Vicar's letter August / September 2018

Summer is upon us! The sunny weather and warm days have encouraged us into our sandals and out into our gardens. Children can be heard playing, the smell of barbeques drifts over our villages and trips to the seaside are on the agenda again. What a wonderful time of year!


As we enjoy (or not) this summer season the dark days of winter seem far away and that mid-winter celebration (shh….Christmas….shh) is a long way from our minds. Whilst it would be odd to celebrate that festival all year long - there is something to be said for encouraging the spirit of generosity and goodwill that it brings to last all year. In the summer months it is very easy to forget that the people and charities that we supported in December and January are still in need of support.


This summer St Peter’s congregation is inviting you to join them in our “Summer Holiday Foodbank Race”. During the six weeks of the school summer holiday we will be attempting to collect thirty of each of the five items most needed by the Foodbank (more details further into the magazine). The Foodbank finds that it has lots of support later in the year, but that supplies run low through the summer months and so we have decided to join them in trying to even out their supplies.


Sharing peace and goodwill all year does not just rely on practical help, of course, it also involves us in thinking about how we greet and meet with each other. As we are out and about enjoying the sunshine hopefully we will remember the power of a bright smile and a friendly word. Supplies of both are not just for one time of the year…..


May God bless you,



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May ’18 Winged and Floral Delights, St Peter’s Patch

May ’18 Winged and Floral Delights, St Peter’s Patch

Leaving behind the Flower Festival displays on Sunday 6th May, I walked into the strong late afternoon sunshine which heated the East end of the churchyard by the wood. The stage was set for another glorious display of the weekend. Into the sunlight danced six different types of butterflies although not fluttering together but generally taking their cue one by one over the course of an hour.


The most obliging individual was a “Comma” which offered some patient watching as it warmed its wings sitting on Cow Parsley, some grass cuttings and bare earth. I managed to photograph it when in this resting position. It looks as though its wings have been ripped like a torn paper. It doesn’t have the smooth outline of the “Small Veined White” which also obliged me enough to warrant a photo but it’s camouflage gives a “Where’s Wally” type puzzle! There were also two small whites fluttering about.


A Peacock butterfly made a brief entry. A Holly blue became a brillliant bright surprise visitor although later, on leaving there were two dancing together outside the Old Vicarage hedge. Over the previous afternoon an Orange Tip had been fluttering over the gravestones at great speed. The Male Orange tip lives up to its name and is easily spotted on the wing dallyancing until it’s pale winged mate is located. I managed a photo of a female in my garden this week feasting for a moment on the one Lady’s Smock that’s sprung up this year. Again – you have to look hard at the photo.


There is a legend that the mother of Constantine the Great, St Helena, found a smock in a cave near Bethlehem, left by the Virgin Mary! The flower lhas been said to look like little smocks hung out to dry.


And no spring post would be complete without bluebells, here with the Bell tower behind taken this week.


To view all images, look in the Churchyard album via The Gallery.


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Two Seasons in One Month! A Beast from the East and soft Easter rain

Two Seasons in One Month! A Beast from the East and soft Easter rain

Saturday March 3rd, we dared walk out into the snow-covered roads and paths and down to the Churchyard. It was one of the first days following the several snowfalls of the preceding week that the “beast” had stopped its’ howling. In St Peter’s Churchyard the wildlife felt comfortable enough to venture out and we found the tell tale tracks. Pheasants and partridges had come out of the wood at the north east end and made the snow look like a busy thoroughfare. On the opposite corner, by the boundary with the Old Vicarage, a hare had lolloped its way from the wood to the safety of the wall - it’s tracks longer and larger than a rabbit - more of a longjumper.


Good Friday, March 30th, soft rain began to fall in the afternoon. The tombstone on the Easter Garden was sealed to represent the after noon when Christ’s body was placed within. A walk into the churchyard revealed the blessings a few degrees of warmth had brought since the “beast” had left us. To be seen still are wild primroses both yellow and pink - not all primroses are yellow, even in the wild. Some have almost pure white flowers while others have a pink or purplish tinge. Under the hedge boundary with Dovecote are the most stunning royal purple violets, like jewelled amethysts in the grass. The snowdrops, though, are showing their final flowers before hiding underground for another year. Up from underground venture the small burrowing mammals; photographed here a clear hole, probably for a mouse, under the lea of an old gravestone, perhaps Mrs Tittlemouse getting ready for her spring cleaning! What will a few more degrees of warmth reveal in April?


View the Churchyard Spring 2018 photo gallery for more images.


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