Christmas will be only a few weeks away by the time you read this. For most it will be a time a great joy and family celebrations but a number of people will be alone and for some people within our community it will be their first without a loved one. Our thoughts are with them all. We remember those who have died in recent weeks amongst them Clifford Bowyer, Reginald Pulman, Arthur Walker and Sinclair Lowman. Sinclair had lived in the parish all of his 62 years. He was a member of Neighbourhood Watch and a friend to all. His illness was fairly sudden and a shock to his family who were so important to him. One of his last wishes was to take his two grandchildren camping at Culm Davy and this he managed to do two weeks before he passed away. A memory that will no doubt, stay with them for ever. We send love and condolences to the families.
We also remember and wish well the many people who are poorly at present. Eddie Tartaglia, Willow Dyke, Tim and Olive Goodman, Elsie Hook, Jack Burnett and Maureen Anderson are amongst those we have been told of along with a number of people with long term illnesses.
Way back at the beginning of October the Scout Group held their annual sale and as always attracted a very large crowd. The parish hall was bursting with stalls piled high with goods whilst outside a couple of tents, along with more stalls, housed a variety of larger items. The previous day a coffee morning in aid of the Just 10p Day to raise funds for work being done in Uganda by Brian and Sheila was held.
Remembrance Sunday saw the Parish Church almost full as the Baptist Chapel cancelled their service to join in the village commemoration. The church choir and uniformed youth groups led a walk through the village beforehand with Scouts, Cubs and Brownies along with the Parish Council laying wreaths at the War Memorial at the end of the service. A cross was also laid by veteran Tom Humphries reminding us of all those who have laid down, and continue to lay down their lives for freedom. On November 11th a short Act of Remembrance was held at 11a.m. As Christmas approaches we remember our Armed Forces many far from home and loved ones and in places of great danger, especially those from this parish.
A phone call to us from Geoff Taylor in the early hours of the morning in late October saying the St Margaret's Stream had burst its banks saved St Mary's from being flooded once again. The metal barrier was hurriedly erected by 3am but was not in time to save a deluge of mud being left in the church porch. Since then a meeting between MDDC, the parish council and other interested parties
has been held and hopefully a solution found to solving the recent frequent flooding. The church would like to thank Tim and Geoff for their vigilance in making them aware of the flooding situation.
There are many different customs throughout the world and someone recently told me that in Germany's Black Forest region an extra place is set at the Christmas table for the Virgin Mary as a way of trying to make up for the time she and Joseph were turned away from the inn. During our festive celebrations let's not forget all those left out, in prison or rejected by mankind for any reason.
We take this opportunity to send Christmas wishes to all those parishoners who now reside in Care Homes and to all Hemyock friends around the world.
Lots of enjoyable events will be taking place over the coming weeks not least those at the church and chapel where there is always a warm welcome to the very special services held over the Christmas and New Year period. One of these is the Christingle service at St Mary's and I think this poem by Patricia Leighton sums it up beautifully:
Thomas's First Christingle
Thomas is holding an orange world in his hand and
trying to keep the candle on top upright.
He touches red ribbon, raisins, nuts - what's it all mean?
"The next bit's magic" his sister, Ann whispers. "Wait and see"
In a big circle all round the pews they stand: mums, dads,
children, grandparents packed in tight.
One by one the candles are lit and someone
switches out the church lights!
In the darkness the Christingle circle glows.
Christ's light shining on each single face.
Merry Christmas and all good wishes for a peaceful and joyous New Year