NEWS FROM ESCOT

This month it is really exciting to be holding a fund-raising event, the first for nearly eighteen months. Assuming the easing of lockdown goes according to plan, Olive Price will be opening her garden on Saturday 26th and Sunday 27th June from 1.30 – 6pm in aid of Escot Church funds. Her garden is well worth a visit; the roses should be at their best and she has many other interesting plants in a quite small but very well stocked garden. Her address is 1 Barn Hayes, Sidmouth, EX10 9EE. If you are coming into Sidmouth on Woolbrook Road, Barn Hayes is the next left after Stowford Rise. Olive’s house is in the first close on the left but please park on the hill and where possible share lifts to save congestion. We will be serving teas and light refreshments all afternoon so do please come and support us.

Our next hoped-for fund-raising event is a Coffee Morning in church on 4th September, an ‘organathon’ when Shelagh will entertain us on the organ. We will have further details of this nearer the time.

This month will see our first wedding under the new arrangements for registering a marriage. Gone is the signing of two register books and the marriage certificate during the church service, to be replaced by signing a single form downloaded from the computer which the vicar then has to send or take to the Devon register office. The married couple then apply to the register office for their marriage certificate. It is sad to see the end of a tradition that has been with us for so long but I presume it is all in the interest of efficiency! I understand that anyone now wanting a further copy of their marriage certificate, even those registered under the old system, also applies to the register office. We intend to give the couple a congratulatory card on the day so they will have something to take away.

After an incredibly wet May let us hope for sunshine this month!

Judy Davis, 812739

NEWS FROM ESCOT

As I write we have just finished a very busy weekend. Recently it seems as if very little has happened but, like buses, they all come at once! We have only just returned to regular services of two a month in church but over this month we will have four Sunday services due to Easter and our patronal festival. Additionally on Friday we had an interment of ashes and yesterday a wedding. The partner of the lady whose ashes were interred has given us a beautiful new bench in her memory which now sits proudly beside the other two on the south of the church. The wedding was a very happy affair, albeit with only 12 guests. The sun shone, the flowers in church were beautiful – and the bride was beautiful as well. This turns out to be an historic wedding as it is the last in Escot when the couple have to complete the legal process of signing the registers and receiving a marriage certificate during the service. From next month the legal system changes to a centralised computer system where they will receive their marriage certificate after the wedding.

When I wrote about our shortfall in finances last month I was not expecting a response but a very generous benefactor has made up the deficit for which we are all extremely grateful.

Assuming that the roadmap to release from Covid restrictions continues to plan, Olive Price has offered to open her garden in Sidmouth at the end of June in aid of church funds. She hopes to open on 26th and 27th June from 1.30 – 6pm when you will be able to see her lovely garden which she has built from almost nothing in the last three years. She has lots of roses which should be at their best then. We also hope to return to the true Escot tradition of serving delicious refreshments so I hope you will be able to come and support us.

Our patronal festival is on May 2nd when we will be celebrating with a Holy Communion service at 10.30am where we would be delighted for you to join us.

Judy Davis, 812739

NEWS FROM ESCOT

As advertised, last month we held our first APCM on Zoom. It cannot be said we raised our attendance figures significantly but one more person came! At that meeting we presented last year’s Report & Accounts which is a public document so if you would like a copy either in print or by email please just let me know. Financially we made a loss of over £1000 which is not surprising given the lack of fund-raising but it was so good to keep in touch with Youtube services every Sunday during lockdown for which we are indebted to Dave and Dawn.

We are now just starting to emerge from lockdown with services in church again. Sadly there will be no sunrise service followed by breakfast on Easter Day but we have our regular reflective service on Good Friday at 5pm and Communion at 9am on Easter Day. For the moment our regular monthly pattern will be Evensong at 6pm on the second Sunday of the month and Parish Communion on the third Sunday. It is however worth checking the magazine for occasional variations as in May where we celebrate our Patronal festival on 2nd May and subsequent services are moved on a week.

All being well we have our first marriage in church on 17th April. This depends on the provisional release from lockdown being confirmed, and even then guests are limited to fifteen. I admire Georgie and Jake for not postponing their marriage again – it was originally last July – but it will be very different from the wedding they’d planned. They intend to Zoom it to friends unable to be present and assure me they have the necessary expertise. I hope the mobile phone signal is adequate. All being well, our two other planned weddings should take place without restrictions.

Keep safe and well

Judy Davis, 812739

NEWS FROM ESCOT

This month is a first for Escot. Our annual church meeting is scheduled for Monday March 8th and we are going to hold it on Zoom. It will be at 2pm and if you would like to join us please let me know and I’ll send a Zoom invitation. As I say every year it is your opportunity to share in what we have been doing over the past year, go through our annual accounts and talk to us about the future. This time you can do it from the comfort of your own home!

Every year we review our electoral roll, the body of people involved with the church who are empowered to elect – or join - the PCC. The only requirement is to live in the parish or to worship there regularly. If you would like to join our electoral roll, please contact Janet Welch on 850940 and she will be happy to organise it for you.

Sadly this year two long-standing members of the PCC are standing down at our APCM. Among other things Lindsay Saunders has looked after the churchyard since Jim Pearcy stepped down and for that we owe her very many thanks. In last year’s quinquennial inspection, it was commented that the churchyard is well maintained, and indeed it always is so. Lindsay also distributes the parish magazine and we are very grateful that she will continue to do so for the moment. Olive Price is our flower supremo and has also been our safeguarding officer, both jobs requiring considerable effort. I am very grateful that she has agreed to organise the flowers for our two weddings this year but we shall miss her regular arrangements. To both Lindsay and Olive may I say a very big thank you – as well as the jobs you have done, we’ll miss your contribution to our PCC discussions. We look forward to seeing you at church events when they resume.

As I write, we have not yet heard about when the lockdown will end so we don’t know when normal services will resume – hopefully by next month things will be clearer.

Keep safe and well

Judy Davis, 812739

NEWS FROM ESCOT

Christmas seems a long time ago but we had a happy and well-attended service in church on Christmas morning. Decorations were necessarily limited but the church looked Christmassy – and very clean from the pre-Christmas polish we’d given it!

New year started well with our first Evensong for ten months on the first Sunday in January. Numbers were low but we really enjoyed the familiarity of the words and the feeling of normality. Thank you Terry for taking it.

The next day lockdown started again! This time churches were allowed to remain open for public worship so we hoped to keep going. However cases of Covid around here rose rapidly so by the end of the first week we very sadly decided we had to suspend services again. We are now back to online services for the next few weeks, and for those we are as always most grateful to Dave and Dawn and all those who contribute to them. It would be nice to think we’ll be back in church by Easter but that must depend on a significant downturn in cases and the speed of the vaccination roll-out.

As always I spend January working on last year’s accounts. Assuming I have not made any serious errors we will have made a loss of approximately £1,000 – the figures have not been agreed by the PCC or independently examined yet so could change – which is remarkably good given the circumstances. This year life may be even harder depending on when the world returns to something like normal. Our contribution to the diocese has gone up by 6% to £3,680 which we must find as it funds clergy stipend and pensions, and the quinquennial report has raised a long list of repairs which we need to address.

Still, the days are starting to lengthen so we can begin to think about spring!

Judy Davis

812739