, where questions and views could be shared. This could perhaps be held on the following Sunday evening.
On Friday we will have a sheet at the back of the church where you can indicate a yes/no to the above.



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