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During the Autumn we made the decision to have two regular services in the church each month instead of the three of last year, and we have carried out our intentions of holding extra services at times, both in the church and elsewhere. Certainly dark early mornings and evenings, together with problems of access, do affect church attendance, particularly in winter, and unfortunately the effort to achieve a disabled parking cum passing place opposite the church gate are at stalemate, the County Council having not, to date, been able to acquire the necessary land. Thank goodness for Joe and Mary Mandl's kindness in allowing parking in their drive.

It has been an interesting winter, during which we will have had a considerable variety of services and activities. On lst November - our Patronal day - Christopher took a short service on the Green, between the Gift Day there and the tea party at the White House afterwards - lovely to have Bryan and Joan Barnes back with us for both - with a good number of parishioners of all ages ( the youngest 10 days old ) coming to partake of hot coffees, teas, squashes etc.. on the Green and bringing their donations with them. The wonderful overall result was 753.20. The following week, as well as the Sunday Remembrance Evensong in the church, on 11th November Gill took the now traditional Herodsfoot service at the War Memorial in the centre of the village, always well attended.

Later that month the church was the venue for a Coffee Morning and Christmas Decorations demonstration by Jane Lamerton. It was a shame that it turned out to be the morning chosen for England's World Rugby Cup Final against Australia. However we again had all ages, the children seeming to enjoy themselves as much as the adults, the youngest this time just a few months old. Jane was a delight with her varied and beautiful Christmas arrangements both for home and church, the 'materials' mostly from Herodsfoot gardens and hedges, (which, as she pointed out, cost nothing ), with just a little help from bought flowers and accessories. The Christmas stall was popular and, towards the end, excited emissaries began to arrive with the result of the Rugby match!

Some of Jane's arrangements remained in the church through Advent - we compromise by keeping the Sanctuary and Chancel free of decoration then. These, with her holly wreath on the porch door, were a lovely welcome for those at the Family Service next day, during which Hamish gave us a glimpse of Parson Hawker of Morwenstow, from his one-man portrayal of that Man of God. The first candle was lit on Jane's glorious Advent ring and, as usual now, a short Communion Service at the Altar rail followed, for those who wished to stay; this seems to be becoming another much appreciated tradition at All Saints. That evening, at Morval, there was the happy occasion of Gill's licensing, by Bishop Bill, as Rural Dean, and also Christopher's as Benefice Priest in Charge. Jane's ( and ours! ) Advent ring travelled to both Duloe and Trenode schools to help Gill and Christopher explore Advent with the children, and also to St Pinnock for the 5th Sunday Joint Benefice Service there.

News of the Molton family, with us in Herodsfoot last year but, since September, back at their Mission Station in Senegal, was read out by members of the congregation, from emails and letters, at the Advent Songs of Praise in December. The following week we were lamplight Carol Singing around the village, meeting and singing first at the Green, surrounded by Christmas trees and lights. Noreen and her daughter carried Noreen's lightweight keyboard for accompaniment and everyone greatly enjoyed the evening, as well as the warming mulled wine and lemonade, including, seemingly, all those we visited. The proceeds were sent to the Children's Hospice South West. Christmas decorating of the church was next, again almost entirely with natural materials from around the parish, except for the Christmas tree which was once again a present from Duchy Nurseries, thanks to Tracy Wilson. This year we had some particularly precious Nativity figures for the Crib, left to All Saints by Luke Underwood (a previous Priest in Charge) these having been unpacked earlier with great care by some of the children. The Christmas Eve lamp and candlelit Carol Service was as magical as ever - again the church was completely filled; Christopher, Martin and Hamish made three admirable Kings in the Kings carol, and how good it is to have the youngsters' contributions, added to this year by one of our newer and younger parishioners, Sophie, playing her violin. The Christmas morning service at All Saints was shared with some parishioners from St Pinnock - a lovely chance to wish them a Happy Christmas. We didn't manage a Herodsfoot Hogmanay this year, as in the past few New Years - perhaps next year again?

On one of the stormiest nights of the winter, in January, it was the turn of traditional Prayer Book Evensong - we alternate between that and Common Worship Evensong; the church really was a refuge that evening from the battle with the elements of journeys there and home again. Later that month the first camellias were there for the Family service as well as the snowdrops and crocuses coming into Churchyard flower. Several people took up the challenge of the RSPB's National Garden Bird Watch - too cold to watch in our Living Churchyard but a good number of species were spotted in Herodsfoot and nearby gardens, and the results were sent to the RSPB. The Trevelmond Chapel Hymn Singing was much enjoyed by those who were able to go.

February - and Martin's very special Taize service, with visitors from other parishes as well as Martin's special vocalist guests. How wonderful All Saints looks in candle and lamplight. Martin does so much for us as well as for his own church. Christopher transported us to Iceland in his talk at the Family service, with the help of his daughter's photographs. A few days later Gill took a Friday afternoon service in the Sandercock's front room - once Vera's family's Village Shop and Post Office, the Church access being now too difficult for Ron, and Vera produced a lovely tea for us all. It is All Saints turn this month to have the Joint Benefice Evensong, at time of writing still to come.

March brings a 6.30pm Songs of Praise on the second Sunday; there will be a special Mothering Sunday service at 4.00 pm on the 215+, with again a tea afterwards, and then on the 4th Sunday, Family Service followed by Communion. The Annual Parochial Church Meeting is on Wednesday 24th March at 7.00 pm in the church, followed immediately by the Friends of All Saints and Village meeting. Everyone is welcome to both and volunteers to stand for the PCC will very welcome indeed! But do come, it is always interesting. Beryl Roome has agreed to stand for Churchwarden in place of Vernon who is no longer able to do it, being now in Beech Lawn Nursing Home with Win. However they keep their interest in, and support for, the Church; Gill takes Communion to them and they love having news and visitors.

Our Secretary, together with our Consultant David Scott, continues to try to secure a Heritage Lottery grant to help complete the work specified in David's 1998 Quinquennial. We are not highly enough listed to qualify for a grant from English Heritage, but the Government are no longer restricting Heritage Lottery grants to Grade II churches only in areas specified by them, so we hope to qualify this time. David recently reported to the PCC on his latest 5-yearly inspection of the church and was then present for the EH/HLF representative's visit, together with our Secretary and Churchwarden. We now await results.

At going to print we haven't yet been able to confirm a full programme for the year, due to the last PCC meeting coinciding with first snow this year, which rapidly began to freeze on these hills. It was the quickest exit we have ever had from a PCC, with everyone making for home while they could! Please watch the Village Notice Board and Church Gate, as well as the Sunday Service sheets and Cornish Times Community Reports for future events.

Sunday 21st March 4.00 pm Mothering Sunday Service followed by tea
Wednesday 24th March 7.00 pm Annual Parochial Church Meeting in the Church
Followed immediately by
The Friends of All Saints and Village Meeting (with coffees and teas etc.)
at about 7.30 pm
Friday 9th April 11.00 am Good Friday Meditation will be at St Pinnock
Sunday 11th April 9.30 am Easter Sunday Service and Communion at All Saints
Saturday 14th August Church Fete


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