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March came and it seemed that the world stood still. Everything stopped and we were all stuck at home. Gradually though, people found different ways of doing what was really important to them. In the Perry household, our Monday quiz has become as much a part of our week as church on a Sunday and having gradually improved our weekly ‘meeting’ with friends, we thought we might spread our wings and try for a full-blown fundraising quiz in aid of parish funds. Seventeen teams of up to 4 people joined us last Friday for an online battle.
The Quizzy Rascals lived up to their name and won by a single point. The feedback following the event was hugely positive and everyone seems keen to come back for more.
£200 was raised (someone thought it was so good they gave an added donation which by sheer chance rounded the total) and at the end of the event the clearing up took less than 5 minutes, which has to be an added bonus!
So the silver lining to lockdown is that the Worth Parish Virtual Quiz will remain on the Parish Calendar in the new normal – why not join us in September?
To most people, this photo is probably really rather dull; an empty field and a wooden fence. So what? However, there are those who remember that in 1994 the parish bought this land – next to St Nicholas’ churchyard on the south and east side and once part of the Bishop’s Lodge kitchen garden – with a most generous donation from John Hillsley. This new fence replaces one put up at the time, as a condition of the purchase.
Since then, the land has remained unused and undeveloped and yet the original intention, that of creating a new addition to the churchyard for the interment of cremated remains, has never been lost nor forgotten. It was earlier this year that the old and rotten fence was replaced; likewise, the decrepit brick wall on the opposite side of the field has recently been spruced up and cleared of the ivy that had been damaging it including, in the winter storms, the ivy lifting off and bringing down two or three rows of loose bricks!
Along with some careful tree maintenance, preparations for the new Garden of Remembrance/Memorial Garden have been quietly progressing and, as we now have the support of both the local Crawley planners and the Diocesan authorities, we are all set to complete the garden. There will be a permeable resin bound path, 1.2 metres wide x 80 metres long, creating an enclosed space in the middle of the garden where unmarked interments will be and along the outer edge of the path, provision will be made for burial plots with granite tablets for other interments. Some curved, two-seater oak benches will be placed along the path at suitable intervals and these, as well as a very few, carefully-selected mature trees will be available for people to purchase in memory of a loved one. Speak to Father Michael if you are interested in this – details are yet to be confirmed but the cost would probably be in the region of £400-£500.
A St Nicholas’ parishioner adds: “At the time of land purchase, there was a lot of parishioner participation even including clearing the ground and people also gave financially over some years for this project. In 2000, the Millennium Brass Band performed a concert on the designated land with money raised going into the pot as well. However, other things took priority and the land remained undeveloped. The Churchyard Maintenance team have been mowing the grass there in recent years and both they, and all who have contributed to this project in the past, will be very pleased to see this project coming to fruition.”
Since the lockdown started on the 22nd March, Carol and I have been up to quite a lot of different things. We started right at the beginning: having a big spring clean throughout our home, including emptying all cupboards, washing and cleaning everything, throwing out lots of items and saving things for Saturday markets when they return.
Like others, we have been doing lots of gardening, not only at our house but that of our neighbour, daughter and Carol’s sister, who are all unable to do larger gardening jobs. Because the weather has been so wonderful, we have been able to strip, clean and redo our son’s and Carol’s sister’s decking areas, all within the government guidelines and without coming into contact with them. Also during the lockdown, because the church has been out of use, I have been able to redecorate the hall kitchen area, box in pipes and spruce up the paintwork in other areas of the hall.
We have been on lots of neighbourhood walks, exploring the Worth Way and Grattons Drive park and lakes. We have been able to visit the National Trust gardens especially Wakehurst on Carol’s birthday, celebrating there with a lovely walk with our grandson Alfie and our daughter Rachel. Over the past two weeks, we have been able to see more of our grandsons and family and have a much-needed cuddle. We have also been to the beach at Worthing and seen our daughter Sharon who lives there – fantastic with the gorgeous weather we have been having.
We have participated in worship following online services, as well as watching archived Songs of Praise on TV, both of which we’ve found uplifting in these difficult times. We have missed so very much seeing our Christian family and friends and community in person and hopefully soon we will all meet and share together again. It has been sad to hear of the loss of two dear church members who were with St Barnabas’ for a long time – dear Isobel and Brenda. May our Lord continue to bless them richly.
All our love,
Bob and Carol
There is still room to join our quiz tomorrow night, Friday 19 June at 8pm, on Zoom. If you’ve been meaning to book, here’s what to do, but be quick:
Mothers’ Union branch members have stepped up their support for local communities during the Covid-19 pandemic. Lockdown has meant Sussex charity “Family Support Work” (FSW) giving out 40 weekly food boxes up from the usual 25. Each box contains a month’s basic food needs and the charity were rapidly running out of food.
From 6 June, the 44 Sussex Branches of the Mothers’ Union mobilised and collected enough food to feed over 80 families for a month. Worthing charity Turning Tides loaned their van so the MU could transport food from around the county to FSW at Brighton, travelling over 300 miles in 2 weekends. As well as food, donations of toiletries, household cleaning products and babies’ nappies were needed and provided.
Mothers’ Union Diocesan President, Karen Hill said: “I know our members pray with their feet moving. This was a simple need and one we can help with. FSW and Mothers’ Union mirror each other’s core values, and are an obvious partnership in these difficult times. With the generous help of Turning Tides, this is a wonderful example of community charities pulling together to help those in need. These last weeks in lockdown have been hard and members relish the opportunity to do something to help others.”
One MU member, Norma said: ”My granddaughter gets my shopping for me, as I have to be shielded. It will be lovely to get her to buy some food for someone other than me!! It’s good to do things for each other.”
Martin Auton-Lloyd, director of FSW said: “The Mothers’ Union has always been a great friend to FSW and just as we thought we were going to hit problems with food supplies they stepped in and offered to help us keep our food bank running. Bringing our joint supporters together like this is a great way to show to the wider community the commitment, that we, as Christians, have to serving those in need.”
Mothers’ Union Chief Executive, Bev Jullien said: The response from our membership has been overwhelming but not surprising. The rallying call from the movement was, stay safe but wherever people need help, we’re there for them. Mothers’ Union has always responded to community needs, and our response to Covid-19 sums it up – we do whatever is needed by the communities we are a part of, in partnership with others, to ensure the most effective response, we always have and always will.”