Swift boxes at St George’s

Yesterday nine new swift homes were added at St George’s Church, Badshot Lea. This was organised by Colin Wilson of the Blackwater Valley Countryside Trust. The boxes were built and installed by Paul Mascall and Peter Robertson, local carpenters who gave up their working time to help us.

Soon they hope to install a sound system to attract the swifts that were flying over their heads as the boxes were being installed. Colin says that “In the small churchyard there are many sparrows so there may be a battle next year for the spaces!”

We are incredibly grateful for those who gave their time to help install these boxes. Swifts need our help in finding nesting sites and hopefully nine families of swifts will soon be making use of their new homes. Thanks to to Bill Thomas, our churchwarden, who organised it all.

St George’s is an Eco-church and we want to do all we can to care for God’s creation.

Lesley Crawley


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Remembrance Book at St John’s

Did you know that there is a Remembrance Book at St. John’s Church, Hale which is usually positioned on a wooden stand to the right of the West Door, as you enter the church? At present, the book is not in place there because I am planning to get it updated by a retired calligrapher, Sheila Willings. I am very grateful to Sheila as she has kindly agreed to update the book for us free of charge, though the updating may take her a long time, depending on how many extra names I give her to write in the book!

The book has a beautifully illuminated Title Page commemorating Harry Corrigan who died in October 1987 aged 73. There are 28 more names in the book, written in beautiful handwriting. The dates of death of those in the book range from October 1987 to May 2002 but I can add new pages to incorporate other names and dates as required.

All the names currently in the Remembrance Book commemorate people whose ashes are in the Garden of Remembrance at St. John’s. I would be very glad to hear from you if: –

  1. you believe your loved one’s ashes are in the Garden of Remembrance at St. John’s, but their name is not in the Remembrance Book and you would like their name added to the book or
  2. your loved one is buried at St. John’s and you would like their name added to the book

I will need to know from you the full name and date of death in each case. As we are not paying Sheila for her work currently, there is no charge for any additional names to be added, though your patience would be appreciated while Sheila works through the list I will give her.

Do please contact me on 01252 406772 or at wendy.e.edwards@gmail.com with names to be added to the Remembrance Book.

I do not know how long Sheila will be able to do this free work for us, so we may need to introduce a charge in the future if we need to pay another calligrapher to do the work.

I look forward to hearing from you. I also wish to record my thanks to Christine Clayton for her invaluable assistance so far on this matter.

Wendy Edwards

The Miracle play (or Pentecost, the musical)


It was a funny coincidence of events, really. Just before Christmas, we went to see a friend of ours performing in a pantomime. At the same time, Lesley was wondering what she could do for “Thy Kingdom come”, the annual C of E call to prayer. For the previous two years she had organised an art exhibition at St John’s, but felt it was time to do something different. The idea of writing and performing a miracle play about Pentecost came just as we turned our car into the driveway, coming home from the pantomime.

So, extensive internet research on what existed on this theme only produced a small fragment referring to Acts, Ch2, where the locals accused the disciples of being drunk as they emerged from their upstairs room speaking in tongues (or glossolalia if you want the technical term to help with the occasional crossword).

However, this, and a few more modern ideas, from the Life of Brian, for example, led to a script.

The venture then seemed to acquire a life of its own. We had our young artists at St Marks painting paper “flames” to hand out to the congregations. Lesley found short quotations from St Theresa and other, largely contemporary, theologians to stick on the back of them. I found myself in the role of producer, although once the rehearsals started, I did very little, as the cast effectively took over and the play blossomed into something much greater than the original concept.

It was a memorable and exhausting event. We did two performances on the 13th and two more on the 20th May. My thanks to everyone who took part, particularly the “Holy Spirits” Freya, Emilia and Tia (and their mums) who gave excellent performances and had a double dose of religion for two weeks running!

Possibly the lasting image I’ll take from it was the look of shock and astonishment on the faces of Alan and Lesley, our rectors, when the flip chart was produced and the congregation asked, “What has God ever done for You?” This memory is closely followed by the choreographed rendition of “Give me that Old-time religion” – maybe we should perform more hymns in this way!

I think we succeeded in getting the message of Pentecost across in a quite unexpected but effective way – a good combination of humour and a serious underlying message.

Bob Shatwell