A warm welcome to all those who have recently moved into the parish. If you are reading the Pump for the first time we know you will find it full of information to help you settle into village life and we look forward to getting to know you. This is the time of year when churches in our Benefice celebrate Harvest Festival with magnificent displays of 'all good gifts around us'. You may be interested to read that the festival as we know it is said to date from 1843 when Rev Robert Hawker of Morwenstow, Cornwall invited his parishioners to a new service in September. He asked them to join together and receive, in the bread of the new corn, the blessed sacrament. Hawker is also known, as all good Cornish folk will know, as the writer of ‘Song of the Western Men’ - Cornwall's National Anthem.
Autumn is also the time when many of our young people leave home to begin life as a university student - exciting years as they increase their knowledge and become more independent as they leave the feathered home nest. We wish them all well.
Youngsters from our Brownie Pack were amongst those who had a thrilling afternoon when they joined an event to celebrate the launch of Girl Guiding U.K. Centenary Year. Brownies have been meeting in the village since 1943 two years after the formation of a Guide Company by the late Thelma Lowry. The first Pack were formed by Ida Wide and Freda Board followed by leaders Barbara Hole, myself, Pam Ashton, Elizabeth Mallinson and Pat Keith. The Pack has always been involved in village life and one of their first events was a show, with other uniformed groups, in the year they were formed. Now, amongst other things, they raise funds for charity, can be seen helping at the annual Scout sale and will no doubt be involved in some activities when the Danish Scouts and Guides make a return visit to the village in 2010 - a link that began almost 40 years ago Some of these same children will have spent a week recently in the Breacon Beacons on a school residential trip. - caving, gorge walking, climbing and abseiling being just some of the things on offer. I can remember having a day trip to Bristol Zoo whilst at primary school but other than that ...............!
All good wishes for a return to good health are sent to the many people known to us who are unwell at present and David Palmer is one of these folk. We understand that David continues to improve and we look forward to him being back in our community. His gentle quietness, support and friendship in our churches and around the villages has been missed. There are also those who have lost a loved one and perhaps grieve silently over a sadness and to these we send condolences, love and prayers.
It was interesting to see the exhibits and displays at the parish church on Heritage Sunday and to enjoy the various musical items along with the delicious refreshments the Friends always seem to produce. This annual event allows visitors to wander around both the church and castle and each year the organiser's seem to be able to find different things of interest and a wide variety of talent from around the parish. There was also a cycle ride around the Culm Valley Churches for the more energetic.
Lots of events take place in coming weeks - Scout Group's enormous sale attracting people from a huge area and always a place to catch up with friends who go along to support the work of the Group, Valley Arts stage show, Hemyock Singers concert and supper, a book sale, Remembrance Sunday, and coffee mornings to name just a few. With so much going on - and so much in the pipeline - it's not surprising that Hemyock has won the Devon Calor Village of the Year 2009 competition.
We should be proud of ourselves and the community we live in. And finally ..... we give thanks and send love and congratulations to Rev Malcolm Beal who on September 20th celebrated his 50th year as a Priest.
Many will have experienced and appreciated the great pastoral care he has given to members of our community as well as to the world wide church and we thank God for him and his wife Mary.
Do contact me if you have news you would like to share. Janice Bawler