NEWS FROM ESCOT

 

As I write we are looking forward to celebrating Christmas in Escot Church. The church is partially decorated due to a wedding held there last week, the Christmas trees are up and the crib is ready to receive baby Jesus on Christmas Day. The weather is unseasonably warm but so far fairly dry so we hope to have our carol service in church which would be lovely.

We intend to reinstate our children’s parties in 2017 and the first one is planned for Friday February 3rd, hall availability permitting. Our theme will be ‘light’ as the date is close to Candlemas, the festival when the young Jesus was presented in the temple and traditionally celebrated with candles. I suspect we will go for the more modern alternative of torches! I will be in contact with all the children we know but if you are aware of any newcomers to the parish with children of primary school age or younger please let me know so they can be included.

Also in February we will be repeating our successful ‘Snowdrop Weekend’ with the church and churchyard open both days on the weekend of 18th and 19th February. More details will follow next month.

I have been very remiss in not following up an action I was given at the last PCC meeting. We discussed a very interesting talk given by Rev Canon John Hall, the Diocesan Adviser on Inter-faith Matters who lives in Ottery, at the last Deanery Synod meeting on the multi-faith world in which we now live and the Christian response to it. We all thought it would be interesting to hear more so I should have invited him to come and talk at a wine and cheese evening at Gosford Pines. I cannot recommend him too highly as a speaker so will organise this early in the new year and hope we can get a good crowd to come and hear him, and take part in discussion. Watch this space for a date!

May I conclude by wishing you a very happy new year and a peaceful 2017.

Judy Davis 812739

NEWS FROM ESCOT

 

It seems a long time ago but we held a very happy Harvest Supper at the end of October. About 50 people sat down to an excellent meal of soup, cold meats and salads and a range of delicious sweets. An innovation this year was that we paid someone to do the washing-up – probably not noticeable to those who supported us but a massive bonus for those of us who would have been in the kitchen sink! We are most grateful to those who helped in any way, providing food, serving, running the raffle and moving furniture – without you we could not run the event. Although we do not run this as a fund-raiser we made nearly £400 for church funds.

We have just received notification of our common fund contribution for 2017. This is the money we pay to the diocese and which chiefly goes towards clergy stipends and pensions. The amount is calculated on the average number of active members of our congregation over the past three years. As our numbers dropped significantly two years ago, our contribution has also dropped significantly from £4,362 to £3,090. In spite of this we will still need to fund raise as the collections and regular giving by members of the congregation do not meet our commitment to the diocese and maintenance of our church building.

We are now very much in the countdown to Christmas, though you might think that has been going on for months judging by the shops. As we go through the penitential season of Advent we have a dark blue altar cloth and no church flowers which makes the white and gold of Christmas with its flowers and candles even more joyous.

Our Christmas Carol Service takes place on Sunday 18th December at 3pm when the mixture of carols and readings is suitable for everyone and we welcome families with children of all ages. We hope everyone will stay for mulled wine and mince pies afterwards. On Christmas Day our service is a Family Communion at 9am, again suitable for families, so we hope to see you at one or both of these occasions.

May I conclude by wishing you a very happy and peaceful Christmas

Judy Davis 812739

NEWS FROM ESCOT

Harvest festival was duly celebrated at the end of September with a good congregation appreciating a joyful service. This year we were unable to find anyone to accept donated fresh fruit and vegetables so, instead, we collected tins, packets and jars and took them to the Ottery Food Bank. I think this is the way of the future but, like many others, I am saddened that there are people in Ottery who need a food bank.

NEWS FROM ESCOT

 

The Devon Historic Churches Trust Annual Ride Bike and Stride duly took place on September 10th. As is often the case I was away, but members of the PCC manned the church all day so there was a warm welcome to those dozen or so who visited us. As is often the case just having the church open meant that others dropped in as they walked by so a good number of people saw inside the church. Several of those commented on how good the churchyard was looking so I would like to say a big thankyou to those volunteers who keep it so all the time.

NEWS FROM ESCOT

 

August was a very happy month for us at Escot though strictly the first ‘happiness’ happened in July, on Sunday 31st. About 80 guests arrived at church to celebrate Jacob Keenor’s christening and were duly given the relevant service sheets. After Rev Cate read the opening sentences she said ‘Oh, I think we have the wrong service sheets’ and asked Gary Keenor and Jenny Peek to join her at the front of church. She then explained to the congregation that in addition to Jacob’s christening, Gary and Jenny were getting married. After a stunned silence, cheers and clapping broke out – the secret had been very well kept – and we continued with the marriage ceremony. It was a really joyous occasion with everyone going on to Les Peek’s garden afterwards for a barbecue on a glorious summer day.