A very happy new year to you all. It is strange to write this with Christmas still ahead and having just taken the decision to move the carol service to the village hall. However by the time you read this the festivities will be over and I hope that you have had a happy and blessed Christmas.

I must say two thank-you’s. We had our final whist drive at the end of November, the total raised for the year being £1400. We are so grateful to Les and Jackie Peek, their friends and family for running these for us each year; without them our funds would be much less healthy, so a huge thank you from us all. The second is to those who look after the churchyard – without you the church surroundings would not look like they do and we are most grateful to you all.

We are now looking forward to 2018. One application has been received for a replacement for Rev Cate and we understand there may be another. We are hoping to interview late January so ask for your prayers that we will be successful in finding a worthy successor who can join us soon. At the moment we are being well looked after by visiting clergy and we are most grateful to them and to Sue in Ottery Church Office who has the mammoth task of organising it all. We are going to have a busy year as we have four weddings booked; Escot is a wonderful place for weddings and we look forward to them.

As I said last month we are raising funds for a new boiler this year. We have two fund-raising events in February, the first being serving coffee and soup at Helen Brown’s house, Little Ash Bungalow on Friday 9th January between 11.30 and 2pm. I understand she has over 160 varieties of snowdrop so it will be very well worth a visit. The second is our snowdrop weekend in church on 17th and 18th February when we hope our snowdrops will be in full bloom. We will be open both days from 10am to 4pm and will be serving refreshments all day. We will also make the registers available if you have family information you would like to check.

May I conclude as I started by wishing you a very happy new year!

Judy Davis