It's not often that Blockley church is visited by two Bishops within a couple of weeks!
Bishop Rachel joined us for a special service during our Patronal Festival weekend. She brought with her a lovely summer's afternoon with sun streaming through the church windows. During the service she blessed our new silverware which was commissioned to replace that stolen last year. After the service there was ice cream and presecco for all on the vicarage terrace. Everyone had an opportunity to meet and chat with Bishop Rachel.
The next bishop to visit was Bishop Jacob Ayeebo from the Diocese of Tamale in northern Ghana, who was visiting us whilst on offical business in the UK. Bishop Jacob's diocese covers an area the size of Scotland to which he ministers with a team of just 24 priests and a lot of lay worship assistants! He gave us an entertaining description of the very active style worship in his diocese, which ended up with all our congregation clapping and moving in time with the chanted prayers!
Blockley church helps with the work in his diocese by making small but much appreciated financial donations. Special collections taken at both Blockley and Bourton on the Hill during Bishop Jacob's visit raised a further £1300 - enough to pay the stipends of three clergy for a year.
After what seems a very long time, our two new bells have finally been cast. The casting was witnessed at Taylors foundry in Loughborough by a group of 32 people from our church community and Blockley village, who had sponsored a bell or contributed to our bell appeal. Our tenor bell was recast at the same time and the new bells are currently being cleaned and tuned before they are ready for hanging with our orignal seven bells.
frFrom the foundry floor amid the sand, smoke, and fumes, Dana blessed the molten bell metal prior to it being poured.
Also at the foundry it was good to meet the former curate of Blockley, the Revd Peter Newing, who has generously met the cost of a new bell.
Taylors will be returning to our tower on 23rd October to commence work on the removal of the old wooden bell frame prior to installing its cast iron and steel successor. With a fair wind the rehanging will be completed by early November.
Trish, who sponsored our other new bell, was also present, and even got to stir the molten metal of her bell in its mould. Note Mary carefully supervising the action with a cooling pint in hand!
For further information on the project and how to make a donation see 'Bell Appeal 2016/7' .
Church Charity for September
Samaritans is a registered charity aimed at providing emotional support to anyone in emotional distress, struggling to cope, or at risk of suicide throughout the United Kingdom and Ireland, often through their telephone helpline. Although Samaritans is a secular organisation, the name is derived from the Biblical Parable of the Good Samaritan. Its international network exists under the name Befrienders Worldwide, which is part of the Volunteer Emotional Support Helplines (VESH) with Lifeline International and the International Federation of Telephone Emergency Services (IFOTES).
If you would like to add your support click here to make an on-line donation.
Heritage Open Days
Every year for four days in September, places across the country throw open their doors to celebrate their heritage, community and history. Blockley Heritage Society joined with the church in welcoming visitors on the 9th & 10th September. Guided tours of the church took place along with displays of interesting information about the church over the centuries including a unique pictorial history. One of the challenges set for visitors was to find the hidden staircase.
Cakes & Co Celebrates its 15th Birthday
It seems incredible that Cakes & Co has been entertaining senior members of our village community to tea for an amazing 15 years. To mark the occasion Dana issued an invitation to enjoy tea on the vicarage terrace.
And what a great time was enjoyed by all - the sun shone, the views were fantastic, and the tea superb thanks to the team of volunteers who make up Cakes & Co.
Children and Holy Communion
Since the 1970's the Church of England has been admitting children that have been baptised, to Holy Communion before their Confirmation, Our parish received permission from the Bishop to do this in 2000, when a number of Sunday School children were admitted to communion. There is no minimum age for children to be admitted save that they be at an age where they can be properly prepared, probably at about 7 years.If you would like to know more or have further questions, please talk to Dana.